Young Canadian Social Entrepreneur elected to the prestigious Global Ashoka Fellowship

Young Canadian Social Entrepreneur elected to the prestigious Global Ashoka Fellowship

Vancouver-based Claudia Li is recognized for innovations enabling ethnic Chinese youth in Canada to influence the global dialogue on environmental sustainability.

TORONTO, ON, April 1, 2014 – Ashoka Canada is pleased to announce the election of Claudia Li, founder of Shark Truth to the Global Ashoka Fellowship. Ashoka’s widely-recognized network accelerates the impact of social entrepreneurs worldwide. 

Li’s ground breaking work facilitates inclusion and active participation of ethnic Chinese youth — one of the world’s largest cultural populations — to become significant influencers in the global dialogue on environmental sustainability. 

In Canada the issue of shark fin consumption, of which Canadian-Chinese Diaspora are the largest consumers, has been controversial.  Attempts to deter shark fin consumption drew criticism from some within the Chinese diaspora community who viewed these measures as an attempt to vilify the Chinese cultural traditions within the media, and mainstream Canada.

Li, a member of the Canadian-Chinese community, works to reframe the entire issue, bringing to light contradictions between traditional Chinese values and modern-day cultural practices. Through Shark Truth, Li juxtaposes shark fin soup with the traditional values of zero waste food consumption as a topic that introduces members of the ethnic Chinese community into a larger dialogue about conservation and sustainable eating. 

Since Shark Truth’s launch in 2009, the consumption of over 80,000 bowls of shark fin soup has been stopped — translating to over 8,000 sharks saved.

Building on her success, Li is expanding to reach more members of the Canadian-Chinese diaspora, and other Chinese Diaspora communities worldwide. Her newly formed, internationally-focused hua foundation will encompass Shark Truth and additional a new program called The Choi Project to promote food literacy and citizenship.


"I'm honoured to be named an Ashoka Fellow and be a part of this network. Having support from one of the leading authorities on social change strengthens my work in building bridges across my communities to honour our cultural heritage as well as protect the planet.”

- Claudia Li, Ashoka Fellow


About Ashoka Canada

Ashoka identifies and supports people with innovative solutions to the most press social problems.  After an intensive selection process, Ashoka elects these leading social entrepreneurs, Ashoka Fellows into its global network of over 3,000 Fellows across 72 countries. This includes 49 Canadian Fellows that have been elected across Canada since 2002.  Ashoka’s global network provides Fellows with strategic support to scale their ideas, opportunities for collaboration, connection to a worldwide network of peers and partners, global recognition, and connections to financial support.