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.

Ida Auken

Member of Parliament, Parliament of Denmark (Folketinget), Denmark

Ida Auken is the former Minister for the Environment in Denmark (2011-2014). She is a Member of the Danish Parliament (2007-) for The Social Democratic Party. Ida Auken held the position of President of the European Environment Council and was Head of the EU Delegation at the Rio+20 conference, where the UN Sustainable Development Goals were agreed. Ida Auken was nominated a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and has also been elected as one of the 40 most promising young leaders in Europe. With her 15 years of experience in the Danish Parliament, Ida Auken has been key in fostering the green transition in Denmark. She was one of the architects of the Danish Climate Law that has one of the world’s most ambitious climate change targets and recently she introduced the paradigm shift in the approach to offshore wind by establishing energy islands. Ida Auken is the author of several books and in May 2022 “Believe it – climate, hope and vigour” was published.

Dionysia-Theodora Avgerinopoulou

Chair, Special Permanent Committee of Environmental Protection, Hellenic Parliament, Greece

Politician, f. Member of the Hellenic Parliament and Chair of the Environment Committee of the Hellenic Parliament, Chair of the Mediterranean Parliamentarians on Sustainable Development, Director of the European Institute of Law, Science & Technology, Attorney at Law, specialized in International Environment, Energy, Water and Climate Change Law and Finance.

Dilek Ayhan

Special Adviser to the President and Management, BI Norwegian Business School, Norway

Special adviser to the President/Management of BI Norwegian Business School. 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),
Ocean Strategy,
Maritime Strategy,
Bioeconomy Strategy,
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.

Dawood Azami

Editor, Multimedia (News and Current Affairs), BBC World Service, United Kingdom

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 UK, United Kingdom

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.

Katinka Barysch

Senior Strategist, Allianz, Germany

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.

Andrew Bastawrous

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Peek Vision, United Kingdom

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 Berelowitz

Chief Executive Officer, Jubilee Foundation, United Kingdom

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

Chief Executive Officer, Navigator Shipping Consultants Ltd, Greece

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

Director, McKinsey & Company, Germany

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.

Thor Björgolfsson

Chairman, Novator Partners LLP, United Kingdom

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.

Jimena Blázquez Abascal

Director, NMAC Foundation, Spain

Jimena Blázquez Abascal has a PhD on contemporary art and public spaces. Prior to working for the NMAC Foundation, she worked at the Picasso Museum of Paris and for Art Adviser, Marc Blondeau. Since 1999, she has been focusing on the opening and curatorial direction of the NMAC Foundation and has curated more than 40 site-specific art projects by outstanding artists. She has created a platform of creative art and ideas at which artists from all over the world can come to dialogue, particularly between Africa and Europe. In 2003, she became a curator at PS1/MOMA together with Harald Szeemann of “The Real Royal Trip”, one of the biggest exhibitions of young Spanish artists ever presented in the United States and which became a travelling show around Europe. She was also the first curator to introduce the works of Jeppe Hein, Michael Lin, Yael Bartana Marepe and Maja Bajevic to an American audience. Blázquez Abascal has written several books, including a bestseller, "Sculpture Parks in Europe: A Guide to Art ". She is a frequent contributor to international art magazines.