Any serious claim to interdisciplinary, international and integrative activity in the various fields of interest presupposes the existence of a societal, social, cultural and technological network.
This network accords with the newer theoretical ideas on organizational forms of interdisciplinary and international collaboration: it simplifies the focused establishment of new activities, provides a bridge between geographically distant locations and enhances uniquely formed human and professional relations. At the “epicentre” of the network stand entrepreneurial individuals without any institutionalised organisation. The network is part of our personal and professional lives. It is based on the many and varied encounters and friendships in both my professional and private life. In the language of the University of St. Gallen, it is a “strategic success position”.
My network encompasses all essential encounters in the course of professional activities in the academic sphere and in the sphere of consultancy. The essential components are Legal Science, Law Firms, Experts, and Consultants. “The Salon” is also intended to form a meeting point for a “virtual community” of these persons. It is a living organism – constantly changing and adapting to circumstances and developments. A network does not set up any “one-way streets”. What matters is the provision of access, mobilization and the exchange of intellectual and professional opinion in a simple and effective way, and to make collaboration easier. The network is exclusively aimed at balanced reciprocity, and is based on mutual trust. The network has nothing to do with what the Swiss call “Filz”, the nepotism that can occur in boardrooms and in the academic world. At its center are mainly professional people who are personally known to me. The network grows in special forms in scientific projects, in teaching institutions as a self-learning organization and in the context of inter-personal and interdisciplinary ad hoc co-operation in consultancy activity.
As an interaction nexus, the network only creates the preconditions for the creation of content and continuity. In spite of the era of the “virtual world”, the network cannot replace personal encounters nor the reality of a working landscape with libraries, workplaces and conference rooms on the Susenbergstrasse in a number of premises.
The network regularly manifests itself in an institutionalised form at “The Salon” in the Susenbergstrasse as a place of encounter through clubs such as the “General Counsels Club“, the “General Counsels Network“, the “Legal Culture Club“, Strategy Club and the “Academic Reading Club” and through academic, didactic and cultural occasions. All encounters are by invitation only. They are off the record. They combine professional and private matters in a balanced way. And they take place in a working environment of a special kind.