Songqiao Yao

HB1 on-board Logistics and Communications / Chinese outreach

Songqiao describes herself as an Earth-inspired explorer and educator. She brings interdisciplinary and cross-cultural experience as a researcher, activist and entrepreneur working on global environmental sustainability issues such as food, water, and climate change. Driven by her 9-year-old dream, she raised $20,000 dollars in 2015 through crowdfunding for an advocacy trip to Antarctica and started the 2048 project to educate children about climate change and Antarctic conservation. She started actively campaigning on environmental justice and climate change as a researcher and youth delegate at UN climate change conferences in 2010. She has facilitated multi-stakeholder dialogues and built partnership between China-US, China-EU and BASIC countries climate organisations. In 2012, she helped build the environmental NGO International Rivers’ China office and strengthened its program on river protection in China through extensive field research and policy publications. Her ethnographic research along the Nu/Salween river has won a National Geographic Global Explorer grant. As a social entrepreneur, she has co-founded a healthy snacks brand in Beijing and has initiated or consulted for agriculture and food security projects in Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. She graduated summa cum laude from Mount Holyoke College and was a Gates Cambridge Scholar focusing on China’s role in the Arctic. She recently finished her MBA at University of Oxford as a Skoll Scholar.