Problem solver with an international network

May 24, 2017

“For me it’s always about people. How can a service or a product improve life?” That is the question that moves Lida-Maria Lottko. The independent business consultant is a former student of Jacobs University. Today she works worldwide on projects for digital innovation.

“I like people, I like to go out and solve problems,” says Lida-Maria Lottko. And when you listen to the German with Iranian roots, you believe her right away: In a discussion, she juggles three topics simultaneously without losing her train of thought; her thoughts are veritably effervescent.

The method used by the independent consultant is called Design Thinking. In this approach, innovations are created by consistently aligning products and services to the needs of the customer. Problems are solved in a comprehensive, user-oriented manner. The goal is to change the culture toward more creativity and cooperation.  To achieve this goal, small interdisciplinary teams work together.

Lida-Maria Lottko herself specializes in digital innovation. How does digitalization help shape the future of living and working? What may sound like visions of the future are already being conceived by companies in innovation laboratories. In this context, artificial intelligence helps link data, for example to give car insurance rates to drivers based on their behavior. Other examples of applications include dynamic traffic light switching to control traffic or business software that handles tasks like bookkeeping virtually independently. And in the Internet of Things, everything communicates with everything, because thermostats, electric meters, refrigerators, and much more are all interconnected.

At the moment, Lida-Maria Lottko is investigating how knowledge can be shared. Her customer, a globally active corporation, offers extensive coaching to its management personnel. They learn to be in the moment and practice motivating and inspiring their team. Knowledge previously available only to managers of the top echelon is now to be made available to team and department managers. Lida-Maria Lottko is testing how the coaching program works digitally – for instance as an app or website. This digital approach can save a lot of money and give a lot more people an opportunity to continue their development.

Lida-Maria Lottko is a nomad – professionally and geographically. She grew up in Essen. Since the beginning of the year, she has been living in Berlin, after stops all over the world. Whether the USA, Brazil, China, or Great Britain: Following her studies in the international environment of Jacobs University, she is excellently prepared to live and work in other cultures. At 26 years old, her frequent flier miles could stretch around the world many times. She has never worked on any one project for more than a year. Her customers include international concerns and business consulting firms as well as nongovernmental organizations and startups.

She is aflame for digitalization, but only when it offers added value to the user. And in her search, she is always looking for points of reference in the real world. After all, her mission is to bring people together. And she has a great treasure from her days studying at Jacobs University: her friends from around the world. And wherever her current project may take her, one of her fellow alumni is usually not far away. “My former fellow students are like members of my family. We lived together in a small space for so long. That makes for an extremely tight connection,” says Lottko, who studied biochemistry and cellular biology in Bremen. Instead of lab work, she decided upon a career in business and acquired the necessary business know-how in a Master program at the Hult International Business School in San Francisco.

Despite this change of direction, she still raves about her days as a student in Bremen: “I think the world needs more places like Jacobs University. Particularly today, where walls have become a campaign promise. People from more than 100 nations live here. These people show that it is possible to achieve something together, despite age, sex, place of origin, or religion.” Everyone profits hugely from the interchange among cultures, of that Lida-Maria Lottko is convinced. “We can learn so much from one another.”


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