Dr. Ilke Borowski-Maaser

Environmental engineer [Dipl-Ing. Umwelttechnik] mediator, facilitator

Method of work – My three core principles


If, for example, a project aims to integrate all aspects of a wetland restoration, I will work to involve all of the relevant stakeholders (such as land owners, tourism associations and municipalities). My aim is to improve the understanding between the parties, to create synergies, to make interactions transparent, and to work towards mutually agreeable solutions.

I help my clients to see the wood as well as the trees. Merging and balancing different, sometimes even competing interests is most essential to me.

Pragmatic, specific, flexible:

My aim is to provide well-functioning processes and events. “Well-functioning” means that the results have the format required by the client. I will create implementation timelines identifying and specifying every step of the project, including monitoring mechanisms. I will transparently work out possible modes of cooperation, tailored to your aims, interests and needs. I adapt my methods to the required results. Be it focus-group tests, speed-dating, world-café, conflict management, role-play set-ups or other tools: I always select and combine methods to provide for well-functioning processes.


The knowledge and experience of the participants is the basis of the process. I listen and paraphrase – for example at the interface between science and practice. When project partners want to test their theoretical concepts in practical work, I supervise and assist them. In most cases the group already has no lack of knowledge. All the group needs is a structured approach to make plans visible to all those involved. Some specific input now and again helps to create new ideas. I provide the necessary framework for this process,so that everybody’s, contributions are appropriately considered and become a part of the solution.

Career and professional qualifications

since 11/06 Training as mediator for public planning and for work-related conflicts at the Center für lebenslanges Lernen, Universität Oldenburg
11/02 – 10/09 PhD Thesis at Institute of Environmental Systems Research, University of Osnabrueck, Germany. (Supervisor: Prof. C. Pahl‑Wostl) Subject: Social learning in participatory water management processes on international level. Degree: Dr. rer. nat.
10/93 – 02/01 Studies of Environmental Technology with focus on sustainable water management, soil remediation and sound protection. Degree: Dipl-Ing.
08/90 – 01/93 Training as expert in wastewater treatment. Degree: Ver- und Entsorgerin with the Stadtverwaltung Osnabrück
Since 1992 Training as faciliator for larger groups

2012 Starting up „Interessen Im Fluss“
2010-2012 Senior Consultant at seeconsult GmbH
I developed and implemented participatory processes in European research projects. My own research focused on the improvement of water management. This included the implementation of innovative concepts such as resilience to improve climate change adaptation.
2002-2009 Research and project manager
at the Institute of Environmental Systems Research, RG Resource Management, University of Osnabrück
2001-2002 Research associate
for the Umweltbundesamt, Fachgebiet II 3.1 „Übergreifende Angelegenheiten der Wasserwirtschaft & Grundwasserschutz“

„Interessen Im Fluss“ aims at bringing actors and stakeholders (back) into action. On the one hand, I would like to create the basis for the numerous interests, influences and positions to merge. On the other hand, I believe that the developing of a sustainable society with its different social, ecological and economic needs has to be re-adjusted and balanced out again and again.

I work for municipalities, universities, ministries and associations as well as with private citizens in Germany and abroad. My working languages are English and German.

My goal is reached when the different participants engage, learn from one another, and develop a “new, common identity”. My experience has shown me that usually all participants are open to compromises. All they need to recognize is that their interests have a place and play a role in the development of new solutions.

In my work I also focus on figuring out what exactly has to happen so that this state of mutual acknowledgement can be accomplished and then implemented.

This is why I work at the different interfaces of environmental resource management: e.g. those of agriculture, tourism and water management; or those of science and practice, and between regional and European levels. These interfaces connect the different interests. They need to be balanced out for a sustainable society.

It is my aim to support collaborations and co-learning, to create an atmosphere in which all participants can gain energy in order to implement important solutions.