Melinda Jacobs

Melinda is an entrepreneur and social innovator based in Taipei, Taiwan. Melinda has lived and worked in Denmark and Bangladesh – two global hot spots for social innovation – and has worked for Toronto-based social enterprise Social Capital Partners. Active in youth entrepreneurship, she has been on the founding team of three social organizations, and and has produced a documentary on Taiwanese political identity. Melinda recently graduated from The Next 36: Canada’s Entrepreneurial Institute, and the University of Toronto, Trinity College, where she studied International Relations.

Remi Kanji 

Remi will graduate from the University of Toronto, where she founded and organized the INDePth Conference on Sustainable Development and Just Rights Radio, two organizations pushing students to discuss causes of and solutions to socio-economic inequality. Over the course of her undergraduate degree, she completed ethnographic field research abroad in Indonesia, and has visited Taiwan as both a documentary filmmaker and researcher on the impact of popular film on nationalist sentiment. Check out her thesis project at

Zhiying Zhang 

Zhiying is currently an entrepreneurial researcher for Surge, a research driven, practice oriented platform for knowledge exchange in social innovation and social enterprise ( Surge acts as a consensus broker for building policy agendas and entrepreneurial ecosystems that create value in Taiwan and beyond.

A recent graduate of the University of Toronto, Zhiying Zhang majored in Asia Pacific Studies and Economics. Her earlier ventures include leading INDePth – an international conference on development, reporting news for Fairchild Television, being an editor of the academic journal, Passages, as well as serving as a Peer Mentor at the Department of Economics, University of Toronto. Having lived and worked in mainland China, Korea, and Canada, Zhiying continues her exploration in Taiwan – pursuing opportunities beyond resources controlled.


Aaron Wytze Wilson

Aaron Wytze Wilson has lived and worked extensively in Asia, and has called the cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, and Yokohama home at one time or another. While living in China, Aaron bases himself in Xiamen, Fujian province on the mainland side of the Taiwan-strait.

Coming from an extended family of human-rights workers, mental-health professionals, social workers, long-term care providers, and public health professionals, he has always been passionate about researching and learning about innovative and creative ways to alleviate poverty, and is delighted to join the Social Innovation Research Group as one of their new field researchers.

Before returning to University in 2008, Aaron enjoyed a successful career as a trainer, manager, and educator in the telecommunications and education industries in both Canada and China. He is a graduate from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Honours Arts in Political Science and Asia-Pacific Studies, and previously studied Mandarin Chinese at Tsinghua University in Beijing. He is the founder of the University of Toronto’s Pan-Asia Student Society, a group that strives to strengthen student’s understanding towards contemporary Asia from a global perspective. He has been the recipient of the Dr. David Chu Scholarship in Asia-Pacific Studies, and the Dr. David Chu Student Leadership Award.



Wendy Pan

Wendy is one of the first U of T student delegates to visit Taiwan in 2009. She was selected as a finalist to present a business plan to venture capitalist in Hong Kong Poly U Entrepreneurship Challenge. After graduation, Wendy worked as a business analyst for a large company, and later for a private-equity funded star-up in the U.S.. She volunteers for SCORE- “advisor for America’s small business” and is one of the youngest financial instructors for underprivileged women in Houston.

Reza Mirza 

Reza is a strategist who has presented a policy paper to Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a digital strategy to Toys ‘R’ Us; a project manager who coordinated development projects backed by the Kenyan government and a neuroscience researcher whose work has been funded by the National Science and Engineering Research Council. His interests lie technology, international development and intelligence work. He hopes to unite his interests identify and leverage technology to generate scalable social impact.


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