Mina Guli

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Mina Guli
Mina Guli
Mina Guli a Young Global Leader & Water Ambassador
Nationality Australian
Alma mater
Occupation CEO of Thirst

Mina Guli is an Australian businesswomen, active in the environmental sector.[1] She is CEO of Thirst.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Guli grew up in Mount Waverly, Melbourne. She went to the Presbyterian Ladies’ College in Melbourne, before acquiring degrees in Law and Science from Monash University as well as a Masters in Law from The University of Melbourne.[3] She completed the Global Leadership and Public Policy in the 21st Century course at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Early career[edit]

Guli ran Monash University’s Junior University Program (a program designed to show year 11 students the value of a University Degree) and then later the University’s Host Scheme – an orientation program for first year students.

With roles as president of various student clubs, including Fencing and Bushwalking (the largest club on campus), Guli went on to be elected as president of the Monash University Student Union.

As a lawyer in Melbourne at Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Guli was involved in privatization and infrastructure investment, including the sale and purchase of power, gas and transportation assets in Victoria. She then moved to the Sydney Futures Exchange, where she was involved in the development of new financial products, particularly the nascent creation of the first carbon markets.

Guli consequently joined law-firm Baker & McKenzie a climate change practice. She was asked to join the World Bank, subsequently developing the first carbon projects in China, India, Nepal and Indonesia, and structuring seven of the World Bank ’s carbon funds. Guli joined a boutique climate change investment fund in London, where she was responsible for their global procurement of assets, developing carbon projects worth more than US$2 billion.

Through her work in London, Guli met Tim Clissold, and together they founded Peony Capital, an environmental fund for Chinese companies. They established Peony’s offices in Beijing and developed some of the largest carbon projects in the world, in co-operation with Chinese power companies.[3][4]


Guli is the founder and CEO of Thirst. Thirst is a group promoting saving water by educating young people. Thirst launched on World Water Day 2012 with two education workshops of 1000 students each. It has conducted on campus education programs for more than 40,000 children in Chinese schools and universities, and 300,000 young people at workshops, events and music festivals. It has established 120 student clubs in 12 provinces across China, and created online communities in popular media.[5]

Other positions[edit]

Guli is the former deputy chairman of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Beijing, a strategic advisor to the Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy, a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Sustainable Consumption, a member of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders community, and a member of the Young Presidents Organisation.[6]


Guli was selected by Advance Australia as one of the 50 leading Australians in Asia and is the recipient of a Future Leadership Award from the Australia Davos Connection.[7][8]

In 2010 she was recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and in 2011 named as one of Australia’s “50 for the future”.[9]

7 Deserts Run[edit]

Mina's work with Thirst has ensured that to date, 250 million people in China have received the message about water scarcity. However, since water scarcity is a global issue, Mina felt that something big had to be done to capture the world's attention.

Mina's athletic career started after being told that she'll never be able to run again when she broke her back at age 22. Mina has since successfully completed several Ironman events, and also finished the gruelling Marathon Des Sables, a 6-day, 251 km ultramarathon across the Sahara desert in 2013 (here is her race video) and the RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014, a 6-day 250 km ultramarathon across Madagascar, in 2014 (watch her race video here)

With her background in ultramarathons, Mina decided that she will run across a desert on each of the seven continents, in 7 weeks. As such the 7 Deserts Run was born. 7 Deserts Run will start on 1 February 2016 and will end on 22 March 2016, which is World Water Day.

The itinerary is as follows:

  • Tabernas, Spain: 1 February 2016
  • Arabian, Jordan: 7 February 2016
  • Antarctica: 14 February 2016
  • Simpson, Australia: 24 February 2016
  • Richtersveld, South Africa: 3 March 2016
  • Atacama, Chile: 11 March 2016
  • Mojave, USA: 17 March 2016

To complete all 7 desert runs, in 7 weeks, means that Mina will run a marathon per day for 5 days, on sand. Which leaves 2 days for travel to the next desert. This is a near formidable stunt, that has not been attempted before. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with #Run4Water.


  1. ^ World Economic Forum. "Young Global Leaders". The World Economic Forum. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  2. ^ Thirst. "Thirst: Who are we?". Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Young Global Leaders (2010). "Mina Guli: Profile". The World Economic Forum. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  4. ^ Peony Capital, Senior Management. "Mina Guli". Peony Capital. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  5. ^ Thirst. "Who are we? Mina Guli". Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  6. ^ The Australian Chamber of Commerce, Beijing. "Board of Directors". The Australian Chamber of Commerce, Beijing. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  7. ^ Young Global Leaders (2010). "Young Global Leader Profile: Mina Guli". The World Economic Forum. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  8. ^ The Australian Davos Connection. "Australian Leadership Awards 2009". The Australian Davos Connection Forum. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  9. ^ Young Global Leader Profiles (2010). "Young Global Leader Profile: Mina Guli". The World Economic Forum. Retrieved 26 April 2012.