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.

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Meet our members

Zoya Lytvyn

Head, Osvitoria, Ukraine

Zoya Lytvyn is Founder of the Novopecherska School, which has a unique curriculum that combines national standards with international cutting-edge teaching techniques. All operational profits from the school are reinvested into Osvitoria NGO, a non-profit public organization founded by Lytvyn in 2013 to promote the development and education reform in Ukraine. Other educational initiatives she is involved in includes an online media training centre, which trains and develops teachers from throughout Ukraine for free, and launching the Global Teacher Prize Ukraine Award to enhance the prestige of the teaching profession. Lytvyn received a BA in Economics from the Kyiv Mohyla Academy and an MA in Journalism and Education Management. She is a member of the Aspen Institute Kyiv and the Supervisory Board of the UN Global Compact in Ukraine. In 2019, she was awarded TOP5 Woman Entrepreneur by UN initiative  “WE Empower” to acknowledge social entrepreneurs who are advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Peter Biar Ajak

Visiting Fellow and Adjunct Faculty, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, USA

Peter Biar Ajak is a prominent civil society leader, political dissident, and scholar from South Sudan. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies of the National Defense University. Peter is also the Chairman of the South Sudan Young Leaders Forum, Senior Advisor to the LSE-based International Growth Centre, and the Founder of the Juba-based Center for Strategic Analyses and Research. He was previously a Senior Advisor to the Minister of National Security in the Office of the President of South Sudan and an In-Country Economist for the World Bank. An outspoken advocate of human rights, free and fair elections, he was arbitrarily detained and convicted in a politically-motivated show trial for “disturbing the peace” and jailed for eighteen months in South Sudan’s notorious Blue House prison. Peter is also a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy, an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Fellow, and a Millennium Fellow at the Atlantic Council. He holds a Ph.D. in Politics & International Studies from the University of Cambridge, a Master of Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a BA in Economics from LaSalle University.

Ipek Ilicak Kayaalp

Chairperson, Ronesans Holding, Turkey

Bachelor's in Economics, Middle East Technical University, Ankara-Turkey, Program in Finance & Project Management, University of California Berkeley, California-USA, speaks fluently Turkish, English and French. Chairperson of the Board of Ronesans Group Turkey, Chairperson of the Supervisiory Board of Ballast Nedam N.V. Netherlands, Member of TUSİAD Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association, Founder and Board Member of Ronesans Education Foundation; Executive Board Member in Creative Children’s Association, Member of SAHA Association supporting turkish contemporary art; Sponsor of KANÇODER, the Society for Supporting Children with Cancer.

Ibram X Kendi

Director of the Center for Antiracist Research, Boston University, USA

Ibram X. Kendi is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, and the founding director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research. He is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News racial justice contributor. Kendi is the 2020-2021 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. He is the author of many books including Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction, making him the youngest ever winner of that award. He also authored three #1 New York Times bestsellers, How to Be an Antiracist; Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, co-authored with Jason Reynolds; and Antiracist Baby, illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky. His newest books are Be Antiracist: A Journal for Awareness, Reflection, and Action; and Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, co-edited with Keisha Blain. In 2020, Time magazine named Kendi one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Reem Fadda

Director, Cultural Foundation and Abu Dhabi Cultural Sites, Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, United Arab Emirates

Independent curator and art historian. 2010 to 2016, worked as Associate Curator, Middle Eastern Art for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project of the Solomon R. Guggenheim based at their headquarters in New York City. Had a leading role in shaping the strategy and holdings of West Asian and North African art within its collection and the curatorial vision for the future museum. 2005 to 2007, Director of the Palestinian Association for Contemporary Art (PACA), Ramallah and served as Academic Director for the International Academy of Art Palestine, Ramallah, which helped found in 2006. Has curated many international exhibitions and biennials, especially those pertaining to art and geopolitics in the Middle East, including Jerusalem Lives (Tahya Al Quds), the inaugural exhibition at the Palestinian Museum, Birzeit (2017); Not New Now, 6th Marrakech Biennale (2016) and the United Arab Emirates National Pavilion, 55th Venice Biennale (2013). Recipient: eighth Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement in 2017; Fulbright scholarship to pursue PhD at the Department of History of Art and Visual Studies, Cornell University, 2008. Director of the Cultural Foundation in Abu Dhabi affiliated with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi.

He Jin

Co-Founder and Vice-President, Maimai, People's Republic of China

Mr. Jin He co-founded Maimai, the China-based professional and social-networking platform in 2013. Maimai has been leading for years in China profession social market with over 150 million users. Mr. He is passionate about building up the energizing and doveolping working environment for the workforces and bringing more opportunities for the society. Mr. He is YGL 2019 from China.

Jessica Burgner-Kahrs

Associate Professor, University of Toronto Mississauga, Canada

Jessica Burgner-Kahrs is Associate Professor and Director of the Continuum Robotics Laboratory at University of Toronto, Canada. From 2013 to 2019 she was with Leibniz University Hannover, Germany and from 2010 to 2012 with Vanderbilt University, USA. She received her Diploma and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany in 2006 and 2010 respectively.
 
Her research focus lies on continuum robotics and in particular on their design, modeling, planning and control, as well as human-robot interaction. Her fundamental robotics research is driven by applications in minimally-invasive surgery and maintenance, repair, and operations. In 2015 her research was recognized with the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, the Lower Saxony Science Award in the category Young Researcher, and she was entitled Young Researcher of the Year 2015 in Germany. The Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences awarded her the Engineering Science Prize in 2016. She was elected as one of the Top 40 under 40 in the category Science and Society in 2015, 2016, and 2017 by the business magazine Capital.

Jesús "Chuy" Cepeda

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, OS City, Mexico

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.

Larry Madowo

North America Correspondent, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Kenya

Larry Madowo is an International Correspondent at CNN based in Nairobi. He is also a regular fill-in anchor who has presented CNN International programs from Atlanta and Dubai. He was previously a North America Correspondent for the BBC based in Washington, DC. He covered the summer of protests following the murder of George Floyd, the 2020 US presidential election and the inauguration of Joe Biden. He also anchored BBC World News America, a flagship program that is also syndicated on PBS stations across the US.

Madowo previously served as the BBC Africa Business Editor, where he oversaw the launch of six syndicated shows in three languages and managed more than two dozen business journalists based in London and four African countries.

Before joining the BBC he worked for NTV Kenya and CNBC Africa, where he anchored the business channel's daily market shows Open Exchange, Power Lunch and Closing Bell in Johannesburg. Madowo has a master's in Business and Economics Journalism from Columbia University in New York, where he was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow.