We are excited to welcome 127 Young Global Leaders for the Class of 2019. This year's class includes the most decorated Olympian female swimmer of all time, the founder of the first app providing advice on contraception in Bangladesh, the managing director of a leading supermarket chain looking to ban plastic packaging, and a female scientist whose work is revolutionizing batteries.
22 YGLs in Europe
Jean-Jacques Barbéris is a former economic adviser to the president of the French Republic. He is currently responsible for the global development of the institutional business at Amundi, a European leader in asset management. He is also chairman of En Temps Réel, a think tank dedicated to social sciences and the future development of the European Union.
Pablo Alberto Barrera Lopez
A passionate multicultural young business leader, Pablo Barrera is determined to transform how large companies act as corporate citizens. Barrera promotes sustainability as an untapped potential rather than a threat and establishes collaborative efforts with other companies to solve some of the key challenges the world faces. Barrera explores new ways to feed a growing population and he works for one of the world's largest crop nutrition companies. Through many years of volunteer work, Barrera has focused on establishing arenas where teenagers and young adults can nurture their talents and develop into responsible forces for good in their societies, regardless of their background.
Diane Binder is currently senior vice-president at Suez Group, a global industry leader solving water access and waste management challenges. She is in charge of international development for Africa. She is also a member of French President Emmanuel Macron's Advisory Council for Africa (CPA) and co-founder and president of Action Emploi Réfugiés, the leading job placement online platform providing access to jobs to refugees in France. Binder also serves on the Advisory Board of Women in Africa. Before joining Suez, Binder held a number of positions in consulting and investment related to private sector development and economic empowerment in Africa and the Mediterranean region.
In 2017, Julie Bonamy was appointed vice-president for strategy at Saint-Gobain. Julie is a member of the Senior Management Committee. Julie is a graduate of the Paris Institute of Political Studies (IEP de Paris) and the National School of Public Administration (Ecole Nationale d'Administration). She started her career as a civil servant (inspector of finance) for the French Government in 2011, before joining the Office of the French Minister for the Economy, Industry and the Digital Sector in October 2014. She was appointed adviser for the budget and digital sector in July 2015.
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.
Pablo Casado Blanco
Pablo Casado Blanco is a Spanish politician and leader of the People's Party. He is the youngest Spanish politician to have held this position and a voice of the new generation.
Daniel de Boer
Daniel de Boer is a passionate entrepreneur with a drive to make a meaningful impact on society. Initially, he was focused on building IT companies; however, when his newborn son was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening disease with a limited life expectancy, it put everything in his life into perspective. de Boer decided to turn his focus towards finding a treatment for his son and other patients suffering from cystic fibrosis. He founded ProQR Therapeutics, which currently has 150 employees across Europe and the United States. Inspired by his work for cystic fibrosis patients and with a goal to impact many more lives, de Boer decided to broaden the scope of ProQR to include developing drugs for several other severe, rare diseases for which no treatments are available.
M. Bilge Demirkoz
A UNESCO-L'Oreal International Rising Talent researcher, Bilge Demirköz is a leading physicist, science outreach activist and educator in Turkey. With her team, she is building a particle irradiation facility for space radiation tests, with support from CERN under the CERN associate membership bill she helped pass through parliament. Demirköz is a role model for the next generation of scientists in Turkey and seeks to change the government's approach to science.
Anne-Sophie Grouchka started her career in 2005 as an adviser to Xavier Bertrand, the French Minister of Labour, Employment and Health. She joined the pharmaceutical group IPSEN in 2007 as adviser to the chief executive. From 2008 to 2012, she held the respective positions of adviser, joint chief of staff and chief of staff to Nadine Morano, the then-Secretary of State for Family and Solidarity who become Minister of Apprenticeships and Professional Training. Grouchka joined Allianz France in 2012 as project manager to Jacques Richier, the chief executive officer. In 2013, she was appointed head of strategy and innovative projects. In February 2018, Grouchka was nominated to the executive committee of Allianz France as chief customer officer in charge of claims, underwriting and customer journey. She has also been head of customer relationships and solutions since January 2016.
She is a graduate of the ENS Ulm (Ecole Normale Supérieure), the ESSEC (Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales) business school and Sciences Po Paris. Anne-Sophie also holds postgraduate diplomas in German studies (Paris IV University) and in International Relations (PhD school of Sciences Po).
Anne-Sophie is a member of the Young Global Leaders Forum - class of 2019.
Yalda Hakim is an award-winning Australian broadcast journalist, news presenter on “Impact” on BBC World News, and documentary filmmaker. She began her career with SBS's World News Australia. She filmed her first story, “Yalda's Kabul”, for Dateline in 2008. She made her on-screen debut in March 2013, presenting a special three-part series of “Our World” entitled, “Iraq: Ten Years On”. Hakim has built up a wealth of journalistic experience around the world. As well as English, Hakim speaks Farsi, Urdu, Hindi, Pashto and Dari, and is currently learning Mandarin.
Nora Khaldi is an award-winning TEDx speaker and a highly published mathematician and scientist. Her revolutionary and innovative ideas and inventions have been awarded and recognized by the likes of Forbes, Wired and the European Union Commission. She is the founder of Nuritas, the first company in the world to introduce artificial intelligence to the food arena, with the aim of creating the future of food and personalized nutrition, in a nutshell, the future of health. Nuritas was recently classified among the 21 most innovative start-ups in the world along with Uber.
Guillaume Lefevre is playing a leadership role in transforming one of the world's largest insurance company to align itself with the empowered customer, lead the change in the insurance industry, and increase its societal impact.
As a native South African, Nerissa has been a proponent of equality and strives to break the mould of stereotypes in gender, race and professional norms.
Nerissa is currently an independent board member and strategic adviser to:
- Nottx, a firm engaged in promoting diversity by using behavioral science
- Fennech, a fintech developing intelligent cash management
- Portabl.co, a SaaS eco-system that provides portable insurance, benefits and savings products for the global freelance economy.
She is a global mentor, coach to underprivileged scholars and an executive sponsor in diversity groups for women, minorities and young professionals.
Executive MBA, NYU Stern School of Business (2014); Bachelor of Technology: Industrial Engineering, Durban University of Technology (2003), and through continued executive education: Leading Businesses into the Future (2017) and the Senior Executive Programme, London School of Business (2018).
Sarah Nicholls is Senior Director and Head of Global Sustainability at JLL, a professional services firm specializing in real estate with over 90,000 employees. She is currently spearheading the roll-out of JLL’s sustainability strategy, Building a Better Tomorrow (BaBT) across Europe. BaBT seeks to embed sustainable thinking across all of JLL activities.
In her prior role leading the Global Sustainability Team, she was instrumental in developing and launching BaBT worldwide. Sarah set JLL’s first-ever energy and carbon reduction targets. She also served as a founding member and first chair of the Global Sustainability Board.
Sarah has a master's degree in Sustainability Leadership from the University of Cambridge and a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Tolu Oni is a Public Health Physician Scientist and urban epidemiologist, a Clinical Senior Research fellow with the MRC Epidemiology Unit’s Global Public Health Research programme at the University of Cambridge, and an Honorary Associate Professor at the School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town.
Born in Lagos, she completed her medical training (and a BSc in International Health) at University College London, postgraduate medical training in the UK (Member of the Royal College of Physicians) and Australia, a Masters degree in Public Health (Epidemiology) at the University of Cape Town, and a research doctorate in Clinical Epidemiology at Imperial College London. She completed Public Health Medical Specialty training in South Africa and is a Fellow of the College of Public Health Medicine of South Africa. She spent 11 years conducting research in South Africa, where she was an Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town. There, she established a Research Initiative for Cities Health and Equity (RICHE), conducting transdisciplinary urban health research focused on generating evidence to support development and implementation of healthy public policies in rapidly growing cities, with a focus on Africa. Research activities include Systems for Health projects: investigating how urban systems (e.g. housing, food) can be harnessed for health; and Health Systems projects: integrated heath systems responses to changing patterns of disease and multimorbidity in the context of urbanisation.
She has published her work in high-impact journals, and has given presentations at international academic (urban health, HIV, TB) and non-academic meetings including the United Nations High Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development, New York; and the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting, Davos 2018. She serves on several advisory boards including Future Earth and the African Academy of Science Open Research Platform; and is an editorial board member of Lancet Planetary Health, Cities and Health, and the Journal of Urban Health.
Profiled in the Lancet journal in 2016, Science magazine in 2018, and the British Medical Journal in 2019, she is a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, a 2015 Next Einstein Forum Fellow, a Fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, and 2017-2019 co-Chair of the Global Young Academy. In 2019, she was selected as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.
After a 10 years experience as co-founder, General Manager and Board Member of Wish Days, company sold to Smartbox LTD, Cristina founded Impactscool to raise awareness and to bring innovative education about emerging technologies and society in schools, universities, and companies.
Impactscool is both a grass root Future Critical Thinking education movement and an organizations bringing Future Studies and Emerging Technologies to managers and companies employees.
Author of the book (soon to be translated in english) "Benvenuti nel 2050. Cambaimenti, Curiosità, e Criticità, EGEA 2019".
Cristina's mission is to give everyone access to a productive and meaningful future in a global and fast-changing society.
A mission-driven technologist, Carlos Reines is committed to disrupting current healthcare systems to provide better access for the 3 billion people who live on less than $2.50/day. For every electronic medical consultation on RubiconMD, patients avoid complications, weeks of waiting and hundreds of dollars in unnecessary costs.
Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services in Finland and the woman driving the management of the Social and Health Care Reform (SOTE), one of Finland's most extensive social projects. Saarikko became the Finnish Centre party's Vice Chair at the age of 26 and was elected to Parliament in 2011, where she has served in the Social Affairs and Health Committee and the Employment and Equality Committee.
Thomas Saueressig is president of SAP Product Engineering and has global responsibility for all SAP’s digital core products from development to delivery, including product management. This also includes responsibility for SAP’s flagship product SAP S/4HANA, as well as for industry solutions, design and user experience of SAP products across the entire portfolio, product enablement, and the SAP’s Labs Network. Furthermore, Thomas is responsible for SAP’s global cloud infrastructure providing a consistent level of scalability, reliability, performance, security, and data protection across all SAP solutions for SAP’s customers.
Before he went into the role as president of SAP Product Engineering, Thomas Saueressig was Chief Information Officer and Global Head of IT Services. In his role as CIO, he was a trusted advisor for SAP and its customers and responsible for SAP’s IT strategy and its execution. Under his leadership, SAP IT has taken a cloud-first approach to becoming an agile, user-centric, and business-driven organization that ensures a great user and customer experience. The organization has optimized business processes by utilizing the latest technologies and innovations, providing a modern workplace with high customer and end-user satisfaction.
In addition, the team also pioneered new business models.
Having started his career in SAP’s consulting area for CRM implementations, Thomas Saueressig then built and led the Enterprise Mobility organization including all necessary cross functions, before he then headed the entire IT Project Delivery and Client IT organization on a global level.
Thomas Saueressig was honored to be included on Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list in 2016. He has a degree in Business Information Technology from the University of Cooperative Education in Mannheim (Germany) and a joint executive MBA from ESSEC (France) and Mannheim Business School (Germany).
A leader in the Siemens finance community and a diversity advocate; took over the regional Chief Financial Officer role at age 27 to set up the Middle East/Asia-Pacific headquarters for the Building Technologies division in Singapore. Secured various projects promoting energy efficiency and sustainability across the region, including the company's involvement in the Greener Government Buildings programme in Australia. After five years in Asia, transferred to Germany in 2017 to head the global finance and controlling function for the Mobility division and played an instrumental role in ensuring the successful signing of the Siemens Alstom rail merger.
As Chief Executive Officer, PZU, a leading insurance company in Poland with operations in five countries, heads Central Eastern Europe's biggest financial group. Chairman, Pekao, Poland's second largest bank. Has led PZU to engage in an ambitious new strategy that aims to transform it into one of Europe's most innovative financial services companies with a strong accent on social responsibility. Having lived, studied and worked in Poland, Germany and France, personally committed to building stronger ties across Europe.
Richard Walker is the managing director of Iceland, the United Kingdom grocer specializing in frozen foods. Iceland was founded in 1970 by Walker's father, Sir Malcolm Walker. Walker took over as managing director in August of 2018 and has led the retailer's concerted charge against the use of plastics and palm oil in the grocery sector. Previously, Walker was managing director of Iceland Food’s sister brand the Food Warehouse and Iceland’s director for sustainability. Iceland has been at the forefront of driving sustainability initiatives in the retail industry, which includes the frozen food chain’s commitment to eliminating plastic packaging for all own-brand products within five years and, most recently, a pledge to remove palm oil from the ingredients in all its products by the end of 2018.