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The mission of the GSO (German Scholars Organization) has evolved – from a returnee organization for German postdocs who work abroad to a helpdesk for all scientists in the bottleneck. Working together in a strategy workshop, we helped the GSO team to precisely define its core focus.

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The German Scholars Organization was founded in 2003 out of necessity: the German academic system makes it difficult for postdocs abroad to return to Germany or to find a footing there in the first place. The GSO was founded by German academics and company representatives to provide support in this regard.

Over the last 20 years, however, the mission of the non-profit organization has changed: They are no longer a pure returnee organization. Instead, they support German and international postdocs and researchers in Germany and abroad on their career paths. With the claim »We empower researchers to build careers in Germany«, the GSO sees itself as a point of contact for anyone who is struggling to find their way in Germany’s confusing academic system. They are primarily concerned with helping people to help themselves: with a large peer network, consulting and coaching services, they provide researchers with the tools to advance their careers.

 

In April 2024, EMBASSY conducted a strategy workshop with the GSO team and members of its Executive Board and Advisory Board. In advance, we had created questionnaires for internal and external surveys on various aspects of the GSO brand, the answers to which formed the basis for refining the brand. It proved to be very helpful to gather all members around one table: An integral part of the workshop was a productive round of discussions in which GSO’s new tasks and current target groups were identified.

The new, streamlined GSO brand profile was then defined in group work using empathy maps and condensing the statements from the collected answers. The most important aspect is the personal approach towards the target group at eye level, which distinguishes the character of the GSO. Subsequently, EMBASSY provided an assessment of whether the GSO’s naming should be changed or adapted.

Visit the GSO online at: https://gsonet.org/