Dr. Ashli Akins is a cultural ecologist, social entrepreneur and National Geographic Explorer, who is passionate about sustainable development and the revitalization of different cultures. For almost 2 decades, she has worked in collaboration with the Quechua communities of the Peruvian Andes, and in 2006, she founded Mosqoy, a charitable organization mitigating the adverse effects of unsustainable tourism in the region. Currently, Ashli works with UNESCO on the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development project, as well as on Ecotrust Canada's Indigenous Homelands initiative.
Ashli obtained her master’s degree in international human rights law from the University of Oxford and her doctorate in interdisciplinary studies from the University of British Columbia with support from the competitive Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. In 2019, she was named the University of Victoria’s Emerging Humanist of the Year and, in 2015, one of the university’s top 50 alumni to have made a difference in the world. Ashli is also a photographer and writer, using these art forms to educate others about human rights and environmental injustices. In her free time, she loves trekking, camping and rock-climbing, especially if it includes her Andean Mountain mutt Kuki.