Zhu Qing is a social entrepreneur whose business, Pumbaa Eco, promotes sustainable investment and the concept of positive peace in China and around the world.
He has also served as an assistant researcher for The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Chair of Peace Studies and hopes to increase the development of peace studies in China by promoting academic exchanges between China and other countries.
Zhu Qing decided to become an environmentalist after getting his Bachelor’s degree in 2013. While researching different development models, he saw a disconnect between economy, nature, and people’s mindsets and became curious about whether more peaceful and inclusive models of development were possible.
This led him to study peace.
“Peace studies helped me rebuild my mindset about the mainstream development model, how we use different power structures, and how I can become an advocate and work with international organizations,” he said. “More importantly, I liked the idea that we can build a strategic path toward a more dignified and inclusive society.”
At the Kroc Institute, he enjoyed the opportunity to explore new worldviews and learn about the practical experience of his classmates. It was also thanks to his six-month peacebuilding internship with ACT! Nairobi in Kenya that he decided to launch his social enterprise. After graduation, he returned to Nairobi for another six months to help strengthen connections between investors in Kenya and China.
“During my internship, I realized that there was a huge digital gap between Africa and the more developed world, and there was also a very high unemployment rate in Kenya,” Zhu Qing said. “According to the report data of McKinsey Consulting, there were more than 10,000 Chinese companies investing in Africa, but they often lack attention and investment in corporate social responsibilities such as environmental protection and labor rights.”
Zhu Qing started his company in an effort to help Chinese investors make more sustainable investments overseas and also to connect international organizations and people on the ground impacted by those investments with companies in China.
Zhu Qing developed a model that connected researchers, NGOs, locals, and investors in an effort to create a healthier business culture and cultivate peacebuilding and respect for local traditions and histories. Pumbaa Eco consults with organizations in China and helps them build bridges in regions and countries where they invest. It also facilitates the work of international enterprises that want to work in China.
Pumbaa Eco is developing two other projects to promote peace and sustainability: a Peace Forum created in a partnership with UNESCO and establishing an international volunteer center in China that is set to open in March 2022. The volunteer center will help to support international volunteers interested in working in China, as well as Chinese youth interested in service work abroad.
“We are trying to build a culture of positive peace in China,”said Zhu Qing.
He also emphasizes that his company's focus on amplifying local voices grew out of his studies at the Kroc Institute. They are creating a narrative project called Africa True Stories that allows people to share their experiences and have them translated into Chinese to share with Chinese investment groups who are working in the region.
“Through storytelling, we build trust between our team and local partners as we give them space to speak about themselves,” Zhu Qing said.