Who we are

The Forum of Young Global Leaders is a community with the vision, courage and influence to drive positive change.

During a transformational five-year experience, YGLs are inspired to be bold in undertaking a sense of shared responsibility, impact and ambition.

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Meet our members

David Moinina Sengeh

Chief Innovation Officer; Head, Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI), Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation, Government of Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone

David Moinina Sengeh is Sierra Leone’s first-ever chief innovation officer. Previously he was a research scientist at IBM Research Africa, Nairobi. David was born and raised in Sierra Leone, and received his PhD at the MIT Media Lab, where his research in the biomechatronics group focused on the design of comfortable prosthetic sockets and wearable interfaces. This work is at the intersection of medical imaging, material science, human anatomy, computer-aided design and manufacturing. He is the president and co-founder of the international NGO Global Minimum (GMin). Currently, GMin’s main project is Innovate Challenges; the first-ever competition created to foster a culture of innovation among high-school students in Sierra Leone, Kenya and South Africa. Innovate Challenges is a mentorship programme and set of workshops where youth can get help in transforming their ideas into tangible solutions. GMin was one of three winners out of 1,000 nominees for the Rockefeller Foundation Next Century Innovators Awards in 2013. Previously, GMin led the distribution of over 16,000 mosquito nets to cover over 28,000 people in Sahn Malen chiefdom in Sierra Leone.

Katarzyna Pisarska

Founder and Director, European Academy of Diplomacy, Poland

Dr. Katarzyna Pisarska is the Founder and Director of the European Academy of Diplomacy in Warsaw, Poland and the Visegrad School of Political Studies run in cooperation with the Council of Europe. She is also the Program Director of the Warsaw Security Forum and a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum in Davos. In the past, she has served as adviser to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Polish Parliament, to the Office of National Security at the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland; and continues to work as regular foreign affairs broadcaster in Polish and international media.

In addition to her leadership and management experience Dr. Pisarska pursues a career in academia. She is an Assistant Professor at the Warsaw School of Economics and a Visiting Professor at ADA University in Baku, Azerbaijan. Previously, Dr. Pisarska was a Fulbright Visiting Fellow at Harvard University (2007), a Visiting Scholar at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (2010) at the University of Oslo (2012) and at the Australian National University in Canberra (2015). She is the author of the book "The Domestic Dimension of Public Diplomacy - Evaluating Success through Civil Engagement (Palgrave 2016).

Recent Distinctions: Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum in Davos (2014); "99 under 33" most influential world foreign policy leaders, Diplomatic Courier (2013); Outstanding Young Scholars Award (2013-2016), Polish Minister of Science and Higher Education (2013).

Alicia Woods

Chief Executive Officer, Covergalls Inc., Canada

With more than 15 years experience as a woman in the mining industry, Alicia understands what it means to push boundaries.

Alicia Woods is the founder and CEO of Covergalls Workwear and General Manager of Marcotte Mining. Motivated to improve the underground mining experience for women, Alicia designed the first ever covergalls for women, and then successfully pitched her business on CBC’s Dragon’s Den in 2014.

Alicia and Covergalls have been featured in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Financial Post and Flare Magazine. Alicia has appeared at speaking engagements across North America, from high schools to mining conferences and business luncheons. Whether she is speaking to a gymnasium full of young women, a boardroom full of mining executives, or before investors on national television, Alicia is an exceptional speaker focused on motivating and educating her audience and works to inspire, encourage and equip the women breaking barriers in non-traditional roles.

Alicia is the recipient of the inaugural Young Mining Professional Female (YMF) Eira Thomas Award, 2016 YWCA Women of Distinction Award, 40 Under 40 Award Recipient (2015), Innovation Award 2015 Recipient and Influential Women Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2015.

Thembalihle Phillip Baloyi

Founder and Executive Director, Discovery Insure Ltd, South Africa

Themba is a Founder and Executive Director of Discovery Insure Ltd, a Motor Insurance Company launched in 2011. He joined Discovery in 2001 spearheading numerous initiatives culminating in his innovative and relentless drive to launch his 10-year vision of Discovery Insure.

Themba is member of the board in the following organisations: YPO-WPO Africa Regional Board, Henley Business School Academic and Advisory Board; South African Insurance Association (SAIA); South African Insurance Crime Bureau (SAICB); and Institute of Insurance South Africa (IISA). In 2003 he co-founded Black Insurance Professionals of Southern Africa (BIPSA). Themba was awarded the Green Number in 2012 (for obtaining Ten Comrades Marathon-89.9kms Medals).

He is the initiator and Pretoria Chapter Chair of the mentorship programme for the Young Presidents Organisation (YPO) designed to guide high potential future leaders to achieve greatness.

Prior to joining Discovery, Themba worked for Rubico Consulting Services, Siemens Ltd and Durban Metro Waste Water Services where he was responsible for budgeting and accounting systems.

A cost and management accountant by training, Themba holds an Executive MBA from Henley Business School (UK). He also has other qualifications on leadership and management from various academic institutions such as Duke University Fuqua School of Business (US), Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS- South Africa); University of Cape Town- Graduate School of Business (UCT/ GSB).

Guillaume Lefevre

Managing Director, New Ventures and Business Development, Zurich Insurance Group, Switzerland

Guillaume Lefevre is playing a leadership role in transforming one of the world's largest insurance company to align itself with the empowered customer, lead the change in the insurance industry, and increase its societal impact.

Marion Poetz

Associate Professor, Copenhagen Business School, Austria

Marion Poetz is Associate Professor of Innovation Management at the Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics (INO), Copenhagen Business School (CBS), and Scientific Director of the LBG Open Innovation in Science Center (OIS Center) in Vienna. She gained her PhD from WU Vienna and has been a visiting scholar at MIT Sloan School of Management, Bocconi University and ETH Zurich. Inspired by phenomena linked to open innovation, crowdsourcing and similar topics, her research is concerned with strategy, leadership, organization and problem solving in new forms of innovation practices that are characterized by being more open, distributed, collaborative, and democratized than traditional models. As a principle investigator in several large-scale research projects, she currently manages research groups related to these topics in both Denmark and Austria. Marion’s work has been published in leading international journals such as Management Science, the Journal of Product Innovation Management or Harvard Business Review, featured in media such as Forbes or Inc. Magazine, and received numerous awards. Marion engages as a coordinator and teacher in different international master, PhD and executive teaching programs in the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation. She is the academic head of the Graduate Diploma Program in Innovation Management at CBS and co-initiator of the Danish SME Crowdsourcing Lab. Marion has been an academic advisor and consultant to organizations from various industries including national and international firms and policy-making institutions. She has been involved in developing the Open Innovation in Science (OIS) Initiative of the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft (LBG) and acts as the academic director of the Lab for Open Innovation in Science (LOIS). Marion is affiliated with the Danish Research Unit for Industrial Dynamics (DRUID) and the Academy of Management (AOM).

Candice Beaumont

Chief Investment Officer, L Investments, USA

As CIO of L Investments, oversees capital allocation for the family office. Advisory Board Member, Family Office Association. Steering Committee Member: Yale University School of Management College of Family Offices; Princeton University Council of Family Offices and Endowments; NYU Stern Family Office Council. Member of the Board of Directors: I2BF Venture Fund II; several charitable boards, including Most Valuable Kids of Greater New York, and Care for Kenya. Advisory Board of Genoil, and energy tech company. Thought leader and active speaker on family office investment allocation and diversification across fixed income, hedge funds, private equity, real assets, commodities, alternative energy and impact investing. Advocate of peak oil and the need for the world to find alternative sources of energy, as well as importance of food security. Active proponent of increasing women on boards. Former world-ranked professional tennis player.

Fabrice Franzen

Partner, Bain & Company Inc., South Africa

MBA, Solvay Business School, Brussels. More than 15 years of consulting experience in France, Italy, Australia and Africa, in financial services. Large experience in most FS sub-verticals: retail & commercial banking, wealth management, payments, CIB, P&C and life insurance (M&A and post-merger integration, customer insight and segmentation, and organization design). Formerly: with Oliver Wyman. Member, Global Financial Services practice, Bain & Company.

Natznet Tesfay

Director, Economics and Country Risk, Africa, IHS Markit, United Kingdom

Ms. Natznet Tesfay is Director of Africa Economics and Country Risk at IHS Markit. Her areas of specialization include counter-party risks and stakeholder mapping; political developments affecting the power and offshore energy sectors in West Africa, particularly Nigeria; and commercial developments, especially in mining, energy, and infrastructure in East Africa. Ms. Tesfay leads the development of the Africa risk indicator and horizon scanning infrastructure, drawing on a range of methodologies such as geospatial analysis and scenario modelling techniques. Natznet contributes directly to business growth, shaping IHS’s SSA business development strategies, advising C-level executives on market entry and risk management, and African governments on leveraging their natural resource potential for economic growth. She regularly speaks in major media outlets, and at high-level conferences. Previously, she had advised governments on the development of fre e trade zones, foreign policy and the mining sector in the Horn of Africa. Ms. Tesfay’s degrees include a BA in Government from Harvard University and a MSc in Urbanization and Development from the London School of Economics.