About me

Kathrin Schmitz

Thank you for your interest!

At the top I have included a brief overview of my professional expertise and educational background. You will find a more detailed description of my life, interests and career below.

Just click here to jump directly to the detailed section.

Klicken Sie einfach hier, um direkt zur ausführlichen Beschreibung zu springen.


Expertise and educational background – Sociocracy, self-organization and non-violent communication

Professional expertise – I offer trainings in-person and online, in German or English

  • Sociocracy Leadership Training 2018 (SoFA)
  • Completed NVC trainer-level course (2011, k-training)
  • Completed coaching training based on NVC incl. systemic consensus building (“Systemisches Konsensieren”) and mediation (2012, k-training)
  • Capacity WORKS training (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH, giz.de) on managing development processes, intercultural communication, moderation, presentation techniques, negotiation skills
  • Join-In Circuit Master Trainer (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH and Federal Centre for Health Education)
  • Master of Science in International Health (University of Heidelberg, Modules in Edinburgh und London)
  • Magistra Artium (M.A.) in Political Science, Biology, German Studies/Literature (University of Bonn)
  • Soziokratie Sociocracy trainer, coach and expert supporting clients introducing sociocracy: companies (IT, pharma, consulting, agriculture), cohousing projects/intentional communities, associations, non-governmental organisations and networks.
  • Provision of further trainings on “Non-Violent Communication” (emotional intelligence, empathy, conflict resolution) – for clients from the following sectors: for-profit businesses (incl. a Fortune 500 Company), professionals in the health sector, cohousing projects/intentional communities, civil society and youth organisations, associations, networks as well as individuals such as parents or couples.
  • Mentor in the certification process for facilitators (consent decision-making, more information in the sociocracy section of this website) of the Sociocracy Centre Germany (Link)

  • Design and implementation of several team building workshops in Germany and abroad – both for newly formed and for established teams  Team Building Workshops

  • Moderation Moderation of numerous strategic planning sessions including facilitation of complex decision-making processes in companies, cohousing projects/intentional communities and non-governmental organisations; facilitation of change management processes (more information in the facilitation section of this website)
  • Coaching of leaders/managers as well as facilitators of meetings and decision-making processes

  • Private sector: 9.5 years employed in an international consulting firm (GFA Consulting Group GmbH)
  • Zivilgesellschaft/ Nichtregierungsorganisationen: über mehrere Jahre angestellt bzw. als Consultant tätig (u.a. Ärzte ohne Grenzen; Welthungerhilfe; World Economy, Ecology and Development)
  • Long-term cooperation with governments in developing countries and parastatal organisations (Gesellschaft für Int. Zusammenarbeit; Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, InWEnt)

  • 9 years of international work experience in Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Moldova, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania


  • Board member of the Sociocracy Centre Germany since March 2020; head of the circle dealing with “communications, communities and support”, active member of the circles on sociocracy trainings & education as well as on consulting services, Soziokratie Zentrum Deutschland

  • Active member of Sociocracy for All (www.sociocracyforall.org), a thriving international sociocratic organisation with more than 200 members worldwidel (www.sociocracyforall.org)

Would you like to contact me to learn more?

In Detail

I was born in and grew up in Aachen and the many hours I spent with my family in the Eifel forests have nurtured a deep love of nature.

The Eifel near Aachen

From an early age I was interested in communication and language, in the way people organise as well as in natural systems. Therefore, I studied political science, German literature and biology in Bonn and completed these three subjects with a Master’s degree in 2005.

During my studies of political sciences, I focused on development cooperation. To be in a position to make a meaningful contribution, I decided to apply for a postgraduate master´s programme in “International Health” at the University of Heidelberg, which deals with health systems and challenges in so-called “developing countries”. After graduating with honours in 2009, I was employed in the health department of a consulting company (GFA Consulting Group GmbH) for 9,5 years: 3.5 years at GFA´s headquarters in Hamburg, followed by four years in Kathmandu/Nepal and two years in Phnom Penh/Cambodia. Seven of these years were spent in management and leadership positions – I led international teams with employees from different cultural backgrounds and was responsible for staff development, project management as well as the communication with clients and counterparts.

These seven years in Asia, the 11 months in Kenya (working as a consultant for Welthungerhilfe) and many business trips (Vietnam, Tanzania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan) have been an inspiration and enriched me greatly. I learnt about different ways in which people of different cultures connect, communicate, live and work together. And I understood, how much unites us and how the same needs, wishes and aspirations motivate our actions (see topic page on non-violent communication, NVC). Since my first training in NVC back in 2009 I was aware of universal needs who are our inner driving forces – a fascinating perspective that has accompanied me ever since. It helps me to make sense of our interpersonal interactions and conflicts and support constructive communication and cooperation.



As I experienced the potential of NVC to strengthen interpersonal relationships, I attended practice groups and further workshops including a 22-day course for NVC trainers (k-training) in 2011 and 2012. To complement my technical expertise I followed this up with a compact coaching programme (k-training, 15 days) to learn how to support individuals and teams as a coach.

While still in Cambodia, I started my own business in 2018 and worked as a freelance NVC trainer before moving back to Germany in mid-2019. In 2020, I completed my certification as a trainer with the German Nonviolent Communication Association (https://www.fachverband-gfk.org/). While I originally wanted to bring NVC to the world as an internationally proven method of constructive communication, conflict prevention and resolution, I soon learnt about sociocracy – both complement each other perfectly and it is a pleasure to combine them in my work with my clients.

After a workshop in Cambodia

I enjoy supporting teams and organisations in their thrive for developing their own successful way of cooperation by deepening their skills in communicating in an authentic and promising way, making decisions, preparing and conducting meetings which make the best use of our valuable time, giving each other feedback, solving conflicts in a way which promotes team cohesion.

What we think and say can either separate us from others or strengthen our relationships.

In addition, structures and decision-making processes also have a direct influence on our satisfaction with the way we collaborate and on our success in achieving our objectives.

Sociocracy brings clarity, ease and effectiveness to our cooperation in teams & organisations and pursues the same intention as Non-Violent Communication: We want to create sustainable, appreciative relationships between people who trust each other and are motivated to work together towards their shared objectives.

For two and a half years, I was part of the online academy of Sociocracy for All (www.sociocracyforall.com), the largest organization – with approx. 250 members worldwide – dedicated to making sociocracy accessible (www.sociocracyforall.com).

At the beginning of 2021, I completed my certification as a sociocracy trainer. Since I moved to Germany again, after seven years in Asia, I have been active in the Sociocracy Centre Germany – since March 2020 I am one of three board members and one of the most active sociocracy trainers in Germany. My familiarity with different sociocracy traditions from Europe and the US as well as my expertise in NVC are enriching my work.

I am passionate about working with companies, cohousing projects, non-profit organisations, associations and networks on organisational development, team building, communication, conflict-resolution, leadership and decision-making. My goal is to support my clients in shaping their collaboration in a way that brings joy, ease, transparency, inclusiveness and effectiveness and which enables them to actually achieve their objectives.

I would be happy to work with you on a training or coaching concept which is designed to meet your objectives. We can implement it online or in-person, in English or German.

Would you like to start developing ideas together?

By clicking here you can find out more about Non-Violent Communication, which I value, for example, when it comes to strengthening emotional intelligence in the workplace, to mediating and finding solutions in conflicts. It is also a key inspiration for my work with leaders.

If you are interested in sociocracy, which has proven itself as a comprehensive organisational development concept, e.g. for the facilitation of decision-making processes, role-based decentralised structures or constructive 360-degree feedback processes, then click here. 

 I am also happy to support you in the facilitation of decision-making processes, the moderation of change management or strategic planning processes.

Due to my long-standing leadership/management expertise, also in intercultural contexts, team building is also close to my heart, both when setting up new teams and later when tensions or conflicts arise. Click here for more information on team building workshops I offer.

Last but not least, I also enjoy coaching individuals, e.g. leaders/managers or facilitators with my long-standing experience in these areas.