While in China, after two months of lockdown, normal life is coming back to the streets, in Europe, the people are only at the beginning of the most difficult phase of this crisis. We asked the 2020 CITYMAKERS accelerator teams from both continents to share their very own experiences about this strenuous time.
Marlene Welzl is co-founder of the housing platform Wohnbuddy that brings together young and elderly people for their mutual benefit. She is passionate about developing solutions for societal challenges. Marlene has always been interested in global issues with a particular focus on inequality as well as in Chinese culture and society. She holds a diploma degree in Development Studies and a bachelor degree in Chinese studies.
As she is aiming to be a successful social entrepreneur and a responsible online platform provider, Marlene Welzl decided to complement her practical experience with theoretical knowledge by studying “Leading Innovative Organisations”. She came in touch with the CITYMAKERS through the Social Entrepreneurship Lab Drahnsdorf 2019 that combined her two major interests: Social Entrepreneurship and China. She was thrilled by the community of the CITYMAKERS and decided to stay connected with CITYMAKERS.
What do you value in being part of the CITYMAKERS China-Europe network?
Marlene Welzl: “Being a social entrepreneur is very tough and it’s hard to find people who are like-minded and understand your challenges. I value the community of like-minded social entrepreneurs from Europe and China, in particular the opportunity to exchange experience, views and to support each other. It is of particular value for me to learn about the challenges of others and the opportunity to broaden my horizon through this exchange. It’s the unique community that makes Citymakers so special for me.”
What does city making mean to you?
“For me, city making is about being innovative, creating, trying out something new and about providing solutions to challenges you are identifying. It is also about communicating, getting in touch with people from different organizations and gaining new insights. At its core, city making is about participating in the development of a city with the aim of making it more livable.”