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.

Danae Bezantakou

Chief Executive Officer, Navigator Shipping Consultants Ltd, Greece

CEO of Navigator Shipping Consultants, shareholder of KEFI S.A. (Travel Agency) and MATILDA HOTEL in Zakynthos Island. President of iforU-Greek Mentoring Network, which empowers women’s entrepreneurship through mentoring, a founding partner and President of the 1st Hellenic U.S. Alumni Association of State Department. Founder of YES Forum, the leading platform of open dialogue in the Greek Shipping and Sea Tourism Industry among principals, executives and university students, recent graduates and young executives. A twice International Visitor Leadership Programs (IVLP) alumni “Women in Leadership” organized by Hilary Clinton (March 2011) & “On Demand Opportunity: Alumni Association Development” (December 2017), European Young Leader 2014 and her name was included in the "Purpose Economy Europe 100 List 2014", as well as in the 40under40 list of Fortune Greece. Young Global Leader at World Economic Forum for the years 2015-2020, Global Dignity's Greek Country Chair and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network with more than 5,000 world-leading experts engaged by the Forum to help shape the global agenda. Role Model in entrepreneurship at the campaign #Makingithappen organized by the U.S. Embassy to Greece. She regularly participates as a judge or mentor in competitions and events related to entrepreneurship. She has a 10 year old daughter.

Diane Binder

Founding Partner, Regenopolis, France

Diane Binder is the founding partner of Regenopolis, a pan-African and international venture supporting the development of regenerative cities in Africa.
Between 2010 and 2019, she held senior positions at SUEZ, a global industry leader solving water access and waste management challenges, as Senior VP for International Development. Diane was appointed in 2017 as a member of the French President Emmanuel Macron's Advisory Council for Africa (CPA). She is also the co-founder and president of Action Emploi Réfugiés, the leading job placement online platform providing access to jobs to refugees in France. Before joining Suez, Binder held a number of positions in consulting and investment related to private sector development, climate and economic empowerment in Africa and the Mediterranean region.

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.

Oana Bizgan-Gayral

Member of Parliament, Parliament of Romania, Romania

Oana Bîzgan is a Member of the Romanian Parliament on the Gender Equality Committee, one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders, a Vital Voices fellow and an ambassador for the international Girl2Leader Campaign, run by the Women Political Leaders Forum. She fights for women’s rights, children’s rights and global social justice.

As a progressive and an independent MP in the General Assembly, she managed to propose and pass ten new bills regarding social justice and equal opportunities. She holds the strong conviction that equal opportunities are the real levers for the sustainable social and economic development of every society, particularly in the midst of the digital revolution we are undergoing. She wants to leverage the power of communities to change people lives for the better, as an MP and furthermore. Her vision is to empower every stakeholder to play hers/his part in ensuring social justice and invest strategically in building up the society we all want to live in. More details here: www.oanabizgan.com.

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.

David J. Blumer

Senior Managing Director, Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa, BlackRock Investment Managment UK Ltd, United Kingdom

David J. Blumer, Senior Managing Director, is Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa for BlackRock and is a Member of the company's Global Executive Committee and the Global Operating Committee. Prior to joining BlackRock in 2013, Blumer was Chief Investment Officer and a Member of the Executive Committee at Swiss Re. He was also Chairman of Swiss Re's Admin Re Division and was a Member of the Board at Brevan Howard. Prior to Swiss Re, Blumer was Chief Executive Officer of Credit Suisse's Asset Management and a Member of the Executive Board. During his 15-year career at Credit Suisse, he held various positions in private banking and asset management in Zurich, London and New York. In 2004, Credit Suisse appointed Blumer Head of Trading and Sales, and two years later appointed him Head of Asset Management. Blumer was also a Member of the Board of the SIX Swiss Exchange and, until recently, on the board of RobecoSAM. Blumer earned a BA in Economics from the University of Zurich.

Giulio Boccaletti

Chief Strategy Officer, The Nature Conservancy, United Kingdom

Giulio Boccaletti is a senior executive with experience in both the private and not-for-profit sectors. An author, strong communicator and public speaker, he is an internationally recognized expert on natural resource security. For the past fifteen years, he has worked on strategy, sustainable economic development, and conservation issues across a dozen countries. He started his career as a climate scientist at Princeton University and MIT, was a Partner of global consultancy McKinsey & Company, where he was a leader of its Sustainability and Resource Productivity Practice, and was the Chief Strategy Officer of The Nature Conservancy, one of the largest conservation organizations in the world. His book, Water: A biography, is available from Pantheon Books.

Alexis Bonte

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, eRepublik Labs Ltd, Spain

Alexis Bonte is the Group COO of Stillfront (Nasdaq traded Games company) where he focuses on operations and co-leads Stillfront's game studios alongside the Group CEO. He also supports the exec team on strategy and M&A. Alexis was previously the CEO of eRepublik Labs the studio he founded and that is part of Stillfront. Within Atomico VC, Alexis sourced investments in Spain and France as well as in the Games and consumer verticals and helped portfolio companies accelerate their growth. Although he is an active angel investor, Alexis has now taken a step back from VC to focus on Stillfront. He also serve on the OhBibi and Tezos Foundation boards, co-founded Chamberi Valley (Madrid entrepreneur's non-profit), is an early pledger in Founders Pledge and was part of the founding team of lastminute.com one of the first European Internet Unicorns.

Claire Boonstra

Founder, Operation Education, Netherlands

Claire Boonstra is Founder of Operation Education, a non-profit organization enabling educational leaders to lead the change. Operation Education creates space for the transformation towards an education that enables all humans to unleash their unique potential, to learn life together and to take ownership of one's own life and of the world we strive for: peaceful, happy, healthy and sustainable. To achieve this, we enable leaders in education to find their own deeply felt purpose and we enable them to transform themselves and their schools to live this purpose - as an ecosystem where ownership lies in the hands of the right people. Together with he amazing school leaders which already have transformed their learning environments, we create an ecosystem which supports those wanting to change - and we allow this type of education to become the new normal.

Before finding her mission in education, Claire was a Co-Founder of Layar, at that time the global market leader in augmented reality and interactive print. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, she pursued a corporate career with KPN and Unilever. Boonstra has received various awards as an entrepreneur and innovator and has frequently been listed as one of the most influential women in technology. She is a 2011 WEF Technology Pioneer and a 2012 WEF Young Global Leader. Boonstra is regularly asked to be a keynote speaker, judge and advisor. She holds an MSc in Civil Engineering, is a mother of three children and loves skiing, dancing, horseriding and nature.

Christoph Bornschein

Chief Executive Officer, TLGG, Germany

Christoph is one of the three founders and CEO of the German agency and boutique consultancy for digital business “Torben, Lucie und die gelbe Gefahr” in short “TLGG” with offices in Berlin and New York. He and his team counsel international companies and brands in the strategic use of digital technologies, building out new organizational innovation infrastructures and the development of new business models. Even public authorities and NGOs seek the expertise of Christoph in dealing with the digital change around topics like single market integration, investment taxation, education and else. He has authored numerous essays and articles on digital change and is a renown speaker at global conferences and board meetings. Christoph is actively facilitating change as a mentor and investor to startups around the world.

Geoffrey Bouquot

Group Vice-President, Corporate Strategy and External Relations, Valeo, France

Geoffrey Bouquot is a group vice-president of corporate strategy and external relations at Valeo. Formerly, he was a technical adviser on industrial affairs at the Office of the French Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian (2014-16). Bouquot was also a project manager in the Aerospace and Defence Unit of the French Government Shareholding Agency (2011-14), and an adviser on industry at the Office of the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OCP Group (2009-10). He graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole des Mines, Paris.