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
Rafael Paz is currently the executive director of the National Competitiveness Council, where he develops the strategic agenda to strengthen the competitiveness of the Dominican Republic. He has extensive training in areas such as governance, public management, business, leadership and political communication. Paz served for six years as Executive Vice President of the National Council of Private Enterprise (CONEP), was a member of the National Social Security Council (CNSS), and on the Board of Directors of the Patrimonial Fund of the Reformed Companies (Fonper). He was the first secretary of the National School of Electoral Training and Civil Status (EFEC) of the Central Electoral Board.
Executive Director, Center for Religion and Civic Culture, University of Southern California; research explores how religions change and make change in the world. Leading voice working to enhance religious pluralism and community resilience. Advises foundations and government agencies on effective strategies for effective partnership and engagement. Co-Founder and Senior Adviser, American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute; Implementing Partner, United State Institute of Peace’s Generation Change programme, training emerging leaders committed to peace-building from the Middle East, Africa and South America. Member, Pacific Council on International Policy. Term Member, Council on Foreign Relations. Truman National Security Fellow. German Marshall Memorial Foundation Fellow. Homegrown Violent Extremism Study Group Associate, USC. Member of the board of several non-profit organizations and government bodies working at the intersections of religion and public life.
Bhairavi is a fourth-generation entrepreneur, developmental enthusiast and an avid philanthropist. She is the Chairperson and Founder of IEF Entrepreneurship Foundation and Executive Director of SCA Group of Companies founded in 1896. SCA Group undertakes activities in supply chain and logistics sector.
Bhairavi has been listed as one of the 30 most Powerful Women in India by the India Today publication. She has been profiled as Stree Shakti (Woman Power) person by CNBC Awaaz and featured as a Young Turk by CNBC TV 18. She has been listed as one of the 10 women exemplars by the Hindustan Times and Business Today Magazine has featured her as the Supply Chain Maven.
Bhairavi is World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leader. She is a KBF Fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network of the Aspen Institute and a Responsible Leader of the BMW World Responsible Leaders Forum. She is a Member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the Business Honor Society, USA and is Past National Chairman, CII's Young Indians. She is a trustee of India@75 Foundation, Leap Foundation and Ananta Centre and serves on the Global Advisory Committee of Earth Day Network.
In the past decade Bhairavi has started, acquired, scaled up many ventures, most of them focused on supply chain and logistics. She is a firm believer in entrepreneurial ecosystems that create livelihood opportunities and dedicates a significant amount of her time, expertise and philanthropy for the cause. Bhairavi is a trained classical dancer and is passionate about the Arts. Co-creating sustainable livelihoods for communities in higher Himalayas is a mission close to her heart.
Tolu Oni is a Public Health Physician Scientist and Urban Epidemiologist at the University of Cambridge, and an Honorary Associate Professor at the School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town.
She is Founder & Principal of UrbanBetter | Oni et al (https://urbanbetter.science/), an Africa-led global practice and movement to accelerate solutions that improve health in Africa’s cities by increasing the supply of health from place; and by creating a platform to increase youth-led demand for healthy places. Through our urban health practice and learning collaborative, we partner with diverse actors in Africa and globally to harness urban development for population health.
Born in Lagos, she completed her medical training (and a BSc in International Health) at University College London, postgraduate medical training in the UK (Member of the Royal College of Physicians) and Australia, a Masters degree in Public Health (Epidemiology) at the University of Cape Town, and a research doctorate in Clinical Epidemiology at Imperial College London. She completed Public Health Medical Specialty training in South Africa and is a Fellow of the College of Public Health Medicine of South Africa. She spent 11 years conducting research in South Africa, where she was an Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town. There, she established a Research Initiative for Cities Health and Equity (RICHE), conducting transdisciplinary urban health research focused on generating evidence to support development and implementation of healthy public policies in rapidly growing cities, with a focus on Africa. Research activities include Systems for Health projects: investigating how urban systems (e.g. housing, food) can be harnessed for health; and Health Systems projects: integrated heath systems responses to changing patterns of disease and multimorbidity in the context of urbanisation.
She has published her work in high-impact journals, and has given presentations at international academic (urban health, HIV, TB) and non-academic meetings including the United Nations High Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development, New York; and the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting, Davos 2018. She serves on several advisory boards including Future Earth and the African Academy of Science Open Research Platform; and is an editorial board member of Lancet Planetary Health, Cities and Health, and the Journal of Urban Health.
Profiled in the Lancet journal in 2016, Science magazine in 2018, and the British Medical Journal in 2019, she is a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, a 2015 Next Einstein Forum Fellow, a Fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, and 2017-2019 co-Chair of the Global Young Academy. In 2019, she was selected as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.
Francesca Chia is the Co-Founder and CEO of GoGet, an on demand workforce technology platform that connects businesses to trust and reliable part timers, called ‘GoGetters’. Francesca is pushing boundaries in the technology industry and the traditional labour market of Malaysia. She brings with her insights on the future of work, how businesses will adjust models to suit new labour requirements and how empowerment is possible through technology innovation. Francesca graduated with a BA in Economics from Northwestern University and was inspired by social enterprises because they redefined traditional ways of doing business and running a non-profit. Prior to launching GoGet, Francesca was a Management Consultant in The Boston Consulting Group for 4 years. GoGet was also invited as a one of the selected ASEAN start up to speak in the World Economic Forum, Hanoi 2018 to discuss the Future of Work. Francesca is also an Alibaba eFounders Fellow from the program jointly created between Alibaba and UNCTAD. Most recently, Francesca was invited to speak at a summit in conjunction with United Nations General Assembly 2019 about the platform and how it is specifically addressing the Sustainable Development Goal #8: To promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive.
Sheila Redzepi is Vice President for External and Corporate Relations at the World Bank Group. Sheila joined the World Bank Group from Unilever, where she was responsible for driving Unilever's global advocacy on key sustainability and strategic business priorities. She worked alongside Unilever's CEO across a range of industry platforms, and with a number of international and advocacy organizations. Previously, Redzepi was Vice President for Communications and Sustainability, responsible for external relations and issue management, employee engagement, partnerships and implementation of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan in Europe. Before joining Unilever in 2013, Sheila worked for Weber Shandwick, the global communications agency, where she most recently managed the company’s Social Impact practice in Europe, the Middle East and Africa Region. She began her career working at the United Nations and in gender advocacy.
Sam led food and nutrition policy for the Obama Administration, and was the Executive Director for First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Campaign. He was also the chef for the Obamas. Sam is now focusing on the intersection of health, climate change and food systems in numerous ways through strategy work and investing.
Rana El Kaliouby
A pioneer in Emotion AI, Rana el Kaliouby, Ph.D., is Co-Founder and CEO of Affectiva, and author of the book Girl Decoded: A Scientist’s Quest to Reclaim Our Humanity by Bringing Emotional Intelligence to Technology. A scientist and Muslim Egyptian-American, Dr. el Kaliouby is one of few female CEOs leading an AI company. She has raised over $50M million in venture as well as non-dilutive funding for the company and leads development and deployment of the company’s human perception AI in a number of industries including market research, automotive and health. A passionate advocate for humanizing technology, ethics in AI and diversity, Rana has been recognized on Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list and as one of Forbes' Top 50 Women in Tech. Rana is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and a newly minted Young Presidents' Organization (YPO) member, and co-hosted a PBS NOVA series on AI. Prior to founding Affectiva, Dr. el Kaliouby was as a research scientist at MIT Media Lab, where she spearheaded the applications of emotion technology in a variety of fields, including mental health and autism research. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and a Post Doctorate from MIT. She resides in the suburbs of Boston with her two kids.
Hriday is the Global chief technology & information officer at BT. He and his team are responsible for thought leadership with a focus on BT’s technology strategy and transformation. Currently leading the charge on creating a digital native business for BT. He is recognised as one of the youngest CTIOs in the industry as well as in the history of BT. Hriday is passionate about exploiting emerging technologies such as AI/machine learning, deep analytics and 5G. His success in this field has come from a practical approach that uses technology innovation as a tool for business transformation, driving measurable business outcomes as well as future step change. He has more than a decade of global experience in IT/telecoms, outsourcing and large scale business transformation. Hriday is also committed to societal development and is passionate about providing technological solutions as a force for good to drive change. As the chairman of BT India Purpose Board he has been working in collaboration with the British Asian Trust and partner NGOs to deliver several initiatives for under developed communities in India. Hriday has an MSc in Artificial Intelligence from University of Edinburgh and also an MSc in Major Programs from Oxford University.