Who we are
The Young Global Leaders ® Community is an accelerator for a dynamic community of exceptional people with the vision, courage, and influence to drive positive change in the world.
Our growing membership of more than 1,400 members and alumni of 120 nationalities includes civic and business innovators, entrepreneurs, technology pioneers, educators, activists, artists, journalists, and more.
Aligned with the World Economic Forum’s mission, we seek to drive public-private co-operation in the global public interest. We are united by the belief that today’s pressing problems present an opportunity to build a better future across sectors and boundaries.
Discover how science and technology are being brought together to help those affected by paralysis walk.
Greenland Impact Expedition
Learn the story of YGLs who travelled to Greenland to observe first-hand the effects of climate change.
Explore the annual awards programme that celebrates, showcases and promotes circular economy innovation.
Discover a community of strategic philanthropists who use their resources to improve the health and rights of girls and women worldwide.
Kakuma Impact Expedition
Learn the story of YGLs who travelled to Kakuma in Kenya to help refugees gain access to the global economy.
Meet our members
Jesús "Chuy" Cepeda
Chuy uses blockchain to digitize government services and provide their citizens with a decentralized digital identity. He's a PhD in Artificial Intelligence, born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico.
As a technology entrepreneur and exponential technology enthusiast, he's been using Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence to create the future of the public sector, positioning OS City as one of the Top 100 Government Technology companies in the world.
For more information, https://jesus.os.city.
Venetia Bell is Group Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of Strategy at Gulf International Bank (GIB) where she has the overall responsibility for the bank’s sustainability efforts, providing strategic direction and developing a leading-edge ESG product suite. As Head of Strategy, she has overall responsibility for devising and implementing the company’s strategy for scaling and mobilizing capital in support of sustainable investment strategies. She is also responsible for governance and communication. Bell joined GIB from the Bank of England where she was Deputy to the Chief Operating Officer. In 2017, she was named one of Management Today’s 35 Women Under 35. She is an alumna of the Mentoring Foundation and a Fellow of the Forward Institute, and is a Certified Investment Fund Director and Trustee of two charities. Prior to GIB, Bell had several high-profile roles at the Bank of England, publishing a range of policy-focused research, playing an instrumental role in the BoE’s strategy and pushing the adoption of inclusion initiatives. She graduated with an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and an MA in Economics from the University of Cambridge.
Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of 54gene, a health technology company advancing the state of healthcare through large-scale discovery and translational research, advanced molecular diagnostics, and clinical programs for the benefit of Africans and the global population. He holds a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from the University of London, a Masters in human molecular genetics from Imperial College London, and a Masters in Business Management from Claremont Colleges, California. He also worked as a cancer researcher and published a seminal paper on pancreatic cancer immunology, Gastroenterology Journal. He has extensive experience operating in the US, UK, and Nigerian healthcare industries. Prior to 54gene, Dr. Ene-Obong worked with leading healthcare organizations, including Fortune 100 pharmaceutical companies, academic and research institutions, and governments as a management consultant with PwC and IQVIA (formerly QuintilesIMS). Founded in 2019, 54gene has made the Time Magazine list of 12 innovations that would change healthcare in the 2020s and has been listed by Nigeria’s Punch newspaper as 1 of 5 innovations that would improve healthcare for Africans. 54gene also made the Fast Company list of the world's Most Innovative Companies’ in 2020. It was also awarded the best health technology solution by AppsAfrica. Dr. Ene-Obong was listed as 1 of the 30 most innovative entrepreneurs on the African continent in 2019 by Quartz Africa. In September 2020, Dr. Ene-Obong was labelled a Nigerian hero in the fight against COVID-19, by a Nigerian newspaper, ThisDay. Dr. Ene-Obong is also included in Fortune’s 40 under 40 most influential people in healthcare for the year 2020.
Bhairavi is a fourth-generation entrepreneur, developmental enthusiast and an avid philanthropist. She is the Chairperson and Founder of IEF Entrepreneurship Foundation and Executive Director of SCA Group of Companies founded in 1896. SCA Group undertakes activities in supply chain and logistics sector.
Bhairavi has been listed as one of the 30 most Powerful Women in India by the India Today publication. She has been profiled as Stree Shakti (Woman Power) person by CNBC Awaaz and featured as a Young Turk by CNBC TV 18. She has been listed as one of the 10 women exemplars by the Hindustan Times and Business Today Magazine has featured her as the Supply Chain Maven.
Bhairavi is World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leader. She is a KBF Fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network of the Aspen Institute and a Responsible Leader of the BMW World Responsible Leaders Forum. She is a Member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the Business Honor Society, USA and is Past National Chairman, CII's Young Indians. She is a trustee of India@75 Foundation, Leap Foundation and Ananta Centre and serves on the Global Advisory Committee of Earth Day Network.
In the past decade Bhairavi has started, acquired, scaled up many ventures, most of them focused on supply chain and logistics. She is a firm believer in entrepreneurial ecosystems that create livelihood opportunities and dedicates a significant amount of her time, expertise and philanthropy for the cause. Bhairavi is a trained classical dancer and is passionate about the Arts. Co-creating sustainable livelihoods for communities in higher Himalayas is a mission close to her heart.
Jocelyn Formsma is the Executive Director of the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC). Ms. Formsma is a member of the Moose Cree First Nation in Northern Ontario, Canada. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Ottawa. Ms. Formsma has over 19 years of work and volunteer experience building strong relationships and advocacy on behalf of Indigenous peoples. She is called to the Bar of Ontario and has worked as a lawyer for a First Nations-owned law firm. Prior to this, she worked for numerous national Aboriginal organizations and First Nations organizations. In addition, Ms. Formsma serves as the Chairperson of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Board Member of the National Indian Child Welfare Association, Treasurer of the Indigenous Bar Association Board, Founder of the Morningstar Fund and is an Advisor to the Ontario Indigenous Youth Partnership Project. As Executive Director, Ms. Formsma brings her legal training and passion for Access to Justice to her work with Indigenous peoples in urban environments and the Friendship Centre Movement towards innovative, positive and effective systemic change for Indigenous peoples.
Matthew Guilford is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Common Health, a purpose-driven business that uses digital and mobile technology to advance universal health coverage. Prior to Common Health, he worked in leadership roles across Asia and Europe for global telecoms firm Telenor Group, including as Co-Founder, Chief Commercial Officer, and Chief Growth Officer of Telenor Health. Over the course of five years living and working in Bangladesh he designed, launched, and scaled Telenor Health’s “Tonic” service to five million members, creating the country’s largest health insurance program and a primary care operation that has delivered over 350,000 high quality consultations. Before Telenor, Guilford served in the administrations of Chicago mayors Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel as Assistant Commissioner for Digital Excellence and Innovation, launching the City’s digital health initiative and helping to shape national policy on healthcare information technology. He holds an MBA with high distinction from Harvard Business School and completed his undergraduate training in biological basis of behavior (behavioral neuroscience) at the University of Pennsylvania. Guilford was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in March 2019.
Viridiana Rios is an expert in Mexico’s sub-national economy, citizen security and rule of law. Her career has taken her from positions as a public officer and applied researcher, to entrepreneur and journalist. She has served as an adviser to Mexico’s Minister of Finance and to the Mexican President’s spokeswoman. She was awarded the 2014 American Political Science Award to the best doctoral dissertation written in the last two years. She also received Harvard’s Merit Fellowship for Outstanding Research in 2011, was selected as one of the top-12 young experts by NBER’s Working Group of the Economics of Crime in 2012 and profiled at Harvard Gazette as one of the 15 Harvard’s stellar graduates of 2013.
Dr. James Rogers is Founder and CEO of Apeel, a company that’s fighting the global food waste crisis by using materials found in nature to help food last longer — a sustainable approach to enable a more abundant future for the entire supply chain. Apeel’s mission has enabled Dr. Rogers to learn from and collaborate with thought leaders from all segments of the global food system. Founded in 2012, Apeel works with a global network of suppliers to serve retail customers across the globe with longer-lasting organic and conventionally grown produce, ensuring a fresher experience for customers at home. Apeel also invests its expertise in biological and data science toward helping retailers solve their fresh challenges and securing new opportunities for growth.
Mmaki Jantjies is a South African computer scientist and is the Group Executive for Innovation at Telkom South Africa. She is also an adjunct Associate Professor.
She holds a PhD in Computer Sciences from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. Passionate about digital inclusion, her PHD study focused on developing and scaling multilingual mobile learning systems to support science learning in schools. She has greatly contributed to the advancement of technology for development, having conducted studies on mobile digital systems design and adoption in developing countries in education, health as well as in the small businesses sector. Prof Jantjies was also part of a University of the Western Cape (UWC) team that launched one of the first Postgraduate Diplomas in e-Skills Development in Africa. The UWC programme equips students with skills in immersive technologies like augmented and virtual reality, supporting the technology development of AR/VR applications applied across various sectors. Jantjies has served as Department Head of Information Systems at the University of the Western Cape, as well as at the North West University.
She also established a non-profit organization that has trained teachers to infuse technology and data literacy in schools. Jantjies has been a visiting research fellow at the University of Lancaster - Institute of Coding and University of Warwick, and exchange staff at Die Hochschule Neu-Ulm HNU. In 2017 and 2018, she was the South Africa's representative to the W20 in the G20 focusing on digital inclusion of women. She is an NRF South African rated scientists and is also a member of the South Africa Young Academy of Scientists (SAYAS).