Water pollution is a serious issue in China, yet due to the often lack of visibility of pollution, the issue is frequently neglected by the public. MyH2O - Water Quality Mapping in China, founded by Vassar ’13 alum Xiaoyuan “Charlene” Ren in 2014, is aimed at tackling this problem exactly. Through developing a nationwide water testing network of well-trained young leaders and an interactive data and information visualization platform, MyH2O gives the public easy access to water info and help connect regions with water safety concerns to potential clean water solutions. With one of the first professional online crowdsourcing networks on drinking water quality, MyH2O aims to prompt water risk awareness, increase information transparency and motivate citizen solutions through independent reports of water quality.
The founder and director of MyH2O, Charlene Ren, received her B.A. in Physics from Vassar College in 2013 and founded MyH2O during her dual Masters study in Environmental Engineering and Technology & Policy at MIT. She joined China Youth Climate Action Network (CYCAN) in 2011, and has helped organize the annual International Youth Summit on Energy and Climate Change several times. In 2014, with the help of CYCAN and a class from MIT D-lab, she initiated MyH2O, and has since built a network of over 50 university water testing teams and collected over 2000 data across China.
Charlene, along with her organization MyH2O, recently received the 2016 Echoing Green Fellowship, making her one of 33 global innovators in the 2016 fellowship class. For nearly 30 years, Echoing Green has provided a launch pad for projects with a purpose. It has served as an early and important investor in the growing field of social entrepreneurship. Throughout its history, Echoing Green has invested more than $42 million in seed-stage funding and strategic assistance to over 700 world-class leaders driving positive social change in more than 70 countries.
As a Fellow, Charlene will become part of a select global network of leaders identified by Echoing Green as dramatic, scalable, and important to the progress of the world. Fellows will access a community of funders, investors, and entrepreneurs across issue areas, geographies, and disciplines.
During their first two years, Fellows receive up to $90,000, participate in leadership development gatherings, and will access the powerful network of Echoing Green Fellows, partners, and friends. Echoing Green’s Barclays Brain Trust Series, sponsored in part by Barclays, is a program of roundtable and mentorship opportunities for Fellows with leading professionals working in marketing, fundraising, business development, and technology. We continue to support our Fellow community long after their initial funding period with ongoing programs and opportunities at critical inflection points in their organizations or careers.