CITIES: Berlin, Shanghai, Shenzhen
EXPERTISE: Digital China | Urbanism
Miriam Theobald is co-founder and managing director of DŌNGXii, a Berlin-based boutique consultancy that specialised in China’s digital economy and its innovation ecosystems. Together with the R&D and foresight departments of international companies, DŌNGXii works on innovative digital business models in the form of products and services. DŌNGXii sees itself as a designer, curator and first and foremost as an “enabler” that brings inspiring insights from Chinese innovation ecosystems to new projects through a design thinking development process.
Miriam’s academic background is in Chinese and international business, she did her Bachelor’s degree in Konstanz, Germany, and holds a Master’s degree in Urban Studies from King’s College London. As a concept developer and strategic consultant, Miriam has worked on urban development projects in China, England and Germany. Besides her work at DŌNGXii she teaches entrepreneurship and digital innovation ecosystems at several universities. “Urban Innovation” in terms of applied tech and data-driven services that shape the urban realm and human interaction with space (IoT and user experiences) are the main topics of Miriam’s consulting work. “Tech in the City” and Female Entrepreneurship in the context of Chinese business innovation play a major role.
At CITYMAKERS, Miriam supports the content team with the design of the virtual touch points and experiences.
What do you value in being part of the CITYMAKERS China-Europe network?
Miriam Theobald: “CITYMAKERS for me embodies the fruitful and inspiring conversation between China and Germany, conceptualised in a placemaking context. Since my first day in China, more than 15 years ago, I was inspired by the understanding and usage of urban space by Chinese citizens – this momentum was captured perfectly by the CITYMAKERS community. I believe that innovation happens where potentials in differences are identified and taken as an entrypoint for new concepts. CITYMAKERS embodies this spirit by bringing together inspiring minds, initiating fruitful, sustainable and visionary projects and motivates us to observe and re-think our relationship with the space in which we co-exist and co-create.”
What does city making mean to you?
“The classical third space theory and the question of what drives positive change in the form of innovation in societies. Is it favourable spaces, like hybrid urban conglomerates, that encourage us to think “outside the box” and to create or is it especially creative actors that create places with uniquely innovative identities that push cultural and social boundaries? Genuinely I am very enticed by the idea that everyone is an actor that actively or passively shapes the DNA of a space when it becomes a place.”