We’d like to send a warm welcome to Uranbileg (Urnaa) Yondon who has recently joined ASI’s Members Network! Urnaa is a registered Professional Geoscientist in BC, Canada, with over 15 years of experience working as an Exploration Geophysicist and Geoscientist across Canada, Asia, and Australia. She possesses deep expertise in mineral exploration techniques, acquired through her work on the extensive Oyu-Tolgoi (OT) Copper-Gold mineral deposits in Mongolia and her combined geophysical and geological field experience at the Cadia Copper-Gold deposit in NSW, Australia.
Her most recent role was as a Geoscientist at the junior Canadian mineral exploration company Makara Mining Corp. Urnaa holds an MBA in Sustainable Innovation from the University of Victoria, Canada, and is currently a candidate for the Mineral Exploration Master’s Degree at the Colorado School of Mines. This pursuit aims further to enhance her skills in mineral exploration with modern technology.
Urnaa’s unique background, blending cultural and societal experiences, has driven her to integrate sustainability into the mining/mineral exploration industry. As a dedicated advocate for inclusivity and diversity, she volunteers as an inaugural board member for Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s (EGBC) newly established advocacy body, where she represents the voices of visible minorities in the industry, ensuring their perspectives are heard at decision-making levels. Additionally, Urnaa contributes to the Young Mining Professionals (YMP) Mongolia chapter. Through these efforts, Urnaa is laying the foundation for a more inclusive and diverse industry, creating opportunities for future generations.
We invited Urnaa to share her perspectives on sustainability, leadership, and climate action. Read the short interview below!
Q: Where do you draw hope from in the context of sustainability and climate action?
Urnaa Yondon: “We all know that climate change and urgent actions are critical for us today and in the future. I am optimistic that many different entrepreneurs and innovators are working in a wide range of fields to combat climate change. Climate change and many other wicked problems need multi-stakeholder collaboration to reach a possible solution. Covid was one of the great examples of that. In addition, to build a sustainable, socially inclusive, and equitable economy, we need to consider how we are doing around the UN 17 SDGs. Organizations and individuals, if we can put 17 SDGs at the center of our actions and whatever we do, we are one step closer to achieving the future we all want.”
Q: What does leadership mean to you?
Urnaa Yondon: “Leadership, to me, means embodying one’s principles in actions. True leadership isn’t defined by titles or financial gains; it’s about making a positive impact on others’ lives and contributing positively to the environment, community, and the planet. A genuine leader values traits like curiosity, empathy, and perseverance and remains committed to continuous learning. Embracing diversity, fostering inclusivity, and appreciating each team member’s contributions are crucial aspects of effective leadership. Leaders should be willing to confront challenges, accept failures, and learn from them with resilience. Honest inspiration and motivation, coupled with empathy, are essential qualities for a leader. To me, before taking action, it’s vital to visualize the type of leader one aspires to be, outlining personal leadership goals and values.”
Q: How do you see the role of leadership evolving as we transition to a low-carbon, socially- inclusive economy?
Urnaa Yondon: “I believe that leadership is evolving in the right direction, with leaders increasingly recognizing their social corporate responsibilities, which is a positive development. However, to see this positive impact reach wider circles (ripple effect), education becomes a key player. Leaders’ understanding about their role in contributing to a low-carbon, socially inclusive economy is crucial. Organizations like ASI play an essential role in encouraging the emergence of new leaders and existing leaders to support their needs. It’s inspiring to see more leaders prioritizing societal and environmental concerns as much, if not more, than profitability, demonstrating that doing good can also mean doing well.”
About ASI’s Members Network
ASI’s Members Network was born to support those wishing to steward sustainable change within their organizations. A place for person-to-person connection to help deepen our understanding of leadership mindsets, capacities, and practices that can help us steer the transition to a low-carbon, socially-inclusive future.
We recognize that for any meaningful change to happen, these discussions need to be a collective effort. That’s why we created the network – to connect sustainability professionals to a community of support so we can learn from one another and enact organizational change.