Blue Pioneer

Blue Pioneer Program
Cultivating Social Entrepreneurship for China’s Blue Sustainability

Thanks to Paradise International Foundation, David & Lucile Packard Foundation and Yintai Foundation, Blue Pioneer Program (BPP) is here for all young Chinese talents who are passionate in creating the future world for China’s blue economy.

We, China Blue, are very proud to be part of this great initiative. Our founder and executive director, Ms Han Han, has helped bring the idea to life and shared her experience of founding China Blue at the guest lecture of the first training session of BPP in December 2016. She will continue serving as an advisor to the BPP. Meanwhile, China Blue helps recommend the best talents for admission to the program.

Han Han, Founder and Executive Director of China Blue, sharing her experience of founding China Blue at the guest lecture in the first training session of BPP in December 2016

China Blue’s Program Director, Tracy Yun (right), attending the first training session

The Paradise International Foundation, co-founded by several prominent Chinese entrepreneurs including Jack Ma, the president of Alibaba, in partnership with the United States-based David and Lucile Packard Foundation and China’s Yintai Foundation, has established the Blue Pioneer Program to identify and train the new leaders of China’s blue economy. The Blue Pioneer Program will enable young leaders to take effective action to build the corporations, nonprofits and social enterprises that can successfully solve the sustainability and economic challenges that China faces in and around its oceans, coasts, fisheries and aquaculture sectors.

Students participating in the Blue Pioneer Program will gain essential training and knowledge that will enable them to:

  • Launch and grow “social enterprises” related to the oceans. (A social enterprise is a business created to advance a social or environmental goal)
  • Launch and grow non-governmental organizations (NGO) related to the oceans
  • Be part of the senior management team of a blue economy NGO or social enterprise
  • Be part of the senior management team of a company focused on the oceans

China’s blue economy will play a central role in the country’s 21st Century development. China’s coastal provinces, with just 14% of its land area, have half the population of the country and two-thirds of the economic activity. The oceans are a major source of food production and a major source of employment and economic activity. In the coming decade, China’s maritime economy is expected to achieve a growth rate nearly twice that of other sectors.

This growth is challenged because China’s coasts and oceans face mounting pressures and threats. More than half of China’s fisheries are overharvested and depleted. More than 60% of China’s coastal wetlands have been lost to development. And, pollution carried by rivers to China’s coasts produces vast
“dead zones” and contaminates seafood produced in the rapidly growing coastal aquaculture industry.

The complex economic, environmental and social issues around our oceans require business acumen and leadership to provide sustainable change. Over the next two decades, there will be a tremendous need for leaders and entrepreneurs who can build organizations that innovate to solve these challenges facing China’s blue economy and who can create businesses that can provide sustainable economic, social and environmental benefits from China’s marine resources.

Monica Jain from Fish2.0 teaching the Starting and Investing in Impact Ventures, a course jointly developed by Yuwei Shi from Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) and Monica for BPP in December, 2016

Students accepted into the Blue Pioneer Program will be invited to participate in several unique opportunities. This will include the chance to:

  • Travel to San Francisco, California to participate in a two-week international study course on social enterprise, impact investing and the oceans. The course will be taught at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies.
  • Be placed into an internship in an enterprise focused on solving challenges and growing innovations in oceans, fisheries, aquaculture or coastal management.
  • Participate in a competition organized by the Paradise Foundation to win two RMB 325,000 awards towards the launch of a new social enterprise or non-governmental organization that can create change for the Blue Economy.

Students applying for the program should demonstrate:

  • Enthusiasm for working on coastal, oceans, fisheries or aquaculture issues;
  • Interest in working for, or establishing, an organization that can create change in China’s oceans or coasts;
  • Strong proficiency in English (spoken and written).

No prior experience in working with oceans issues is required. There is no cost for the program. Students admitted into the program will be provided with financial support for travel and other costs.

BPP candidates presenting their ‘Pitch’ at the first training session

Group discussion by BPP candidates at the first training session

At present, the BPP is in a discussion with renowned university in China for collaboration. It is expected to have an updated application and training plan in the coming spring. Please stay posted.