LaunchPad alum Edward Shao ‘19, founder of Project QRRestore, spoke this past week to over 3,000 people from 190+ countries at the One Young World 2022 Summit in Manchester. The topic was the Ocean Plenary and he shared the stage with our next generation of future world leaders.
“The importance of the ocean cannot be overstated. It’s the planet’s largest biosphere, hosting up to 80 per cent of all life on earth,” said Shao. “It generates 50 per cent of all the oxygen we breathe, and absorbs one quarter of all carbon dioxide emissions, essential for climate and weather regulation.”
Shao said he was very grateful for the opportunity of speaking on our mission at ProjectQRRestore, of bringing engineering-style marine restoration projects to the Caribbean and beyond and funding an industrial process to convert decomposing sargassum into fertilizer and renewable energy.
“Thank you to Beatrice Newbery and all my friends at AUDI AG and Audi Environmental Foundation for helping me reach the stage,” he added. “Much gratitude to Ronan Dunne for the warm introduction and encouragement before I took the stage. And one love to all my environmentalist friends all over the world, working to integrate indigenous knowledge with our 21st-century societies so we can leave a better world for our descendants.”
“Building our first underwater restoration cohort was a complete success. The focus for this cohort was the coral and marine ecosystem native to Cozumel and Mexico. We were able to assemble marine biologists, environmental activists, and scuba divers from all over Mexico into one team and get the team trained and certified in scuba diving, coral module maintenance and propagation, all underwater courtesy of our local affiliates and Sustainable Ocean Alliance.
“Down the road, as global tourism slumps due to geopolitics and sargassum choking the Caribbean, we see a need to reroute the scuba diving community towards project-managed paid restoration work, with sites, permits, and engineering-style contracts. There is no reason coastal restoration work as done by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cannot be duplicated in the Caribbean.”
Shao also thanked his team as well as mentors Lisa Maria Mai, Fernando Ayuso, Arnaud Guerimand, Eleonora Fusato, Kenneth Wasil, Michael Gerdes, Linda Dickerson Hartsock. He also recognized his Mayan and Mexican friends who were part of building the company.
Shao recently attended the New York 2022 Venture Capital World Summit, as well as being selected as a One Young World 2022 Delegate. He has written essays about marine conservation and restoration in ecosystems in the Caribbean and beyond.
A SUNY ESF graduate, he took many classes in Whitman’s EEE program and was an active member of the LaunchPad working on impact venture development initiatives in the Caribbean.
Learn more at www.projectqrrestore.com