Emily Ma

Emily Ma

Food Systems Lead

X, the moonshot factory

Mountain View, CA USA

Be curious and be awed by how amazing the world is. When we see the world through the lens of curiosity and awe, it’s so much more beautiful.


By Roadtrip Nation

Emily Ma


My road in life took a while to figure out.
I grew up in Canada.
Growing up, I faced a lot of cultural expectations from my family—as a girl, I was encouraged to stand back and support others rather than take the lead, which led to me becoming pretty shy.
As a high school student, I loved math, physics, and chemistry.
I moved to California for college and got my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Stanford University.
After college, I took a job with IDEO, a large innovation firm, and worked on engineering and design.
My journey continued through various other jobs, including working as a marketing manager, chief of staff, and lecturer.
When I found X, the moonshot factory, I knew the company would align well with my values—I started as the head of global operations and now work as the food systems lead.
Keep following my journey


Food Systems Lead

I launch moonshot technologies to make the world a better place.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Accomplishing Goals

Day to Day

I make myself a cup of rooibos tea at 6am and spend a few hours working through deep thinking work, reading and reviewing everything from the news and scientific papers to engineering documents from my colleagues. The bulk of my day afterwards, I’m either meeting with people in person or virtually, moving our work along, or when it gets really fun, I’m in the field digging through someone else’s trash to learn more about how we can prevent it!

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Go be audacious. Do something hard, something that you are going to get laughed at but you believe in enough that it doesn’t matter. Gandhi said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they get angry at you, and then you win.” Find ways to exercise courage—regardless of your moonshot, personal or professional, you have to develop your courage muscle!


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"I do not have what it takes to break through."

Challenges I Overcame

Cultural Expectations