Marco Polo Project
We bring cultures together



We build global and local networks to change systems, models and narratives

In our time of growing uncertainty, the world lacks common cultural practices to create a better future. We want to see a world where people are ready and able to learn from others and explore new insights with them. Our mission is to create intercultural spaces where globally connected people learn and explore collectively.

We know that deep change occurs only by acting both on individuals and systems, and we know that local and global actions need to be taken in parallel. A core part of our work has therefore been to develop partnerships with aligned institutions, around the world and locally in Melbourne. This has allowed us to better understand the challenge that Marco Polo Project is aiming to addressing, and create a global network to support our action.

Since 2011, we have been fortunate to work with a range of cutting-edge organisations - universities, schools, festivals and community groups, in Australia, China, Europe and the ASEAN region. Our key partners and supporters are listed below. We are consistently looking for new partnerships with organisations sharing the same values and mission. If you believe that we might do something great together - if you have a program that you would like us to know of - or if you would simply like to say hello, please contact, or send us a note through our contact form.




Melbourne University - Faculty of Business and Economic

Since 2016, we have been hosting practicum graduate students from Melbourne Business School. In 2017, a team from Melbourne Business School helped us design one of our flagship programs, Out of the Box.

Monash University - Centre for Translation and Interpretation

Since 2014, we have run a number of workshops, seminars and professional development courses in partnership with Monash University on collaborative translation and translation in the context of technological change.


RMIT University

RMIT is a global university of technology and design and Australia's largest tertiary institution. We took part in the 'Writing and Concepts' talk series organised by RMIT in August 2017, offering a presentation on 'Looking for Common Ground'.


La Trobe University

La Trobe University was a key partner in the Marco Polo Festival of Digital Literature, and invited us to present the Marco Polo translation model at a range of conferences and events.

Sydney Ideas

In 2014, we delivered a lectured as part of the Sydney Ideas program under the title ‘A Journey through Digital China’. The lecture is available here

Language And Cultures Network for Australian Universities

We presented the Marco Polo Project at the first LCNAU conference in 2011, and have since been presenting various iterations of our work at all successive conferences.


Paris Sorbonne University

In 2016, we were invited to run a guest session as part of the Masters of Cultural Management at Paris-IV Sorbonne University on the topic of global cultural collaboration.

School of Oriental and African Studies

SOAS University of London is the only Higher Education institution in Europe specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East. We ran a pilot collaborative translation event with SOAS as part of the 2014 Marco Polo Digital Literature Festival.


Raffles Institution

We conducted two collaborative translation events in 2016 with students in the International baccalaureate stream of Raffles Institution, Singapore.

Fudan High School

In 2015, we ran a half-day translation event involving 90 students enrolled in the International Baccalaureate stream of Fudan High School, in partnership with Shanghai’s leading storytelling and innovation workshop, China30s.

Ivanhoe Girls' Grammar School

In 2017, we partnered with Ivanhoe Girls Grammar School for the first pilot of our flagship program, Design for Diversity. We conducted a further pilot in 2018, and are currently partnering with Ivanhoe Girls' Grammar School for the first pilot of Froj'

Richmond West Primary School

In 2014 and 2015, we ran collaborative translation events with grade 4, 5 and 6 bilingual (Mandarin-English) classes at Richmond West Primary School.

Other educational institutions

Monash College

We partnered with Monash College in 2017-2018 to develop the first pilots of our Out of the Box program.

New Dream English

New Dream English have been supporting our work since 2015. Founder Michael Zuo is a founding member of Marco Polo Peer-Lab, and New Dream English has hosted a range of experimental pilots for emerging projects conducted under Marco Polo Project.

Design for Social Impact Leadership

We contributed a virtual classroom on the art of storytelling to the 2016 DSIL course program.

School of Slow Media

In 2017, we partnered with the School of Slow Media, contributing to the design and delivery of 'Remix Manila', an experiential program in human-centered storytelling.

Jump! Foundation

The mission of Jump Foundation is to Empower Global Citizens through Experiential Education. We contributed to Jump Foundation Australian global citizenship program, offering a day of training to their associate Ivanhoe Grammar on engaging with international students

Level Up English

Level Up English is an English language school based in the heart of the Melbourne CBD. From 2016-2018, Level Up English hosted the Marco Polo Translation Club

Government supporters

Australia China Council

The Australia China Council was a key supporter of the 2014 Marco Polo Festival of Digital Literature.

Victorian Multicultural Commission

Victorian Multicultural Commission supported the Marco Polo Festival of Digital Literature, Marco Polo Manual and Marco Polo Peer-Lab.


City of Melbourne

The City of Melbourne has been our longest standing supporter. A range of projects, from Translation Club to Out of the Box, have been made possible through City of Melbourne Community grants.

City of Yarra

The City of Yarra supported the organisation of collaborative translation events with Richmond West Primary School in 2016.

Festivals & cultural institutions

Melbourne Writers Festival

In 2014, we partnered with Melbourne Writers Festival to run the first Marco Polo Festival of Digital Literature – exploring how readers, writers and translators in Australia and China have made use of digital tools for their engagement with the written word.

Writers Victoria

In 2016, we organised a full day event as part of the Melbourne Chinese Writers Festival, co-organised by Writers Victoria.

Melbourne Knowledge Week

In 2014, 2015 and 2016, we contributed workshops to Melbourne Knowledge week, on ‘Language as a form of knowledge’, ‘Mapping language and culture’ and ‘For a China ready knowledge economy’.


Bastille Day Festival / Melbourne French consulate

We facilitated a workshop on behalf of the French consulate in Melbourne to re-calibrate French language education in Victoria, and presented a conference at the 2017 Bastille Day Festival on 'the future of language education.

The China Story

The China Story Project is a web-based account of contemporary China created by the Australian Centre on China in the World (CIW) in the College of Asia & the Pacific at The Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. We contributed articles to the 'Think China' section of The China Story website.


Danwei Media

n 2012-2013, we contributed a weekly review of the Chinese blogosphere on Danwei under the title ‘1510 digest’. Danwei has since ceased publishing, and been reborn as the remarkable 'SupChina'.

Beijing Bookworm

In 2014, we partnered with the Beijing Bookworm on the first Marco Polo Festival of Digital Literature – bringing together readers, writers and translators from Australia and China who embraced new digital tools as part of their practice.


Books Actually

We organised a collaborative translation event with Books Actually as part of the 2015 Singapore Writers Festival, in the wake of the Marco Polo Festival of Digital Literature. The event was praised as one of the first that brought together local Chinese- and English-language writers in a mutually fruitful conversation.

China 30s

China30s run Shanghai’s leading storytelling and non-fiction workshops. Our magazine has republished a large number of their interviews with young Chinese innovators, and we partnered with them on a major translation event at Fudan High School in 2015.

Peril Magazine

Peril Magazine is is an online magazine focused on issues of Asian-Australian arts and culture. Peril published a piece from Marco Polo Project on Translating Asian Voices in Australia, took part in the 2014 Marco Polo Festival, and later invited us to join their Docklands 'Renew Australia' office.

Chin Communications

Chin communications is a leading translation and interpreting Chinese-English agency based in Melbourne. Chin supported the Marco Polo Festival of Digital literature - offering a memorable interpretation of our 'City-to-City Beijing' session with Melbourne Writers Festival. Chin founder Charles Qin was a keynote speaker at our Melbourne Knowledge Week 'Marco Polo Marathon'.


During the 2014 Marco Polo Festival of Digital Literature, we organised joint translation events with Yeeyan, China’s #1 crowdsourced/ community translation website.

Community organisations


Foundation for Young Australians

The Foundation for Young Australians has been supporting Marco Polo Project by offering office space on their Asia Desk, and more recently hosting the weekly Marco Polo Translation Club Melbourne


Asia Education Foundation

Asia Education Foundation (AEF) supports educators and school communities to develop Asia capable young Australians. We have supported the AEF ambassador program by delivering storytelling sessions in high schools and primary schools.

Australia-China Youth Association

ACYA has been a long-standing partner of Marco Polo Project, supporting the organisation of workshops and pilot events at Melbourne and Monash university, featuring us at their Sydney Home event, and supporting our engagement with young people.

Language Connection

Since the start of our operations, we have collaborated closely with Language Connection, Melbourne’s #1 community organisation for language exchange. Areas of collaboration include joint events and facilitator training.

Technology & innovation


We used Pozible on two occasions to raise funding for our web upgrade and events. Pozible has been a long-term supporter of Marco Polo Project. Pozible hosted the Marco Polo team in the lead up to the Marco Polo Festival of Digital Literature, and Pozible co-founder Rick Chen appeared on panels at events that we organised.


italki is an online language learning website which connects language learners and teachers through video chat. Marco Polo Project took part in the 2016 Language Conference organised by Italki with NYU Shanghai.


Hacking Chinese

Hacking Chinese is dedicated to unveiling the mysteries of learning a language in general and about learning Chinese in particular. We contributed guest posts to Hacking Chinese on the role of translation for language learning, and ran a joint 'Translation Challenge'.

Clavis Sinica

The Clavis Sinica software was developed by a faculty member at the University of Michigan as a supplementary learning tool for English-speaking students of the Chinese language. We contributed content to a Clavis Sinica reading App for high intermediate / advanced learners.

Fab9 Makerspace

FAB9 is a makerspace, that provide tools, technology, and training for anyone interested in making. We developed and ran a team-building exercise for the Fab9 core team, and worked alongside them through 2016-2017 at the Footscray Dream Factory building

York Butter Factory

The York Butter Factory is Australia's centre of technological innovation since 2011. York Butter Factory graciously hosted our very first 2013 'All you can translate' event in their Melbourne bluestone space.

Hub Melbourne

We were supported by Hub Melbourne through the early years of our growth, with a sponsored co-working space in 2012-2013. Marco Polo Project contributed a global perspective to the Hub Melbourne community, and organised community events on language education.

Electron Workshop

Electron workshop graciously hosted the Marco Polo team in their North Melbourne offices in the months leading up to the 2014 Marco Polo Festival.


China Australia Millennial Project (CAMP)

Marco Polo Project founder coordinated recruitment and summit operations for the first CAMP Sydney summit in 2015, and Marco Polo Project supported CAMP through referrals and a joint Hackathon in 2016 as part of Melbourne Knowledge Week - For a China-ready knowledge economy


Serversaurus provides exceptional hosting services for Australian-based organisations. Serversaurus has been looking after the Marco Polo Project backend files and avoiding us many headaches since 2014.

Global Challenges Foundation

The Global Challenges Foundation's objective is to contribute to minimising, preferably eliminating, the major global threats to humanity. We ran a workshop on the art of editing with the Global Challenges Foundation, and our founder/CEO has worked with them as editor-in-chief since 2016.


MiVote is a democracy start-up, incubated through the Centre for the Future, that plans to use the internet and mobile devices for voters to set the direction of their country. MiVote hosted the development of the Switch-On Project through the early design and prototyping phase..