Have you participated in a co-creation challenge this past year? If so, you might have worked with Local Motors Project Manager Florian Feise. Flo, as we all call him, has been critical in the success of our recent challenges hosted on our co-creation platform, most notably, the Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge.
He has a genuine passion for helping our co-creation community succeed by ensuring they are provided with current and accurate information on various projects. Flo is quick to listen to their concerns and deliver solutions to ensure that the everything goes smoothly for challenge participants, Local Motors, and any project sponsors that might be involved.
One of Flo’s first projects he helped with was the Urban Mobility Challenge. The winning vehicle design was Berlino, later named to Olli, which is a self-driving shuttle we debuted in June. Most recently, Flo led efforts in the Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge that attracted more than 420 qualified entries. At the Farnborough Air Show this summer, he helped announce the winners.
When he’s not interacting with our co-creation community, you can find him rolling up his sleeves to expand the Local Motors presence where he works in Berlin.
Here’s more about Flo that you probably didn’t know.
Where were you born and raised?
In the rural surroundings of Hanover, Germany.
What’s your favorite food?
I enjoy all kinds of Mexican food. It’s almost the sole reason I visit Phoenix. Haha!
What’s your dream vacation?
I’m a big fan of road trips, especially mountain bike road trips. In the past I have spent quite a while on my bike traveling. I’d say that one of the most amazing destinations for a mountain biker would be Kamloops, BC, Canada. I loved it so much that I stayed for one year.
What do you do for Local Motors?
I joined Local Motors as a Community Manager when the Local Motors entity in Germany had only one staff member, Damien Declercq. I spent most of my initial time supporting the Urban Mobility Challenge, which eventually became the Olli.
After that, I worked as a Brand Manager in the EMEA region. A few months ago, I managed the Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge. At the moment, I’m closely involved in the expansion of the Local Motors presence in Berlin, which has steered me toward more tactical work instead of conceptual work, which I also enjoy.
All in all, I’ve taken on numerous different roles and responsibilities on the team in Berlin, which has resulted in a steep and exciting learning curve. This dynamic is appealing so I can get involved with all kinds of fields and functions. Every once in awhile, I love to get out my toolbox and actually physically work on something that needs to get done.
What did you do before Local Motors?
I joined Local Motors after my graduation from International Business School of the Hanze University of Applied Sciences. Before that, I traveled through Canada working in the mountain bike industry as a mechanic, social media manager, and as a trail guide. Later, I was able to also build up my portfolio as a freelance mountain bike photographer.
What projects are you working on now?
Now, I’m supporting the buildout of our new microfactory in Berlin. There’s plenty of exciting work to do — stay tuned!
What do you love about Local Motors?
I love the breadth of responsibilities that every employee carries. As the Berlin team is still growing, people tend to carry multiple roles. One day, you might fly across for an important business meeting or be part of a panel and the next day you’re back on the build floor. Switching between these different tasks can be quite challenging but it’s sure a lot of fun.
What advice do you have for future employees?
I have one piece of advice for future employees so you enjoy your time here: Build your ambiguity tolerance! The reality is that you will have to be able to deal with opposing or contradictory information and sometimes even unexpected tasks while we are growing so quickly. Depending on your background, that can be very tricky. I recommend a few books that have have helped me:
– Opposable Mind: Winning Through Integrative Thinking by Roger L. Martin
– Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink
– Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness by Frederic Laloux