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Cecilia Tham: the power of shifting paradigms

Spain · Dec 04, 2018· By Emanuela Ferraro

© CompassList

The embodiment of unconventional thinking and creativity, this female entrepreneur from Hong Kong has been pioneering social transformation within Barcelona's startup ecosystem since 2011. 

Visionary and serial entrepreneur Cecilia Tham's love of creativity, design, forms, and structures brought her to - and kept her in - Barcelona.

“From the start, I felt that the entire city is steeped in design, not only aesthetically, but also in terms of history and its creative environment. It’s something I've noticed and that I haven’t felt in other cities,” she recalled, noting how Barcelona was both a birthplace and playground for creative thinking and design.

Born in Hong Kong, Tham grew up in Macau where her family moved to soon after her birth. She was 14 when her family relocated to the US. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Masters of Science in Architecture from Harvard University, she moved to Spain, where her entrepreneurial journey began with the setting up Makers of Barcelona (MOB) in 2011.

At the time, MOB was the city's first coworking space, drawing local and international talents; today, it is a focal point for groundbreaking entrepreneurs.

“I created MOB because I needed it,” she said. "The coworking part was an excuse, what we were really creating was a community of Makers."

An insatiable learner, Tham got hooked on the concept of disruptive innovation and became increasingly involved in events and initiatives by the Barcelona tech community. A four-time TEDx speaker and panelist at the Mobile World Congress' 4YFN initiative, she is also a certified Google Sprint Master and mentor at Google Launchpad, Startupbootcamp's IoT&Data Barcelona, and the Harvard Innovation Lab. 

Edited by Gareth Gardiner Jones

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