Interview with Stefanie Mahler from the German Stem Cell Network

Interview with Stefanie Mahler from the German Stem Cell Network

The GermanStemCellNetwork is a network of international, primarily German-based scientists working in various areas of stem cell research. The object of the Network is to create synergies between all areas of basic and applied stem cell research and act as an interface between science, education, politics and society.

Sounds dry as dust, and complicated? Absolutely not! In an interview with the Communication Coordinator at the GermanStemCellNetwork, Stefanie Mahler, we talked about the most fascinating aspects of this research and what motivates people to work in this field. And we were not disappointed!


The name of your organization, the GermanStemCellNetwork, sounds at once both futuristic and highly complex. Classical elevator question: can you tell us in three sentences and in layman’s terms what the GSCN is about? 


We connect scientists in all specialist fields whose work involves stem cell research. We are a network, and we are keen to promote collaboration, convergence and the exchange of findings, data, experiments and procedures between groups of scientists. 


Our goal is to advance both basic and applied stem cell research and encourage communication, in order to generate fresh discoveries and increase the number of new, scientifically well-founded cell treatments for previously incurable diseases.



Why is this work so important, and how has it changed in the past 5 years? 

This work is extremely important because stem cell research is founded on cooperation between experts in many different fields: from biochemistry to IT, from biology and medicine to law, pharmacology and biotechnology – and these are not scientists who would automatically meet one another at their own conferences. This calls for a network. 



In the past 5 years, the dynamics of stem cell research have developed dramatically.


More and more research findings point to possible treatments, and this is now a very exciting time as laboratory trials are being carried over into clinical studies to test their future potential. 


We are at a turning point at which entirely new means of treating previously incurable diseases are hopefully within our grasp. But there is still a long way to go.



How does one find oneself in such a position, and which aspects of your work fascinate you personally?


We are a network, and each member of the three-person team at our business office has a particular task scope. We have a general manager who is at once a passionate scientist as well as a social and political disseminator, and who loves to invest both ideas and energy in projects ranging from conference and workshop development to the fundamental analysis of scientific work. We have a science communicator who has extensive, in-depth experience as a journalist and is now tasked with explaining stem cell research to school students and the public through events, films, texts and workshops and improving their understanding. And we have a biologist as project manager whose job is to implement big ideas for conferences and magazines, and who is not afraid of hefty figures and finance and can bring these vividly and expediently to life.

We are all fascinated by the prospect of playing just a small part in realizing developments in new and meaningful treatments for previously incurable diseases and supporting the process. For me personally it is a privilege to work with scientists in an environment that is international, intelligent and exceptionally invigorating.



What was the most exciting project you’ve worked on? 

Maybe the bilingual teaching material we developed about stem cell research? Or maybe an analysis for politicians, explaining why the path from the laboratory to treatment is both stony and laborious? Or maybe a major conference attended by hundreds of scientists from many countries? Or maybe the development of a nationwide Stem Cell Day for school classes, a project in which many cities and schools are now involved? It is truly hard to say which was the most exciting – they are all exciting and they constantly challenge us to conceive new ideas and implement them even more effectively.


– The German Stem Cell Network (GSCN) –

The German Stem Cell Network (GSCN) aims at creating synergies between all areas of basic and applied stem cell research and to provide an interface between science, education, politics and society as a whole.
The central task of the GSCN is to pool the expertise in stem cell research in Germany and develop synergies between basic research, regenerative medicine and pharmacology. The initiative will promote innovative research activities on a national and international level. In addition, targeted information and events will be offered to encourage the public discourse on stem cell research

Interview with the Marketing & Public Relations Manager Uyen Quynh Thach-Tichatschke

Interview with the Marketing & Public Relations Manager Uyen Quynh Thach-Tichatschke

Photo: Uyen Quynh Thach-Tichatschke

From the very beginning, Baker & Company has always been strong on advertising, marketing and corporate communications.
What can we say? We love this content!
No wonder that we look forward to receiving orders from owner-managed Munich advertising agency ISARNAUTEN with pleasurable anticipation. As communication specialists, their content is always engaging and exciting.
In this interview we are focusing on the social media campaign implemented by the agency over a period of three years on behalf of Goethe Institute Mexico!

The Isarnauten agency recently produced a social media video campaign in Mexico for the Goethe Institute. Can you explain to us what that means in detail, especially when it comes to shooting on site and the planning that is required in advance? (In other words, what do you plan for and how is that put into practice?)

A social media campaign is always preceded by a well thought-out planning process, including, among other things, a target group analysis and a definition of desired goals.

It is essential to be fully aware of what the campaign is intended to achieve.

That means taking the socio-demographic factors such as the age and gender of the target group and their interests into account, as well as their behavior patterns as platform users and their preferential communication channels. Once we have this information, we can think about what would interest or appeal to the target group in question.

In the case of Goethe Institute Mexico, we decided on an “audience participation” campaign based on the German language, which was intended to be fun for the target group.

The face of the campaign was a female German rapper with whom the target group could easily identify.

Once the idea behind the campaign has been settled, the next stages follow the classic process of making a film: we hire the principal players, develop a storyboard, decide on the visual imagery and the written script. When shooting, it is important to produce as much material as possible, some of which will later be used as both the main message and reminders to ensure that the campaign lingers in the community memory.

At each stage we integrate the customer, who is then involved in the process of developing the campaign.

Our agency provides advice and support from the target group analysis and definition of goals through to implementation of the campaign and posting on the relevant networks.

When in general is a social media video campaign the right choice for an institution or company?

A video campaign is the instrument of choice to push a product or an issue, subject to the size of the undertaking, its objectives and its budget, of course.

The combination of moving images and words is the strongest means of expression currently available to us.

The concept needs to be well thought-out, so it does not get lost in the continuous “background noise” of other posts appearing on the platform.

It would be hard to imagine today’s society and indeed the advertising sector without social media. What are your dos and don’ts for beginners?

Companies that have previously had little experience of social media should first of all seek professional advice. Indiscriminate posting can actually harm a company’s image. Therefore, the dos include a well-considered strategy, a professional profile, continuity and a certain amount of flexibility, given that developments in the social media segment can be highly dynamic.

One don’t is failing to take the subject of social media seriously.

There are businesses that have a social media presence, but leave the running of it to an intern or untrained employee, because the management has no interest in social media and regard it as something for the “younger generation”.This may lead to content being published without review, resulting in an unprofessional image and even less professional crisis management, or triggering a shit storm in a worst case scenario.

On the other hand, there are also some large companies that have made social media their own and are profiting from it.

Take the CEO of pharmaceutical giant Novartis, Vasant Narasimhan, for example. He is very active in social networks and uses them to advantage. In a recent interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung, he explained that “internal and external social networks are very important in communication. These are powerful instruments with which to mobilize an organization and visualize (corporate) cultural change.” Companies would do well to perceive social media marketing as a great opportunity to reach out digitally to customers and to the general public alike.

– Uyen Quynh Thach-Tichatschke –

Uyen Quynh Thach-Tichatschke is a consultant specializing in online marketing and public relations at Munich-based advertising agency ISARNAUTEN. The Isarnauten agency provides advice and support in all matters relating to branding, online marketing, communication, social media, web design, campaign work, marketing, corporate design, video and events.

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Zeljko Ratkovic managing partner at the brand.david agency

Zeljko Ratkovic managing partner at the brand.david agency

Photo: CEO Zeljko Ratkovic

We are delighted to launch our new B & C Zine with an interview with one of our oldest customers, Zeljko Ratkovic, managing partner at the brand.david agency!

Loyal customers, long-term relationships based on trust, shared growth … … who does not dream of such good fortune?
Our continuous collaboration has so far endured for nearly 25 years and extends from the linguistic tweaking and creative fine-tuning of headers and slogans to weighty financial reports.
And yes, our cooperation began in the early years of dialog marketing.

When companies discovered the customer as an individual …

My father remembers a time when dialog marketing was on everyone’s lips. From where we stand today, this would appear to hark back to another world age cycle. Could you tell us a bit about dialog marketing from today’s perspective? 

ZR: Dialog marketing has undergone an exciting process of development. As the age of mass marketing drew to a close, marketing departments suddenly discovered the customer as an individual. Given the overbearing influence of sales considerations and departments, the newly developed instrument was referred to as “direct marketing”. In those days, the concept comprised anything and everything that had the potential to generate a response, from coupons and reply cards to fax and phone numbers. Well, novelties generally have a good run that lasts for a while, until customers had had enough of “silent selling”.

You see, neither mass communication nor direct marketing were geared towards understanding the customer and his or her needs – it was all just sell, sell, sell, just a one-way street, so to speak.


As customers paid less and less heed to their efforts, brands attempted to interact with the buyers of their goods – and so dialog marketing was born. For the first time, the two sides began to enter into a mutual relationship and a genuine dialog arose. Today, there are plenty to means available by which to enter into a dialog with potential customers, or indeed to remain in close contact with existing clients. In the digital field in particular, there are a variety of instruments, tools and platforms that enable a fast and efficient exchange of ideas. Because nowadays brands must do a great deal more than simply wave price tickets in the air if they wish to acquire self-confident customers.

Ultimately, brands and businesses are much like people: Those who fail to form relationships will find themselves lacking friends and short on love.


When you look back on your company’s long history, what were the key elements that ensured your success, and what advice would you have for young entrepreneurs setting up in business and aiming to gain a foothold in this sector?

ZR: Every successful business is founded on a mixture of courage, ideas and an overriding passion.

Those who lack inner fire and an absolute conviction that they are doing the right thing will look in vain for success.

On a day to day basis, the ability to function as a team plays a decisive role. In marketing or at communications agencies, there are countless pieces of information to be collated and channeled intelligently – around the clock. And that means coordinating various teams and securing their commitment to a brand or a campaign. All too often, several at the same time.

Founders setting up a business should possess the ability to grasp situations rapidly, along with a talent for getting to the heart of matters – but also a sound measure of social competence.

Moreover, it is naturally essential to be a master par excellence of the technicalities of your chosen field, whether that be creation, project management, strategy, media, digital, or something completely different. Besides technical qualifications, it is ultimately the ability to play as a team that makes the difference, both internally and in interaction with the customer. One of the decisive tasks for an entrepreneur in the communications sector is to put the perfect team together for the job at hand, to inspire and to support the team with all the necessary information. Get that right, and success will follow automatically.

– Zeljko Ratkovic –

ZELJKO RATKOVIC is managing partner at the brand.david agency in Munich. Having earned degrees in oenology and communications, his previous career included stints as a director of consultancy at Rempen & Partner in Munich and CEO of the events agency brandarena. Moreover, he also taught at the BAW Munich.

BRAND.DAVID is an agency that specializes in making brands unmistakable, unmissable and irresistible. With target-oriented strategies, well thought-out concepts and excellent implementation, we establish communication and create identities that reach out by the shortest route to the hearts and minds of the target group.

Welcome to the

Welcome to the

We are Christopher Baker, proprietor and CEO (Chief Editing Officer) at Baker & Company. Loves his Doberman Chiara, green tea and long hikes in the mountains.

His daughter Esther Harrison, Editor in Chief & Founder of Coeur et Art magazine. Loves her cat Elvis, a good espresso and an early morning swim in the lake.

So you might say, the B & C Zine is a family affair that combines experience (CB) and creativity (EH).


We never cease to be amazed at the wealth of fascinating encounters, exciting issues and innovative developments in which we, over the last 35 years of Baker & Company, have been and are still involved in, thanks to our highly diverse range of customers.
It is 35 years now since our company was first founded!
An anniversary which inspired us to launch this bijou magazine.
Through the medium of brief personal interviews, we would like to introduce you to our customers and give you a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes.

With best wishes,

Christopher Baker & Esther Harrison