The Forum of Young Global Leaders is a community of innovators from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Search current members and alumni by year awarded, sector or region.
Gwenaelle Avice Huet has been Schneider Electric’s Executive Vice President of Europe Operations since September 4, 2023 and serves on its Executive Committee. She is responsible for Schneider Electric’s full business portfolio across Europe Operations, representing the company’s contribution to the development of the EU’s agenda to accelerate Europe’s green and digital transformation.
Gwenaelle joined Schneider Electric in 2021 as Senior-Vice President of Corporate Strategy, before entering the Executive Committee as Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer.
Before joining Schneider Electric, Gwenaelle worked at ENGIE (formerly GDF SUEZ) in various roles, from Senior Vice-President of European and Regulatory affairs, to leading the Renewables energy business. In her last role, she was on the Executive Committee of ENGIE, serving as the Chief Executive Officer of ENGIE North America and in charge of the Global Business Line on Renewable Energies.
Gwenaelle started her career at the French National Centre for Scientific Research and the French Atomic Energy Commission on nuclear energy before joining the World Bank in Washington D.C. as a consultant. She also worked for the service of the French Prime Minister within the General Secretary of European affairs with responsibility for energy and competitiveness matters, and as the advisor on energy and climate change for various ministers.
Gwenaelle also serves on the Board of Air France – KLM. She holds a degree in Physics and Chemistry from the Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay, a post-graduate diploma in Molecular Chemistry from France’s Ecole Polytechnique and an engineering degree from the Corps des Ponts et Chaussées. She has also been nominated as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. She is based in Europe.
CEO of The Conduit Oslo. Former Special Adviser to the President/Management of BI Norwegian Business School (Jan 2018 - Jan 2023). Former State Secretary, Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries (Oct 2013- Jan 2018). As State Secretary she was responsible for international/bilateral relations and trade policy, export financing, industrial research and innovation, the maritime industries including shipping and the travel and tourism industry. She was responsible for the following policy papers:
Industry White Paper (chapters covering RD&I, competence),
The National Entrepreneurship Plan,
Tourism White Paper
and the Export Strategy.
Entrepreneur. Has served on the board of several organizations working with diversity management and intercultural communication.
Dr Dawood Azami is an award winning senior journalist and academic with a quarter century of working experience. As a Multi-Media Editor in the BBC World Service (London), he leads a team of journalists in covering international news and current affairs.
Dawood is also an Associate Fellow at The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), London, contributing to research and analysis of geopolitical and international security and development issues.
He also served as the BBC World Service Bureau Chief and Editor in Kabul, Afghanistan (2010-2011) where he was responsible for the editorial management of the Bureau and leading a large team of journalists and supporting staff.
He was a Visiting Lecturer/Scholar at the University of Westminster (London) and The Ohio State University (USA) teaching on both BA (Globalization, Power and International Governance) & MA modules (International Politics of Resources) as well as Culture and Politics in the greater Middle East.
Dawood obtained his Ph.D. in the field of Politics and International Relations/Security. His PhD looked at conflict and state (un)building and investigated the impact of drugs on the strength, motivation and ideology of insurgent groups in four countries – Afghanistan (Taliban), Colombia (FARC), Turkey (PKK) and Sri Lanka (LTTE).
He also holds three Master's in various fields including Politics, International Relations, International Security, Science, Law and Diplomacy.
He has won several national and international awards and prizes. In 2009, he won the BBC’s “Global Reith Award for Outstanding Contribution”, the biggest and lifetime achievement award in the BBC. He was selected as a Young Global Leader (YGL) by the World Economic Forum, Geneva, in 2011. In 2012, he was selected as a Young Leader in Europe under the first pan- European programme of leadership called ’40 under 40’. In 2015, he was given "Journalist of the Mediterranean (Giornalisti del Mediterraneo)" Award in Italy.
He has visited more than 30 countries and participated as a speaker in more than a hundred international conferences/seminars on a wide range of topics including politics, security, international relations, media and governance.
He is also a member of a number of international academic and professional initiatives.
Dawood speaks five languages (Pashto, Dari/Persian, Urdu/Hindi, and English) and has a working knowledge of Arabic and Turkish. He paints and practices calligraphy and writes poems and short stories in three languages.
Gina Badenoch, Founder, Capaxia/OQS
Young Global Leader, United Kingdom
Social entrepreneur and photographer
Gina’s Dream is to reduce inequality, enabling social and economic mobility by building a more inclusive society.
Creating experiences that change mindsets where the greatest prejudices exist between talent, potential and companies.
She has been working with Global organizations to promote a work-inclusive environment that increases inclusive leadership and diversity as an asset.
In 2006, founded Ojos que Sienten, 13 years ago she saw potential where others saw limitation by teaching photography to blind people, offering a tool that allows them to connect with the visual world.
In 2012, founded Capaxia, taking learnings from working with blind people developed a highly successful new approach to lower the impact of our bias designing an inclusive, empathetic and human centered recruitment and development of talent model called: First I hear you then I see you, based on implementing blind interviews, back-to-back, by which recruiting officers can go beyond their own unconscious biases and identify the true potential of future employees for a better match to job roles, better development of their talent and potential within organizations and ultimately promotion to roles that are satisfying to them and benefit their employers. Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum. Ashoka Fellow. World Economic Forum. Ashoka Fellow. Awarded by the Queen of Great Britain a British Empire Medal (BEM) among other recongnisions.
Former Mayor of Geneva and member of Swiss Parliament | Swiss lawyer
Katinka is an economist, political analyst and consultant. Katinka started out at the Economist Group and then, for over a decade, she helped to build a highly successful policy think-tank in London, the CER. In 2018 she moved into the private sector, to take various leading roles at Allianz group. Katinka has been a successful writer and media commentator and an advisor to several governments, the European Commission, numerous banks and business federations. She was also Strategic Adviser to the Munich Security Conference; David Rockefeller Fellow at the Trilateral Commission; a WEF Young Global Leader and a Fellow at Chatham House. She studied at the London School of Economics and LMU Munich.
Dr Andrew Bastawrous is Co-Founder & CEO of Peek Vision, a social impact organization which uses smartphone technology to radically increase access eye care in some of the most challenging places in the world. Andrew is an Ophthalmologist (Eye Surgeon), and Associate Professor in International Eye Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine where he teaches on public health for eye health and leads a research portfolio.
Andrew has worked and undertaken research in over twenty countries including two years living in Kenya where he was leading a major eye disease study and the development and testing of Peek. He has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles focusing on international eye health and mobile technology in healthcare and has co-authored four book chapters.
Andrew was made a TED Fellow in 2014 and his TED talk has been viewed over one million times. Since then, Peek has run one of the top-ten all-time Indiegogo crowd-funding campaigns in the health sector, for Peek Retina, a smartphone ophthalmoscope.
Peek’s vision check app, Peek Acuity, launched on Google Play store in 2016 and is a certified medical device in use in over 150 countries. Peek's end-to-end services now incorporate their apps and hardware and have been used to transform eye health in Kenya, Botswana and India with new programmes with partners now running in Pakistan and Zimbabwe with plans to expand in to several new countries in 2020.
In 2018, Andrew was invited to address the Commonwealth Service in the presence of the British Royal Family, Prime Minister, and a global live TV and radio audience.
Andrew is working with major banks, eye health organisations and funders to develop innovative financing models for eye health with a $1Bn Vision Catalyst Fund, the subject of his 2018 TED Talk.
Dan is Founder & CEO of Spring Impact. Spring works with the world’s most promising social solutions – to end the world’s greatest social needs. At Spring, Dan has developed successful scaling strategies for over 140 organisations including Nike Foundation, Shell Foundation, Oxfam, PSI and Health Foundation. Dan developed Scale Accelerator, a programme to scale up the grantees of the 9 largest funders in the UK. Dan authored the Social Replication Toolkit which has been used by over 4000 social ventures globally. Dan is a regular presenter, writer, Clore Social Leadership Fellow, Young Global Leader at WEF, has a BSc in Management from Nottingham University, and is a Rothschild Fellow at the Cambridge Judge Business School and graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education programme. He is a founding Trustee of the Bike Project for refugees and asylum seekers.
Danae Bezantakou holds the positions of CEO of Navigator Shipping Consultants and shareholder of KEFI S.A. & MATILDA HOTEL in Zakynthos Island. One of her biggest accomplishments is the organization of NAVIGATOR – THE SHIPPING DECISION MAKERS FORUM which is the oldest Greek Shipping Forum, enhancing the open dialogue among the stakeholders of the Greek and International Maritime Clusters annually since 2001. She is the Concept Founder of Young Executives Shipping (YES) FORUM - the platform of open dialogue among principals, executives and university students, recent graduates and young executives in Shipping and Sea Tourism Sectors. She also serves as Secretary General of International Propeller Club (Port of Piraeus) and President of iforU-Greek Mentoring Network, which empowers small and medium women entrepreneurs through mentoring & networking & chairs the education committee of ICC Women in Greece. Danae was appointed as European Young Leader in 2013 and as Young Global Leader at World Economic Forum in 2015.
Danae represented Greece twice in International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) of State Dpt. in 2011 and in 2017. She is founding member and President of the Hellenic U.S. Alumni Association of State Department Programs. Her dedication to the growth of Entrepreneurship made her to be named as a Role Model in the campaign #Makingithappen organized by the U.S. Embassy to Greece. Recently she was chosen among 225,000 alumni of State Dept. As one of the 80 #FacesofExchange initiative highlighting 80 years of the IVLP and the impact of her work on the global community.
She regularly participates as a speaker, judge or mentor in startup competitions, Shipping fora, school and university lectures and events related to entrepreneurship.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality and Tourism Management from the University of Surrey. She has a 13 year old daughter.
Adam C. Bird
Adam Bird is a Director with McKinsey & Company and Co-Leader of the Global Media and Entertainment Practice. He advises the top management of leading global media, entertainment, technology and consumer goods companies on critical business issues and leads McKinsey's Digital Marketing Practice, as well as the firm's Global Digital Initiative. Prior to McKinsey, Bird was the youngest Senior Partner with Booz & Company (formerly Booz Allen Hamilton). He founded the European Media and Entertainment Practice and led the Global Consumer and Media Practice. He also served as a Member of Booz Allen Hamilton's and Booz & Company's Board of Directors, the firm's highest governance bodies. Bird is co-author of Customer Centricity: New Opportunities for the Media Industry. He often speaks on media topics at conferences and is cited in leading publications. Bird is a Member of the International Council of the Paley Center for Media and serves as Vice-Chairman of the Board of the Munich International School. He is an honours graduate of Wesleyan University.
Matthew Bishop is a leading writer and social innovator. He spent over 25 years at The Economist, including serving as New York Bureau Chief and other roles including business editor and Wall Street editor. He then led the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center. Bishop is a co-founder of the Social Progress Index; Catalyst 2030; the SDG-focused initiative, 17 Rooms; and the #GivingTuesday campaign. He was official report author of the G8 Taskforce on Social Impact Investing. He is the co-author of several books, including Philanthrocapitalism: How Giving Can Save the World and The Road From Ruin. He has chaired the WEF Global Agenda Council on Philanthropy and Social Innovation and was honored by the WEF as a Young Global Leader.
Thor Björgolfsson is a self-styled “adventure capitalist”, who became Iceland’s first billionaire. He made his first fortune with Bravo Brewery in St Petersburg, Russia, selling it to Heineken in 2002. Over the next years he invested in telecoms, mostly in Eastern Europe, built up generic drugs company Actavis (now Allergan) and became big investor in one of Iceland’s largest banks, Landsbanki.
Thor continues to be an active investor in the emerging economies of Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America through his London-based private equity fund Novator Partners LLP. He is Chairman of Novator and maintains a shareholding in companies including telecoms Play in Poland and WOM in Chile, as well as computer games company CCP, data center Verne Global and pharmaceutical company Xantis Pharma.
Thor graduated from New York University‘s Stern School of Business with a degree in Finance and has served on the School‘s Board of Overseers for the past 8 years.
Thor’s autobiography, “Billions to Bust—and Back: How I Made, Lost and Rebuilt a Fortune, And What I Learned on the Way”, was published in 2014.