Wohin des Weges?

CITYMAKERS-Podcast Social Entrepreneurship Lab

The wind is blowing, leaves are bouncing gently…only every now and then a car... even more rarely the sound of trains in the background… overall a peaceful atmosphere. And inside? So much life! Brains and hearts burning, busy mouths, active pens trying to keep up and document all the information being shared.


What a difference it makes to step out of the noisy city into a quieter environment close to nature. This was for sure one of the reasons that the CITYMAKERS Social Entrepreneurship Competence Lab, held on May 8-9th 2019, turned out to be so intense. With very limited distractions, people were invited to dive into and share a common universe, both on spaces but also on topics.


During the dynamic event, Kika Yang would sometimes pop up to ‘borrow’ some of the participants and take them into a separate space. The cozy setting there was meant for guests to feel comfortable enough to share their stories with a bit more depth.

Each one was encouraged to speak about their personal motivations and background, their particular interest to join the LAB and finally invited to brainstorm with us about the potential of the CITYMAKERs platform.

So here you all have the chance to know more about Laura Bruns, Sebastian Schlecht, Jah Ying Chung, Jonas Schorr, Marlene Welzl, Andrea Weigt & Cyrus Khazaheli through a series of podcasts published on our CITYMAKERs website.

The final chapter will be a discussion moderated by Kika Yang shortly before the the lab was finished. She gathered people with different backgrounds, cultural experiences and perspectives at one round table and stimulated them with the underlying themes that were floating in the air of Drahnsdorf.


风吹草动,少见的机车,背景中偶然能辨别的火车声:这安静的氛围下却充满了生机,心脑口手活跃交互,试着记录下交换的信息。离开城市的喧嚣,来到贴近自然的静寂之所,于5月8-9日举行的CITYMAKERS公益企业能力培养Lab因此格外紧凑:参与者纵身跃入一个不受干扰的共同的地理与话题空间。活跃的活动期间,Kika Yang时不时地把一部分参与者请到一个角落,她布置舒适的场景让被访人在放松的状态下更加深入地分享他们的故事。被访人谈论他们的个人初衷和背景,参加LAB的兴趣所在,并共同为CITYMAKER平台的潜在发展出主意。这里您有机会通过CITYMAKERS网络发布的一系列podcasts更多的了解Laura Bruns, Sebastian Schlecht, Jah Ying Chung, Jonas Schorr, Marlene Welzl, Andrea Weigt & Cyrus Khazaheli。最后一部分是Kika Yang在Lab结束前主持的讨论,她集中了不同文化背景不同视角的人们,激发他们来把握Drahnsdorf抛出的引题。

Round Table Discussion

Collecting inspirations throughout the CITYMAKERs Lab Kika Yang curated a final discussion on the last day of the event. Oliver May-Beckmann, Erik Ackner, Jah Ying Chung, Tristan Biere, Marius Raebiger and Iris Belle were invited to reflect together about topics that were somehow floating in the background of all discussions of the Lab. Beginning with the definition of the term ‘city’, to interpretations of ‘citymaking’, the group scratches the surface of some the most relevant issues of our times, such as political, economical and environmental aspects that not only influence the spaces we create, but overall the conditions of our lives. They see a lot of potential in social entrepreneurship to generate and test solutions, proving once more the relevance of having CITYMAKERS.

Urban Impact – Enabling innovative solutions between startups and institutions

As both facilitator and panel speaker, Jonas Schorr had a multi-function at the CITYMAKERs Lab and still managed to find a moment for an interview. Kika Yang encouraged him to share his journey from growing up in East Berlin, to moving to West Germany and then step by step turning into a cosmopolitan social entrepreneur with his recently founded company, Urban Impact. He and his associate Dominik Zalewski operate as a bridge between startups and official institutions enabling innovative solutions that enhance the efficiency of cities. In his opinion, it is not enough to create and manage a good business or a successful startup, the question is what is the real impact you are creating. And in our opinion, he is an example that it’s also not only important to be communicative, but how to use your networks and with which purpose.

Wohnbuddy – Matchmaking for elderly and young people to live together

The CITYMAKERs Lab caught Marlene Welzl and her social enterprise at a convenient moment. After two years of successful operation, Wohnbuddy has now reached the point of restructuring, in order to be able to scale its impact. Operating as a matchmaking platform for elderly and young people to live together, in this interview Marlene shares with us what inspired her to create the concept started in Vienna. With her Chinese studies background, she sees a lot potential to expand to other countries and our Lab gave her an impulse both with knowledge and contacts to achieve this goal.

Projektraum Drahnsdorf

After making sure all the participants were satisfied and ready to leave their space, the hosts of the CITYMAKERs Lab, Andrea Weigt & Cyrus Khazaheli, were able to take a break and tell their story. Combining the backgrounds of stage design, architecture and movement based expressive arts, their intention is to offer an environment in which people are able to connect to nature and, to themselves and generate new ideas. They see themselves as a part of a movement towards a new model of community life in the countryside. Our CITYMAKERS group certainly approved the concept. The only problem was not wanting to leave Drahnsdorf!

Change makers exchange ideas!

As a member of the effective altruism movement, Jah Ying Chung sees a lot of value in events like the CITYMAKERs Lab to create circumstances for change makers to exchange ideas, build warm communities and morally support each other. She describes the experiences that led her to take responsibility for her existence, create and eventually sell a business because of the distance between its mission and the actual impact created. With her broad experience within start-ups and social organisations, she identified a gap that she is now dedicating her time to fill: her consultancy goodgrowth helps companies after their successful launching period to develop a consistent strategy for their development.


作为有效利他运动的成员之一,Jah Ying Chung认为CITYMAKERs Lab这类的活动有很多益处,让改变者交换想法,创建温暖社群,并从道德上支持彼此。她介绍了使得她为自己的存在负责任的经历,她从创建公司到最终由于使命和影响之间的距离而售出公司的经历。拥有着关于创业公司和社会组织方面的丰富经验,她认为存在着一个间隙,这也是她目前致力于的方向:goodgrowth咨询帮助已经初次成功运行的公司发展持续战略。

"All that is needed are participatory programs"

In this interview, Sebastian Schlecht shares how enriching it can be to experience different perspectives of particular processes. Several years of architectural design background, followed by a position at the city administration of Essen and the coordination of a Youth & Architecture Association provided him with a broad perspective of the methodologies that define our cities. Being an optimist, he believes that we have the necessary resources to generate, test and implement new solutions to sustainable built environments - all that is needed are participatory programs.


在访谈中Sebastian Schlecht分享,在某些过程中不同的视角使得经历更加充实。数年建筑设计的经历,其后在Essen城市管理部门的工作,以及对青年与建筑协会的协调工作使得他对决定城市的各种方法有着广泛的视角。作为一个积极主义者,他相信我们有足够的资源来生成,实验和执行塑造可持续发展环境的新方案——唯一需要的是参与性的项目。

'Just do it' with Laura Bruns

Laura Bruns was the first participant to be invited by Kika Yang to step away from the lively environment of the CITYMAKERs Lab, in order to share her stories with a wider audience. Having been in close contact with subcultures at an early age strongly influenced her and led her to her future dedication as an urban strategist. The co-founder of StadtStattStrand speaks about the project “Urbane Liga”, the importance of lobbying and building trust as well as their publications launched to empower citizens to ‘just do it’.


Laura Bruns是第一位被Kika Yang从活跃的CITYMAKERs Lab请出的参与者,来与更广泛的公众分享她的故事。早年与亚文化群体接触的经历影响了Laura Bruns后来成为都市战略者。作为StadtStattStrand的创立者之一,她谈起她的项目“Urbane Liga”,游说和建立信任的重要性以及他们的动员人们“去做”的新书发表。

Start it up with Erik Ackner


Here we offer an opportunity for you to get to know one of the speakers from CITYMAKERS Social Entrepreneurship LAB which took place in Projektraum Drahnsdorf in May 2019: Erik Ackner. Kika YANG made the interview at the end of 2018, right before Erik moved from Chengdu to Berlin. He tells us the story of his career: How he grew up in a tiny village and moved from place to place until arriving in China where he lived for about 10 years, founded 3 companies and embraced his mission to encourage the startup community. In a very direct and humorous way, he shares his views on a number of city-making topics such as the contemporary startup scene worldwide, entrepreneurship, work-life balance, tech-hub cities, the importance of education and vocational training, university cooperation between China and Germany.

这里我们介绍给您公益企业LAB中的一位发言人:Erik Ackner。2018年底在Erik离开成都迁居柏林之前,Kika YANG录制了这段访谈。访谈中Erik介绍了他的职业生涯:从小村落里的生长经历,到多次迁居,再到落脚中国并生活十年之久。作为3个企业的创立者,他将鼓舞创业群体视为己任。他以直接和风趣的风格分享他对各种城市创建话题的看法:目前世界范围的创业场景,关于企业,工作生活的平衡,技术谷城市,教育以及职业培训的重要性,以及中国与德国的高校合作。