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.
Ms. Anu Acharya is the CEO of Mapmygenome India, a Genomics company whose vision is “To touch 100 million lives using genomics”. In 2013, she introduced the concept of improved healthcare through personal genomics in India. Ever since, she has successfully pioneered the company through growing product lines, expanding affiliate network, and a Pre-Series A round of funding. Under her able leadership, the company has won several awards and honors: ET Startup Awards 2015 – Women Ahead, Nasscom Emerge 50 – League of 10, Emerging Company of the Year 2015 – Govt. of Karnataka, SMART CEO List of Top 50 Startups, VCCircle Innovative Healthcare Startup 2015, and more. She is a Distinguished Alumna from IIT Kharagpur.
From 2000 until April 2013, Ms. Anu Acharya was the CEO of Ocimum Biosolutions, a global
genomics outsourcing partner for discovery, development and diagnostics, a company that began as a pure Bioinformatics company. Since co-founding the company in 2000, she has led the company through three strategic international acquisitions, two capital raises for equity investments and launch of several innovative products, solutions and services through its proprietary platform called RaaS (Research as a Service).
Prior to founding Ocimum Biosolutions, Ms. Acharya has had rich experience in the Telecom, IT and entrepreneurship arenas. She worked for a start-up in the telecommunications space called Mantiss Information and a consulting firm called SEI Information where she helped create a social networking site for entrepreneurs. Her experience is backed by education at premier institutions such as the Indian Institute of Technology at Kharagpur, India (IIT) and University of Illinois where she has two Postgraduate degrees in Physics and MIS.
Niklas Adalberth, the unicorn entrepreneur behind payment start-up Klarna, donated $125 million to found the Norrsken Foundation, a tech-for-good ecosystem for social impact entrepreneurs daring to tackle societies biggest challenges. Norrsken currently houses 125+ companies in Europe's largest impact hub, has made 25 investments and started two non-profits.
Aurelie Adam-Soule Zoumarou
As senior policy manager for Africa, she contributed to bringing mobile services to 635 million Africans without an internet connection. In October 2017, the President of the Republic of Benin appointed Ms. Zoumarou as Minister of Digital Economy and Communications with the mission of "making Benin a digital services platform for West Africa, in order to accelerate growth and achieve social inclusion." She began her career with SFR France before moving to Accenture France as a consultant in information systems. She returned to Benin in 2008 and worked at the regulator’s office ARCEP BENIN, where she was responsible for radio-communications and radio frequencies management. She is a Mandela Washington Fellow (MWF/YALI), an initiative of former US President Barack Obama for Young African Leaders.
DM in Management; PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Chartered Civil and Structural Engineer. Over 20 years' engineering consultancy experience on internationally financed water and sanitation and renewable energy projects and social entrepreneurship. Formerly consultant for: World Bank Group; African Development Bank; United Nations. Formerly Founder: Global Network for Environment and Economic Development Research, African frontline citizen sector organization involved in environment and sustainable development issues; Green Power Partnership, technology innovation company involved in eco-solution and renewable energy in Africa. Fellow: Ashoka-Lemelson, Salzburg; Clinton Global Initiative. Recipient of awards.
Graduate (Hons), advanced graduate programme, Tel Aviv University. Entrepreneur. Devises and executes disruptive innovation across the government and business spheres. Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Healthy.io, a start-up that develops advanced image and colour recognition capabilities to enable affordable decentralized healthcare. 2008, entrusted by Shimon Peres, a founding father and at the time the 9th President of Israel, to serve as his first Chief Technology Officer; devised a creative policy of technological diplomacy, forging a set of global collaborations in the water, space, agro and biomedical fields. Unique experiences led to development of “An Era of Permanent Revolution” a management framework that stands at the core of advisory role with global leaders. President, inaugural class, NASA-based Singularity University. Co-Founder, Getaround.com, car sharing pioneer.
Ali Adnan Ibrahim
As Global Head of Sustainability and Social Responsibility at the Al Baraka Banking Group, in Bahrain, the world's largest Islamic banking network, I lead sustainable finance initiatives across the Group.
I am an active member of the following WEF communities:
- The Forum of Young Global Leaders
- WEF Executive Working Group on Financing
- Expert Network (social innovation and entrepreneurship)
As Co-Chair of the Sustainability Working Group for the Islamic finance industry (CIBAFI), and as Chair of the Sustainable Development Committee of the Bahrain Association of Banks (BAB), I am fortunate to work with an exceptional group of leaders to explore various ways in which banks and the financial services sector can contribute to the continued sustainable development.
As a Member, I look forward to contributing to the Consultative Group of the Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets.
I also chair the Global Islamic and Sustainable FinTech Center at Bahrain Fintech Bay, which seeks to leverage financial technology, Islamic and sustainable finance for impact. Previously, I had twice served as Co-Chair of the Islamic Finance Committee of the American Bar Association.
As the founder of the Social Credits Initiative, a formal initiative of the Forum of Young Global Leaders, I work with other YGLs to incentivize private investments for sustainable development and inclusive growth.
I have published internationally and his areas of interest and expertise include market-based strategies for financial inclusion and enterprise development, impact and blended finance, digital and sustainable finance, Islamic finance, the intersection of impact and faith, microfinance, foreign direct investments, and financial regulation.
As Fulbright Scholar, I received a doctorate in juridical sciences (SJD—with distinction) from the Georgetown University Law Center, a master of laws (LL.M.) from the Washington University School of Law, and a bachelor of laws (LL.B. Honours) from the International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan. I have attended "Global Leadership and Public Policy in 21st Century" at Harvard University and "Transformational Leadership" at Oxford University.
1995, BA (Hons) in English and German Literature, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada; 2003, MBA, IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland. More than 18 years' experience in business development, fundraising, sponsorship, marketing and brand stewardship in high-profile, complex, international environments. 1995-2002, with International Olympic Committee: Marketing Manager, Licensing; Marketing Group Manager, Business Development. Since 2003, with the World Economic Forum, including: grew and led Partnership Team; led Professional Services industry practice; responsible for Forum of Young Global Leaders, Global Shapers Community, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, Technology Pioneers and Global Growth Companies Community. Council Member, United World Colleges.
Pallavi S. Aiyar
BA in Modern History, Oxford, MSc in Global Media, London School of Economics and University of Southern California. Formerly: China Adviser, Confederation of Indian Industry; Beijing Bureau Chief, The Hindu; Europe Correspondent, The Business Standard. Brains Trust Member, Evian Group, IMD. Author: Smoke and Mirrors: An Experience of China (2008); Chinese Whiskers (2011); Punjabi Parmesan (2013); Babies and Bylines (2016; Choked (2016) ). Recipient of awards and honours, including: Prem Bhatia Award for political reporting (2007); Reuters Journalism Fellow, Oxford University; Vodafone Crossword Popular Award for literature (2008) China-India Friendship Award (2010).
Shaharzad Akbar is currently Chairperson for Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. She was previously Deputy National Security Council on Peace and Civilian Protection. Shaharzad has also worked Senior Advisor to Afghan President on High Development Councils (August 2017-August 2018) and in this capacity, coordinated the prioritization of development projects and programs for high level decision-making. Prior to this, Shaharzad was Country Director for Open Society Afghanistan (Sep 2014-July 2017), a non-profit that supports Afghan civil society and media in areas of peacebuilding, human rights and promoting tolerance. Before this, Shaharzad was partner and chief operating officer with QARA Consulting, a firm owned and run by young Afghans in Kabul which she co-founded in 2010, an analyst for the Free and Fair Elections Foundation, a journalist for BBC Afghanistan and a research assistant on the Women of Courage book project. In 2012, she was the first elected chairperson for the Afghanistan 1400 movement.
Born in Jawzjan, Afghanistan in 1987, Shaharzad lived for a few years as refugee in Pakistan during the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Shaharzad completed an MPhil at Oxford University as a Weidenfeld scholar in 2011; previously she obtained her BA (cum laude) in anthropology from Smith College in the U.S.
Shaharzad’s writing has appeared in international and Afghan media including Newsweek and Al Jazeera, and academic journals. Based in Kabul and an active tweeter and writer, Shaharzad is an active voice on political issues related to her country and her generation. In 2017, she was selected by World Economic Forum as Young Global Leader.
To learn more about Shaharzad, see below:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGbkr5Ge0Ko (Discussion on peace in Farsi)
Vikram K. Akula
Vikram Akula is at the forefront of creating market-based solutions for financial inclusion. Before becoming Chairperson of Vaya Finserv Private Limited, Vikram began working in rural development as a grassroots social worker in India. Prior to his position, Vikram founded Bharat Financial Inclusion and worked at McKinsey & Company and the Worldwatch Institute. Vikram was named TIME magazine one of the 100 most influential people in the world, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and is a recognized Echoing Green Fellow. Vikram published several books including “Micro-Meltdown: The Inside Story of the Rise, Fall, and Resurgence of the World's Most Valuable Microlender" and "A Fistful of Rice: My Unexpected Quest to End Poverty Through Profitability." He is a graduate of Tufts University, Yale University and University of Chicago.
Biola Alabi is an award winning filmmaker, entrepreneur, investor, public speaker, and television anchor. The media icon heads Biola Alabi Media, a fast growing media company dedicated to telling authentic African stories to the world.
She is also the founder of “Grooming for Greatness” a leadership development and mentorship program for a new generation for African leaders and a Non- Executive Director of Unilever Nigeria. Named one of the 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa by Forbes Magazine, a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and CNBC Africa’s AABLA West African Business Woman of the Year. For over five highly successful years, Biola Alabi held the high-profile position of Managing Director for M-Net Africa, part of the globally renowned Naspers Group. Prior to this, she was based in the United States where she was part of the executive team at the influential children’s television brand Sesame Street.
Rafat Ali Al-Akhali is a Fellow of Practice – Strategic Projects at the Blavatnik School of Government. From 2017 to 2018, Rafat has managed the LSE-Oxford Commission on State Fragility, Growth and Development. From 2018-2019, he led the secretariat of Pathways for Prosperity Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development.
Rafat has previously served as Minister of Youth and Sports in the Government of Yemen, and prior to that was leading the Policy Reforms team at the Executive Bureau for Acceleration of Aid Absorption and Support for Policy Reforms. In that position, Rafat led the planning and implementation of key reforms in Yemen including fuel subsidies, power sector, and civil service reforms. He also led business environment reforms and government efforts in private sector development.
Prior to joining the Yemeni government, Rafat worked as a Senior Consultant and Analyst for organizations such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM in Canada. He has also worked in the field of development with a number of international development agencies in Yemen, and was a member of the Accessions Division at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva where he participated in the accession process of several countries including Yemen.
Rafat earned his second Master degree in Public Policy (MPP) at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, UK. His first Master degree was in Business Administration (MBA) from Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) Montréal, Canada.
In addition to his professional career, Rafat has been active in the field of youth development and youth political inclusion since 2004. He is the Co- Founder and Chairman of Resonate! Yemen, a leading non-profit foundation that specializes in the field of engaging youth in public policy in Yemen. He sits on the board of advisors of Rowad Entrepreneurship Foundation in Yemen, and is a trustee of Silatech Qatar, the leading foundation working on tackling youth unemployment in the Arab world. Al-Akhali was selected as a Young Global Leaders in 2015 by the World Economic Forum. He was previously a non-resident fellow at the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council, and a member of the Board of Advisors for the “GCC in Transition” project at Chatham House.