Profile: Oliver May-Beckmann | Social Innovation Expert & Educator

Location Boston, Munich

Seeing himself as a “creative optimist”, Oliver is a (social) entrepreneurship and innovation expert, passionate educator, speaker, mentor and a connector between business, public sector, higher education and startups. Oliver is associate partner of CONSTELLATIONS International and project partner of its flagship program CITYMAKERS, to which he brings in particular his social entrepreneurship expertise.

Oliver built up the education programs of the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie and the Global Entrepreneurship Summer School – a joint initiative by the four university-based entrepreneurship centers in Munich, one of the partners being Tongji University in Shanghai. He is also the Content Architect & Project Leader of the Massive Open Online Course “Enabling Entrepreneurs to Shape a Better World”, co-created with SAP and innovators like Prof. Muhammad Yunus, Aaron Hurst or Alexander Osterwalder for >12.000 participants worldwide. Previously, he was leading the Northeast-Asia division at Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) in Berlin and before a bilateral German-Vietnamese government program for KAS in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Since 2020, Oliver is head of entrepreneurship and innovation education at the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship (SCE), the entrepreneurship center at the Munich University of Applied Sciences. He is responsible to enable action-based innovation programs for all 14 faculties at the Munich University of Applied Sciences – for future architects, AI-experts, engineers, designer, social scientists or master’s in business administration.

What does CITYMAKERS China-Europe mean to you?

Oliver May-Beckmann: “I truly believe more reasonable, resilient and economically vibrant urban neighborhoods are possible. We have enough technology, enough ability and enough innovative capacity to create more livable cities and a better world. But we lack on systematic, real multilateral co-creation spaces. A new entrepreneurial spirit raises. A new thinking, that business models need to balance profit and purpose, champion democracy and concentrate on sharing power and resources. We need communities where we can co-create with that mindset new ideas for the urban hubs of our times. “CITYMAKERS China-Europe” for me is THE new kind of Think-Act-Tank between two of the major poles of our time, that enables this new collective, entrepreneurial and innovative thinking to move from idea to impact for the aim to create more livable cities.”

What drives you with regard to city making?

“I’m a creative optimist and a born networker with the firm conviction that the world is truly improving as we bring corporates, universities, municipalities, NGOs and startups together to shape a sustainable future. For more than ten years my education, business creation and consulting experience has centered across all three major innovation poles of our times – Europe, Asia (Vietnam and China) and the United States. City making means actively shaping the ecosystem you are living in. Being curious and open-minded for innovative ideas. Improving the daily life of yourself, your peers and the community. To stand up, to acting together in groups, so the individual input results in stronger collective outputs. And to truly believe in the power of your own entrepreneurial spirit to shape a better future.”