Susann Hoffmann, the co-founder of EDITION F talks about the vision behind this groundbreaking day of female empowerment.
Photo by Jennifer Fey
We at Girls Are Awesome are thoroughly inspired by the happenings around this amazing platform. For those of you who haven’t heard, we’re talking about the illustrious EDITION F, which arose out of boredom and frustration with the traditional women’s magazine and blossomed into a full-on movement in the span of just a few years.
In 2017, the originators and co-founders of the emboldened EDITION F, Susann Hoffmann and Nora-Vanessa Wohlert ventured to make the community they had organically built mobilize beyond digital or print in a real-world scenario. FEMALE FUTURE FORCE DAY, the day-long conference/festival was ultimately born as it lives and breathes today.
The result of their endeavor has been wildly effective, blossoming into a high-profile event including hundreds of highly influential men and women. Loosely translated from their native German, the website explains “FEMALE FUTURE FORCE DAY is a day full of inspiration, strong voices, relevant content, good food, cool music and a lot of magical moments and experiences.”
We had the opportunity to talk to one of the founders, Susann Hoffman, about the vision and core concept behind this event.
How and when did EDITION F come about? What was the process like?
Nora and I met years ago at a friend’s birthday in a small Berlin bar named “Schurkenkeller” (villain’s cellar). We stayed in touch and years later worked together at the German startup medium, Gründerszene. I believe we were both good employees in terms of commitment and passion but we had too much drive and one day spoke randomly about doing something together.
Both of us saw the gap between classic women’s magazines and typically male-focused business media. We came up with the idea of closing it. Only a mere two months went by between our very first inspiration and sitting at home and starting. Like every other startup, in the beginning we just bootstrapped, dived deeper into the idea and missioned on getting funding. Eight months later, we launched. And from then on, our journey became public.
How did the idea for FEMALE FUTURE FORCE DAY come to fruition and how did you execute it?
Nora and I put the (growing) EDITION F community first. We believe, this was our main key to create a successful path. We are always in touch with our community and are listening closely to adjust our product. That’s why we turned an online magazine into a platform. Last year, we created the FEMALE FUTURE FORCE, an online coaching platform by which we wanted to provide women with a strong digital base for their personal and professional development. The platform took on a life of its own and became somewhat of a movement. Our members started to meet up and to support each other. That’s the exact kind of spirit that we had hoped to initiate. Yet we wanted everyone to have this kind of experience and hit on the idea of bringing our community together on one single day, so that’s how the idea for FEMALE FUTURE FORCE DAY came to fruition.
Were there any hurdles in getting to where you are with the entire production today?
There were. As a startup it was challenging to organize such a huge event with a comparatively small staff. But our team shares the same pathway with us, so we all pulled together and made everything happen.
FEMALE FUTURE FORCE DAY is such an influential event. What does it mean to you?
We bring the spirit of the FEMALE FUTURE FORCE from online to real life. In our magazine we support women on a daily basis; we write about them and speak about their topics. Basically, we always provide a stage. This stage has now become a materialized reality. Big time.
I believe that not only the women and men on stage will inspire others, but everyone at the event will add something significantly to it, nurturing positive energy even when talking to others and getting to know the community they are all a part of. To me personally, it also indicates how far we have come with EDITION F and what we are able to produce.
How have you seen the benefits materialize?
Since developing the idea of FEMALE FUTURE FORCE DAY, we have been able to engage with brands and initiatives that also want to provide women with tools to build the career and life they want. Working with them has definitely been a very beneficial experience.
FEMALE FUTURE FORCE DAY is, indeed, a conference/festival hybrid. Why is this distinction important?
Inspiration and authenticity won’t blossom in a stereotypical environment. That’s why we try to break with the old conference habitat.
Berlin is our home. But it is far more, as Berlin is a place where different worlds meet and meld: politics, art or startups – this city brings people together which would not mix in an ordinary place. So there would hardly be a better place for FEMALE FUTURE FORCE DAY.
The schedule for FEMALE FUTURE FORCE DAY is jam-packed with influential and knowledgeable women and men. How do you go about the process of booking your speakers and performers?
We have a very strong advantage. Due to our editorial work, we constantly meet new people who somehow influence our world and try to make a change for the better. Everyone we meet and believe to be inspiring for our community could become a speaker – we usually just reach out to them again, tell them about the nature of our event and intentions and ask them if they would like to join us. Luckily, many like the idea of FEMALE FUTURE FORCE DAY and want to contribute.
Can you name a few key speakers which you would recommend for FEMALE FUTURE FORCE goers?
Rose McGowan, one of the leading women of the #metoo movement will open the FFF DAY. She will talk about her experience and plant a seed of courage in all people listening. To create awareness and change in this world, one needs to be strong, brave and outspoken. But all in all, there are going to be more than 130 speakers and performers including German justice minister Katarina Barley and the publisher of WirtschaftsWoche, Miriam Meckel, whose talk on Brainhacking I am very excited to attend. The range of speakers and topics is so broad and exciting that I am really sad I won’t be able to see them all.
What can other event coordinators or brand builders learn from your inclusive process?
Most of our speakers are women. So what I think they can learn is that there is a female expert for anything, that women do want to participate and that we can speak on a variety of important topics. There are no excuses for all-male conferences anymore.
Who is FEMALE FUTURE FORCE DAY meant for?
FEMALE FUTURE FORCE DAY mainly addresses women who seek inspiration or progression in their career and life, but basically it is for everybody who wants to learn, grow and experience a day that has the potential to be life-changing.
What is your vision for EDITION F and FEMALE FUTURE FORCE DAY?
We are committed to our aspiration to be the digital home for women, offering inspirational business and lifestyle content as well as possibilities to connect online and in person. To this end, we are planning to release an app soon that is going to make it even easier for our community members to join forces and build a strong and empowering network.
As for FEMALE FUTURE FORCE DAY, we envision it growing and expanding, becoming even bigger and better in the years to come.
Thanks so much, Susann.
Our team at Girls Are Awesome is honored and excited to participate in FEMALE FUTURE FORCE DAY and see the hard work and passion of these admirable women come to fruition!