Joe Peppard

ESMT European School of Management and Technology

Practice Group Information and Communications Technologies

"To me, Berlin’s major asset is its ecosystem of founders, entrepreneurs, startups and investors."

He first came to Berlin as a student, while the city was still divided by the Berlin Wall. Now, after graduating from university and then going on to complete a PhD and work as a postdoctoral researcher, Joe Peppard, a management researcher from Dublin, has returned to Berlin to serve as a professor of information and communication technology at the ESMT European School of Management and Technology at Schlossplatz in the Mitte district of Berlin. 

What makes working here in Berlin special?

I think Berlin is a vibrant ecosystem of founders, entrepreneurs, and startups. I work with quite a lot of them. And in the last few years even long-established investors have been looking to come to Berlin. Berlin has become an interesting place for people who would like to start a company in Europe. Berlin and Europe are very attractive to many people.

Do you like collaborating with companies in Berlin and Germany?

Rather than having their headquarters here, many corporations have offices in Berlin. That is good for collaboration, since international executives love coming to Berlin. They find it to always be such an interesting place to spend time in.

What is the main focus of your work?

I help companies leverage information technology. I am not somebody who focuses on the technical aspect. For that, we have computer scientists. I am more interested in how companies and organizations can actually leverage those technologies to improve their efficiency and effectiveness, and also to help them become more competitive.

What are the biggest IT challenges for companies right now?

I think that many companies still have not optimized or maximized the opportunity to leverage technologies. This is not always about the newest or most leading-edge technology. It is about capability. Very often, it depends on using old technology but in new ways.

If a colleague were to ask you about the idea of moving to Berlin, would you recommend it to him or her?

Of course. Berlin is a great city for working and living. There is so much history and culture in Berlin that there is always something new to discover. It is quite an exciting city. I would say that it is Europe's most exciting city.