Yangbo Du

General Partner, Sustainable Development Investment Finance Partnership for New York | US

Former academic turned entrepreneur

With made-in-New-York entrepreneurial spirit, Yangbo Du has been leading by example on partnerships towards sustainable development since the United Nations’ announcement of the Post-2015 Agenda to follow Millennium Development Goals. From 2005 through 2011, he conducted research on topics in energy and environmental policy covering biofuels, nuclear, and infrastructure in general. He is a trained economist with a degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a StartingBloc New York Social Innovation Fellow.

Since leaving academia, he has co-founded startups in international trade and development, digital media and online marketing, open data, financial technology, and related fields. His current focus is on integrating the tools of the Fourth Industrial Revolution — blockchain, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things — with governance to enable achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and follow-on goals through 2030 and beyond.

Connector of connectors, convener of conveners, facilitator of facilitators

Serving as the New York +SocialGood Connector with the Social Good Summit since 2013, Yangbo leaves no major economic sector or global city untouched when it comes to bringing people together. Ever since his first foray into online publishing as community manager with IDEAS Global Challenge, MIT’s in-house social innovation accelerator, he has been persevering in effort to close reinforcing loops of global online connectivity and local offline action. Always social with intention and conviction, he meets on average 50 new people in person each week and employs online social media primarily to augment such engagement — effectively someone in the same room without need for a travel budget.

Voice of the 9th of November generation

Those who try to put Yangbo into any proverbial boxes should expect immediate pushback, often in the form of a history lesson. In fact, the ‘9th of November’ in the heading is a reference to the date of the fall of the Berlin Wall, imagery reflecting both his formative years spanning the Cold War to Peace Dividend transition and his mission of chiselling away proverbial walls and silos to enable and impel fellow change makers. For him, there is no ‘ideal’ vision of the future, rather a future of continuous improvement in which everyone is making every next day better somewhere in the world.