Dossier Jean-Daniel Roth

Jean-Daniel Roth, mycomm GmbH

+41 76 328 99 91


Personal Information

Surname: Roth

Given Name: Jean-Daniel

Contact and residential address: Jurastrasse 44, 4412 Nuglar (SO)

Company address: mycomm LLC, St. Johanns-Vorstadt 3, 4056 Basel, Switzerland

Date of Birth: 27.10.197

Tel. private: 061 381 89 24

Tel. mob: 076 328 99 91


Place of birth: Geneva

Languages: French (mother tongue), German, English

Marital status: Married

Spouse: Simone Pfeiffer Roth, Social Worker

Children: Julie (16),  Liam (8)

Motivation Letter, Harvard Extension School

Family Background, First Professional Choices

Family background

It all began in Geneva, an internationally well known city in Switzerland, where I was born in 1971. My father worked as a reprophotographer, a profession that does not exist anymore. The first wave of digitization has made this handcraft obsolete. Seeing my father lose his job was my first existential confrontation with digitization and innovation. As an unemployed father, he started to run a little shop in our town, where he sold handcrafted decorative objects he bought from artists in South France and design garden chairs. He was not a good salesman and the recession in the 90’s severely weakened the demand for handicraft products. Consequently, he had to give up his business a few years later. He began working as a door-to-door saleman selling ready made soups and spices. Naturally, my dad was used to knocking on doors because he was a practicing Jehovah’s Witness for more than thirty years. In addition to selling paradise and soups, he learned how to use a computer and he worked a lot in his own garden. In all these years, he never went back to school, so his opportunities in the job market were difficult. Today, I respect him for his resilence and hard work, but as a young boy I swore I’d create a different life for myself.

My mother was raised near Lausanne in the French part of Switzerland, so I grew up with French as my mother‘s tongue. She was a passionate nurse and continued working long after her retirement. As a born again Christian, it was not easy for her to live with a spouse who was a Jehovas Witness. It wasn`t easy for my sister and me either as we were the only family in Switzerland, maybe all of Europe, growing up in a home with two these religious systems. However, I developed a lot of skills on how to communicate in such a complex environment.

First professional choices

After high school, I did an internship as a street sweeper and completed the obligatory time in the Swiss army. Then, I studied at the teacher training seminar located close to the city of Basel to get my diploma as a primary school teacher. I was always more interested in working with older children or teenagers, so I started teaching young refugees coming to Switzerland as a result of the Bosnian War, in the mid-nineties. It was a demanding job, but I really liked it. After the Bosnian War ended the city government of Basel closed this program. To continue my career, I worked as youth worker and at very young age I had the opportunity to raise money for grants in order to build special integration programs for young adults.

In addition to being passionate about working with children and teenagers, I am also passionate about music. Therefore, I started to follow my passion for music in a very consistent way. I’ve composed music since I was 15 years old, took classical singing and classical guitar lessons for eight years. I quit my job and jumped into a musician‘s life with many existential uncertainties. I worked as a night porter, in call centers, for the swiss post at night and on Sunday mornings I stood in the city park selling newspapers. I was driven by the dream to make a living from music. An intense eight year period included 300 concerts, four records, concert tours in Switzeland, Italy and Germany and three record deals. In this time I pushed myself to the limits. I took singing classes at the jazz school, taught singing lessons, learned to be a music producer and arranger and worked as a radio DJ. It was a wonderful, crazy and sometimes difficult experience.

However, all good things must come to an end and digitization struck the music industry in a brutal way. First, musicians lost a part of their income because of the download concept of iTunes. Then, they lost the income they received from record sales because of the streaming provider Spotify. The big dream I had came to a dead end. I had to do something to feed my family and working as a teacher was never a feasible option. Meanwhile I was married and a father of a wonderful girl. I knew I had to go back to school, but not as a teacher – as a student.

Transition Phase, Studies

Transition phase

In the following time period my activities as a musician declined and I had the chance to work as a project manager for an international NPO who was sending relief goods to Eastern Europe. In a short time, we were able to double the amount of relief goods we could distribute in Moldavia, Whiterussia and Georgia. We built a wide network of volunteers and taught them how to collect goods and money. We started to work with social media and included new techniques on how to teach volunteers our quality standards and to motivate them to part of the campaign. That job taught me a lot about myself and it helped me to define the next step of my professional career.


Due to my experience in a variety of communication fields, I started persuing a master degree in Corporate Communication Management at the Business School in Olten, which is part of the FHNW and one of the leading Universities of Applied Sciences in Switzerland. I wanted to work as a Communication Officer in a NPO, or in the industry. I already knew, that  I was not just a communicator, but also a business guy and a marketer. However, I needed to start somewhere and I needed a theoretical backround in order to work as a CCO. Due to my modest income as a musican, I didn’t have any savings and I had to borrow money to start this master course. I was happy to write my master thesis for a real case, a public transportation company in Basel, which paid a substantial part of my tuition and fees. In parallel, I was working as a team leader for digital marketing and communication at World Vision Switzerland. With seven employees by my side, we built an app to fight malaria, tried out new formats of live broadcasted donor trips on social media channels and organized guerilla marketing campaigns. After I completed my master degree at the University of Applied Sciences, I worked as a Chief Communication Officer in different settings.

Own business

Throughout all the jobs one problem always occured, I was bored after a few months. I also felt quite limited by company structures and culture, which were slowing down a lot of good and vital initatives. I started to think about building my own company, which I did five years ago. Today, we successfully offer digital marketing services to mostly middle-sized companies in Switzerland. This includes, digital strategies and all sorts of single disciplines allocated in the area of online marketing (content marketing, social media, SEO, websites, etc.).

Strategic Thoughts

Agency landscape will change dramatically in the next years

Online marketing is a very dynamic business segment. It’s moving forward fast and generally speaking it`s getting more and more technical. On the otherhand, it’s also getting easier to work with different online services. Big tech companies are actively pushing the mass-adoption of their cloud based services. (For instances: Facebook Ads Manager and Google Ads)
In addition, artificial intelligence will help more and more to interpret and merge all data coming out of the digital ecosystem of the companies. I strongly believe that this technical evolution will dramatically change the role of digital marketing and communication agencies around the world. A big piece of the pie will be eaten up by automation, algorithm driven marketing software and analytic tools that can be used after a short introduction. For sure CIO will choose the most intuitive software solutions that reduce training costs and increase user adoption. The proportion of tasks outsourced to regional agencies will shift to more strategic issues. In the future, digital agencies will be increasingly active in the following areas: strategic consulting and recommendation of software solutions in cooperation with software manufacturers and integrators.

Shaping mycomm LLC for the future

In view of this development, we have decided to further develop mycomm’s portfolio over the next five years. We need to invest in three areas:

1. Knowledge about organizational behaviour, accounting, enterprise management, business strategy, corporate governance and corporate culture.

2. Knowledge about creativity and innovation techniques.

3. Partnerships with software companies

We have already invested in the areas 2 and 3. These includes, for example, the partnership with Swisscom AG, the national Swiss telecommunications company, with unic, a leading international agency for digital communication, the visit of the Design Thinking Workshop at the Harvard Extension School this summer and the completion of a Digital Strategy and Value Creation certificate at the Business School ZHAW.

So far, we haven’t invested in point one. However, this point forms the basis for all other activities. For this reason, I have started to look for an educational offer that can fill this knowledge gap at a high level.

Why I`m applying

How I discovered Harvard Extension School

In order to realize the new agency model I started with a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Digital Strategies and Value Chain at the School of Management and Law, which is the largest business school of a University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland. I learned a lot in this course, but I missed lecturers with international experience and international references (cases).
For this reason, I started a systematic search for new educational opportunities that could help me to develop my skills. In the first phase I didn’t think of a university abroad.

Making my inquiries online I found an interesting course on edX: Entrepreuneurship in Emerging Economies with Tarun Khanna, a professor at the Harvard Business School. I spontaneously started the course and after a few hours I was on fire. I found what I was looking for – a high level teaching based on cases. After finishing the online course with a certificate of completion I started to explore the course program of Harvard Business School Online and Harvard Extension School (HES).
Finally, I decided to enroll in the Design Thinking Workshop at HES, held by Sam Power and Jon Campbell. After a good experience on campus, I decided to pursue my way with Harvard Extension School.

Why I’m applying for a Master of Liberal Arts in the field of Management

I believe, that a Master of Liberal Arts in the field of management at Harvard Extension School could offer me the right knowledge to shape mycomm LLC for the future (see strategic thoughts).

Most needed knowledge:

  • Organizational behaviour, business models, strategy, finance and enterprise management
  • Skills in the field of Innovation (Certificate, 4 electives)

This knowledge will:


  • … help me  to secure a place for our business in the marketplace of the future
  • … help me to build well-founded, practice-oriented strategies and frameworks for our clients


  • … deepen my understanding of organizations and how they work.
  • … enable me to gain a holistic understanding of how innovations and new business models can be implemented in companies.
  • … give me the skills to accompany even larger and more complex projects.

further this course will:

  • … give me the opportunity to build international relationships and exchange with people from all over the world.
  • … inspire and challenge me.

The possibility to complete the Innovation and Entrepreuneurship Certificate during the MLA, makes the whole course even more attractive for me. The course offer, a mix of online and on campus courses, makes it possible to complete a MLA in addition to family and agency activities.

Further personal reasons
It’s my dream to develop sustainable and innovative business models with partners in emerging markets, to implement them and to accompany them afterwards. Therefore, I need more knowledge in the areas of economics, business models, innovation, strategy, data mining and accounting. I am sure that the know how from this course would help me to better recognize opportunities in the market and to build the right business models.

Concluding words

My life has taken many different directions. I followed my versatile interests and passions and learned a lot of different things. I therefore think that I am already a good generalist, but I should now complement my practical experience with a solid theoretical foundation. I am convinced that this course, which doesn’t exist in this form in Switzerland, would help me to bring my business, my vision in social entrepreuneurship, and myself to the next level (and this would be fantastic!).

Thank you very much for reviewing my dossier.


Professional Experience, Schools and School related projects

Teacher Secondary Level

Aug. 1994 – Aug 1996, Canton of Basel-Stadt
Position: Class teacher integration class (secondary level), Hirzbrunnen Basel
Activities: Co-management of the class, teaching of 16 pupils with a migration background.

School Teacher Elementary School

Aug. 2006 – July 2007, Kindergarten und Primarschule Allschwil
Position: Primary school teachers
Activities: Co-management of the class, parental work, camp organisation, projects: Composition and production of an own benefit songs with the children of class 5b with subsequent sale of a CD.

Author of Workbook "Work with Waste"

1994 work book for primary schools
Position: Freelancer
Activities: In collaboration with the Department for Environmental Protection and Energy of the Canton of Basel-Landschaft, I developed a workbook for primary schools. The book, entitled „Werken mit Abfall (Work with Waste) and was published by the publisher of teaching aids of the Cantons Basel Landschaft and Basel-Stadt and distributed to all schools.

Integration of Foreign Youths

Aug. 1996 – May 1998, Youth and Cultural Centre Eulerstrooss nüün, Basel
Position: Project manager (project limited to two years).
Activities: Development of a counselling centre for young people with a migration background, acquisition of the foundation CMS to finance the „stage box“ concert project.


Professional Experience, Excerpt from the Customer Projects at mycomm LLC

Listing projects which are related to school-relevant competencies (teaching, knowledge transfer, presentation).

Sustainable School Project Fairbattle

2017 – current, Coaching Sustainable School Project „Fairbattle“
Position: Consultant
Activities: In the last two years, I was allowed to provide feedback on the concept of this school project and partly edit all learning media of „Fairbattle“. The project was awarded the Worlddidac Award in 2018.

Covers and Imprints of learning media 


Coaching Student Projects

2016 – 2018, Coaching Student Projects at the University of Applied Sciences, FHNW
Position: Client and Consultant
Activities: In the context of student projects of the University of Applied Sciences FHNW, I was allowed to accompany two student groups of Prof. Andreas Graber.


KMU-Umfrage 2016, FHNW - Agentur mycomm GmbH

Competencies and Topics: Level-appropriate work orders, monitoring of the work process

Reference of Prof. Andreas Graber, FHNW

Intercultural Communication

2016, Intercultural communication, deepening competencies with CQ-test

In the context of a coaching in intercultural communication, I was able to test and deepen my skills in the field of intercultural communication. The test was conducted by the renowned „Cultural Intelligence Center“ based in Grand Rapids, Michigan (USA).


Power Lunches

2016 Power Lunches at mycomm LLC

Activities: In order to support the local business in the region and to strengthen networking, I conducted so-called Power Lunches. I presented the most important facts from the field of online marketing to entrepreuneurs from all industries in 20 – 30 minutes in condensed form.

Examples of two Power Lunches

Online Marketing Frameworks

Online Marketing Frameworks for Customers

Activities: Frameworks I developed to help customers to systematically approach certain topics from online marketing:

Framework for a social media strategy (mycomm-shop)
Framework for an online marketing strategy

Professional Experience, NGO, NPO and Economy

Find all references under documents.


Jan. 2014 – March 2015 EVP PEV, Berne
Position: Chief Communication Officer
Activities: Media relations, organization of national media conferences, publications, conception of social media campaigns, communication training for young politicians (workshops), media coaching of two national parliamentarians, training for web managers.


Kadertag EVP im Bundeshaus, Referat Jean-Daniel Roth - Agentur mycomm GmbH

Teaching Social Media Strategy for political campaigns in the Federal Parliament Building, Berne


March 2013 – Dec. 2013 MCH Group
Position: Chief Communication Officer Didacta Switzerland and Didacta Suisse in a matrix organisation
Activities: Formation of a panel with teachers and school directors, maintenance of cooperation with associations from the education sector (Swiss Teachers‘ Federation (LCH), Swiss School Directors‘ Association (VSL) and Haute école pédagogique Lausanne (HEP), dialogue on current trends in education with stakeholders, development of the Didacta Suisse Lausanne, strategic communication, conception of sales documents, international cooperation with Worlddidac.

Website: Due to the sale of the fair to Swissdidac Bern, the website no longer exists.
Website of MCH Group

Teamleader Digital World Vision Switzerland

Sept. 2011 – Oct. 2012, World Vision Switzerland, Dübendorf
Position: Team Leader, Digital Media with 7 employees
Activities:  Management of the digital media team, development of KPI reports, marketing of online fundraising tools, social media campaigning, leading of project „Bye Bye Mosquito“, an awarded fundraising app built in collababoration with bitforge AG.


Project Manager Weihnachten im Schuhkarton, Schweiz

Sept. 2006 – Aug. 2011, Geschenke der Hoffnung e.V., Berlin
Position: Project Manager Switzerland, Media Representative, two employees, leading 120 volunteers
Activities: Overall management of the campaign „Weihnachten im Schuhkarton“ in Switzerland, planning and implementation of distribution trips to Moldova, Belarus and Georgia, training of volunteers, media work, production of advertising films, project management, fundraising campaigns production of the benefit song „Truck full of Diamonds„, 24hr sponsored march.


Professional Experience, Musician and Publisher

Musicproduction, Touring, Teaching

June 1998 – July 2006 Semitone music, Basel
Position: Co-Owner
Activities: Planning and realisation of CD productions, composing, arranging, sound engineering, organisation and realisation of national and international concert tours, project management, private singing lessons, negotiation of distribution contracts with record companies at home and abroad, realisation of 300 concerts in Switzerland, Germany and Italy, airplay on SRF3, Couleur 3 and other radio stations.

Find following tracks on the national radio stations


Training Programme for Laboratory Staff in India

mycomm LLC is supporting a well-known laboratory of the city of Basel to expand its training project in India. We are currently building a concept how the Labor Rothen could efficiently train laboratory staff in India using an app and further innovative online tools.


Since 2009, Onesimo

Support of the aid project Onesimo with mycommLLC. Onesimo takes care of homeless children and young people in the slums of Manila.