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.

Lisa Witter

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Apolitical, Germany

Lisa Witter is a serial political and policy entrepreneur. She’s the co-founder of Apolitical, a global peer-to-peer learning platform, used by 180k+ public servants in 170 countries and was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in the World. She's the CEO of the Apolitical Foundation whose mission is to support the next generation of trusted and transformation politicians. They have recently released Better Leaders, Better Democracies: Mapping the Organizations Shaping 21st Century Politicians. She’s a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, co-chairs the Forum’s Council on Agile Governance. She is a former public servant with deep experience in gender and behavioral science and has founded numerous political leadership incubators over the last 25 years. She was awarded the 2020 Creative Bureaucracy Award and named a BMW Foundation Futurity Fellow in 2022. Lisa co-authored, with Lisa Chen, The She Spot: Why Women are the Market for Changing the World and How to Reach Them. She loves wearing dresses, her childhood nickname was ‘Animal’ from the sports fields, and dreams of being a stand-up comedian (but might not be funny enough).

Peter Würtenberger

EVP, Axel Springer, Germany

Peter Würtenberger is Executive Vice President at Axel Springer (Europe’s leading digital publisher).

Previously Peter held positions as CEO of UPDAY for SAMSUNG, CMO of Axel Springer SE, responsible for growing print and digital advertising revenues, as CEO of the WELT Newspaper Group and as CEO of BILD.T-Online. Before Axel Springer he served in various management positions at Yahoo! and Bertelsmann.

Peter holds a degree in Business Management from Cologne University and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. From 2008 to 2012 he was an active member of the Group of Young Global Leaders at the World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland. In 2013 he spent 10 months on a digital research project in Palo Alto, Silicon Valley, in order to support Axel Springer’s digital transformation. In his free time he enjoys music, contemporary arts and sports.

Werner Wutscher

Managing Director, St. Paul GmbH – New Venture Scouting, Austria

Werner Wutscher is a Member of the Board of resPACT, the Austrian Business Council for Sustainable Development. He also works as consultant and business angel in the start-up area. Wutscher scouts interesting start-ups around the world and serves as a facilitator for start-up ventures. As an angel investor he focuses on e-commerce and retail. He also serves as director on different boards in Austria, Mumbai and Amman. Werner was COO and CFO of Rewe International. Prior, he worked as Secretary-General of the Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management of Austria, and he served as a special adviser to the Minister for Agriculture and in a public company. Wutscher is Vice-President of the Ökosoziales Forum Europe and President of the National Park Hohe Tauern. He was awarded “Business Angel of 2012” and is Member of the Board of the Austrian Business Angel Association. Wutscher obtained a law degree from Karl-Franzens University in Graz and holds a Master's degree from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Yan E. Yanovskiy

Co-Founder, Friends Foundation, Latvia

Mr. Yan Yanovskiy is a Co-Founder of FRIENDS Charitable Foundation, Founder and Managing Partner of First Nation Société Bancaire, a leading multi family office in Eastern Europe. Previously, Yanovskiy was Head of Corporate Finance Projects at Central Europe Trust, Managing Director, Head of Corporate Finance at Rosbank, and Managing Director, Head of Investment Strategy and Member of the Board at the United Industrial Corporation (OPK). He also served as a Member of the Board of OPK Mining and OPK Development as well as Hediard SA in France. Yanovskiy received a BA in Economics (summa cum laude) and an MBA in Finance and Management from Fordham University in NYC, and a Master's in International Management (with distinction) from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. He is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Founding Curator of WEF Global Shapers Community and member of WEF Expert network. Mr. Yanovskiy serves as an expert of the Russian Agency for Strategic Initiatives and was named on top 100 most influential people in Russia by GQ Magazine in 2019.

Yousef Yousef

Chief Executive Officer, LG Sonic B.V., Netherlands

Yousef Yousef is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of LG Sonic, whose mission is to eliminate the use of chemicals in the water treatment industry by offering environmentally friendly solutions. Yousef is an innovator with an out-of-the box vision on water-quality management, big data-driven technologies and environmental monitoring. He is the winner of several water innovation and entrepreneurial awards such as Aquatech Innovation Award and Shell LiveWIRE. Yousef holds two patents on ultrasound technology combined with big data and membranes. He is also Chairman of the Dutch entrepreneurs’ community Green Growers, which invests in the development of circular products and sustainable technologies.

Patrick Youssef

Regional Director, Africa, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Switzerland

I joined the ICRC in 2005 and completed different field missions in Sudan, Chad, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. Between 2010 & 2013, I was the deputy head of operations for the Near and Middle East covering Yemen, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the GCC. Prior to my current assignment as Regional Director for Africa, I headed the Red Cross delegation in Iraq and was the Head of Operations for North and West Africa

In addition to my field experience, I worked on specific topics related to the respect of International Humanitarian Law such as the treatment and judicial guarantees of persons deprived of freedom, the recruitment of children in armed forces and Transitional Justice.

Born in 1978, I hold a degree in law and a master’s degree in diplomacy and strategic negotiations from Paris Sud XI and an LLM in International Law in armed conflicts from Geneva University.

Almira Zejnilagic

Senior Managing Director (2012-2021), FTI Consulting, United Kingdom

Head of FTI's Global Risk and Investigations Practice in Europe and Africa, Early member, Serbian Student Union; early 2000s, elected to represent it. Started career at Serbian Parliament, for the Org. for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Worked in Serbian Ministry of Finance. Headed up Natural Resources Dept, Global Witness, an NGO investigating corruption in extractive industries. Managing Director, FTI Consulting. Pro bono work for charitable organizations, Eastern Europe. British Young Leader (2011), Wilton Park (the UK FCO).

Niklas Zennström

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Atomico, United Kingdom

Dual degrees in Business and MSc Engineering Physics/Computer Science, Uppsala University, Sweden; final year of university at the University of Michigan. Experienced entrepreneur. Co-founded and managed globally successful technology companies including Skype, Kazaa, Joost and Joltid. From inception until Sept. 2007, Chief Executive Officer, Skype, which was sold to eBay for $3.1bn in 2005, the largest European venture capital exit to date. Subsequently, Skype was bought back by a consortium that included Niklas and was sold to Microsoft for $8.5 billion cash in 2011. Chief Executive Officer and Founding Partner, Atomico, created in 2006 to help entrepreneurs primarily outside Silicon Valley scale their businesses domestically and globally. It has so far invested in more than 50 companies on four continents. Works closely with a number of leaders of portfolio companies so that they benefit from own experience as an entrepreneur.

Fabio Ziemssen

Partner, Zintinus, Germany

Fabio Ziemssen has been working at the forefront of food-tech development in Germany and Europe for a decade to create a strong ecosystem for innovators, visionaries and founders. He has built a number of communities, including the Alternative Protein Association, Next Generation Food Think Tank and Foodnext, creating workspaces and innovation hubs, such as Food2025.de and Super7000. In 2017, he was elected by "Business Punk" as the top leader in food innovation in Germany.