Who we are
The Young Global Leaders ® Community is 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
Phanindra Sama, A firm believer in active citizenship, is the first chief innovation officer of the Government of Telangana, contributing to building an innovation-driven economy in the state. Previously, he was the founder of redBus, the world's largest bus ticketing company, with operations in six countries. After exiting redBus, he co-founded Kakatiya Sandbox, a social impact venture that nurtures active citizenship for the economic prosperity of the region.
Starting the bio venture in 2013 while a doctoral student in molecular bioscience at the University of Tokyo, Takahashi's company anlyzes saliva to see what a people's genetics can tell about their current and future health. Individuals send the same directly to the firm, and it returns the results in four to six weeks, all for around $400. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Sciences and Technology recognized her as one of the researchers who are contributing to major innovation in science and technology in Japan in 2016.
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.
Elham Al Qasim
Elham Al Qasim serves as Digital14’s Chief Executive Officer, steering the organisation’s strategic direction, and leading over 1,000 staff in their purpose-driven work to deliver trust in digital so that clients can innovate and fulfil their potential. Prior to joining Digital14, Elham enjoyed a global career with executive roles in investment and asset management. More recently, Elham served as CEO of Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) and Executive Director of the Ghadan 21 programme at the Abu Dhabi Executive Office where she led the strategic planning for the government’s three-year, AED 50 billion investment programme aimed at accelerating Abu Dhabi’s economy. Prior to this, Elham was a Director of Mubadala Investment Company, focusing on Mubadala’s Technology and Industry portfolio. Her responsibilities included building investment/entry strategy, business development, value creation, and post-acquisition asset management in sectors including Metals & Mining, Semiconductors, and Technology. During this time, Elham also served on the executive leadership team of Emirates Global Aluminium and delivered a two year post merger integration program. Elham has served on a number of boards and is currently a Board Member of Amanat Holdings, AlAin Farms, and the Khalifa Fund, a government-owned SME Fund. Elham’s international career includes JPMorgan Investment Bank, where she was part of the Global Diversified Industrials Team based in London handling M&A transactions in chemicals, metals and mining, and infrastructure. Elham holds an MSc from the School of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Business from the American University in Dubai. In April 2010, Elham became the first Arab woman to ski to the North Pole.
Laura is the Founder of the Regenerators a pioneering collective focused on aiding the transformation to design, organizations, cities and life build on nature’s regenerative value-creating principles.
Laura has spent her entire career working in the intersection between business, sustainability, climate change policy and innovation leading and creating impact- and purpose-driven organizations, conferences, campaigns and movements. All have they focused on engaging the business world in the global transformation to sustainability and includes the Copenhagen Climate Council, the World Business Summit on Climate Change, Project Green Light, and Sustainia and now Regenerators. For her work she has been awarded the title ‘Worldchanger’ by Greenbiz and is selected by the World Economic Forum as a ‘Young Global Leader’. She serves on the Board for the Danish Design Council and is part of World Economic Forum’s Expert Network on sustainable development and climate change. Laura also hosts the podcast Cracks of Light - Leadership for a thriving world that engage leaders in a dialogue around the needed paradigm shift towards regeneration instead of degeneration.
Laura received the 2013 Worldchanger Award by Greenbiz.
She holds a Master in Political Communication and Leadership, Copenhagen Business School.
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.
BSc in Neuroscience, UCLA; PhD in Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge; Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Zurich and University College London. Formerly: Associate Professor of Experimental Psychology, Fellow of Jesus College, and Distinguished Research Fellow, Oxford Centre for Neuroethics, University of Oxford. Currently, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Yale University. Lab investigates the psychological and neural mechanisms of morality, altruism and economic decision-making. Research integrates perspectives from social psychology, neuroscience, behavioural economics and philosophy, and employs a range of methods, including behavioural experiments, computational modelling, brain imaging and pharmacology. Work has been published in academic journals, including Science, Nature Neuroscience, Neuron, PNAS and Current Biology. Research has been covered by numerous news outlets, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, BBC, the Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal. Has written articles for WIRED, the Guardian and Scientific American. 2012 TED talk (“Beware Neuro-bunk”) has more than 1 million views. Current interests include self-deception and moral hypocrisy; the development of trust in healthy people and psychiatric disorders; moral outrage and political polarization; and how technology transforms social emotions. Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum. Named a Rising Star, Association for Psychological Science (2015).
Barbara Ann Bernard
Founder & Chief Investment Officer of asset management firm, Wincrest Capital. Barbara Ann was named as one of the top 50 Women in Hedge Funds globally by Ernst & Young and the Hedge Fund Journal in 2019. She co-founded the Variant Perspectives: Women in Value Investing Conference and was honored as a Young Global Leader in 2018 by the World Economic Forum. Her passion for investing goes back to her days of growing up in The Bahamas where as a teenager she persuaded legendary value investor Sir John Templeton, a fellow Bahamian resident, to take her on board for the first of what would become a series of summer jobs at Templeton, instilling a fundamental value-oriented investment approach to the public markets. Later, working in investment banking at Goldman Sachs, followed by alternative asset management at Deutsche Bank, and as an investment analyst at Holowesko Partners, she acquired a robust grasp of private market valuation and the hedge fund industry. Today, she is the portfolio manager of the Wincrest Contraria Fund, which is a global long/short equity fund of niche, esoteric investment ideas based on bottom-up "Go-See & Verify" research. Barbara Ann is a graduate of Li Po Chun United World Colleges ("UWC") in Hong Kong, Lakefield College School in Canada, and the London School of Economics, where she Chaired the LSE Business Society. She is currently a Director of the Lyford Cay Foundation and Chair of the UWC Bahamian National Committee.
Ibram X Kendi
Ibram X. Kendi is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, and the founding director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research. He is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News racial justice contributor. Kendi is the 2020-2021 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. He is the author of many books including Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction, making him the youngest ever winner of that award. He also authored three #1 New York Times bestsellers, How to Be an Antiracist; Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, co-authored with Jason Reynolds; and Antiracist Baby, illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky. His newest books are Be Antiracist: A Journal for Awareness, Reflection, and Action; and Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, co-edited with Keisha Blain. In 2020, Time magazine named Kendi one of the 100 most influential people in the world.