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.
Guillermo Romo entered the business world at the age of 17 and has since achieved several business successes, including the sale of Tequila Herradura, his family's original business, to Brown-Forman Corporation - a transaction valued US$ 876 million. In 2003, Romo created Grupo Mega, a holding company that integrates financial services, with assets over US$ 750 million.
Grupo Mega is ranked as the 2nd largest independent leasing & equipment finance company in Mexico and has an investment rating by Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings. Other investments include Agricultural & food-Bloomfarms-(agave, blueberries & avocados) bio compostable disposables & packaging, security and real estate, RFO Family Office and private equity.
Romo is Executive Chairman of the Board at Grupo Mega and has seats on different boards. He is active in social and environmental responsibility projects such as Teleton and Endeavor, reforestation US-Mexico Foundation. He’s also a VP of COMCE, the foreign trade chamber of commerce in Mexico. As well as honorary consul of the kingdom of Thailand in Mexico.
Self made businessman and philanthropist, dubbed by Forbes the Warren Buffett of Central America in its march 2019 cover. President, Salsano Group - a private conglomerate investing in real estate, private equity and technology globally. Chairman, Salsano Family Office. Chairman and Trustee, Salsano Shahani Foundation. Chairman for Panama, Global Dignity. Academy of Global Teacher Prize. Shareholder and board member of several companies. Angel and Venture capitalist. Steering Committee 1640society. Milken Young Global. Former basketball player. Ypo. Young Global Leader. Graduate Bocconi University, Italy; MBA Exchange program University of San Diego, California; Also studied at Harvard Business School, Incae, Princeton and Oxford University.
Leo Schlesinger has an MBA from London Business School and additional courses at LBS, Yale, Harvard and Michigan University. He began his professional career in 1992 at Sun Chemical in New York and then joined Citigroup´s Global Leadership Program which took him to Santiago, Sao Paulo and London where he stayed until 2002 when he moved to Cigna International Europe and then Cigna USA. In 2005 he joined Gruponueva, a USD 1.4BN Swiss Private Equity fund as Corporate Vice President and he sat at the boards of the controlled companies (Masisa, Amanco, Plycem) where he restructured, merged and sold several of them. In 2007 Leo moved to Mexico as the CEO of Masisa.
In 2015 he became the CEO of Aliat Universidades (a PE company from Tresalia Capital); one of the major higher education private-for profit groups with presence in 15 Mexican states, +50 campus and 54,000 students. Aliat it’s the fastest growing Private for profit University group in Mexico and it includes 16 higher education institutions/ brands that teach from High School, Bachelors, Master and post graduate degrees both in traditional classrooms and online.
Leo in 2010 he was recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, also he has been awarded the Global SEN award as the CEO of the year by the Young Presidents Organization, was named Chairman of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Natural Capital, and currently is the president of the Young Presidents Organization Mexico City Chapter.
He also is a board member of KIO Networks, Subastas Ventura, a mentor at Endeavor and Ashoka and the Vice President of the Board of Trustees at the American School Foundation. He is the writer of “Mi mejor yo” (“my best self”) published by Pearson which has sold over 40,000 copies.
Claudia Sender Ramirez
Chilean entrepreneur. Founder of Start-Up Chile, eClass & Cumplo. Founding president of the Chilean Association of Entrepreneurs (ASECH), Socialab & TODOS. Former advisor of entrepreneurship & innovation to the Chilean Ministry of Economy. M.Sc. Management from Stanford, M.Sc. Education from Columbia, B.A. in business and economics from the Catholic University of Chile. Married, 5 children, 1 dog.
Izkia Siches Pastén, MD, is a graduate of the Universidad de Chile Medical School and trained in internal medicine at the same university. She works in the Infectious Diseases Unit of the San Juan de Dios Hospital in Santiago de Chile since 2018, one of the most reputed Infectious Diseases units in Chile. She is also a member of the board of directors of the NGO "Médicos Sin Marca" which seeks to promote evidence-based clinical practice, free from pharmaceutical influences. In 2017, after a superlative performance as a student union representative, she assumed the Chilean College of Physicians' presidency, being the first woman in this position and recently reelected in 2020 for a second period. Nowadays, after the social outbreak in Chile in October 2019, she leads the most valued institution for the Chilean population in a convoluted country. Notably, she and the Human Rights department of the Chilean College of Physicians have denounced the use of kinetic impact projectiles by the police, which resulted in severe ocular trauma and permanent disability to thousands of Chileans during the social outbreak. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has been advised by a reputed group of experts from different disciplines, being the voice of evidence-based recommendations and interventions that connect with common sense and most disadvantaged populations. Siches has been the counterweight of a government with one of the highest mortality and contagion rates. Today, she still works in the pandemic response and argues for health rights in her country's new constitution, about to be written in April 2021.
Otto Sonnenholzner was elected to be the vice president of Ecuador in December 2018. For 12 years, he was a radio personality with his own talk show and was the general manager of Radio Tropicana in Guayaquil. Sonnenholzner also served as the president of Asociación Ecuatoriana de Radiodifusores in Guayas. He is part of faculty at Universidad Católica de Guayaquil where he teaches courses on business.
Ilona Szabó de Carvalho
Ilona Szabó de Carvalho is a civic entrepreneur and thought leader. She is the co-founder and president of the Igarapé Institute – a global think and do tank focused on physical, digital and climate security, working at the intersection of research, new technologies, communications and public policy. The Institute works with governments, the private sector and civil society to co-design partnerships and solutions to complex challenges, including the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement targets. Igarapé was ranked the number one social policy think tank in the world by Prospect in 2019 and has received several awards.
Ilona was nominated a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum in 2015 and in 2020 as one of the world's top 50 thinkers for the Covid-19 age by Prospect Magazine. She serves on several boards, including the UNSG High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism. Ilona is a columnist at Folha de São Paulo, a podcast and TV anchor and commentator, a TED speaker and an author of 3 books.
She earned a Master’s Degree in International Studies from Uppsala University in Sweden. She is an affiliate scholar at the Princeton University Brazil Lab, and was a public policy fellow at Columbia University in NY.
She has extensive experience leading global networks. Between 2011 and 2016 she was the Executive-Secretary of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, a network of former presidents, entrepreneurs, and public intellectuals, including Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Richard Branson, and the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. She was also the co-founder of the AGORA civic movement that aims to shape and help implement a new vision and public policy agenda in Brazil. In the mid-2000s she coordinated a national campaign on responsible gun control in Brazil and previously she worked for 5 years in investment banks in Rio de Janeiro.
Joice Toyota is a rising entrepreneur whose pioneering work in social innovation is helping boost civic engagement among Brazil's youth. As the founder of Vetor Brasil, she has helped select and develop hundreds of young public management leaders across Brazil's 27 states. Her organization has received numerous awards and attracted attention from nationwide media as one of the most promising and scalable initiatives to support the consolidation of Brazilian public institutions.
Mariana Vasconcelos is the Chief Executive Officer of Agrosmart, a technology pioneer alumni of the World Economic Forum and serves as an advisory board member at Thought For Food, Fundação Espaço ECO (BASF) and Instituto Interamericano de Cooperação para a Agricultura (IICA). She is a climate activist and an expert in digital agriculture, considered one of the most influential people in Latin America by Bloomberg Linea. An advocate for gender equality, she was recognized by Globant with a "Women That Build" award in the game-changer category. With a business background and degrees from UNIFEI, LSE and Singularity University, she was also recognized as an Innovator under 35 by MIT Technology Review, Forbes 30 Under 30 Brasil and Fast Company world's 100 Most Creative in Business.
Elisa Vegas founded the first orchestra aimed at improving quality of life of Venezuelans through music and cultural change. She is a living example of how the arts unify people of very different backgrounds and beliefs.
Ricardo Weder is an entrepreneur and promoter of the tech ecosystem in Mexico and Latin America. Today, Ricardo is Founder and CEO of Justo, the first online pure play supermarket in Mexico and a pioneer in LATAM, with the vision of transforming positively the food and consumer goods industry in Latin America. Previously, Ricardo was Global President of Cabify, where he was a key person in the growth of the company. Ricardo led the operations and expansion of the company from early-stage startup to a unicorn with a valuation of US$1.4b and presence throughout Iberia and Latin America. Over his professional career, Ricardo also worked in financial institutions like HSBC, JPMorgan and PWC. As entrepreneur he has founded several startups in the financial, real estate and consumer services industries. Furthermore, Ricardo has been university professor and is an independent board member of Principal Financial Group in Mexico. He is also part of the WEF expert network and was invited as founding member of the WEF Global Vanguard community. He is an angel investor and partner of OBS.mx, VC capital fund and an Endeavour entrepreneur. Ricardo was born in Mexico City, he is an Industrial Engineer from ITESM and holds an MBA from the University of Mannheim in Germany. During his master’s degree he spent time in the University of CUHK in Hong Kong. Lastly, he obtained a certificate in Innovation and Growth from Endeavor at Stanford University.