Who we are

We are 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

Rayan Fayez

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF), Saudi Arabia

Mr. Fayez was appointed Managing Director & CEO of Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF) in February 2018. Prior to assuming the leadership of BSF, Mr. Fayez held the role of CEO of Savola Group from 2016 to 2018. Mr. Fayez was previously the Managing Director and Saudi Arabia Senior Country Officer at J.P. Morgan. Prior to that, he held senior positions at Goldman Sachs' Saudi and London offices. Mr. Fayez started his career at J.P. Morgan's Natural Resources Investment Banking team in New York. Mr. Fayez is a member of the boards of the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul), Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF), Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC) and Hassana Investment Company. Mr. Fayez graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering.

Alexis Crow

Global Head, Geopolitical Investing, PwC, USA

A global economist who focuses on geopolitics and investing, Alexis Crow provides insights on capital allocation and long-term investment. She covers Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and North America. She is a public speaker on the global macroeconomic environment and the geopolitical landscape, with a focus on sectors including real estate and infrastructure, environmental, social and governance (ESG), energy, technology and consumers. She leads a team of experts, with a focus on developing their expertise in macroeconomic analysis, geopolitical investing, developing client relationships, and using data visualization tools to guide investment decisions. She is a Senior Fellow at Columbia Business School and with the Global Business and Economics programme at the Atlantic Council, focussing on income inequality, ESG and the environment, and economic empowerment of women. She mentors young women and young men who are seeking their purpose and to foster their careers in business and policy. She also volunteers in New York City with Santa Egidio, participates at the Basilica of Saint Patrick's Old Cathedral as reader, and works to support professional people seeking a richer spiritual life St Patrick's Cathedral, along with addressing issues such as immigration and income inequality.

Li Jia

Artificial Intelligence Fellow, Adjunct Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine, USA

Jia Li is the CEO of DawnLight Technologies Inc.. She is an Adjunct Professor at Stanford’s School of Medicine. She also serves as an advisor to the UNICEF. She was the Head of R&D at Google Cloud AI. Her org at Google focuses on both research and innovation to solve real world problems and develop the full stack of AI products on Google Cloud to power solutions for diverse industries. Before joining Google, she was the Head of Research at Snap, leading the research innovation effort. Before Snap, she led the Visual Computing and Learning Group at Yahoo! Labs. Jia received her Ph.D. degree from the Computer Science Department at Stanford University. She is serving as the Associate Editor of the Visual Computer: International Journal of Computer Graphics by Springer and the Computer Vision Foundation Industrial Advisory Board Member. She served as the Program Chair of the ACM Multimedia Conference 2017, Area Chair for ICCV 2017, Industry Relationship Chair in CVPR 2016 and Volunteers Chair in CVPR 2010 in the past. In 2014, she was selected to receive the Super Star award at Yahoo!, the highest award at the company. She was also awarded the Master Inventor Award for her innovations in Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Mobile Vision, E-Commerce, Product Recommendation and Image Search. She was the leader of the OPTIMOL team, which won the first prize in the Semantic Robotics Vision Challenge sponsored by NSF and AAAI in 2007.

Lisa Ivers

Partner and Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), USA

Lisa Ivers is a core member of the Global Advantage practice at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and the Leader of its Morocco office. She a joined BCG in 2006. Her work is focused on developing the firm’s public- and private-sector business in Morocco. She has acquired deep expertise in the areas of strategy and reform. Beyond Morocco, Lisa is a deeply committed contributor to BCG's development on the African continent. She has also been selected as a WEF Young Global Leader. Prior to joining BCG, she was a strategic analyst with BNP Paribas. She graduated from HEC Paris.

Soulaymane Kachani

Vice-Provost for Teaching and Learning; Senior Vice-Dean; Professor, Columbia University, USA

Soulaymane Kachani is Vice-Provost for Teaching, Learning, and Innovation of Columbia University. He also serves as Senior Vice Dean and Professor at the School of Engineering and Applied Science. His areas of teaching and research include corporate finance, industrial economics, dynamic pricing, revenue management, machine learning, logistics, supply chain management, algorithmic trading, statistical arbitrage, traffic flow modeling, and transportation analysis. Professor Kachani was honored by Columbia with the 2005 Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award, the 2007 Kim Award for Faculty Involvement, the 2010 Avanessians Diversity Award and the 2012 Egleston Distinguished Service Award. Prior to Columbia, he worked as a senior consultant in the Boston office of McKinsey & Company. He received a PhD and MSc in Operations Research from MIT and a Diplôme d'Ingénieur from École Centrale Paris.

Penny Abeywardena

Commissioner for International Affairs, Mayor's Office, City of New York, USA

Since September 2014, New York City's Commissioner for International Affairs; leads the global platform for promoting goals for a more just and accessible society, showcasing the diversity of New Yorkers and sharing policies and best practices with cities and states worldwide. Has launched initiatives focused on connecting New Yorkers and City agencies to the diplomatic community, as well as more effectively serving NYC's diplomatic corps, which is the largest in the world. Former Director of Girls and Women Integration, Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). Member: Board of Directors, United Nations Development Corporation and Eastside Greenway and Park; International Advisory Council, International Peace Institute (IPI); Global Future Council on Cities and Urbanization, World Economic Forum; United Nation’s SDG Strategy and Action Hub; 92Y’s Innovation Advisory Committee; Advisory Board, The Helm. 2017, named by the French American Foundation as a Young Leader. World Economic Forum 2016 Young Global Leader. Term Member, Council on Foreign Relations. Founding Member, Lincoln Center’s Global Exchange. Previously served on the World Bank's Advisory Council on Gender and Development and the Board of Directors of Sakhi for South Asian Women. Graduate, University of Southern California; Master’s in International Affairs, Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.

Jean-Jacques Barbéris

Member of the Executive Committee; Co-Head, Institutional Clients Coverage, Amundi Asset Management, France

Jean-Jacques Barbéris is a former economic adviser to the president of the French Republic. He is currently responsible for the global development of the institutional business at Amundi, a European leader in asset management. He is also chairman of En Temps Réel, a think tank dedicated to social sciences and the future development of the European Union.

Sarah Parcak

Director, GlobalXplorer, USA

Sarah Parcak is a Professor of Archaeology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The 2016 TED Prize Winner, she started GlobalXPlorer, a not-for-profit dedicated to democratizing and innovating archaeological exploration. She the author of Satellite Remote Sensing for Archaeology (Routledge 2009). Her research represents the first large-scale landscape archaeology approaches to the field of Egyptology. Her remote sensing work has been the focus of multiple TV specials on the use of satellite remote sensing in Archaeology: Egypt’s Lost Cities (2011), Rome: What Lies Beneath (2012) and Vikings Uncovered (2016). She has published numerous peer-reviewed papers and presented at conferences and symposia across the globe. Sarah is a National Geographic Fellow, a TED Senior Fellow and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

Fern Shaw

President, Southern California District, UPS, USA

Fern Shaw is president of UPS’s Southern California District, a $3.1 billion business unit serving over 72,000 customer accounts daily, and employing over 32,500 people. She oversees Finance, Sales and Marketing, Industrial and Plant Engineering, Human Resources, Automotive, Package and Transportation operations, Security, and Labor Relations in Hawaii, Southern California, and Southern Nevada.

Since beginning her UPS career as an industrial engineering management trainee in 2005, Shaw has held numerous positions of increasing responsibility in operations technology, engineering, and in package, transportation, and hub operations. Shaw played a critical role in the implementation of UPS’s package delivery route optimization software.

Shaw sponsors several of UPS’s committees (Diversity & Inclusion Steering Council, United Way, Profitable Growth, Upstarts Advisory) and business resource groups (Women’s Leadership Development, Women in Operations, Asian American, and LGBTQA).

Shaw was selected as a Young Global Leader (YGL) of the World Economic Forum for class of 2018.

Outside of her professional life, Shaw is deeply committed to changing lives and transforming communities through her servant-based leadership. She is an active member of OCA (Asian Pacific American Advocates) and has taken on mentorship roles since joining the organization in 2015. She has volunteered with Junior Achievement since 2014 and most recently served as a board member of the St. Louis Chapter. She currently sits on the board of the United Way of Greater Los Angeles.

Shaw earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada, Reno, and earned an MBA from University of California, Davis.

Shaw and her husband John have three children: Jasmine, Jack, and Jordan.