The vision of making a contribution to a future worth living in, the ambition to develop a digital solution for companies worldwide, together with an international team. And then? How can product development work successfully in a Green-Tech Start-up, when money and resources are limited? How are innovative solutions created that inspire customers and are scalable? Dr. Anke Bytomski-Guerrier reports from the beginnings of the Start-up The Future Living and shares experiences with lean approaches and agile product.

„People, passion, and boldness – that’s what it takes“

herCAREER: How do you turn an innovative idea into a scalable business?

When we started at TFL, we didn’t know exactly how to support companies on the path to sustainable business. But we were convinced that the companies of the future would have to undergo a profound transformation, rather than incremental changes:In October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published its report, which made clear: We need to halve our emissions within 12 years. This cannot be done without a huge transformation in society and the economy.

So, we put our heads together and learned from experts around the world: what does it take tomake such a big change possible? And how can we combine this knowledge with technological possibilities so that the application can go fast and be scalable?

We decided – we can’t and won’t wait and sort out every detail in advance. We have to be brave now and start, improvise, correct and find solutions together with partners to support companies and employees in the change process towards more sustainability.

And that’s exactly what we did: developed a process and tools that practically support employees in the change to a sustainable mindset. At the same time, we learn with our clients and continuously improve our offer based on their experiences. And, we bring in the knowledge of many experts and organisations from environmental organisations, organisational development, psychology and behavioral research.

herCAREER: What is your top tip when it comes to pushing through your vision and make it a reality?

People, passion, and boldness – that’s what it takes, in my opinion. People are willing to commit to a vision if its goals have a connection to their own values.  Shaping a future that protects and regenerates our planet and respects the people on it – that reaches the hearts of many. But it is a pilgrimage into „terra incognita“ for all involved. It takes boldness to embark on this unknown journey.

I love the quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – even if women were unfortunately forgotten in it:

If you want to build a ship, don’t gather men to gather wood, assign tasks and divide the work, but teach the men the longing for the wide, endless sea.

herCAREER: How can we develop innovative ideas within a company that is very established and does things they way they have always done it? How do you convince to move ahead with what seems a crazy idea at the time?

I have worked in established companies for many years and have experienced time and again that change and innovation often have a hard time there. But I have also seen courageous decisions being made and risks being taken.

Almost always, the starting point was individual people who came together. They developed ideas and looked for ways to promote them in the company. Small grassroots movements, pilot projects, internal cooperation and clever self-marketing – these are ways to place new ideas even in established companies. It takes a little courage, some tactics and a good dose of resilience – then it can work.

herCAREER: At herCAREER, the focus is on professional exchanges, which is based on the personal experiences and the knowledge of the sparring partners. As an organizer, it is also in our best interest to support women beyond the exhibition and make our networks accessible. We would therefore like to ask you if you would also act as a sparring partner in addition to the trade fair participation. If so, we would ask you to name the topics for which you would act as a sparring partner in bullet points.

  • visibility of the topic and the fair
  • content in regards to the topic sustainability & tech new leadership & change culture

herCAREER: Are there topics for which you are personally looking for a sparring partner and would like to continue a professional and personal exchange? Then please name keywords for your topics.

  • CSR professionals

herCAREER: How can or would you like to be contacted?


As founder of The Future Living, she is working on a digital solution that will enable employees to develop and implement ideas for more sustainability in their companies. Before founding the Green Tech Start-Up, Anke was a CFO and manager for strategy, innovation and change management in large companies such as BVG Berlin, Bombardier, Daimler Benz and EJS Berlin. She was responsible for sales of up to € 800 million and for over 600 employees and led the successful implementation of various digitization projects of strategic relevance.
She founded her first company in 1999, which offers student consulting. The company has since completed more than 200 projects and is today one of the largest in Germany.

Das MeetUp wird präsentiert vom Verband Working Moms e.V.. Dieses MeetUp ist Teil der Karriere-MeetUps bei der herCAREER 2021.