Who we are
The Forum of Young Global Leaders is a community with the vision, courage and influence to drive positive change.
During a transformational five-year experience, YGLs are inspired to be bold in undertaking a sense of shared responsibility, impact and ambition.
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
Iliyana currently holds the position of Deputy Managing Director of the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), a 26 billion guarantee facility launched jointly by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank Group to support strategic investments in the European Union. Previous experience as senior executive in development and finance with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London, UK. Has also held non-executive board positions in international utility companies and investment funds for infrastructure investments. In 2013-14, appointed Deputy Prime Minister in two caretaker governments of Bulgaria. MSc in Finance, University for National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria; Postgraduate in Financial Management, Visiting Scholar, Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA.
Born and raised in Ethiopia, Alfa now lives in New Jersey with her husband and two little boys. She is also the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Rising Tide Capital, a non-profit organization that provides underserved entrepreneurs with the resources needed to grow successful businesses. Over the past 15 years, the organization has run hundreds of Community Business Academies, which provide intensive business management training coupled with year-round coaching and mentorship to over 1,000 entrepreneurs annually. Corporate, foundation and governmental funders underwrite the cost of tuition for all participants. By building successful businesses, these entrepreneurs meet their families’ basic needs, create opportunities for social mobility and help transform their local communities into thriving economies.
Alfa is also the co-founder of Future Tide Partners, which equips cross-sector leaders to shift capital, policy and culture to respond to a new world of work in service to a flourishing future economy. She was named Young Global Leader in 2015 and has appeared in leading media outlets, such as CNN, the Suze Orman show, O the Oprah Magazine, Essence Magazine, Bloomberg, Inc Magazine, BusinessWeek and Entrepreneur Magazine. Recipient of honours and awards, including: recognized by President Barack Obama; named a CNN Hero; named one of the Most Powerful Women Changing the World, Forbes.
Former Minister of Information Technology, Electronics and Communications, Panchayat Raj, and Rural Development of Andhra Pradesh, India. One of the youngest ministers in the country. Is passionate about cultivating a robust business-friendly environment and accelerating technology penetration and rural development.
Florian is founder of the DO School and a thought leader in the field of social innovation. Powered by a global community from over 100 countries, the DO School enables a purposeful economy that is sustainable and innovative. It enables leading companies and organisations to transform successfully, turn co-created ideas into action, equip entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs to lead and build movements, and create real change. Previously, Florian co-founded and led organisations in philanthropy, media and the lifestyle industry in Asia, Europe and the US. He holds an MPhil in International Politics from St Antony´s College, Oxford University with distinction and regularly teaches and contributes to the debate on using entrepreneurship and innovation to create positive change in the world. Florian is a recipient of the German government award Land der Ideen and was named a Young Global Leader by the WEF in 2017. He lives in Berlin with his wife and daughter.
Rebeca is Founder & CEO of Clarity, which tries to solve the problem of inefficient and unequal allocation of capital by developing a universal framework and building an automated tool to rate companies and organizations. Previously, she was leading the Global Digital Transformation Program at Santander Bank (one of the largest banks in the World). Rebeca was Founder & CEO of Blink Booking, the award winning last minute hotel booking mobile app leader in Europe, with more than 800,000 downloads, almost 3,000 hotels. Blink was acquired by Groupon less than 1 and a half years after launching. After the acquisition, Rebeca worked at Groupon as General Manager and Senior Director of Product and Operation, leading one of the top priorities of the company.
She is advisor at several startups with focus on social impact.
Prior to Blink, Rebeca worked at Bain Capital Private Equity, Boston Consult ing Group and as engineer at the German Aerospace Agency, Siemens and IBM. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, MSc in Telecommunication Engineering for Polytechnic University in Madrid and Stuttgart University (all of them with Distinction).
Lily Sarafan is CEO of Home Care Assistance (HCA), where she has led the company from startup to sector leader with nearly 10,000 employees. HCA is the largest premium provider of in-home care for seniors in North America. Lily is also a board member and investor for innovative companies, serving as a board director at Thumbtack and at Counsyl through its acquisition by Myriad Genetics.
Lily serves on the Stanford University Board of Trustees, the Freeman Spogli Institute Council, and the Stanford Undergraduate Cabinet. She is also Founding Partner of Project BIG: The Stanford Brain Immune Gut Initiative. An appointee to the California Governor's Alzheimer's Task Force, Lily serves in various other leadership roles to advance economic development, civic engagement, and precision health.
Lily holds an M.S. in Management Science and Engineering and B.S. in Science, Technology, and Society from Stanford University. She has been named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Women Health Care Executives Woman of the Year, and a Silicon Valley 40 Under 40. Lily is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute, and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.
Ankur Jain is founder and CEO of Kairos, a venture fund building and investing in companies to tackle the world’s greatest challenges. Over the years, Kairos has helped launch and grow over $6.5bn worth of companies tackling problems in healthcare, housing costs, transportation networks, and more. Before rejoining Kairos in May 2017, Jain was the VP of Product at Tinder, the world’s largest social network for meeting people. He joined Tinder after it acquired his previous company, Humin, where he served as Founder & CEO.
Over the years Jain has been recognized for a variety of achievements. In 2017, he was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. In 2011, Inc. magazine named Ankur Jain the “Best Connected 21-Year-Old in the World” and awarded Jain “30 Under 30”. In 2012, Jain was named “30 under 30: Solution Broker” by the Christian Science Monitor. And in 2015, Forbes also named Jain to their “30 under 30” list. Jain also currently serves on the innovation board of the X-Prize foundation and as a member of the Pacific Council on Foreign Relations.
Akiko Naka is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Wantedly, a social networking service for professionals. Following its official launch in February 2012, Wantedly grew to 2.5 million monthly active users and 30,000 corporations. Wantedly has become the leading professional social networking service in Japan. Naka was the youngest female founder to take a company public in Japan.
BSc in Public Administration, University of Abuja. Over five years of experience advocating for the betterment of persons with disabilities. Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cedar Seed Foundation, Nigeria. President, Disabled Sports Club - Abuja, President, Women on Wheels Multipurpose Cooperative Society. Vice-President, Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni Association, Nigeria Chapter. Assistant National Coordinator, Advocacy for Women with Disabilities Initiative. Board Member, Potters Gallery Initiative.