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Paolo Benigno Aquino IV
Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino is the youngest Senator of the 16th Congress of the Republic of the Philippines. In 2003, he became the youngest head of a government agency when, at 25, was appointed as the Chairperson of the National Youth Commission, the primary national policy-making body for Filipino youth. Bam also co-founded the social enterprise Hapinoy, which has received global awards for helping lift poor Filipinos out of poverty through micro-finance and micro-enterprise support. Bam has dedicated his entire career to empowering the youth and the poor, helping thousands of Filipinos improve their lives through access to opportunities and crucial support systems. Because of this work, he was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines in 2010, one of the Asian Social Entrepreneurs of the Year in 2011 and one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World in 2012.
Former CEO of Grupo Solid, market leader of Paints and Coatings in Central America with headcount of 1,500 employees and above US$ 100 million in turnover. Currently became board member of Grupo Solid, also in charge of M&A and expansion.
Yara was appointed as one of the most powerful woman in Central America by Forbes Magazine in 2016, and as one of five more admired women in Central America by the business magazine Estrategia y Negocios, for three consecutive years (2008, 2009 and 2010). Honored as Distinguished Professional of the year by INCAE Business School in 2013.
Member of the Central America Leadership Initiative – CALI / Aspen Global Network. President and Mentor of Vital Voices´ Guatemalan Chapter. Board Member of the Guatemalan Board of INCAE Business School. Has served as Industrial Engineering Director in Universidad Rafael Landivar. Electoral Coordinator and Delegate for the last four Guatemalan presidential elections.
Yara has an MBA from INCAE, an Industrial Engineer degree from Universidad Rafael Landivar and additional education in Harvard Kennedy School and in Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Marisol Argueta de Barillas
Head of Latin America and Member of the Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum. Salvadoran lawyer and career Ambassador. Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador. She served as Director General of Foreign Policy and was a Diplomatic Officer at the Embassy of El Salvador in Washington DC and at the Salvadoran Diplomatic Representation to the United Nations in New York. She holds a degree in Law and a master’s degree in diplomacy from the University of Oxford, England. With specialized studies at the International Peace Academy, Harvard University and the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, USA. She has received awards and National Decorations from Spain, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Peru, Italy and the USA. She is a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and a Central American Leadership Initiative Fellow by the Aspen Institute and has been recognized by various publications among the most distinguished regional women leaders. She has published articles on international affairs, regional integration, gender issues and sustainable development. She serves in various Advisory Boards.
Degree in Economics, Muhlenberg College; GE Capital Financial Management Program (FMP); Swiss Re Group Management Development Program; STARS Symposium for Leaders of the Next Generation. Diverse track record of experiences; has held roles in various financial services industries, geographic locations, and with various functional responsibilities. Has lived in the US, Germany, UK, Switzerland, Japan and Saudi Arabia. Currently, Member, Reinsurance Executive Committee, Swiss Re; Division Head, Casualty Reinsurance. Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum (2015).
Maria Antonia Odelia Arroyo
Maoi Arroyo is a serial entrepreneur, impact investor, educator, and biologist. In 2018, she became the founder and principal of the Ignite Impact Fund, the first fund focused exclusively on eradicating income and access poverty in the Philippines.
Her entrepreneurship career began when she founded Hybridigm Consulting, the premier and pioneering innovation consulting and commercialization firm in the Philippines. In the last 14 years, the firm has developed policy for the Philippine government, facilitated over $3.5M in biotech investments, trained over 17,000 aspiring entrepreneurs, and created 3,500 jobs.
In addition, she has also co-founded a social enterprise that now supplies pasteurized eggs to 5 major hotels in the Philippines, a fashion brand that upcycles leather jackets into bags, a media company that promotes independent Filipino films, and a property development firm.
Over the last decade, Ms Arroyo has received several honors. She was hailed by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the top 35 entrepreneurs under 35 in 2006, was the youngest PhilDev Foundation USA honoree for her contributions to national development through science and technology (2010). Ms Arroyo is also a 2011 Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) awardee – and the only woman in that year. The TOYM is the most prestigious award given to Filipinos under 40 and is presented by the President of the Republic of the Philippines. In 2013 she was one of the DevEx 40 under 40 International Development Leaders, and selected one of the UK Foreign Commonwealth Office's International Leaders in 2014. She was named as one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders of 2015 and served on the forum's Global Future Council on SDG Investment from 2020-2022.
Ms. Arroyo is also an adjunct professor at the Asian Institute of Management; where she teaches Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She obtained an MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise from the University of Cambridge, and her first degree in Biology (BS) from the University of the Philippines.
Yara Asad is a Senior Private Sector Development Consultant with the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Private Sector for Refugees Project (PS4R). Yara has four years of experience working with the WBG, primarily on Private Sector Development - B2B and Matchmaking, focusing on vulnerable groups of refugees, migrants and women. Prior to that Yara served as the Project Manager and Research Lead at Building Markets-focusing on building the supply chain for Small and Medium size businesses (SMEs) in crisis affected countries. Between 2015-2017, Yara worked as a Lead Middle East and North Africa Researcher and Policy Analyst at Wolfensohn and Company under a project on the MENA 2050. Previously, she was the Director General for the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Palestine from January 2011- December 2014, a venture through which she focused on promoting regional and international trade relations. Parallel to that, Yara was the Chief Executive Officer of the Jerusalem Arbitration Centre. An initiative that aims to create a mechanism for Palestinian and Israeli businesses to resolve commercial disputes via arbitration.
Yara holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from Harvard Kennedy School of Government and is an Edward Mason Fellow of Public Policy. Her first publication at Ivey School was in January 2011, and focused on international marketing.
Tewodros Ashenafi is Founder and Chairman of SouthWest Holdings Ltd., a leading Ethiopian holding company, and Chairman of Ambo Mineral Water, one of the leading beverage brands in Ethiopia and part of Coca Cola Beverages Africa. Mr. Ashenafi is the local partner and did the largest privatization and private transaction in Ethiopian history, the $1.4 billion enterprise value privatization of (NTE), were he joined as board director, and JTI. He is also the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SouthWest Energy (HK), an African indigenous oil and gas exploration company, which is the top 10 acreage holder in East Africa. Ashenafi started his career at Merrill Lynch & Co. He serves on the Board of the EastWest Institute, a leading security think. He is also on the International Advisory Board of Atlantic Council, a non-partisan institution devoted to promoting transatlantic cooperation and international security, he is on the Advisory Board of Cepheus Growth Capital Partners a leading Ethiopian-focused private equity firm. Mr. Ashenafi is on the Advisory Board of the Columbia University Africa Centre. Mr. Ashenafi is a member of Young President's Organisation (YPO) Intercontinental Chapter. Ashenafi holds a degree in Economics from Columbia University and is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School. He was nominated as a Young Global Leader (YGL) Davos 2009.
Iwao Aso is President of the Aso Corporation and Group Chairman of the Aso Group, with interests in the fields of infrastructure, environmental solutions, healthcare, education and lifestyle services. He is also a Director of Dwango Co. Aso started his career in the family business as auditor at Aso Cement. He also served in the Aso Group as a director, executive director, senior managing director and vice-president. Prior, Aso worked as a trainee in Hongkong Land, Colliers Jardine in Hong Kong and the financial instruments development division in Shinsei Bank. Aso completed his undergraduate studies at Keio University with a BA in Economics. He also majored in international relations at the University of Cambridge.
Martin Aspillaga is Managing Director and Founder of Salkantay Partners. He is a PE and VC professional investor. Prior, he worked at Enfoca Investments, Bain & Company, McKinsey & Company and as a Peruvian bank regulator. He is a teacher, mentor and instructor and has published poetry, short stories and articles. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from Universidad del Pacifico.
Dr. Solomon Assefa is a Vice President at IBM Research. He leads the global effort focused on developing core technologies for climate change mitigation and adaptation, healthcare and life sciences, computing and nanotechnology. Under his leadership, hundreds of researchers from IBM’s global labs are pioneering disruptive and commercially viable technologies for sustainable hybrid cloud, material discovery for carbon capture, carbon footprint reduction, climate risk and impact modelling, and discovery of therapeutics and biomarkers. In 2021, Dr. Assefa incubated and lead a company-wide task force that provided strategic input on IBM’s internal sustainability strategy, and how IBM can become a leading technology provider to enable clients in advancing their sustainability goals. This taskforce informed IBM’s broader strategy that led to a new technology offering called Environmental Intelligence Suite (EIS).
Furthermore, Dr. Assefa is responsible for IBM’s Africa labs, located in Kenya and South Africa. He is responsible for fostering local innovation ecosystems by forming new models for partnership with government, industry, academia, non-profits, and start-ups. Under his leadership, the labs have developed scalable technology solutions for emerging markets in areas of financial services, telcos, healthcare, supply chain, energy and utilities, agriculture, and public sector. The Africa labs have also been instrumental in the development of technology in climate and sustainability, thereby not only contributing towards solving Africa’s grand challenges but also serving as a model on a global scale.
Early in his career, Dr Assefa was based in IBM’s iconic Yorktown Heights (NY) Research Lab, where he worked on IBM’s nanophotonics and MRAM technologies with responsibilities spanning scientific research, product development, and technology transfer. In addition, he has also co-authored over 150 publications in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, has over 70 patents granted, and has appeared as a guest speaker at numerous high-profile forums and conferences worldwide, including Davos. His work has been featured in Nature magazine, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Forbes, Technology Review, EE Times, and IEEE Spectrum, among many others.
Dr. Assefa is a recipient of several technical awards including the Technical Accomplishment Award, Corporate Recognition Award, and Invention Achievement Awards from IBM. He was named one of the World’s Top Young Innovators under 35 and received the TR35 awarded by MIT’s Technology Review (2011). He was honoured by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader in 2013. He is an Honorary Professor at University of Witwatersrand (Wits), a member of the Industrial Advisory Board of the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium and a member of the World Economic Forum Global Futures Council. Dr. Assefa is also a member of IBM CEO’s Acceleration Team (AT), where members of the AT are key senior executives who drive IBM’s innovation and growth strategy.
Chris is an award-winning repeat-entrepreneur, engineer and an author. Previously, he founded UCOT Inc.: the world's first center for the unintended consequences of Technologies. Chris coined and popularized the term "UCOT" (unintended consequences of technology) in the tech sector and the concept of "UCOT" evangelism. Before that, he founded Hourglass ventures a fund that supports visionary entrepreneurs from the African continent who come from an underprivileged background- and need Friends and Family round financing to get their ideas off the ground. Before that, he founded Health Access Corps, a non-profit that works to establish sustainable health care systems on the African continent. Chris has been invited to speak at some of the world’s most prestigious platforms such as TED, Clinton Global Initiative, and United Nations. He has won many international awards for his work, most recently 2016 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader; TEDFellow; Forbes Magazine 30Under30, Ashoka fellow and Echoing Green fellow. Chris' work has been featured in many major media publications both locally and Internationally such as BBC, Forbes, and NPR. Chris holds a Bachelor’s of Science, and Master’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He was awarded Mark Bingham Award for excellence in achievement by a young alumnus in the last 10 years.
Lera Auerbach's work transcends the 20th-century focus on specialization. A renaissance artist for modern times, she allows her artistic impulse to guide the genre of expression; whatever the medium - art, literature, or music - all of her work is interconnected as part of a cohesive and comprehensive artistic worldview.
Auerbach's large scale works have been produced in major theaters on every continent, including the Hamburg State Opera, Vienna's Theater an der Wien, New York's Lincoln Center, the National Ballet of Canada, the National Ballet of China, the Royal Danish Theater, the Nuremberg State Theater, the Finnish National Theater, Moscow's Stanislavsky Theater, the Nederlands Dans Theater, and the San Francisco Ballet.
Auerbach has been drawing and painting all her life as part of her creative process. In 2009, after a devastating fire destroyed her studio in New York, she began sculpting prolifically. Her paintings and photographs have been included in several exhibitions and, in 2013, she had her first solo photography show in Norway. Her creations are in private collections, have sold at auctions, been reproduced in magazines, and used on the covers of CDs and books. She has published three books of poetry in Russian, and her first book in English, "Excess of Being", was published in 2015.
Auerbach was born in Chelyabinsk at the gateway of Siberia. She received parallel graduate and post-graduate degrees from the Juilliard School and the Hanover University of Music, Drama, and Media. Her awards include the Hindemith Prize, two Golden Masks, the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship, the German Radio Prize, and the ECHO Classic Award.