Claudia Li

Ashoka Fellow
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Fellow Since 2013


This profile was prepared when Claudia Li was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
Claudia is facilitating the inclusion and active participation of young members of one of the world’s largest cultural populations to become significant influencers in the global dialogue on environmentally sustainable consumption practices. She is challenging environmentally harmful practices by influencing the consumption behaviors of the Chinese-Canadian diaspora community, bringing to light contradictions between traditional Chinese values and some modern-day cultural practices. For example, Claudia has leveraged the culturally relevant practice of shark fin soup consumption and juxtaposed it with the traditional value of zero waste food consumption as a tangible gateway topic to introduce members of the Chinese diaspora into the larger conversation of sustainable consumption.

Claudia’s new idea hinges on mobilizing a critical mass of Chinese-descendent youth, actively engaged in, and informed about environmental issues. She has identified and mapped the gaps in typical arguments and campaigns supporting environmental awareness and sustainability, but which greatly deter the involvement of Chinese diaspora community members. Claudia’s response was to build the high profile platforms, linguistic foundations, and culturally empathic resources necessary yet previously scarce, to enable individuals from the Chinese diaspora to feel confident in shifting cultural practices, while still remaining aligned with traditional values.

Claudia seeks to make it easy for young people from the Chinese diaspora in Canada to become active participants and influencers in the global dialogue on environmental sustainability. Ultimately, she is equipping young members of the Chinese diaspora community in Canada, of which she is a part, with the tools, knowledge, and networks needed to uncompromisingly define themselves as changemakers.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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