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.
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
Gloria Fluxa Thienemann
Degree in Business Administration, Villanova University, Philadelphia, USA; Accelerated Executive Development Program, IMD Business School, Lausanne, Switzerland; Owner/President Management Program, Harvard Business School, Boston, USA. Vice-Chairman and Chief Sustainability Officer, Iberostar Group, a 100% family-owned Spanish multinational company based in Palma de Mallorca (Spain), operating in the tourist sector since 1956 and dating back to 1877. Its sales network covers 35 countries; it has a staff of more than 32,000 employees and handles 8 million customers a year. Hospitality is the company’s core business, with a portfolio of over 120 four- and five-star hotels located in 19 countries. The group has three further business units: travel and incoming activities, a holiday club and real estate. Advancing the company’s approach to responsible tourism with the launch of the Wave of Change movement focusing on marine and ocean preservation that evolves around: becoming single-use-plastic free, promoting responsible seafood consumption, and improving coastal health. It is aligned with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14, Life Below Water. It is aimed at uniting employees, customers, suppliers and society to create an increasingly more responsible tourism industry. Trustee and Chairman, Iberostar Foundation; Member of the Board, Endeavor Spain. Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum.
Elisha London is leading systems-level change around mental health. She has a trackrecord of impact as the Campaign Director for the Heads Together campaign in the UK and Founding UK Director for Global Poverty Project.
As the youngest woman in Canadian history appointed to cabinet and the first to have a baby while a minister, Karina Gould is an advocate of women's issues and social inclusion. As Minister of Democratic Institutions, she is mandated to strengthen the openness and fairness of Canada's democratic institutions and restore trust and participation in Canada's democracy. Previously serving as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, she was involved in developing Canada's Feminist International Assistance Policy. Before entering politics, she worked with the Government of Mexico and OAS to promote greater economic and political relations between Canada and Latin America.
Has devoted career to unlocking Saudi Arabia's economic potential. Work, including in venture capital, has helped lay the foundation for a vibrant entrepreneurial culture and a technology agenda shaping the leading energy and chemicals company in the world.
Deshal De Mel
Deshal de Mel is economic adviser to the minister of finance of Sri Lanka and the youngest director to have served at Sampath Bank. An economist by training, de Mel is passionate about and committed to economic reform in Sri Lanka in order to create competitive and fair markets along with broader economic and political reform to further economic and political freedoms.
Tunde Kehinde is the co-founder of Lidya: a digital fintech lender with operations in Africa and Europe, which allows SMEs in fast-growing economies to access financing and build a credit score within 24 hours. Tunde is a seasoned entrepreneur and was the co-founder of Jumia Nigeria, Africa’s first unicorn (publicly listed on the NYSE) and Africa Courier Express, an eCommerce delivery company. Tunde has prior experience as a business development executive with Diageo in London and as an investment banking professional with Wachovia Securities in North Carolina and New York City. Tunde holds a degree in Finance with honours from Howard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Richard Socher is Chief Scientist at Salesforce. He leads the company’s research efforts and brings state of the art artificial intelligence solutions into the platform.
Prior, Richard was an adjunct professor at the Stanford Computer Science Department and the CEO and founder of MetaMind, a startup acquired by Salesforce in April 2016. MetaMind’s deep learning AI platform analyzes, labels and makes predictions on image and text data so businesses can make smarter, faster and more accurate decisions.
Richard was awarded the Distinguished Application Paper Award at the International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) 2011, the 2011 Yahoo! Key Scientific Challenges Award, a Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship in 2012, a 2013 "Magic Grant" from the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, the best Stanford CS PhD thesis award 2014 and the 2014 GigaOM Structure Award. He is currently a member of the World Economic Forum's 'Young Global Leaders' Class of 2017 and on the Board of Directors for the Global Fund for Women.
Edward "Smitty" Smith has emerged as a rising star in the technology and telecommunications policy arenas.
A graduate of Brown University and Harvard Law School, he translated his academic success into professional success as a corporate attorney at one of the world’s largest law firms, Hogan Lovells. While in private practice as a corporate lawyer, Smitty advised clients and helped close over $40 billion worth of merger transactions for publicly traded companies.
Smitty left his firm to join the 2008 Obama presidential campaign. After the campaign, Smitty served as Deputy General Counsel of the Presidential Inauguration Committee and joined the Obama Administration.
At the Department of Commerce, Smitty spearheaded national broadband programs that generated critical data about broadband availability and capability and leveraged technology to create new economic opportunities for millions of Americans. After an emergency detail to the Economic Development Administration, where he led teams developing economic response strategies in the aftermath of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Smitty joined the Federal Communications Commission where he served as Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel for a special technology taskforce
Smitty left the FCC to run in the first election for Attorney General of the District of Columbia. Though he lost in a hotly contested race, Smitty received over 35,000 votes citywide and gained the endorsements of nearly every major union and labor organization in the District.
Smitty entered local government and served in the Mayor’s Cabinet as the Director of the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants.He then returned to the FCC as Legal Advisor to the Chairman.
Smitty is now a Partner at the international law firm of DLA Piper, where he advises clients on a broad range of telecommunications and technology issues in countries around the globe.
Kaila Murnain became the NSW Labor General Secretary in January 2016, and is the first woman to hold that position. Kaila Murnain became the NSW Labor Assistant General Secretary in September 2013, and was the first woman to hold that position. Kaila grew up on a small farm outside of Narrabri in North-Western NSW before moving to Sydney to attend University. She has a degree in Social Science from the University of New South Wales, and is undertaking a Masters of Business Administrative (Executive MBA) at the Australian Graduate School of Management at UNSW. Kaila joined the Labor Party in 2000 after campaigning for Australia to become a Republic and served as Vice President of NSW Young Labor from 2005-2007. Kaila has served in the NSW Labor Party Office since 2008, as the NSW Labor Organiser (Communications and Training) and prior to that as the Membership and Communications Officer. Kaila has extensive Campaign experience and has been a Campaign Manager for Candidates at Local, State and Federal elections. Prior to working in the NSW Party Office, Kaila was the advisor for Ageing and Disability Services in the NSW Government, overseeing the NSW Ageing Roundtable and also advised the Spokesperson for World Youth Day in 2008.