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
Cherrie Atilano has 21 years of experience in sustainable food systems and inclusive agribusiness as an advocate of women and youth in agriculture, agri-technology, malnutrition eradication and the responsible production and consumption for the future of food. She is a multi-awarded entrepreneur and ambassador on agricultural issues.
Karabo's current mission is to get collectors of African art to see it as an asset class to ensure that modern and contemporary artworks from Africa and other under-represented regions are not relegated to artefacts over time, and that art collectors see long term value in the artworks that they collect. She is the Founder of Capital Art which is an art fintech and is a service for art collectors to better manage their art collections.
Karabo started her career in 2005 working in investment banking at J.P. Morgan, first working in equity derivatives in the Johannesburg franchise before moving to London, United Kingdom, in 2006 and working in Insurance Securitised Products until 2009 where she gained invaluable international experience.
She then moved back to South Africa and joined the pan-African financial group Old Mutual, in their Johannesburg offices in 2010 as a Strategy & Marketing Executive in the Retail Affluent segment, then moved into the Corporate segment as General Manager: Member Solutions in 2011 where she focused on customer experience for the members of the retirement funds the company administered. In January 2016, she became Managing Director in the Personal Finance segment, becoming the first woman to lead that business, a role she held until January 2020 where transitioning the business from being product-led to being customer-led was a key achievement as were the strides made in diversity and inclusion. Karabo has experience on several company boards and is currently an independent non-executive director at Tyme Bank Holdings Ltd, the first digital bank in South Africa to have its core banking platform in the cloud, and at the Centre of Excellence for Financial Services, a think tank focused on the role of financial services, as well as a former independent director of the Public Investment Corporation SOC Ltd, Africa's largest asset manager. Karabo's general interests include fintech with a focus on financial inclusion, manufacturing, agriculture-related and -adjacent industries, culture and tourism.
Karabo has a Bachelor of Business Science degree (cum laude) in Actuarial Science and Finance, and also a Postgraduate Diploma in Actuarial Science, both from the University of Cape Town. She is also an alumni of Harvard Business School, having completed the Advanced Management Programme in May 2019. Outside of work, she is a fellow with the Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA), having been the second black woman to qualify as an actuary in South Africa, and was recognised as one of the 200 Young South African leaders who are shaping the country's future in 2014. She enjoys travelling, learning about new cultures, art, film and photography and music.
Qian is an influential economist and business executive. As Managing Director of The Economist Group in Greater China, she has deep knowledge of the Chinese economy, understands both China and the West very well, with exceptional ability to bridge the two. She publishes in highly regarded academic journals and business outlets, and is frequently interviewed by BBC, CNBC, NPR etc. She is also a prominent advocate for gender equality in China, and introduces cutting edge global economic research on gender, and promotes intelligent public debates reaching millions of people. Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum. Member of Global Future Council on China. Steering Committee member for World Economic Forum's Value in Media. Outstanding Women Award, China. Qian earned her PhD in economics from Uppsala University, Sweden, and was previously a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley, and received executive training from Stanford University.
As the Director of the legal charity Reprieve, Maya leads a team of lawyers fighting against grave human rights abuses. Her work with the organisation she has helped shape over the past 9 years, aims to protect vulnerable individuals from the excesses of oppressive Governments – whether they are on death rows around the world or hillsides patrolled by weaponised drones.
In 2015, Maya was awarded a Soros Justice Fellow for her work in helping pharmaceutical companies protect their medicines from misuse in lethal injection executions. She was awarded the Sheila McKechnie Foundation Women Demanding Justice Award in 2015 and the inaugural Robin Steinberg Innovation Award in 2018. Sir Richard Branson has named Maya as one of his 65 Most Inspirational People. Maya did a Bachelors Degree in French and Italian Literature at Magdalen College, Oxford, and a Postgraduate Degree in Law.
Chief Executive Officer of Lippo Karawaci and Chairman of Siloam Hospitals, Indonesia's largest real estate and hospital company by revenues and assets. Serves on a number of boards within the Lippo Group of Companies, including Matahari Department Stores (LPPF.IJ), Matahari Food Business (MPPA.IJ), OVO Financial Technology, and Venturra Capital. Also an active investor in the Southeast Asian technology space. Member of the Columbia University International Advisory Board, the Wharton Business School Asia Executive Board. World Economic Forum Young Global Leader (YGL). Licensed attorney in the State of New York. Degrees in Political Philosophy and Economics, Georgetown University; MBA (Palmer Scholar), Wharton School of Business; Juris Doctor (JD), Columbia University.
Serene Chen Huijing
Serene is one of the youngest senior global leaders in financial markets. She is Global co-Head of Emerging Markets Sales for Deutsche Bank, in addition to running Fixed Income and Currencies for clients in Asia Pacific. A regular speaker at global conferences, she has been a driving force behind the innovation and digitization of market risk and technology solutions to help client organizations unlock value and increase efficiencies. Serene is a leading advocate for women in business and has been instrumental in supporting women’s leadership in the industry, actively working to help empower, mentor and build confidence in women.
Nerissa is a seasoned entrepreneur, CEO and board member. She was a co-founder and CEO of āxil, a Fintech creating a smart wallet for small businesses.
Nerissa has served as a board member to multiple businesses globally over the last 5 years. Her directive is to advise on the overall ESG, technology enablement, and revenue generation strategies as businesses grow or gain strategic funding. She has been appointed as Chair of the Board to multiple companies, Audit Chair, and sits on Governance and Compensation committees.
During her two-decade corporate tenure, Nerissa has filled numerous senior executive roles, to open, manage and grow global businesses whilst at AIG and Accenture, provide board oversight, manage a 5000+ global workforce, and perform multinational strategic turnarounds through M&A and divestitures in Fortune 100 companies. She has worked in over 40 countries, navigating cross-border working environments and regulators including the Fed.
As a native South African who grew up in Apartheid, Nerissa has been a proponent of equality and strives to break the mould of stereotypes in gender, race, and professional norms. She has been a keynote speaker on diversity and inclusion, systemic inequality, and racial injustice.
Nerissa was selected as a Young Global Leader in the World Economic Forum in 2019, and subsequently elected to its Advisory Group, including Chair of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion sub-committee in 2021. She was featured in the Financial Times as a leader to watch, holds an executive MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business and a BTech in Industrial Engineering from the Durban University of Technology. More recently, she continues her executive education at London, Harvard and Wharton Business Schools.
Xuemei SUN, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of IFENG.com, Initiator of "Girls protection" and Chairman of Beijing All-in-One Public Welfare Foundation, is a long-devoted pioneer in Chinese child protection development area. Prior to her current roles, she served as a journalist for the Beijing Times, and Editor-in-chief of the philanthropy channel of IFENG.com. On June 1, 2013, she united 100 female journalists and several media organizations to launch a public welfare project “Girls Protection”, which upgraded to a special fund in 2015. In 2018, she further developed the "Girls Protection" team into the Beijing All-In-One Public Welfare Foundation, with a firm long-term commitment to preventing sexual assaults against children and adolescents, spreading sex education knowledge, promoting the dissemination of gender equality concepts, and ultimately improving Chinese legal systems and institutions on child protection.
By the end of March 2022, more than 10,000 volunteer lecturers had passed the assessment of "Girls Protection" in 31 provinces across the country, more than 6.1 million children 700,000 parents had been taught face-to-face anti sexual assault courses, online courses cover tens of millions of people. In 2018, based on “Girls Protection”, the Foundation launched new sex education course "Embrace Adolescence" for adolescents, which was taught face to face to around 150,000 teenagers by the end of March 2022.
For 9 consecutive years, she organized and held a symposium of Representative members of the National People's Congress and the Chinese Political Consultative Conference (NPC & CPPCC) of the "girls protection" and issued the investigation report on sexual assault case statistics and anti sexual assault education to promote the improvement of laws and systems.
Awards: National March 8th red flag bearer, CCTV charity figure of the year，Beijing Youth May 4th medal and other awards.
Burcu Ozturk is the CFO of MLP Care, which operates with 30 hospitals and c.18,000 employees, the largest private hospital group in Turkey. Burcu Ozturk graduated from the Middle East Technical University, Department of Political Science and Public Administration and then joined PricewaterhouseCoopers. During her 10 years of service, Burcu worked as a consultant in Mergers & Acquisitions activities of international investors. Burcu was transferred to PwC New York in 2010; where she provided consultancy services as a Director for 2 years. In 2019, Burcu was ranked among the Top 10 “CFO’s Best For Investor Relations” in Medtech&Services, in the global survey by “Extel”. In 2020, Burcu was awarded as the “Best CFO” in both Turkey and EMEA by “Institutional Investor”. In 2018 and 2020, Burcu entered the list of "Turkey's Top 50 CFO” prepared by Fortune magazine. Burcu is a member of Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey and works in Access to Finance Group, contributing to the development of women entrepreneur ecosystem. Burcu is a Board member of Turkish Food Banking Foundation. Burcu is an Executive Board Member (responsible from fund development) in “Disaster Platform”, a platform created by +30 NGOs to minimize the effects of disasters in Turkey.