Interview for the Savvy Awards with Jens Nolden

Interview for the Savvy Awards with Jens Nolden

Interview for the Savvy Awards after participation in the House of Beautiful Business, Lisbon
November 2019


In which field would you like to see more innovation in 2020 and beyond?

Education technologies for lifelong-learning – making this accessible to the broad society and motivate and empower people to cope with the new challenges.


Which person would you like to have dinner with?

I would love to have a private dinner with Barack Obama. To see his personal and non-filtered view about the current change in our society and the major problem of a society drifting apart fostered by various communication channels, giving society a new fundament. Mainstream politics today have no answer to cope with this conglomerate of new power.


What are your personal rules for success?

  • Take your Time
  • Have an unalterable identity
  • Show emotion and embrace happiness
  • Involve growth and value
  • Have an impact


What is your best habit? What is your worst?

“Habits are either the best servant or the worst master. When you master your habits, you become an effective leader. Habits that master you become your addictions. Starting early to recognize your addictive patterns can give you a head start on building the framework to increase engagement, empower others and grow.”-> A habit I have mastered: Dominating conversations -> a habit I have not mastered: Finding excuses


Who is your favorite artist?

My favorite artist is Emil Nolde, a German-Danish painter of the early 20th.

Not only because of the similarity in our name, but because he was exploring colors and working very expressive with a brilliant outcome throughout his whole work. His famous quote during the degenerate art discussion in Germany in the 1940s:

„There is silver blue, sky blue and thunder blue. Every color holds within it a soul, which makes me happy or repels me, and which acts as a stimulus. To a person who has no art in him, colors are colors, tones are tones and that is all. All their consequences for the human spirit, which range between heaven to hell, just go unnoticed.”


What is your favorite book?

The book of beautiful business – which I got to know in Lisbon this year.

“In a world where everything can be done more efficiently by machines, being human becomes the ultimate differentiator.” The book gathers 40 authors, consultants leaders, founders, technologists, artists, philosophers, and scientists to share their perspectives on a positive vision for a future containing technology, society and humanity.


Please describe the year 2019 with three words.

New private experience.


What was your first job ever? What did you learn from it?

My first job after my studies has been in context to the liberalization of the German telecommunications market. I was hired by a newly founded B2B telecommunication provider owned by a German utilities holding. A process to sell this entity was initiated after 2 years after the foundation of the company and I stepped from controlling via SAP into the M&A process. My learnings how a transactions process has to be prepared and executed were very hands-on and driven, not backed by a theoretical background but by training on the job.


What is the best advice you ever got?

The best advice I got was to step into the Venture Capital business after my first M&A experiences in the TIMES industry. I got to know many successful entrepreneurs – still building companies today – while Venture Capital was still new in Europe and we had to learn from the Silicon Valley how to build a successful Venture framework. This did not pay out in the first internet bubble, but later a lot of this business models we have seen before emerged more powerful. Due to a valid market driven by the devices, which are now the basis for the communication of the Generation Z.


What are your goals in 2020?

Always the same goals … starting with a retreat early in the new year and gathering power for the things to come.