‘The role of cities is changing and growing in importance’ – Q&A with Mariann Xie Noureddine

A quick Q&A with Mariann Xie Nouredinne, Business Manager at BLOX GLOBAL

What is your most surprising prediction about cities?

picture of Mariann Xie Noureddine

Mariann Xie Noureddine

The role (power) of cities is changing and growing in importance.

There are many examples already of how cities are increasingly beginning to work strategically with long-term goals. Cities are solving societal problems that used to be handled at a national level because they develop fast and effective solutions through close interaction with citizens and the relevant stakeholders in organisations, institutions, companies etc. at the local level.

Who is the person who has most influenced the way you think about cities and technology?

Indy Johar from Dark Matter Labs for rethinking smart cities and urban development as a primarily civic challenge.

What 2-3 books / podcasts would you recommend?

  1. AI Superpowers by Kai-Fu Lee
  2. Climate of Hope by Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope

Where’s the best place for new ideas?

With large digital corporations such as Alibaba, Tencent, ByteDance (TikTok) and Pingan, I would say that China is the best place for new ideas.

We can expect that China will continue its economic growth – holding on to its position as the second largest economy in the world. Within the next years, we will therefore witness more technology and innovative solutions will be invented in China and spread to South East Asia and Africa.

Who inspires you?

Executive Vice President of the EU, Margrethe Vestager because she continues to stand up for ‘the individual’ and show integrity and presence as a leader.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Change requires partners. Change needs space. Change takes time.

What are the skills we’ll need in 10 years?

As technology will eliminate and fundamentally change all types of work that we know of today, the most important skill is to foster originality by putting humans at the center of innovation with technology as the enabler.

The solutions for tomorrow’s cities will not be built by technology, they’ll be built by us

What is your call to action?

Motivate and engage the people around you.


Connect with Mariann on LinkedIn