Susanne spent her childhood in different places, amongst others Bonn, Nairobi, and Paris, and is now based in Berlin. She studied architecture in Berlin and London and completed her MA in Interactive Telecommunications at the Tisch School of the Arts in New York City and was a research fellow at the Potsdam-based Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS). She worked as an architect in the offices of Lord Norman Foster (Berlin), Winka Dubbeldam (NYC), and Wiel Arets (Maastricht).
In 2013 she founded the r0g_agency together with her partner, Stephen Kovats. Ever since, she has been passionate about working in the field of peacebuilding and technology in a very hands-on, practical manner and loves seeing the impact of supporting the self-empowerment of people, especially in complex conflict situations. She has managed the #defyhatenow project, has helped develop the #MMN Migrant Media Network project, and is invested in helping the Open Culture Feminist Café flourish. She currently manages all things related to the r0g_agency.
In her spare time, Susanne loves jogging and has recently started playing the saxophone.
Stephen grew up in Canada and studied architecture at Carleton University in Ottawa. As a cultural and media technologies advocate, he has been deeply engaged in issues of open culture and social transformation since the early days of German unification. After deep engagements with these topics at the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation and V2_Institute for Unstable Media in Rotterdam, he returned to Germany in 2007 as artistic director of Berlin's transmediale festival for art and digital culture.
The idea of taking a more proactive, open-source based approach to international, post-conflict development led to the founding of the r0g_agency in 2013, together with his partner Susanne Bellinghausen. His roles at the r0g_agency include helping develop the #defyhatenow program to counter social media hate speech and incitement to violence, as well as supporting the open tech innovation programs, including #ASKnet, the Access to Skills and Knowledge network.
In his free time, he enjoys explorative off-grid travel, skiing, and all activities relating to water or winter.
Timm has a Master of Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Renewable Energies from Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin, and is on a secret mission to designate free access to information as a basic human right. He is an open-source hardware and circular economy activist and works as a renewable energy engineer.
He is based in Berlin, and became part of the r0g_agency in 2013, when he and a colleague built the r0g_solar.mini over a long weekend, which by now has traveled the world. In 2015 he joined the #opentech team as a trainer, which led to the development of #ASKotec. Sharing knowledge and hands-on open tech skills has been his mission and passion ever since. When not in Berlin, his role as a trainer for #ASKnet takes him to South Sudan and Uganda, where he facilitates workshops and helps build up local teams.
In his free time, Timm loves fostering upcycling and spreading his love of DIY, especially in terms of repairing electronics and bicycles. He also loves reading articles and news reports and sharing his findings on all things tech and society related.
Open Tech Advisor
Sara is a Chicago-born, Germany-raised Finnish-American. She received her BA from Purdue University in Intercultural Communications and her PhD in German Literature from the University of North Carolina. Her research focuses on the interplay of urban design and mental health. Before moving to Berlin, she was the director of the German program at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She has co-authored two language-learning textbooks used at universities in the US and Canada (Auf geht’s! and Weiter geht’s!).
She joined the r0g_agency team in 2020 as writer, editor, and communications manager. It is a position that allows her to combine her love of words, systems, and research with her dream of working in the NGO-world in order to make a positive impact. Working across all r0g projects, she is particularly excited to be using her background in pedagogy and mental health to revamp the many Field Guides r0g creates.
Away from work, Sara can usually be found with a book and a cup of coffee. She also loves taking photos, jogging, and cycling out to swim in the hundreds of lakes around Berlin.
Petra was born in Southern Germany and is currently based in Senegal. She is a trained journalist and holds master’s degrees in Politics from the University of Cologne as well as in Public Relations and Integrated Communications from the Donau University Krems.
After having worked as a business journalist, she began her career in Public Relations in 2010 at Misereor – and has worked in the field ever since. She loves to spread the news about projects and organisations that make a difference. Throughout the years she has met amazing people fighting for cultural rights, sustainable agriculture, children’s rights and women’s empowerment. Supporting them in their quest to be seen and heard in today’s communication overload is what drives her work.
After a two-year excursion into the world of e-commerce and businesses as the digital project manager of a Senegalese web agency, she joined the r0g_agency in 2021 as social media coordinator.
In her spare time, she fights for environmental protection as part of the association Zero Waste Senegal, enjoys a quiet cup of coffee with an interesting book, and nice dinners with family and friends – which, for everyone’s sake, is best not to be cooked by her.
Social Media Coordinator
Kendi was born in Katheri, a small village adjacent to Mt. Kenya in Meru, a town in Eastern Kenya. She has a diploma in Management and a bachelor’s degree in Commerce, specializing in Human Resource Management.
From her years of working in human resources, Kendi learned that the most vital resource an organization possesses is its people. She is passionate about designing the future of work at the intersection of technological innovation, youth, and human capital. At the r0g_agency, Kendi has worked as a trainer and content developer and is now the educational resource development & implementation lead for the #defyhatenow project. In her work, she draws on her past experiences of working in conflict mitigation and peacebuilding with marginalized people, refugees, and internally displaced people in South Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Cameroon, and Kenya.
When not working, Kendi enjoys reading and writing. In the past, she ran an award-winning blog about the culture of her people, “The Ameru.” She is working on perfecting her cycling, which is quickly surpassing even her love of running. She also believes that most problems can be solved, at least momentarily, with a cup of tea.
Educational Resources Lead
Clemens grew up in the Rhineland of Germany, but has spent the last twenty years living in Berlin. He studied political science and received his master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Duisburg. He belongs to the generation of the '68s, forever stuck between the rebellion and freedom of the seventies and the consumer culture of the eighties. Perhaps that is why media and communication became important elements of his work as a way to address this tension. In the past he worked for Transmediale, an annual festival for art and digital culture, along with Stephen Kovatz. His passion lies in empowering people through technology while staying critical to its negative impacts.
He joined the r0g_agency in 2013 as a senior consultant and project lead for the BMZ funded media development projects and is the project manager for ASKNet.
In his free time, Clemens is a cycling enthusiast and loves spending time with his family.
Project Manager #ASKnet
Heike hails from southern Germany and studied Visual Communications in the shadows of the Black Forest. After stopovers in Stuttgart, Pforzheim, and Amsterdam, she landed in Rotterdam, which has now been her home for many years. Over the years she has worked with many design studios, and at one point, together with two other designers, founded a design studio. During these years, she developed an interest in fashion and created her own fashion label, that included a brick-and-mortar store in the north of Rotterdam. But in the end, her love of graphic design was stronger, and she decided to leave behind fashion in order to focus solely on design. Despite years of living in the Netherlands, she has maintained her contact to Germany.
In 2011 she helped establish the corporate identity for the r0g_agency, including designing their logo. She has continued to partner with them ever since, designing graphics for many of their projects. Heike’s goal had always been to work in an international setting, because she enjoys seeing people with divergent perspectives come together to work towards a common goal, and as such, she loves being a part of the r0g_agency team. As a graphic designer, Heike believes in finding the essence of the story needing to be told, and making it visible.
In her spare time, she is happiest when she is in nature, whether in the forest, at the beach, or in the mountains. She also loves tinkering with new formulas for her homemade no-waste body bars.
Dan is a software engineer based in Nairobi, Kenya, with over five years of experience in implementing some of the most challenging software and hardware infrastructure for government, corporate, startup, and nonprofit scenes. He’s the co-founder of Web For All, Ltd. Kenya and Alela Technologies South Sudan, offering ICT for development solutions in the region since 2015.
Dan is a technology consultant and web developer for the r0g_agency’s #defyhatenow global project, where he has been overseeing the architecture and implementation of technology for peace solutions, notably a community-based Early Warning and Early Response (EWER) for online hate speech, which maps potential incitement to violence rhetoric and monitors the Northwest and Southwest conflict regions of Cameroon. He has also developed #211Check and #237Check; fact-checking and open-data platforms implemented in South Sudan and Cameroon that have recently been instrumental in debunking misinformation regarding COVID-19.
In his free time Dan loves cycling, nature photography, and perusing hardcopy books.
Blen is an African feminist, human rights activist, and gender equality advisor. In recent years, she developed and managed projects focused on empowering young Ethiopian women through academic debate and capacity building in Feminist Transformative Leadership. She holds a Master of Science in Sociology of Law – European Law from Lund University in Sweden and a Bachelor of Law (LLB) from Haramaya University in Ethiopia.
At the r0g_agency, Blen is the project manager for the #defyhatenow Ethiopia program. She is also the initiator and curator of the Open Culture Feminist Café.
Away from work, Blen loves to cook, travel, dance, drink coffee with friends & colleagues, learn melodies on the piano, and tidy her place up.
Gender Equality Advisor
Barbara was born in Munich and grew up in a little village close by, where people do indeed look like stereotypical Germans in Lederhosen. After successfully finishing her apprenticeship in financial accounting, she worked for several different companies and moved to Heidelberg, a city with a magical castle, where her two sons were born. After relocating several more times, she and her family settled in Potsdam, a city adjoining Berlin. For the past fifteen years she has worked for various companies in the region with a particular focus on enterprises trying to have a social or ecological impact.
She is therefore delighted to be working for the r0g_agency in finance and supporting their goals.
In her leisure time, she spends a lot of time in her garden, experiments with new baking recipes, and tries to get an overview of her sons’ financial expenses.
Rolf is from the small town of Gütersloh in Germany’s North Rhine Westphalia. He began his career with an apprenticeship as an industrial clerk and later studied economics at the University of Paderborn. After graduation he worked in Human Resources for the department store Karstadt, holding various positions, including HR Manager. This work let him move around Germany, with stints in Bochum, Leonberg, Göttingen, Nuremberg, and Berlin. Afterwards, his HR career led him to working in a hospital and then in the furniture industry for IKEA, which also let him continue his exploration of living in other German towns, including Bremen and Hamburg. He worked there until his retirement.
At r0g, Rolf is in charge of drafting and reviewing contracts and other legal documents.
Away from work, Rolf likes motorcycling and is intrigued by all things related to music, including attending concerts and playing the guitar. He also gives culinary tours of Berlin.
Benedictus grew up in Akosombo (Dam City) in the Eastern Region of Ghana. He studied at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi and while there, worked as a Special Duties Manager at Reinbee Group Limited. This role inspired him to further his education in project management, and in 2019 he received his Master’s degree in Project Management from Arden University in Berlin. Benedictus has a love of entrepreneurship and co-founded studentjobs.gh to help empower youth in Ghana.His passion for helping others and local field work experience makes him a great fit for his role at the r0g_agency, where he works as a community coordinator or the Migrant Media Network.In his free time, Benedictus loves playing badminton, listening to music, and cooking.
#MMN Community Coordinator, Ghana
Nyima is a feminist, social activist, and journalist from The Gambia, West Africa, now based in Berlin. She completed a diploma certificate in Law at the College of Insurance and Risk Management - West African Insurance Institute in Kololi, The Gambia. She also completed an apprenticeship in Cross Media Communications - Journalism at the Berliner Journalisten-Schule.
She is the founder and producer of the Nyima’s Bantaba talk show on Alex Berlin TV channel, a bilingual German-English TV show that aims to connect migrants, refugees, and women from diaspora communities across the globe. At the r0g_agency, Nyima works as a #MMN community coordinator and an advisor on issues of women & migration.
Away from work, Nyima loves to travel and read. She also co-host the African Women in Trade (AWT) monthly webinar online.
#MMN Community Coordinator, The Gambia
Yara is a Palestinian who grew up in Cyprus, Jordan, and Palestine. She holds a BA in Electronic Media Arts and Technology from the University of Tampa, Florida (USA). She has more than seven years of professional experience in audio-visual research, coordinating digital outreach, curating digital and physical spaces, and managing web content. In 2020 Yara moved to Berlin in order to enroll in a web development course, which helped her advance her web development skills and her ability to build small web projects using different programming languages.
She joined the r0g_agency in 2021 in order to support the #ASKnet project.
In her free time, she enjoys traveling, exploring new places (IRL and online), and photography.
Cornilius grew up in the warmth of the Valleys of Kumbo, in a small town in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Yaounde and went on to study International Relations at Cyprus International University. He is currently working towards a master's degree in Social Work as a Human Rights Profession at the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. Cornilius believes that what qualifies him most to do anything are not his qualifications, but rather his curiosity and passion.
These traits also lead him to his work for the r0g_agency and #defyhatenow and through this work he has developed a passion for helping others and for working in the nonprofit world. At the r0g_agency, he monitors the #defyhatenow Cameroon social media content, with a focus on the diaspora community.
Cornilius enjoys reading, writing, good movies, and good music. In his free time he creates all sorts of art, from drawings, writing, and acting (mostly in front of his mirror), through which he converts the abstract into real and real into abstract.
Social Media Monitor #defyhatenow Cameroon
Prime is a registered nurse by profession who works in the development sector. In the past, he worked for the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) under the Office of the President of the Philippines, an experience that opened his eyes to the realities and lived experiences of the vulnerable and at-risk sectors of the country, as well as the marginalized communities in different ASEAN member-countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Laos. This experience propelled him to complete his MA in Community Development at the University of the Philippines in order to better serve the marginalized and the oppressed. When the national government administration changed in 2016, he left his job at the NAPC and transferred to the local government of Marikina City, where he worked as an executive assistant and program manager for the city mayor, immersing himself deeply in the communities. In 2019, Prime emigrated to Canada and in 2020 enrolled in the MA in Community Engagement at the University of Alberta. Prime joined the r0g_agency as a research intern for the summer of 2021 and will be working on the #DefyHateNow project.
In his free time, Prime enjoys mountain biking and hiking in summer and snowboarding in winter.
Lisa is a student at the University of Alberta pursuing a bachelor of arts in political science and women's and gender studies along with certificates in sustainability and leadership. As a feminist interested in sustainability she serves as the Vice President of events for the sustainable development goals alliance on the UofA campus. She is partaking in a summer internship with the r0g_agency through E3Berlin. In her spare moments, Lisa enjoys reading and spending time outdoors.
Mike is our resident Berliner and volunteers at the r0g_agency. He is always happy to help out with any small tasks around the office. He has long been interested in other cultures and so enjoys being a part of an NGO with cross-cultural ties.
In his spare time, he is deeply invested in music, and in the past worked as a booking- and tour manager. His hobbies also include movies, history, football, and cruising around town on a scooter.