Marco Polo Project alumni include all of our former board members and volunteers. Comes and work with us to experience the thrill of the Marco Polo community – and live forever on this alumni page.
First phase – January – June 2011: the first steps
These people helped Marco Polo Project turn from just an idea in someone’s head into an existing embryo – a working organisation, with a working website.
Web team: Ray Tsai (information architecture), Dan Miao (web team coordinator), Mathieu Vendeville (graphic design), Harry Yan (main developer), Kevin Liu (developer), Alan Chen (developer), Philip Thiel (web writing, web policy advisor)
Editorial team: Eric Yan, Vivien Cheng
business and legal team: Aaron Zhang (business advice – China), Nghi Huyhn (business advice – Melbourne), Kartik Subramaniam (legal advice)
Second phase – September 2011-December 2012: creating a platform
These people revealed Marco Polo Project to the world, and brought us from the state of an embryo to a website with thousands of visits from all over the world.
Business team: Kevin Mangwiro (communications), Ali Aziz Muhammad (evaluation), Wenfei Tu (accounting and business systems), Linan Zhong (business development), Lily Lee (strategy and evaluation), Grace Yu (accounts)
Marketing and communications team: Ashley Lei, Sara Jaffery, Anna Liang, Lavender Kuang, Denice Wong, Yixuan Xu.
Editorial team: Simon Huang, Louise Liang, Lavender Kuang, Vicky Li, Lily Yan, Shuwen Liew, Amy Gao
Web team: Jason Zheng (rating system), Roy Gao (wordpress development), Pandu Setiawan (website migration), Guillaume Mauboussin (side-by-side translation interface)
Graphic design: Mathieu Vendeville (LCNAU poster design, logo)
Special advisory: We were privileged to receive special support from Donna Fiegert on marketing, Hayley Ward on engaging with institutions, Alex Gibson Fergus Ryan on social media strategy.
Third phase – January 2013 – August 2013: building the organisation
These people helped us grow into a visible, connected organisation – one supported by governments, and with solid internal systems.
Business, evaluation and legal: Jacqueline O’Donnell (grant writing), Rick Chen (crowd-funding), Donna Fiegert (internal comms and KPI development), Seeyan Lee and Jenny Wu (legal advice), David Fang (accounting advice), Syeeda Aziz (evaluation report), Alicia Monasso (recruitment), Ross Ensbey, Elle Brooker, Jay Sonn Tay and Sandra Qian (business systems), Samuel Taylor (everything from HR to corporate governance), Tessa Hillgrove & Gareth Durrant (evaluation models).
Editorial team: Sarah Gosper (translation catalyst), Mansi Zhao (‘Mansi’s corner’ editor), Chester Li (engagement with authors)
Social media advisers: Fergus Ryan (twitter), Madeline Snow (facebook), Paris Huang (weibo), Philip Thiel (crowd-funding campaign)
Events: Beate Stavik (‘all-you-can-translate’ event coordinator), Language Connection, particularly Di Yuan, Ben Injam, Ada Jia, Cyrus Leung and Isabella Lu (translation workshops)
Design and promotion: George Galanis (website re-branding), Glenn Stephenson (infographics, RSAnimate, fliers), Ron Killeen and Karen Pickering (RSAnimate voice over), Nghi Huyhn and Quick Chat Productions (film)
Fourth phase – September 2013 – December 2014: developing offline
During this period, Marco Polo Project turned into an international organisation, with presence in Australia, China, and the UK – and growing networks with arts and education institutions – as well as trialling new event formats
Events: Jodie Kinnersley (Marco Polo Journal draft), Gordon Douglas (Events coordination), Lincoln Daw (Melting Pot Stories), Hugh Douglas (Nanjing events), Sichao Zhou (Nanjing events), Lucy QianQian Lv (Melbourne Knowledge Week and Translators under Twelve event)
Media and partnership development: John-Paul Grima (media guru), Lawrence Quan (Chinese social media advisor), Jiahe Yu (Weibo manager / China outreach)
Editorial and education development: Tracy Wang (Editorial scout and research advisor), Jingzi Li (editorial contact and education advisor), Michael Zuo (event innovation design), Samuel Lar (Translation catalyst), Connie Bai (Translation challenge coordination), Lu Bai (Editing event design), Weitai Ting (Marco Polo Magazine chief editor), Duy Huyhn (Marco Polo Magazine graphics), Francis Beechinor (Reading Threads Series)
Business development: Tristan Tan (Business analysis), Eric Li (accounting)
Also, we would like to wish all our partners on the Marco Polo Festival, including the Melbourne Writers Festival, the Beijing Bookworm, and our festival co-director Hugh Davies.
Fifth phase – January 2015 – November 2016: pivoting the organisation
During this period, Marco Polo Project radically rethought its centre of gravity, away from the operations of a digital translation platform, and towards the development of a global community.
Chief editor: From January 2016 till December 2017, Michael Broughton determined the editorial line of the Marco Polo Magazine
Peer Lab 1.0: In 2016, Marco Polo Project launched the first version of ‘PeerLab’, an informal R&D unit exploring new forms of cross-cultural facilitation. The original PeerLab operated from New Dream English, and brought together five designers: Jack Greig, Julien Leyre, Lucy Qianqian Lv, Sandy McLeod and Michael Zuo.
Business development & advisory: Over the period, Marco Polo Project received strategic business advice from the founding team of the China Australia Millennial Project (Liu Yan, Andrea Myles, Vivien Sung, Rachel Walters, Aimee Zheng), as well as Pawan Lalwani, Peter Collins and Joslyn Ma. A team from the Melbourne Business School Practicum, over this period, showed the viability of developing a school program, consisting of Xiaodi Cheng, Zhang Xu, Junting Li and Wenzai Dai.
Special thanks goes to Eric Li, who conducted a complete audit of Marco Polo Project accounts since incorporation.
China support: Marco Polo Project maintained contacts with China primarily through support from John Paul Grima (Beijing) and Zoe Hatten (Shanghai).
Sixth phase – December 2016 – August 2018: a focus on education-design
During this period, Marco Polo Project established its centre of gravity in the development of offline events and more specifically the design of new forms of education.
Design for Diversity: We developed a new program for high school students at Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar, with support from international student coordinator Lisa Toomey, and additional input from VCE coordinator Philip Thiel.
Out of the Box: We developed a new program to help international students at university engage with the environment as a space of personal discovery and transformation. The program was designed in February 2017 as part of the Melbourne Business School Practicum by Yechen (Jennifer) Liu, Feifei Pei, Linhua Wang, with support from John Paul Grima and Wesa Chau. The program was further developed by Lucy Qianqian Lv, and piloted at Monash College with support from Sue Karzis and Jennifer Koster. Further developments were supported by Sam Shlansky and Isabella Mory.
Marco Polo rebranding and handbook: The Marco Polo Project went through an intense phase of redefinition, as part of a project supported by the Victorian Multicultural Commission. Brand narrative redefinition was led by Samuel Diaz from the School of Slow Media, who also advised on the development of the Marco Polo Handbook. Execution of the Handbook was coordinated by Lucy Lv, Bridie Allen and Kim Huang.
An extra special thanks goes to the people who joined our board in the course of development:
Anthony Verdi – our first donor and financial advisor
Seeyan Lee – who contributed precious legal advice
Fau-Zii Chan – our first IT development manager, who got the Marco Polo Project from a vision to a functioning platform
Ross Ensbey – our second IT development manager, who set up all IT processes and system to prepare us for growth.