Mina Guli

Founder and Chief Water Advocate, Thirst

The founder and CEO of Thirst, Mina is a global leader, entrepreneur and adventurer
committed to making a difference in the world. Following a successful 15-year career in
law, finance and climate change, Mina established Thirst – a YGL initiative non-profit changing the way we think about water.

Since its launch in 2012, Thirst has educated more than 2million students in China, trended
on Chinese Twitter, set a Guinness World Record, run innovation competitions with the
participation of over 700,000 students and now works with thousands of qualified
volunteers and schools across China with the support of the Chinese Government.

Mina is also a keen ultra-distance athlete, having started running only at the age of 22 after
a severe injury. She runs to raise awareness and inspire action around the global water
crisis and in doing so, has set three world firsts. In 2016 in just 7 weeks, Mina ran 40
marathons across 7 deserts on 7 continents, including Antarctica – a continent that left an
indelible impression on her for its critical role in the water cycle. In 2017, Mina ran 40
marathons in 40 days on 6 continents down 6 of the World’s great rivers – to promote the
UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6 (water). Along each of her routes, Mina interviews
local people and water experts, putting together a real and very visual representation of the
water crisis we are facing. Currently available in short film format, Mina and the team are
documenting these stories so they are accessible to the millennial generation. Incredible
journeys whose messages about water have reached over 5 billion people.

Concerned about the pace of change, in 2018, Mina started #RunningDry – a campaign
involving her running 100 marathons in 100 days for 1 reason – to make saving water so
famous it’s not just the right thing to do, but the only thing to do. After breaking her leg at
marathon 62, thousands of people in more than 160 cities in over 50 countries and
territories rallied in support, donating their miles and collectively building #RunningDry into
a global movement for change.

Mina is a highly acclaimed public speaker and frequent media commentator, featuring in
hundreds of national and global newspapers, magazines and television programs around
the world including the New York Times, Fox, CBS, CNN, BBC, ITV, ABC, Guardian,
Forbes, Fortune, CCTV, Al Arabiya and has spoken at the UN on several occasions.

She is an advisor to the Chinese Government’s sustainability program, on the Academy for
the US$1miillion Global Teachers Prize, a Board Member for the Global Water Partnership
and a member of the inaugural board of the Antarctic Science Foundation.

In recognition of her incredible achievements, Mina received both YPO Global Impact and
Innovation Awards, was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum,
one of Australia’s most influential women, a “Global Visionary” by UBS and by Fortune
Magazine in 2016 as one of the 50 greatest leaders in the world.

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