Daniel Hires creates projects and movements that challenge the status quo. Most recently, he developed a green fintech spin-off for an environmental non-profit and raised € 1.4 million in financing. Daniel is passionate about building communities that empower people to take collaborative action on their ideas for a better world. He initiated MakeSense hotspots in Berlin and Busan (South Korea), co-created the SenseCamp unconference format, co-founded the Silent Climate Parade Berlin, co-authored a book on kickstarting projects, and frequently travels the world to speak, mentor and coach teams.
MakeSense is a global open-source community of passionate individuals who use their skills, knowledge and connections to tackle business, design and technology challenges of social entrepreneurs. We believe that social entrepreneurship is a part of the sustainable future we would like to see!
1- In no more than three sentences, please explain what you do
I’m working on innovation and entrepreneurship that focuses on making the world a fairer and more sustainable place. I’ve helped establish the MakeSense network in Berlin, the Silent Climate Parade, and raised €1.4 million for this sustainable finance initiative. My strength is developing new concepts with a focus on user-centric design and holistic marketing strategies, and supporting early-stage ventures on their concept, product, team, and growth strategy.
2- Who inspires you?
Two kinds of people: On the one hand, the “celebrity changemakers” who manage to remain humble, personal, and grounded despite their success and admiration. I love people who have their egos in check and are like their public image when you meet them in person. On the other hand, I’m inspired by people who have had to face incredible hardships and do it with surprising grace. While I like to think that my personality or work ethic had some influence on my life, I try to remember that 98% of it was just luck.
3- What is the biggest change you want to see in the world?
I would like us to move towards a post-growth society. I think it’s crazy that our economy necessitates infinite growth while we live on a planet with finite resources. I admit that the growth paradigm was useful for a while, but it’s time to move past it. Also, I’m looking forward to a world where nation states are practically meaningless; my home country is Planet Earth.
4- What would you like to be remembered for?
As someone who got things done, who implemented and executed meaningful projects instead of just talking. As a person who lived their values without pushing them onto others. As someone who contributed to building the skills and confidence that enabled people to make their ideas happen. As a person who wasn’t full of himself and always remained grounded and approachable. And most importantly, as a great son, brother, friend, and partner.
5- What is the most interesting new idea you’ve come across in the past year?
Blockchain and its applications. I’ve just become part of ‘The DAO’ and even though it’s still very experimental, I’m very excited about the possible applications of distributed ledgers, smart contracts, or colored coins, e.g. for a truly decentralized sharing economy.
6- Finally, how can people engage with your work if they’d like to learn more/help?
If you’re looking to spend 2 hours in an innovation workshop to help an inspiring social entrepreneur, check out MakeSense – you can find events via the website or facebook! If you would like to collaborate on a project, invite me to speak or run a workshop, you can get in touch via my website, twitter, or facebook.