Jürgen Schepers is a trained journalist, with a proper internship and editorial work. And because that wasn’t enough, he also started doing PR, Marketing and events for film studios and distributors, TV, fashion, clubs and lifestyle magazines. Today, he’s responsible for the creative industry at the Chamber of Commerce in Berlin and heads a committee with approx. 40 entrepreneurs aiming to position their interests in politics and administration. Which makes him something like the advocate of the DNA of Berlin. In the magazine Berliner Wirtschaft, he regularly writes about exciting companies (like MMW) and entrepreneurs (like our Julia), he hosts, he gives talks, he plans and organises events, specialist conferences and exhibitions. And on top of all this, he is founder and chairman of the Medienliga Berlin-Brandenburg (a media football league), in which 32 teams – from Flux FM to Vice Magazine, Der Tagesspiegel to X-Filme – play football in two leagues, fighting for promotion or against relegation, for the championship and the cup. And last, not least he heads the Peter-Christian-Schlüschen-Stiftung, a foundation for young photographers in sports, one of the highest paying awards (10.000 €) in Germany. A word, Mr. Schepers.
Name: Jürgen Schepers
Shoe size: 41
Favourite author: M. Houllebecq, B. Vian, T. Mann, R. Willemsen… and currently Kate Tempest („The Bricks That Built The Houses „), a terrific book.
How creative are Berlin’s entrepreneurs?
With over 30,000 companies and an annual turnover of around 16 billion euros, Berlin’s creative industry belongs to the supporting pillars of our economy. That is, by the way, more than the digital industry and the start-ups. That says it all, really.
The most exciting celebrity you’ve ever met?
Mick Jagger as a film producer and Helmut Newton as set photographer.
What would you do without a computer?
I would enjoy being offline, relax and realise that life works without a computer as well. From experience I can say that’s really true and everyone should take some time off like that now and then.
Which moment changed everything?
When I returned from Spain and landed in Berlin, more or less by chance.
Which problem would you like to solve?
That in Berlin – despite the economic boom – every third child is still living below the poverty line. That poverty among the elderly has been existing for years, but isn’t being actively tackled… and the aggressiveness of drivers in Berlin (I ride a scooter).
A penguin wearing a sombrero comes into a bar and says:
Can you change your whole life in a day? (based loosely on Edward Norton in „25th hour“)
Your favourite swear word?
Vollpfosten (German for something like a total spoon)
How can someone impress you?
By not taking themselves too seriously and not succumbing to every hype, but questioning things – especially regarding spreading opinions in digital media.
What would you like to be better at?
Being more patient and cooking. I can hack the basics, though.
What would you cook for us if we came to visit you at home?
Because I will have run out of basics, I would take you out for the (in my opinion) best sushi in Berlin made by the probably only Turkish sushi-chef of the city.
What are you most afraid of?
That our thinking is too black and white and we might forget that beside the digital world there is an analogue world on which our cognitive capabilities, for example, are based.
When was the last time you tried something new and what was it?
At the beginning of this month, I went to Ireland to learn to surf. It was fantastic and I’m going to keep practising. Straight away, but somewhere warmer… However, Ireland really is a beautiful Island.
What should no one know about you?
It’s enough if only a few people know that.
Which question should we have asked you?
Why the avant-garde / subculture is so important for Berlin in general and particularly for the creative industry. Because it is the breeding ground for new things and without it, Berlin wouldn’t be where the city is today – we have to preserve that!
I like people who don’t need to have the last word.