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.

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Meet our members

Gary Liu

Chief Executive Officer, South China Morning Post, Hong Kong SAR, China

Gary Liu is CEO of the South China Morning Post, a global news media company that has reported on China and Asia for more than a century. Gary is also the Chairman of the WAN-IFRA Asia Pacific Committee, and was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2019. Prior to joining the SCMP in January 2017, Gary was CEO of Digg, spearheading the New York startup’s transformation from aggregator to a data-driven news platform. Previously, Gary was Head of Labs at Spotify, after joining the company as Global Director of Ad Product Strategy. Gary has also worked at AOL and Google.

Silvia Wiesner

General Manager, Belgium and Luxembourg, Unilever, Belgium

Silvia Wiesner is General Manager Belgium & Luxembourg at Unilever. She has a strong passion for Diversity & Inclusion and Sustainable Food Systems. The first is linked to her role as Committee Chair for European Women on Boards. The latter was a perfect match with her previous role as Vice President Foods for the DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) region. As a member of Unilever’s global Foods & Refreshment Leadership Team, Silvia had the opportunity to lead for the creation of inclusive food systems that feed our nations in a fairer, healthier and more sustainable way. This was reflected in innovations and market development programs aiming at plant-based foods being accessible to all, e.g. with the introduction of The Vegetarian Butcher or the “Future 50 Foods” under the Knorr brand in Germany. Silvia has been an advocate for a progressive industry stance on the EU Green Recovery and the Farm to Fork Strategy and is passionate about purpose-led leadership, flexible work models, and external partnerships.

Silvia is an ExComm member of European Women on Boards (EWOB), instrumental for the final landing of the EU Directive on Women on Boards.

Ricardo Weder

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, JUSTO, INC., Mexico

Ricardo Weder is an entrepreneur and promoter of the tech ecosystem in Mexico and Latin America. Today, Ricardo is Founder and CEO of Justo, the first online pure play supermarket in Mexico and a pioneer in LATAM, with the vision of transforming positively the food and consumer goods industry in Latin America. Previously, Ricardo was Global President of Cabify, where he was a key person in the growth of the company. Ricardo led the operations and expansion of the company from early-stage startup to a unicorn with a valuation of US$1.4b and presence throughout Iberia and Latin America. Over his professional career, Ricardo also worked in financial institutions like HSBC, JPMorgan and PWC. As entrepreneur he has founded several startups in the financial, real estate and consumer services industries. Furthermore, Ricardo has been university professor and is an independent board member of Principal Financial Group in Mexico. He is also part of the WEF expert network and was invited as founding member of the WEF Global Vanguard community. He is an angel investor and partner of OBS.mx, VC capital fund and an Endeavour entrepreneur. Ricardo was born in Mexico City, he is an Industrial Engineer from ITESM and holds an MBA from the University of Mannheim in Germany. During his master’s degree he spent time in the University of CUHK in Hong Kong. Lastly, he obtained a certificate in Innovation and Growth from Endeavor at Stanford University.

Fawaz Farooqui

Managing Director, Cruise Saudi, Saudi Arabia

Fawaz Farooqui is a public sector entrepreneur and innovator who led multiple transformations and established several entities and companies. He dedicated his career to improving the quality of life in Saudi Arabia and creating unforgettable experiences that are inspired by the culture and people of Saudi. He currently serves as the Chief Advisor to the Saudi Minister of Culture and sits on the board of several organizations such as Saudia Airlines, Cruise Saudi Corporation, AlUla Development Company and the Saudi Sports for All Federation. In addition, he is the interim CEO of Cruise Saudi, which he led to launch the cruise industry in Saudi and promote the Red Sea to global cruise lines. Previously, Fawaz was appointed as the first CEO of the country’s National Transformation Program (NTP) to lead the first revamp of the program to enhance execution and delivery, resulting in specialized programs, such as Quality of Life, which he helped establish and was a board member of. Before that, Fawaz served as an Advisor to the Minister of Economy and Planning, focusing mainly on recreation and quality of life portfolio of the country. He led the establishment team of the General Entertainment Authority and various other public and social programs focused on improving the quality of life of the citizens in Saudi. Before joining the government, Fawaz led key initiatives in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) where he launched KAEC’s entrepreneurship program, as well as partnering with the global Messengers of Peace (MoP) initiative to initiate several programs in add KAEC on the global agenda of MoP initiative. Fawaz started his career with Saudi Aramco, where he led several transformations, starting from revamping field operations and establishing technology support in Aramco’s Satellite Communications to a complete turnaround and re-launch of the Corporate Telecom Network Operations Center. Fawaz has an MBA from Stanford University. He also earned a BSc in Computer Engineering and Computer Science, a BA in Political Science, and an MSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California. He has authored several technology articles including 3 technical papers that were published in global journals and were presented in different conferences worldwide.

Jean-François Gagné

VP AI, Canada

Jean-Francois Gagné is a veteran AI entrepreneur and co-founder and chief executive officer of Element AI, one of the fastest growing AI start-ups in the world. He was formerly chief product officer and chief innovation officer at JDA Software, where he was the youngest global C-level executive of a top 20 enterprise software company. He is the only non-European member of the EUs High Level Expert Group on AI, a member of the World Economic Forum's Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and his company Element AI is the only Canadian member of the Partnership on AI, based in the US.

Angela Baker

Chief Sustainability Officer, Qualcomm, USA

Angela Baker is the Chief Sustainability Officer at Qualcomm where she oversees all corporate responsibility and ESG programming. This includes the company's climate strategy and net-zero emissions by 2040 goal as well as several other ESG 2025 targets. She also manages all social impact programs, including Wireless Reach, a strategic initiative that brings wireless technology to under-served communities globally. Wireless Reach invests in projects that foster entrepreneurship, aid in public safety, enhance the delivery of health care, enrich teaching and learning and improve environmental sustainability. To date, Wireless Reach has partnered with hundreds of organizations on programs in over 40 countries and has reached over 20 million beneficiaries. The team also includes strategic corporate giving around Science, Technology, Engineering and Math programs.

Previously, she served as an advisor to Secretary Hillary Clinton in the Office of Innovation at the United States Department of State, where she worked on foreign policy goals connected to the 21st Century Statecraft agenda through bilateral and multilateral engagement with strategic partners on technology and development issues. Specifically, she was part of a team that designed and implemented “Techcamp” – an ongoing program that connects civil society across the globe with new and emerging technology resources to solve real world challenges and build digital capacity - in over 30 countries.

Prior to working in the Obama Administration, Baker worked for an international advocacy firm in Seattle, WA, where she helped to create nongovernmental organizations focused on helping those in need.

Baker has worked in several countries spanning five continents. She has a Master’s Degree in International Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University and sits on the board of Running Start, an organization that works to bring more young women to politics and leadership roles. She serves on the Advisory Committee on Public Issues for the Ad Council, working on the some of society's most pressing social issues. She has also been named to the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society 2016 Rising Talents Program.

Miku Hirano

Chief Executive Officer, Cinnamon, Japan

Serial Entrepreneur. MSc, in Artificial Intelligence, from Tokyo University. Engaged in research on Recommendation Engine, Complex Network, Clustering. Won the Innovative Software Creation Program (Super Creator Award) under Information-technology Promotion Agency Japan (IPA) in 2005 and 2006. Started her first business to create the middleware which enables to develop iOS / Android / Feature Phone simultaneously, and sold the company to mixi.inc. Founded Cinnamon in Singapore in 2012. She has received various awards, including St. Gallen Symposium Leaders of Tomorrow, Forbes Japan "Entrepreneur Ranking 2020" BEST10, Woman of the Year 2019 Innovative Entrepreneur Award, and Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award 2019 New Generation Award. She has also been a keynote speaker at AWS Summit 2019, Milken Institute Japan Symposium, 45th Japan-ASEAN Management Conference, Bloomberg The Year Ahead Summit 2019, and etc. She was appointed to a member of the IT Strategy Office, Cabinet Secretariat and a special member of the Tax Commission, Cabinet Office in 2020. She has been an expert member of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, Cabinet Office; a member of the New Economic and Industrial Policy Subcommittee, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; and an expert member of the Council for Realizing New Capitalism, Cabinet Secretariat in 2021. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Tokyo. She is the mother of three children.

Joelle Faulkner

President and Chief Executive Officer, Area One Farms, Canada

Joelle Faulkner co-founded and manages four funds with aggregate commitments of C$300 million. Area One Farms has maintained over 120,000 acres under Canadian ownership and control, helped 28 families establish equity positions in land that they farm, and brought over 15,000 acres into agricultural production from Area One's unique methods of land rehabilitation. Faulkner is a Director of Cognicity Inc., Baycrest Global Solutions Inc., Western University Entrepreneurship Advisory Board and the Canadian Rhodes Scholars Foundation.

Fares Bugshan

Chief Executive Officer, Bugshan Investment, Saudi Arabia

Fares Bugshan is the Chief Executive Officer of Bugshan Investments. He is also a Board Member at MenaBev, one of the largest PepsiCo bottlers in the Middle East, and of Endeavor Saudi Arabia, a non-profit organization supporting entrepreneurs. Prior, Bugshan was a social and economic research analyst and General Manger (Saudi Arabia) at the Gallup Organization. He holds a BA in Economics and Psychology from McMaster University, Canada, an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and an MBA from the London Business School.