Contents page 1 — Always in Trouble with the neighbors page 2 — The evil word of the gentrification page 3 — Google is you do not talk On a page read

For a center of Innovation, it is dusty here pretty. Construction workers hammering and drilling, cable protrude from exposed walls, glass wool standing around in thick rolls. Jörg Richert – big, athletic, long steps, slaloming between building materials. With Parts of his organization Karuna future for children and young people in Need, e. V. Richert will move in the coming year, here, to the old transformer station in Berlin-Kreuzberg. Karuna is a sub-tenant. So far, So unspectacular.

However, because of the main tenant from the Silicon Valley comes here Kreuzberg, once an alternative life models were tested and a bit of the world revolution in the Small, the renovation of the substation is more than just the question of what is a former industrial plant. In Silicon Valley, is conceived constantly to the future. In Kreuzberg, some of them can do without quite well on the of the Valleys, has been shown in the past two years.

founded in 1990, The social cooperative Karuna will take care of your various facilities in the whole of Berlin children and young people affected by poverty or homelessness. In the substation on the Paul-Lincke-Ufer in future work, among other things, the editorial staff of the Karuna compass. “As we have brought out a few months ago the Newspapers, I thought: We need more space”, says Jörg Richert, the co-founder and CEO of Karuna. “And then I called easy time at Google.”

Not the most unique idea for a Berlin-based social organization in free sponsorship. However, because Karuna had previously won the Google grant competition “Impact Challenge” twice, had Richert a good contact to the company from Mountain View, California. The call has paid off: Google said that Karuna could move into the substation.

“home for growing Start-ups”

As the building was actually always too good for its original purpose: a giant of expressionist brick building, built in the twenty years, a “Cathedral of electricity”, as you said at the time. Architecturally as interesting as the much later feed had been planned for a hip creative firm already 100 years ago. Meanwhile, the construction of the British real estate Fund, Avignon Capital, says heard, he was “dedicated to the increase in the value with client-focused, innovative and comprehensive solutions”. Appropriately, the Red Bull, an event location and a chic Restaurant are already among the tenants. 3,000 square meters are still free.

The should refer to Start-ups. A Google Campus in Kreuzberg arise, the seventh in the world after the already existing ones in London, Madrid, São Paulo, Seoul, Tel Aviv and Warsaw. “With the Google Campus, we want to promote entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial spirit”, says Ralf Bremer, a spokesman of Google Germany. “The start-up scene on the spot can meet there and organize.”

should be A “home for growing Start-ups,” the Berlin Campus, Google wanted to accompany in a mentor program. These were the plans that the company made at the end of 2016 for Kreuzberg open to the public. A maximum of ten employees of Google should move in with me. It coworking should be areas, there is also a cafe. “Strong community, strong coffee,” writes Google on its Homepage.

Jörg Richert of Karuna. For his commitment to children and young people he has already received the Federal cross of merit awarded. © Jakob Weber for TIME, ONLINE

Under the glass ceiling of the planned cafes is now Richert, Jörg, looks up and says: “Now, we will be holding Workshops here.”

Because it is not a Google-type Café, and a Google Campus, the old substation will also be no “home for growing Start-ups”. Instead, non-profit organizations and projects. Richert says: “a few months Ago Google asked us: ‘Can you imagine, to take over the whole house? Can you afford it?’ We have said Yes.”

the end of October, Google announced finally, the decision: Karuna together with the operator of the donation platform Betterplace the house, in the future, innovative ideas for the company. 14 million euros, Google is according to own data for the tag, the equipment and for rental and ancillary costs in the next five years. And, as Richert was suddenly the co-owner of the free 3,000 square meters of the substation, and a quarter of the area of the entire building.

The local urban policy responded to the decision about as to be expected as it has been. The economy Senator Ramona Pop of the Green left to tell that are interesting plans: “At the interface between social-ecological economies, and innovative Tech solutions puts a lot of potential for the solution of societal challenges.” Sebastian Czaja, FDP faction chief in the Berlin house of representatives and one of the most vocal opposition politicians, however, said: “local neighbourhood and environment protection-fanatics” are likely to now feel more encouraged, “to torpedo any change in a radical way”.

But who or what has brought Google to rethink? The 100-billion-Dollar-revenue-Tech group of America is gone in front of a couple of the Kreuzberg neighborhood activists in the knee: That is, at least in a way one could look at it.