Carsten is empowering people to do what they really are. with BOOKBRIDGE, he makes people think and act as entrepreneurs, lead themselves and lead others. Together with its partners, BOOKBRIDGE shapes the next generation of leaders and builds business and leadership skills through experiential learning. in its Capability Programs, candidates from the global north join hands with talents from the global south to learn state-of-the-art business skills and develop as responsible leaders while creating community-based learning centers as tangible social enterprises. BOOKBRIDGE is a fully financially selfsustained social enterprise, and offers the only leadership development program in the world in which you create a worthwhile tangible business as a real entrepreneur.
Since 2009, BOOKBRIDGE has established 18 learning centers in Mongolia, Cambodia and Sri Lanka. 200 000 rural community members benefit from increased life and job chances. 153 next-generation leaders have
been trained in the Capability Program.
Carsten started his own business at 15, as a web-designer for small organizations within 3 years he managed a portfolio of 80 customers, which allowed him to hire two employees. After his studies he did an internship in Sri Lanka, where he
discovered his ability and desire to build bridges across cultures. in 2006, Carsten founded his own consultancy company and later went on a venture road trip in the US interviewing startups. Various
opportunities to participate in for profit startups came, but he felt a strong altruistic desire to do something impact-driven. The idea of BOOKBRIDGE was later born during a scout trip to Mongolia.
Bookbridge does not invest primarily in infrastructure like many other organizations, but rather in people and collaborations. The main value added by Carsten’s approach is the comprehensive process it initiates and manages. Bookbridge does not act individually; instead, it uses the existing strengths and skills of community members as well as involving local stakeholders like the government, schools, businesses, and citizen organizations (COs) from the very beginning. Thus, Carsten empowers local actors, fosters entrepreneurial skills, and creates a strong sense of ownership over the centers within the community. Moreover, Carsten applies a peer-to-peer learning approach that values the skills and knowledge of the community members and facilitates a self-reinforcing learning process.
By placing Learning Centers at the center of his model, Carsten creates a way to transform the educational landscape and develops a new understanding of education, entrepreneurial thinking, and rural development. With a process that ensures a replicable grassroots approach, peer-to-peer learning, and financial sustainability, Carsten’s idea combats the lack of focus on education in the region, while promoting the idea that individual and group empowerment is key to a thriving community.