Digital Changemaker Finalist: Tobias Marczinzik
Years in service: 10
Position in the organisation: Lead of PIKSL
Nominating organisation: Lara Zeyßig
WORK EXPERIENCE AND CONTRIBUTION TO DIGITAL INCLUSION/EMPOWERMENT
Tobias Marczinzik founded PIKSL about ten years ago. PIKSL is an initiative of the Living in the community GmbH (IGL) a social service institution that accommodates living and participation activities for people with mainly learning disabilities. Tobias studied design in Düsseldorf with focus on strategic design. He worked for organizations like Volkswagen before he decided to change into the social sector. Here he brought in what he learned before: looking at costumers needs. So he got into exchange with his customers, mainly people with learning difficulties and acquired brain injury and asked them what they needed - the answer was: a place for digital participation and communication right in the centre of society. This was the kick-off for PIKSL and the PIKSL Labs. Today PIKSL is an social franchise with nationwide learning spaces, where people with disabilities not only can enhance their digital skills but being educated to submit their knowledge to others.
LEADERSHIP, COOPERATION, RESOURCE MOBILISATION
When taking part at the IGL, Tobias had a clear vision in mind to create sth. that really meets the challenges of the users' needs - therefore he always focused on people with disabilities as customers and experts for simplification. What he did, was to look at their competences rather than their flaws. Tobias brings a lot to the table. As I worked with him very closely I can say, that he has an enormous trust in competences of his colleagues. He meets you on eye-level, listens to what you say & is open to opinions, he fosters creativity and wants you to grow. He is not afraid to step up & also gets in heated discussion with stakeholders. Since almost 10 years he deals with a lot of barriers within the antiquated sector of the social welfare in Germany. He is brave, he took a lot of risks and made things possible to which others said that they couldn't be done, e.g. giving people with disabilities the stage they deserve, right in the middle of society and not behind closed doors.
Tobias contributed to the founding of PIKSL and PIKSL Labs as open, innovative spaces, where everyone just can learn, communicate and ideate. He developed this initiative together with people with disabilities and started to change the way we look at people with learning disabilities. In 2017 he and his team were selected by the Skala Initiative of Susanne Klatten and were able to scale up the idea of digital participation for everyone. The opening of new PIKSL Labs throughout Germany, the way people are seen within the PIKSL work, the network that he has built, the confrontation he was not afraid of, the joining of big companies, universities, designers and people with disabilities to learn, work and innovate together - all of these things made and make a huge difference for practiced inclusion in Germany. He still works on the vision that people with disabilities should be working on the first job market and strives for social equality and visibleness of this target group.
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