Bernd Gebert

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2007


This profile was prepared when Bernd Gebert was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
Bernd is cultivating a new generation of youth who have made the experience that they can shape the world thanks to quick, hands-on activities, supplemented by interactive web marketing. His nation-wide program, “Das macht Schule” provides the tools students need to start classroom renovation projects and other creative enterprises, and enables them to share advice and success stories with one another. Saddened by the lack of hope, confidence and initiative shared by most of Germany's students, Bernd sought a way to encourage students to trust their own abilities and discover their potential to make things happen. He begins with hands-on activities that yield quick but powerful results that give children greater confidence to pursue their own initiatives.
With most of Germany’s public schools in a state of disrepair, Bernd recognized an easy entry point for children to create change by initiating classroom renovation projects. The benefit is two-fold, as students discover what they can accomplish when given the necessary tools, and also experience the advantages of a brighter and more conducive learning environment.
Bernd engages strategic partners, corporations and local craftsmen to provide the students with pro-bono assistance, which in turn further integrates the movement into the community. Using a variety of marketing techniques, web 2.0 and media campaigns, Bernd is working to ignite a youth movement and inspire children of every age to make change. He plans to supplement the internet-based movement with an organizational structure that trains mediator students to act as representatives within their school or as ambassadors outside of it.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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