I'm a curious generalist. I love complex issues and helping people navigate them. I build products and teams. I craft stories and strategies. I always look for dots to connect.

📨 hello@davidbauer.ch 🤝 LinkedIn

I’m a journalist by training, a product person by conviction, and a generalist at heart. I’ve been in journalism and the media business in various roles for the past 20 years. My guiding principle has always been that journalism, in its essence, is about helping people make good decisions in their lives.

I’ve come to realise that the best way to stay true to that principle — and to have the largest possible impact for good — is not to be an expert in one particular field, but to embrace my profile as a generalist, in and beyond journalism. I know something about many things, and I’m good at connecting dots from various fields.

My main areas of expertise are strategy, journalism and leadership. With every new challenge I take on, I try to leverage my skills in at least one of those areas, and combine them with a new area where I yet have a lot to learn.

Currently, I lead the Climate Lab at Swiss indie publisher Republik. Our goal is to explore and develop initiatives and products needed for journalism to step up in the climate crisis — working closely with the community and anyone interested. In November 2023, we launched the first product, Challenge Accepted.

Strongly held views

Since this isn’t LinkedIn, I prefer to show you an evolving list of strongly held views. I see this as a more accurate reflection of my career than a sequence of jobs and trainings. To me, moving forward means refining my views on the topics I care about — and finding challenges where I can put them into action.


  • Always scrutinise your motives.
  • Go easy on yourself and others day-to-day. Push for excellence on a quarterly basis.
  • Someone can help. Find them.
  • Celebrate wins, but always examine what role luck played.
  • Think in probabilities.
  • You can always get better at giving and receiving feedback, and you should.

On strategy

  • Crafting strategy is foremost about understanding the context you’re operating in.
  • A strategy isn’t complete until you’ve decided on what not to do.
  • The strategy isn’t what you write down, but what others understand when you communicate it.
  • If nobody fights your strategy, something is off.
  • Execution is not the last mile, it’s the whole marathon. A good strategy only gets you to the starting line.

On journalism

  • Journalism, in its essence, is about helping people make good decisions in their lives.
  • Fostering a culture of collaboration across disciplines is the make-or-break skill for media organisations in the digital age.
  • Users value complexity. As long as you don’t hit them with it, but guide them towards it.
  • Open and transparent should always be the default.
  • Investing in your future means building a community of people who want to see you succeed, and are willing to help.

On leadership

  • Diverse teams are better teams. Constantly work on your blind spots.
  • Communicate more than you think is necessary. And then some.
  • There is nothing more rewarding than seeing someone succeed after you helped them build confidence.
  • Train and challenge the people in your team to make their own decisions, and to flag issues they need help with.
  • You can’t manage a team. Your job is to create a context in which everyone can thrive.
  • Regularly ask your team members how they are and foster an environment in which they can give an honest answer.

These views have evolved and will continue to evolve. Even though I hold them strongly, I don’t cling to them when new evidence and new experiences point another way. An incomplete list of people and other factors that have informed these views, in no particular order:

David Epstein’s «Range» | Founding and managing 78s | «Thinking fast and slow» | The annual retreat with a group of likeminded changemakers | Carolin Emcke | Working on and scaling up graphics toolbox Q | The ever inspiring Twitter community | Trying and failing with tagewoche.ch | Seeing colleagues and team members grow and struggle | Anita Zielina | Lucy Küng | Being a father | Being a father of two | Friends of mine who are growing into leadership roles at the same time as I am | Curating the Weekly Filet | The daily struggle to be a good leader to my team at NZZ | The Journalism Festival in Perugia | Joining Refind.com as employee #2 | Being part of a lot of well managed and even more badly managed projects | Clayton Christensen | Alfie Kohn | Career Advice by 80000 Hours | Struggling to balance family and work | Attending «Leading Newsroom Change» in Oxford | This blogpost by Juliane Leopold | Managing managers | «Radical Candor» | Books by the Basecamp founders, especially «It doesn’t have to be crazy at work» | Hyper Island Toolbox | Hannes Gassert | Learning to code at age 30 | Countless people I worked with that made a lasting impression on me | Lots and lots of books | …

Weekly Filet

Make sense of what matters, today and for the future. Every Friday, I send out carefully curated recommendations on what to read, watch and listen to. Trusted by thousands of curious minds, since 2011.

Past work

I have worked for startups and large companies.
As a journalist, strategist, product lead.

I have written stories and strategies.
I have built products and teams.

I have hired, mentored and promoted people.
I have navigated and accelerated transformation.
Pushed for and nurtured culture change.

I have wrangled data and code.
For insights and data visualisations.
Even a series of games.

And a ton of other things that got me excited.

If there’s one thing that runs through it all,
it’s my love for connecting dots and trying new things.

Neue Zürcher Zeitung, The Guardian, Quartz, Republik, Refind, Livingdocs, Radio Free Europe, Der Spiegel, Das Magazin, Tages-Anzeiger, SonntagsZeitung, TagesWoche, Schweizerische Depeschenagentur, Echtzeit Verlag, MAZ Journalistenschule, TEDxZurich, Bluewin, and some more.

You Don't Know Africa
Challenge Accepted by Republik
Why newsrooms need storytelling tools and what we’ve learnt building them
Klimalabor at Republik
78s – bessere Musik
A story of drinkers, genocide and unborn girls
You Still Don't Know Africa
Wenn Männer über Männer reden, reden Männer Männern nach
How to Be(come) a Happy Newsletter Writer
You Don't Know African Flags
The simple tool we use to decide what stories to work on at NZZ Visuals
Kurzbefehl - Der Kompass für das digitale Leben
To compete with the web’s giants, news organisations need to become better at sending people away
How I Learnt to Code in One Year
You deserve a smarter reading list — we are building it
Zum Pi-Tag: Von 3,14159 bis zum derzeitigen Ende von Pi
Milliarden aus der Fremde
Dystopia Tracker
Midterms Results Overview
Wie gut können Sie die Schweiz aus dem Gedächtnis zeichnen?
Never miss any of the most important links, even in a busy week
The End of Journalism in the Digital Age
Lionel Messi
60 Stunden Facebook
Work at the Guardian Data Blog