In 2002, I abandoned my career as an investment lawyer in Beijing, and headed west. I was looking for Shangri-la.

Actually, I was searching for the root of Chinese culture then being bulldozed into oblivion by greed.

I never found Shangri-la. But along the way I met many people of different ethnic backgrounds determined to protect their culture and environment. In many ways they were creating their own Shangri-la.

They established micro-businesses to sustain culture and protect their own ethnicity. The concept of social enterprise arose from their experiences. Inspired by them, in 2005 I moved to Lhasa and established Shambhala Serai, a social enterprise that protects heritage architecture, and supports medical, education, and nomadic outreach programs.