Why are the Germans such club people?

netzwerke verstehen

Those who live in Germany learn every day (whether voluntarily or not) how to achieve more together. Germany is the world’s largest training camp for networking.

It is all the more astonishing that the supposedly new culture of business clubs and professional contact networks, be they “offline” or “online”, is perceived and marketed as an Anglo-Saxon import. In the lounges of the growing number of golf, business and social clubs, both the furniture and the people present obsessively try to emulate the myth of British and American club traditions. In the social networks, one gets the impression that everything is a completely new invention from Silicon Valley.

Yet the networking concepts behind platforms ranging from eBay to facebook/instagram to tiktok are as old as the hills: the good old German e.V. is more or less the basis for everything that calls itself a network today. 

Statistically speaking, everyone living in Germany is a member of 2 clubs. We are club people. This means that it is customary for us to volunteer in communities in order to build something together, to maintain it, to let it grow. What do we get in return? Social currency, recognition of the community. When Germans want to achieve something, they found an association. Because we have been trained to do so since our childhood. Because our culture is a community culture. That’s why we slept through the development of social media: because we were already so well networked in analogue form.

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