Community

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.

Paul van Zyl

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Conduit, United Kingdom

Paul grew up in South Africa during the apartheid era and served as the Executive Secretary of South Africa’s post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission from 1995 to 1998. His background is in human rights law, and he has received a number of scholarships and accolades for his work in global social impact. Paul was selected as a Hauser Global Scholar at NYU, a program which selects 10 of the finest students from countries across the world, chosen on the basis of their intellectual and leadership ability, as well as their capacity to participate productively in a global community of scholars and practitioners. He received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2009 with Juan E. Mendez, with whom he founded the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), an international human rights organisation based in New York City which works for justice in over 40 countries that have endured massive human rights abuses under repression and in conflict. Paul was chosen as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2008. He has served as an adviser and consultant to many NGOs and Governments on transitional justice issues in over 30 countries. Paul co-founded The Conduit in 2018, and that year was named by London Tech Week as one of its 30 "Change Makers", celebrating the companies and people harnessing technology to inspire social and economic impact and drive global innovation.

Leo Varadkar

Taoiseach, Government of Ireland, Ireland

Studied medicine at Trinity College Dublin and qualified as a General Practitioner. Former Member and Deputy Mayor of Fingal County Council. 2007, first elected to Dáil Eireann, Ireland (House of Representatives) as the TD (Member of the House of Representatives) for Dublin West. 2011-14, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport. 2014-16, Minister for Health. 2016-17, Minister for Social Protection. Since June 2017, Leader of the Fine Gael Party and Taoiseach.

Vyron Vasileiadis

Chairman, V Group, Greece

Vyron Vasileiadis is Founder and Chairman of V Group, a robust Group of Companies with a strong presence and continued growth in Waste Management, Renewable Energy Sources and Financial Investments.

Vyron is a self-made entrepreneur, who began his career in 1995 as a site worker for a cleaning services company before successfully progressing to the innovative leader he is today. He received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the American College of Greece in 1998 and completed the Executive Course on Global Leadership & Public Policy for the 21st century at Harvard Kennedy School in Boston, Massachusetts.

During his career, Vyron has received numerous achievements and awards, including the KOUROS-Development and Innovation Award by the Greek Entrepreneurship in 2014 and the nomination as a Young Global Leader (YGL) in 2017. Recognized for the performance of V Group and the added value generated to the society, he has been honored by various national, international, and global stakeholders in business, environmental, circular economy, and sustainability aspects, together with: Environmental Awards, Waste & Recycling Awards, Manufacturing Excellence Awards, Circular Economy Awards, Bravo Sustainability Awards, Diamonds of the Greek Economy, European Business Awards, and Global Business Excellence Awards.

Constantly in search of future opportunities and striving to shape advanced ideas, Vyron Vasileiadis seeks to add value to his growing business portfolio, while positively impacting the world for future generations.

In 2021 V Group’s assets approached €93m and over the next few years, plans to invest in various environmental and renewable energy assets.

Vyron’s corporate philosophy is motivated by his strong ambition to achieve net ZERO carbon footprint, adopt ZERO Waste practices, and raise new sustainable business models.

Knowing what truly matters, his vision would not be complete without his constant support for those in need and the advocacy of animal rights. Having said this, Vyron Vasileiadis has established the Deppy Vasileiadis Foundation, a philanthropic organization, whose main goal is to award grants in the areas of children’s education, fight against animal cruelty, and protection of the environment.

Arnaud Ventura

Managing Partner, Gojo & Co, France, Metropolitan

Executive Summary
Arnaud Ventura founded and led two of the leading financial inclusion group in the last 20 years active in Micro&SME finance, and digital finance before joining Gojo as its managing partner to support the development of the Group in Asia and build the Africa’s activity.
Between 1998 and 2008 Ventura cofounded and led with Mr Attali & Mr Yunus PlaNet Finance, one of the global and most successful European Financial Inclusion Group. Between 2008 and 2019, Arnaud Ventura founded & led Baobab (formerly MicroCred), the leading Micro&SME digital bank in Africa & China.
Additionally, Arnaud Ventura has been appointed Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in 2013 and he cofounded the French China Foundation the leading network of Young Leaders between French and China.

Diana Verde Nieto

Co-Founder, Positiveluxury.com, United Kingdom

Diana Verde Nieto is a pioneer in sustainability and a leading voice in sustainable luxury and beyond. Diana is the author of ‘Reimagining Luxury’ and Co-Founder of Positive Luxury, a sustainability organisation that helps luxury companies adapt and transition to the new climate economy. Diana has 25+ years of global business experience at the intersection of innovation, technology, and sustainability. Diana holds a degree in Global Leadership & Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School, has been trained by Former USA Vice President, Al Gore at the Alliance of Climate Protection and was subsequently honoured by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader. She is an advisor to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Diana is a globally renowned speaker, some of her appearances includes The FT Business of Luxury Summit, World Economic Forum, and The World Biodiversity Summit to name a few.

Claudia Vergueiro Massei

Head, Executive Office and Transformation, Motion Control, Siemens, Germany

Claudia is currently on a challenging mission to transform the culture of one of the most successful business units of Siemens, with the intent to ensure higher collaboration among its 14,000 team members and more co-creation with partners and customers. After all, there is no digital transformation without an accompanying cultural transformation.

In her previous role, as Siemens Oman CEO, Claudia was committed to enabling the digital transformation in the sultanate and to contributing to its economic development. She drove business in power generation and distribution, smart grid, smart buildings, control and automation, and digital solutions for industrial applications. She assumed her role after working with Siemens in Germany, Denmark and China for various business fields, including wind power and rail automation.

Originally from Brazil, she commenced her career in strategy consulting, undertaking assignments in France, Morocco, South Africa and the United States, besides her home country. She subsequently co-founded a SaaS edtech startup in Brazil, Eduqo, which she ran for a couple of years before joining Siemens. Claudia developed her passion for education during her college days, when she worked as part-time teacher preparing students for university entrance exams in Brazil.

In her free time, Claudia enjoys to dance, travel and learn about different cultures, as well as to mentor young entrepreneurs. She is a Board Member of ITAex and of the Casimiro Montenegro Filho Foundation and she sits on the Advisory Board of Battery Associates. She was nominated by Forbes as one of the most powerful businesswomen in the Middle East in 2021 and 2020, by Business Insider Germany as among the Top 25 Female FutureMakers in 2021, and by LinkedIn as one of its 2020 Top Voices. She is also a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.

Claudia holds an Aeronautical Engineering Degree from Instituto Tecnologico de Aeronautica, an MBA from the Wharton School and an MA in International Studies from the Lauder Institute, University of Pennsylvania. She also later pursued executive education courses in universities such as Stanford, Princeton, Cambridge, Oxford, London School of Economics and Nanyang Technological University Singapore.

Martina Viarengo

Professor, International Economics, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Switzerland

Martina Viarengo is Professor in the Department of Economics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies of Geneva. She is Faculty Associate at the Harvard University, Center for International Development, and a Member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Women's Empowerment. Prior to joining the Graduate Institute's faculty, Dr. Viarengo was an Economist at the Centre for Economic Performance of the London School of Economics and a Post-doctoral Fellow at Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government. She was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and she was named a Newton International Fellow by the British Academy and the Royal Society. She holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and a Master's Degree in Economics from Northwestern University.

Christophe Villemin

Operating Partner, Searchlight Capital Partners, United Kingdom

Christophe Villemin has been Operating Partner of Apollo Global Management from 2015 to 2019. He served as the President of Constellium Aerospace & Transportation from 2011 to 2013. He joined Alcan in 1994 and held various leadership positions in different sectors in packaging and aluminum conversion in Europe and United States. In 2002, he was appointed as General Manager, Alcan Rolled Products in Switzerland (former-Alusuisse) and in 2005, President, Alcan Engineered Aluminum Products (EP), Packaging & Automotive Rolled Products. Prior to Constellium, Christophe Villemin served as President of Rio Tinto Alcan Rolled Products until 2010. In 2008, Mr. Villemin was distinguished as a “Young Global Leader” of the World Economic Forum.

Christophe Villemin is co-founder and Chairman of the ski brand Black Crows. He is Member of the board of Latécoère S.A., Jacques Marie Mage and Easymile

Maria Vircikova

Chief Executive Officer, MATSUKO, Slovakia

Maria Vircikova is the Co-Founder and CEO of MATSUKO, which aims to revolutionize everyday communications through a 3D hologram connection. The world’s first real-time app for holographic presence, MATSUKO, winner of the 2022 SXSW in Extended Reality and Immersive Technology, allows users to embark on a holographic experience through the use of smartphones and mixed reality glasses. Prior to embarking on this entrepreneurial endeavor, Vircikova performed research in the field of AI, human-robot interaction and service robotics, lectured at universities and conferences on all continents. In recognition of her expertise and accomplishments, she has also notably been awarded the European Tech Women Award and she is a 2023 European Young Leader.

Felicitas von Peter

Founder and Managing Partner, Forum for Active Philanthropy GmbH, Germany

Founder (2006), Active Philanthropy, a charitable platform supporting philanthropists and corporates who want to make a lasting difference in protecting the planet for future generations. PhD, Cambridge University. 1998-2006, Bertelsmann Foundation, Germany. Board Member of various foundations and NGO's.

David Frederik von Rosen-von Hoewel

Founder, 25 Degrees, Switzerland

Dr. David von Rosen-von Hoewel is an international investor and entrepreneur, having founded globally successful businesses in fintech, gaming, fashion, insurance, and real estate.

He is the founder of online gaming platform Lottoland, luxury property developer 25 Degrees, luxury fashion basics label VONROSEN, and Web3-powered Favrr, among others.

Through his family office, he invests in businesses across the globe with a focus on edtech, renewable energy, nutrition, defence, and mobility. He usually takes a majority share in a business, leveraging his expertise, network, and capital to drive growth.

Currently based in Dubai and Switzerland, von Rosen was born and raised in Germany. He studied economics and business at the European Business School and later gained a PhD in Economics from the University of Economics in Prague in 2007. He speaks English, German, French, and Spanish.

Andrew Wales

Executive, United Kingdom

Managing Director at Accenture. Global Lead new sustainability services and sustainability integration.

Believes in driving growth through (genuinely) purpose led business strategy and has done so across telecoms and tech (BT), FMCG (ABInBev and SABMiller), utilities (Severn Trent) and manufacturing (Interface Inc).

Transforms businesses by sharpening and energising the purpose and strategy, integrating sustainability ambitions and goals into core business metrics, customer comms and brand campaigns, culture and employee engagement and the investor proposition.

Non Exec Director at Water and Sanitation for the Urbdn Poor - who have helped more than 30m people gain access to water services. Tech for good seed angel investor.