Das 18te Kamel & Komplizen


As a »Society for Digital and Social Transformation« we create value for our clients and their stakeholders in an environment that is determined by an ever faster pace of technological, economic and societal change. We focus on profit as well as purpose for the next phase of a social and digital economy.

To achieve this goal we have created a new breed organisation with elements of a Think Tank, Strategy Advisor, Academy, Innovation Boutique, Data Analyst and HR-Expert. We are a mix of renowned scientists and experienced practitioners, creating knowledge and implementing it to effect in organisations. Like our namesake, the 18th Camel, we aim to be part of creative problem solving.

Talk to us for all issues around the Identity of your organisation, its Intelligence and Interactions. We will, in a collaborative process, define its purpose, constitution and its relationship towards all stakeholders, communities and societies. We will derive strategies for business model innovation, marketing and communication, organisational development and HR as well as provide practical support and supervision in implementing theses strategies. We aim at making sense and creating value.

nutshell & essencewhat we are doing differently and why it needs more then just consulting


We are centred around our clients and their challenges. And we’re here to provide solutions. Sounds like a given? It’s not. Most consultants act like the proverbial hammer that sees a nail in every problem. We’re not jumping into quick assumptions and standardized procedures, disguised as »sector experience«. As scientists we analyse the less obvious and see bigger contexts. As practitioners we leave the PowerPoint realm and transform our solutions into competitive advantages. And we’re ready to take an entrepreneurial position and interest!


We’re a Sozietät. That’s one unique German word for a joint practice, a partnership like in a law firm. Besides from one of the founders being a lawyer, this is the perfect structure for our way of working: single partners closely involved with our clients challenges, backed and complemented by a range of competent partners and associates.  We demonstrate diversity not in terms of hierarchical levels but in terms of backgrounds: economists, architects, brand strategists, data experts, writers, HR-experts, social entrepreneurs … The difference is that we’ve been there. In life, not in a project.

We work inter-disciplinary and inter-sectorally. Next to the diversity of our associates, we’re also constantly combining a scientific and a practical perspective. As a team we have a strong academic background, with roughly half of us being Professors and teaching at Universities in Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland. When so often the world experiences disruptions only because scientific findings have not been translated into economic and social practice, we consider this a valuable competitive advantage for our clients.


Our playground is digital transformation as well as social transformation. Because the two are inseparable, drive and influence each other. Technology drives change in societies and brings new opportunities. But markets are fundamentally depending on human behaviour, values and judgements. Economy is applied social science and we strive to leverage technology from opportunistic opportunity to competitive advantage by relating it to social insights and corporate identities.

Social Transformation certainly drives us to deal closely with contemporary value sets, with concepts of sustainability and corporate responsibility. Not because it’s fashionable, romantic or idealistic. But because we believe that we can align diverse interests, existing in joint communities and societies, for the benefit of corporations and their stakeholders alike.

roots & wingswhere we’re coming from and where this leads us

We’re a diverse group from all walks of life, united in our hunger for enlightment and results. Our approach towards science hence goes beyond mere reflection. We are entrepreneurs at heart and strive for action.

Our uniting culture is diversity. Two of us are never alike, we cultivate the antithesis and intellectual combat.

We love complexity and embrace it in our work. An interdisciplinary team of multi-facetted persons and with a love for the perspective not (yet) taken — psychological, sociological, political, economical; systemic and random: that’s the complexity it needs to match todays challenges.

We’re not defining our identity as an elite that has no connections to the markets and societies we’re dealing with. We love being entangled in our social context, love to write stories of fulfilment, as joint authors of the future. 

This future is not just generating profit as the oxygen of business, but adding consciousness and sense to strive for »purpose profits« beyond a mere existence.

purpose & impactwhy we’re doing this & why it works

We are committed to the idea of social innovation. This theory, first conceived by social scientist William Fielding Ogburn in the 1920s, recognizes technology as the primary engine of progress. But more importantly, his theory acknowledges that social resonance and response actually determines the developments for individuals and societies. The entwined nature of digital and social transformation, is a principle of stellar relevance for todays world.

For institutions and corporations today, this approach moves beyond mere opportunities to constitute real competitive advantages from social relevance. These advantages will become effective via sound strategies for HR, Innovation, Organisational Development, Marketing etc.

We aim to be working and sense-making with our clients for a »Future Perfect«. And we are happy to be judged and paid by success only — in an entrepreneurial role. 

clients & partnerswho we’re working with & why happily

In recent month we had the pleasure to work with

Abury Foundation, Audi, BASF, Caritas, Daimler, Design Offices, Deutsche Lufthansa, Edeka, Otto Group, WÜRTH Elektronik and others.

(Please excuse, that we’re not disclosing details of our clients projects. We will provide references on request.)

Our ideal client is a person or organisation which thinks responsibly and takes a long-term perspective. The German word ‘enkelfähig’ (a “grandchild sustainability”) puts this ideal into the metaphor of being able to address needs of generations to come. We love to work with clients who share our passion for curiosity and complexity, organisations who see us as partners in writing the next chapter of their corporate biography.

Our experience covers all sectors from science to publishing, from foundations to government and covers the alphabet of corporations from Altana, Audi, Beiersdorf, BMW to Volkswagen, Zeppelin and ZF.

mental & methodological infrastructureshow we work & why there’s mostly two of us

»For a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail.«
Proverb, attributed to many thinkers.

»The problem is defined by the solution we offer.«
Methodology, attributed to many consultants.


We believe in the uniqueness of every situation and we’re willing to credit every situation with a tailored approach. The diversity of our team results in many sources of knowledge, we have methodologies and experiences in abundance. Instead of boring you with lengthy charts let’s just say our team has written a total of 43 books and countless other scientific publications.

Camels live happily in groups and we also love to work together. A single member of our team will always enrich your thinking and will be a catalyst for solutions. But with two or more of us, different personalities will bring a dialectic energy to the table that will create progress in every sense.

name, story & historywhat is in our name

The world and certainly most of its challenges today are dazzling complexities, open contradictions, hidden interdependencies and stimulating paradoxes. Our namesake, the story of the 18th Camel, is such a paradox, an illustration of impossible possibilities, of creative problem-solving that fascinates us.

The story is told of a father who left 17 camels as the inheritance for his three sons. When the father passed away, his sons opened up the will. It stated that the eldest son should get half of 17 camels while the middle son should be given one third. The youngest son should be given one ninth of the 17 camels.

The sons were frustrated and confused. “It isn’t possible to divide 17 in half, or by three, or by nine!”. In the midst of their depression, a wise stranger came along on a camel. He offered assistance and listened patiently about the will, then reflected for some time. 

He then said: “To ease your trouble I will give you my camel!” and of now 18 camels he gave the eldest son half, that’s nine camels. The Second son got a third, that’s six, and the youngest he gave 2 camels, that’s a ninth. After fulfilling the deceased fathers testament to his sons with 17 Camels, they thankfully gave the 18th back to him and he continued his journey through the desert.

This story beautifully portrays how to contribute without consuming yourself, how to enable and empower with nothing more then creativity applied. It is our constant reminder to ask ourselves for whom we can be the 18th camel today.

What you don’t see yet
is what you get.


We prefer to work as a team, but at least in pairs. Because somehow transformation is also double-edged and for clear solutions it needs two - like with Tango. See for yourself which partners you want to work with:

Prof Dr Stephan A Jansen

Stephan A. Jansen is a scientist, entrepreneur and consultant. After more than 20 years of research, education, entrepreneurship and founding a reknowned university he is looking for the positive infections of transformative knowledge and is consequently co-founder of the 18th Camel. Some believe that his middle initial stands for abundance, given his infinite hunger for the big challenges.

More info

Peter John Mahrenholz

Peter John Mahrenholz comes with a degree in law, expertise in corporate identities and a love for sociology. After more than 20 years in strategic marketing, he continues to be fascinated by individual constitutions and collective relationships. He is co-founder of the 18th Camel out of a longing to connect perspectives and thus unleash impact that marketing alone cannot. 

More info

The magazine ODO — An Oasis of Orientientation

This will be our source of wisdom, a collection of thinking, insight and cognizance of likeminded people and ourselves. We’re currently building a separate magazine site for ODO, please leave your Email (at the bottom of this page!) so that we can alert you once we’re ready. (And feel free to browse through a couple of mostly German articles we have collected here!)

Embracing curiosity: 20 questions from our clients, partners and accomplices to the 18th camel.

Questions lead. Questions often lead to questions. Questions lead to conversations. Successful markets are successful conversations - unquestionably. Questionable questions compiled by the 18th camel - with long-term responsibility, without quick answers.


We centre our work on three areas: Identity, Intelligence, Interaction. All three do overlap and influence each other, but nonetheless they provide focus and help to define an ingoing perspective.

IDENTITY deals with the heart and soul of your organisation. Why does it exist? What it its role in the world? These questions may sound slightly too far-fetched or esoteric, in particular for determined businesspeople. But clarity about your identity gives you a complete strategic guideline for all aspects of your business. Please click »Identity & Purpose« below for more details.

INTELLIGENCE means the internal capability and agility of an organisation to learn, to adapt and to grow. We talk about »HR Management« and »Development of Organisational Design« as well as more exotic perspectives like the ability with regards to »Corporate Cognition«. Have a look!

INTERACTION marks all fields of external relationships. This encompasses our communication-centred work in »Position and Platforms« as well as »Business Model Innovation«. But Interaction goes beyond market and client relationships into any relationship to external stakeholders including Investor Relations and Governmental Affaires. 


In times of social networks we experience a change from relationship to contact. We would like to turn it around: From a first contact to an effective relationship.

Don't hesitate to get in touch. We love to think, to learn, to discuss and generally to satisfy our curiosity.

Das 18te Kamel & Komplizen 
Prof Dr Stephan A Jansen
Managing Partner
Kurfürstendamm 132 

D-10711 Berlin

Das 18te Kamel & Komplizen 
Peter John Mahrenholz
Managing Partner
Kurfürstendamm 132

D-10711 Berlin

+49 173-233 86 37