By Erik Crouch.
Ma Jun portrait courtesy of Fast Company
Back in 2006, Ma Jun earned slot #92 in TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. The piece, written by American film star Edward Norton, highlights the importance of Ma Jun’s 1999 book China’s Water Crisis. This year Ma is back, ranking #69 on Foreign Policy’s 100 Top Global Thinkers.
Since winning Time’s recognition six years ago, Ma has founded Beijing’s Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, an environmental watchdog and consultancy group that has exposed more than 90,000 corporate environmental violations since 2006. Ma and his colleagues now work with corporations such as Wal-Mart, Nike, GE, Coca Cola, Sony, and Levis to assure their environmental credentials are up to par.
China undoubtedly has its ecological struggles ahead, but according to Foreign Policy, Ma and his institute have “given statistical ammunition to Chinese citizens trying to nudge the Communist Party into cleaning up its act.” In the meantime, check out Ma’s terrifyingly well written description of China’s environmental challenges at in A Dream of Blue Skies on China Dialogue.