History of the project

For over ten years Orna Cohen and Andreas Heinecke have been working on ways to transfer the experience gained from the exhibitions Dialogue in the Dark and Dialogue in Silence to an exhibition about the situation of old people. Both were disturbed by the undifferentiated discussion about aging, the tendency of many people to avoid wresting a positive side from their own aging process and the notion that people are subject to discrimination and exclusion after they have reached a certain age. Orna and Andreas can’t understand why a unique achievement in the history of mankind – more and more people reach old age in good condition – causes above all fears on various levels. Both gladly accepted an invitation from the Israeli Children's Museum in Holon to realize the exhibition in cooperation with a circle of experts. The success in Israel motivated Orna and Andreas to adapt Dialogue with Time to the demographic circumstances in Germany and to build a network of supporters in order to make an important contribution to the overall discussion in an aging society. With the financial support of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Generali Zukunftsfonds, the content-critical reflection of the Contents by the BAGSO and the openness of the Museum für Kommunikation in Frankfurt and Berlin to show the exhibition in Germany, the foundation was laid.

Orna Cohen

Orna Cohen, Partner and Chief Creative Officer of Dialogue Social Enterprise GmbH started her career  at la Cité des Sciences et de l'industrie in Paris, where she implemented interactive exhibition space world renown such as, "Cité des Enfants", "Electricity, what is behind the socket?" and "Me Game". Her passion is to create interactive and playful exhibits that awaken curiosity and enhance people’s understanding of the world around them. In 2004, Orna Cohen was made a "Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres" by the French government. In recent years, she has focused on social-related themes by developing experimental sets that challenge visitors to reflect on themselves and how they relate to others. She believes that exhibitions can be catalysts for social change. Her latest exhibitions, Dialogue in Silence, Casino for Communication and Dialogue with Time are designed as platforms for encounters that break down prejudices and stereotypes. more

Andreas Heinecke

Andreas Heinecke, PhD, founder and CEO of Dialogue Social Enterprise GmbH, started his path as social entrepreneur in 1988. While working for a radio-station, he was assigned the task of developing a rehabilitation program for a blind colleague. Inspired by this encounter and realizing its potential, he created a dialogue with a reversal of roles - the concept of Dialogue in the Dark. Since then, numerous Dialogue in the Dark exhibitions and business workshops have evolved worldwide and are established independently through a social franchise-system. In 2005 Andreas became the first "Ashoka-Fellow" in Western Europe and the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship appointed him as “Outstanding Global Social Entrepreneur.” Since 2011 Andreas holds a Professorship at the Chair for Social Business at the European Business School in Wiesbaden, Germany. more