Climate Change

Can Vegan Spam Change the Way Asia Eats?

September 24, 2020  • Aspen Ideas Now

To help combat climate change, one entrepreneur is working to shift mindsets and change behavior around the way people eat.

David Yeung is a Hong Kong-based entrepreneur whose mission is to disrupt China’s pork industry and grow demand for sustainable food in Asia. In 2012, he launched Green Monday Group, which has been called the Beyond Meat of Asia. Yeung talks with Maya Chorengel, co-managing partner at The Rise Fund, a $5 billion global impact fund managed by TPG, about shifting mindsets and changing behavior. The Rise Fund led a $70 million funding for Green Monday Group that was announced during Climate Week — an annual summit of international leaders that takes place alongside the UN General Assembly to showcase global climate action. Aspen Ideas Now is underwritten by The Rise Fund.

About the Speakers

David Yeung is the Founder & CEO of Green Monday Group, a multi-faceted social venture with the mission to take on the world’s most pressing crises of climate change, food insecurity and public health. With the global sustainability movement initiated by Green Monday Foundation, the revolutionary food technology innovation in OmniFoods and OmniPork, the market-transforming plant-based retail, dining and distribution network in Green Common, and the impact investment arm in Green Monday Ventures, Mr. Yeung has pioneered a one-of-a-kind integrated platform that engages and empowers millions of people, along with public and private sectors, towards green awareness, action and economy. His work earns him the award of “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” by the World Economic Forum and Schwab Foundation. Other honors and recognitions include “Roddenberry Prize”, “Cathay ChangeMakers 2020”, “Company of the Year 2019” by PETA Asia, “Ten Outstanding Young Persons Hong Kong” and “50 Most Innovative Companies” by Fast Company.

As a noted environmentalist and entrepreneur, Mr. Yeung has spoken at the World Economic Forum, Milken Institute Summit, TEDx, as well as financial and academic institutions such as UBS and UCLA. International media coverage of Green Monday and Mr. Yeung includes BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, Nikkei Asian Review and Reuters.

Mr. Yeung is a graduate of Columbia University, an Ashoka Fellow and the author of a number of best-selling books on Zen wisdom and mindfulness.

Maya Chorengel is a Co-Managing Partner at The Rise Fund, the world’s largest, global impact platform committed to achieving measurable, positive social and environmental outcomes alongside competitive financial returns. Founded by TPG in partnership with Bono and Jeff Skoll, and with more than $5 billion in assets under management, Rise invests in growth-stage, high potential, mission-driven companies that have the power to change the world. A longtime impact, private equity and venture capital investor, Maya also leads financial services and fintech investing for Rise globally and is a key architect of the fund’s impact methodology and assessment process. Prior to joining TPG, Maya was a co-founder of Elevar Equity, a leading impact venture capital firm with a track record of top quartile financial returns and meaningful impact on over 20 million low-income households in Asia and Latin America. Prior to Elevar, Maya was Managing Director of the Dignity Fund, a private investment fund focused on local currency debt financing for high-growth microfinance institutions globally. She began her investing career at Warburg Pincus in New York, Hong Kong and Menlo Park. Maya serves as a Director of SEO, EverFi, Varo, GloboKasNet, Nithio, and Kiva. She also serves on the Advisory Boards of CASE i3 at Duke University, the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative, and co-authored a Harvard Business Review article entitled “Calculating the Value of Impact Investing.” Maya earned an A.B. in Social Studies from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.