Mina Guli is a global leader, entrepreneur, and adventurer. As the founder and CEO of Thirst, Mina is committed to making a difference in the world. Following a successful 15-year career in law, finance, and climate change, Mina established Thirst – a 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.
Athlete: Mina is 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.
Awards & Recognition: In recognition of her incredible achievements, Mina received YPO Global Impact and Innovation Awards and 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 alongside Angela Merkel, Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos, and the Pope as one of the 50 greatest leaders in the world.
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.
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.
Mina is currently recovering, mobilizing for change, and planning her next expedition.