About us

Our Team

Dong Fen

General Manager

Dong Fen was the first Hua Dan participant. She now has thirteen years of experience in Theatre in Education and Improvisational Theatre. She has directed performances of different topics and forms; in 2014 and 2016 she participated in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and brought two works about Chinese women to the festival: Hand Made in China and Chinese Women’s Whispers. Both of the performances received great welcome and reviews of four and five stars. She has led more then 10,000 workshops, mainly with a focus on children’s empowerment. In her workshops, children’s potential can be activated in its natural way.

Currently, she is General Manager of Hua Dan, council member of Beijing Improv Group (BIG), and a councillor of the New Citizen Club.

Zhong Na


Zhong Na is committed to participatory theatre, helping children and adults use participatory theatre to better understand themselves, others and the world around them, in order to establish self-confidence, stimulate their own potential and creativity, and build a more stable, fair and harmonious society with their own strength.

In 2007, she jointly launched Hua Dan children’s theatre programme. She has since served as a collaborator, curriculum designer, theatre workshop facilitator and trainer for new collaborators and volunteers.

In June 2009, she participated in a Welsh art exchange for refugees.

In 2010, she went with the Beijing Improv Group (BIG) to Seoul and participated in the Seoul International Improv Festival.

In 2016, she was at the world’s largest international art festival, the Edinburgh Fringe, with Hand Made in China.

She helps run Hua Dan’s “Dream Theatre” summer camps, designing the curriculum and assisting in the theatre workshops.

Caroline Watson

Caroline is the founder and director of Hua Dan, one of China’s first and leading social enterprises.

Hua Dan uses the power of participation in drama-based workshops to reveal and develop individual and community potential. Hua Dan has a particular focus on working with China’s rural-to-urban migrant workers, particularly women, who work in the manufacturing and service industries, at the heart of China’s economic boom.

In founding Hua Dan, Caroline has pioneered the importance of participation in the arts and creative education in a country that has no precedent for anything other than a hierarchical, rote-learning education model; empowered female migrants from the countryside to lead and manage the organisation through a vocational training model; and refined a sustainable hybrid non-profit/for-profit business model for arts-based learning methodologies.

Caroline has a BA in Theatre Studies from Lancaster University and is an alumni of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government programme, ‘Global Leadership and Public Policy in the 21st Century’.

In 2007 she became an alumnus of INSEAD’s Social Entrepreneurship Executive education programme and was also elected a Waldzell ‘Architect of the Future’.

In 2010 she became a FYSE Fellow (Foundation for Youth Social Entrepreneurship).

In 2011 she became a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.

Caroline was formerly Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Arts in Society. She is an advisory board member of Compassion for Migrant Children and is also a Social Entrepreneur in Residence for INSEAD.

Caroline has lived and worked in China, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Spain, the UK, the US, India, Argentina and France. She speaks English, Mandarin, French and Spanish and now resides in Paris.

Caroline has recently formed two complementary organisations: Scheherazade Consulting, which provides theatre-based training services on global leadership issues, with a particular focus on China, India and the emerging world, to companies and institutions around the world; and Scheherazade Initiatives, which replicates the Hua Dan model in other emerging markets.

In partnership with colleagues from the Global Agenda Council on the Arts in Society, Caroline has also founded the Global Arts Impact Agenda that enables business and government to unleash the power of the arts for human development. GAIA is especially focused on the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals through the arts.

Caroline is a frequent speaker, consultant, and guest practitioner. Her areas of professional interest are global leadership, facilitating personal and social change, innovation, theatre and the arts, corporate social responsibility, women’s issues, spirituality, the emerging world and China.

Board members

Jonathan Palley

Jonathan Palley is an entrepreneur, technologist and actor.

He’s co-founded two online-learning companies: Idapted, a VC-funded, China based distributed learning platform and Virtual FlashCards, a very early memorization system that he grew to 1M users in the early days of the internet. He is a partner at Brainpage, a big data technology company in Beijing and co-founder of Spire, a new digital health venture.  He has also been invited to speak on the topics of innovation, technology and education at major conferences in the U.S. and China (including SD2C, China’s largest software development conference, Pearson’s global summit on technology in education, the British Council’s symposium on education, etc).

A trained actor, Jonathan was a founder and director of Beijing Improv; growing the organization into the largest improv theater group in Asia and training thousands of people in improv theater skills.  He has performed on stage over 50 times in the U.S. and China and lead nearly 150 improv workshops. Most recently, he was a principle actor in a multi-million USD musical theater production that toured China.

Ms. Li Ding

Ms. Li Ding is the Vice President of NPI – one of the leading NGO supporting organizations in China since May, 2008. She is in charge of NPI PR & Communication Dept, and R&D center, responsible for New Program development including Social Entrepreneurs Institute, Venture Philanthropy Fund and Social Innovation Park etc,. Ms. Ding has more than 11 years of working experiences in multi-national companies and over 8 years in China’s emerging Third Sector. From 2009 to 2012, she is one of Chinese trainers for Social Entrepreneurship skills training program organized by British Council.

From Apr 2005 to Apr 2008, she was working for Conservation International China Program as Business Partnerships Program Officer in charge of engaging top enterprises towards eco-friendly business operation and direct investment on conservation programs. Before that, Ms. Ding Li was working for Unilever China as Marketing Controller for 2 years; she also served as Senior Product Manager and Brand Manager for L’Oreal China and Danone Group.

Ms. Ding is the member of Committee of the Pudong New District People’s Political Consultative Conference of Shanghai. She also serves as a member of the Global agenda council on Social Innovation established by World Economic Forum.

Amethyst (Amy) Wytiu

Amethyst (Amy) Wytiu co-founded and is currently the Chief Operations Officer of Next Step China, a growing education management and consultation business focused on providing a worry-free experience for individuals who want to study, intern or teach in China. Since the beginning of Next Step China, Amy has been focused on operations management, customer service and human resource management. She has been focused on improving recruitment processes, daily office operations and training for the staff members of the growing company.  She has also been involved in building on the service packages and products that are currently under Next Step China.

Aside from Next Step China, Amy has had a keen interest in training and has been invited to provide talks in the Philippines in managing a diverse office environment and doing business in China.

Prior to building Next Step China in China, Amy worked in the section commercial of the Mexican Embassy, UN-Habitat, and in the United Nations Development Programme in Manila. Majority of her previous experience in international development has been in events and conference coordination, monitoring and evaluation, donor management and building relationships between local and international partners in the public and private sectors.

Amy grew up in the Philippines and completed a bachelor degree in Marketing Management in De La Salle University Manila and her master degree in public management in Ateneo de Manila University.

Hua Dan people

Luo Jinqiang