Lena Marie Glaser
Lena Marie Glaser (Contemporary European Studies 2013) is founder of Basically Innovative, a consultancy company based in Vienna that is passionate about developing our understanding of the future of work.
Lena graduated with an MA in Contemporary European Studies in 2014. After initially working in the Law profession, she founded her own think tank in 2017. Basically Innovative works within companies, public institutions, universities, media and the arts to create more sustainable workplaces that retain talents and prioritise wellbeing at work. Lena has also released her first book, Arbeit auf Augenhöhe - New Work Revolution, advocating for working environments that promote empathy, trust and openness.
What made you choose Sussex?
It’s a leading and progressive university close to the seaside in Brighton with an impressive campus and international community.
What led you to start your own company?
After working for many years as a legal advisor in a traditional work environment, I decided one day to finally quit my safe but exhausting job. I followed my inner voice that told me: “there is more for you that better fits your interests, skills and personality”, and I founded my own think tank, Basically Innovative. It’s a Future Lab, consultancy and media company based in Vienna.
What advice or suggestions would you give to anyone considering venturing into less secure forms of employment or self-employment?
- Talk to people you trust who are self-employed and ask them about their honest experiences, fears, and joy.
- It's important to know yourself and your needs very well. You have to ask yourself: “Is self-employment really my goal, does it fit with my personality? Or am I just unhappy with my current job?”
- Self-employment comes with a lot of uncertainty and anxiety. What helped me was doing it step by step: start to develop your idea, test it, learn from your failures. Don’t shy away from asking for help and advice.
- Look out for programmes and organisations that support young entrepreneurs.
What networking tip would you give to Sussex students?
Visit as many events as possible in Brighton and London, especially outside of your own faculty or class, such as conferences, exhibitions and meet-ups. It will help you get to know a variety of interesting people and open up your horizons.
What would be the soundtrack to your time at Sussex?
A playlist of fresh new music. I used to love visiting The Great Escape, Brighton’s great showcase music festival.
Favourite place in the world?
The seaside – looking into the free ocean.
What advice would you give to recent Sussex graduates?
Be creative and open when it comes to career choices. Trust your inner voice and don't listen to the expectations of others.