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

Jessica Jackson

Chief Advocacy Officer, Reform Alliance, USA

Jessica Jackson’s quest for justice began in a Georgia courtroom. The high-school dropout held her two-month-old daughter and watched helplessly as her husband was sentenced to six years in prison. In that moment, she decided to turn her shock into a crusade to change the justice system. As a single mother, she graduated college and law school. Today she is a leader in the bipartisan movement to end excessive incarceration. Jessica’s specialty is bringing political rivals together to pass bills considered “impossible.” As the bill’s main advocate, she led the drive to pass 2018’s “First Step Act.” The New York Times called the law “the most substantial justice reform in a generation;” it has already helped free more than 16,000 people. While leading her national initiative, #cut50, Jessica helped ban the shackling of jailed pregnant women in 14 states. Her “Dignity for Incarcerated Women” campaign enlisted formerly incarcerated women and dozens of celebrities to deepen the focus on women’s issues. At the helm of #cut50, Jessica built the biggest national grassroots network for bipartisan reform, #cut50’s Empathy Network. Jessica has led not only on the national level, but was also elected the youngest-ever Mayor of Mill Valley, California where she focused on affordable housing. Today, she now helps lead the REFORM Alliance, an organization where she is continuing her work to end mass incarceration and mass supervision. Jessica continues to take clemency cases as well, working on both the federal and state level to secure a second chance for individuals who have lengthy prison sentences. Jessica turned her hopelessness into hope for millions.

Sarah bint Yousif Al-Amiri

Minister of State for Advanced Technology, Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology of the United Arab Emirates, United Arab Emirates

Minister of State for Advanced Sciences. Responsibilities include enhancing the contributions of advanced sciences to the development of the United Arab Emirates and its economy. Chairperson of the United Arab Emirates Council of Scientists and Deputy Project Manager of the Emirates Mars Mission at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre. Started career in the sciences as a Programme Engineer on Dubai Sat-1 and Dubai Sat-2. Bachelor's and Baster’s in Computer Engineering, American University of Sharjah.

Faisal Abbas

Editor-in-Chief, Arab News, Saudi Arabia

Faisal J. Abbas is the Editor-in-Chief of the Riyadh-based leading Middle East English language daily, Arab News.

Under his leadership, Arab News (established 1975) relaunched with a more global, more digital direction. It has expanded its international presence through a large network of correspondents and a number of regional bureaus across the world.

Prior to joining the newspaper in 2016, Abbas has been the Editor-in-Chief of the Dubai-based English language service of Al Arabiya News Channel.

Abbas is a renowned columnist on Arab-international affairs and has also conducted interviews with a number of world leaders. He appears regularly on international media to comment on regional affairs.

Abbas has previously written for The Huffington Post and worked with both Asharq Al Awsat and Al Hayat pan-Arab dailies, Future Television of Lebanon and the International Resource Journal in London.

He has been the recipient of many media awards, including the Next Century Foundation’s Cutting-Edge Award (2009) for efforts in bridging the communication gap between the West and the Arab World and British Council’s UK alumni “Social Impact” award in Saudi Arabia (2017).

He holds a master’s degree from the University of Westminster and a bachelor degree from the Lebanese American University. He is also a graduate of the Executive Education Program of the Harvard Kennedy School, where he studied Global Leadership and Public Policy.

Abbas is a member of the editorial board of Al Arabiya News Channel, an associate fellow of the Cambridge Union Society and a member of the British Society of Authors.

In 2017, he published his first Arabic book called ‘Arabi/Englizi’ which describes London through Arab eyes.

Reem Khouri

Founder and Partner, Kaamen, Jordan

Reem Khouri
Co-Founder & CEO of Whyise, Founding Partner of Kaamen

Reem Khouri is passionate about impact. She is the co-founder and CEO of Whyise, an impact analytics software solution that allows organizations to aggregate their data and analyze it for exponential impact as well as map their operations against international frameworks such as the UN SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) and comply with frameworks such as IFC ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) standards and GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) among others. They are also leveraging Artificial intelligence to understand the variables affecting impact in an evidence-based manner and blockchain infrastructure to generate impact based smart contracts.

She is also the founding partner of Kaamen, an impact design company that has worked in the Middle East, Asia and Africa with governments, companies and NGOs to design models for exponential economic and social returns.

She served on numerous boards and is an associate at 3BL Associates, a people + planet strategy consultancy and is a faculty member at Amani Institute in Nairobi, Kenya and is a board member of Ruwwad for Development, a non-profit community development organization that works with disenfranchised communities through education, youth volunteerism and grassroots organizing.

She previously worked with Aramex, one of the leading global logistics and transportation solutions providers and served on its sustainability council and working with the company's founder and CEO Fadi Ghandour on sustainability, strategic initiatives, research and support for entrepreneurs.

She was recognized as one of the World’s 100 Most Influential Arabs Under 40 by Arabian Business Magazine in 2015 and 2016 and was selected in 2018 as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.

Oana Bizgan-Gayral

Member of Parliament, Parliament of Romania, Romania

Oana Bîzgan is a Member of the Romanian Parliament on the Gender Equality Committee, one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders, a Vital Voices fellow and an ambassador for the international Girl2Leader Campaign, run by the Women Political Leaders Forum. She fights for women’s rights, children’s rights and global social justice.

As a progressive and an independent MP in the General Assembly, she managed to propose and pass ten new bills regarding social justice and equal opportunities. She holds the strong conviction that equal opportunities are the real levers for the sustainable social and economic development of every society, particularly in the midst of the digital revolution we are undergoing. She wants to leverage the power of communities to change people lives for the better, as an MP and furthermore. Her vision is to empower every stakeholder to play hers/his part in ensuring social justice and invest strategically in building up the society we all want to live in. More details here: www.oanabizgan.com.

Emilia Macarie

Chief financial officer, Allianz, Spain

Shira Kaplan

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Cyverse, Switzerland

Shira Kaplan is the Founder and CEO of Cyverse AG, a Zurich-based cyber-security firm which delivers innovative, hands-on Israeli cyber-security solutions to global and local corporations. Shira’s technological training dates back to her military service in the Israeli 8200 Elite Technology Unit of the Intelligence, where she was an Intelligence and Cyber Analyst. She held business management positions at publicly-traded companies including Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (NASDAQ: TEVA) and Bank Julius Baer & Co. in Zurich (SIX: BAER). Shira is an alumna of Harvard University (B.A.), where she studied Government and Chinese, and was a Shelby Davis Scholar. She holds an MBA from St. Gallen HSG University in Switzerland, where she was awarded the “Women in Business” Scholarship. Shira has won several other awards, including the “Seeds of Peace” scholarship, the Goldman fellowship and the Milken Fellowship. She has been featured in the Financial Times, the Neue Zuercher Zeitung, Bilanz, PwC CEO Magazine and other newspapers. She is mother of 3 Montessori children, and resides by the Lake of Zurich.

Michele Romanow

Co-founder & President, Clear Finance Technology Inc - Clearbanc, Canada

Michele Romanow is an engineer and a serial entrepreneur who started five companies before her 33rd birthday. A “Dragon” on CBC’s hit show Dragons’ Den (Canada’s Shark Tank), Michele is the co-founder of Clearbanc: the fastest, most affordable way for founders to fund their business. She previously co-founded SnapSaves, which was acquired by the American tech giant, Groupon. Michele was also the co-Founder of Buytopia.ca, which acquired ten competitors including Shop.ca and WagJag and was ranked #3 on the Profit Hot 50 list of fastest-growing companies. She’s ranked in WXN’s “100 Most Powerful in Canada” and listed as the only Canadian on Forbes magazine’s “Millennial on a Mission” list.

Michele is a prolific angel investor and the winner of Angel Investor of the Year award. She co-founded the Canadian Entrepreneurship Initiative with Richard Branson to encourage more women entrepreneurs. Michele has worked driving new digital solutions to many of the world’s leading brands, including P&G, Netflix, Starbucks, and Cirque du Soleil. In addition, she’s advised Fortune 100s and governments on innovation, AI, blockchain and the new economy.

Michele was a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award; the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards; and was a Cartier Women’s Initiative Award global finalist. In the media, Michele’s work has been profiled in Forbes, Entrepreneur, the Globe and Mail, and Chatelaine.
During her Civil Engineering undergrad at Queen’s University, Michele founded The Tea Room, the first zero-consumer-waste coffee shop. At Queen’s, she was given the Queen’s Tricolour — the highest honor awarded by the university — and, after completing her Queen’s MBA, she founded Evandale Caviar, a vertically integrated commercial fishery.

Michele is a director for Vail Resorts (NYSE: MTN), Freshii (TSX: FRII), League of Innovators, Queen’s Business School and Shad, a transformational program that develops the entrepreneurial potential of exceptional Canadian youth.

Jukay Hsu

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Pursuit, USA

Jukay Hsu is the co-founder & CEO of Pursuit, whose mission is to create transformation where it’s needed most. Pursuit’s programs increase participant incomes from $18,000 to $85,000 by equipping them with software engineering skills and enabling them to get jobs and create leaders reflective of the diversity in our society. Jukay graduated from Harvard College with a degree in economics and then served as a U.S. Army officer where he commanded a rifle platoon in Iraq and earned the Bronze Star Medal. Jukay served as the youngest member of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Transition Team and Jobs Task Force. He currently serves as a Director of the New York City Water Board, the Vice-Chair of Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Partnership for New York City Foundation.