New Class

We are delighted to welcome nearly 100 new Young Global Leaders to our community of outstanding people addressing the world's most pressing problems. From courageous journalists uncovering the most critical political and human rights issues of our time to savvy entrepreneurs transforming the way we work with technology, this year's class is packed with brilliant minds and passionate leaders from business, civil society, academia, and government. Discover the new class:

12 YGLs in Europe

Florian DELMAS

Chairman, Andros & Cie, France

Florian Delmas joined Andros straight after finishing his degree in agri-food engineering. A fast learner, Florian rose quickly through the ranks. He was named Director of R&D in 2011 and promoted to Director of Industrial Products, Sourcing, and Primary Processing three years later. After cementing his understanding and competencies with an MBA at the prestigious HEC business school in 2016, Florian took the post of CEO of Andros France, spearheading the implementation of an ambitious development strategy. Two years later, in June 2018, he was named CEO of the Andros Group. In 2022, Florian will be appointed Chairman and CEO of the famous 3 billion Euro global food company. Heavily involved in changing the rules of his industry via the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, Florian published a book in 2021 called "Planète A, Plan B," which describes a new global and optimistic way of building a better world. He is also committed to inventing new Leadership approaches.

Richard Ettl

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, SkyCell, Switzerland

Richard is the CEO and Co-founder of SkyCell; SkyCell delivers a system-critical service to secure the distribution of medicine and vaccines worldwide to doctors, patients, and pharma companies while reducing the CO2 footprint of the shipments by 50%. Before SkyCell, he helped to build up the Institute for Value-Based Entrepreneurship "IVE Institute" in Switzerland, which provided more than 3500 students with business plan creation classes and leadership insights from top CEOs free of charge. He co-led the Alumni Organization for more than ten years. Richard holds a Bachelor of Arts in Management from Université de Fribourg. Richard is married and lives in the Zurich area with his two daughters. His hobbies include skiing, sailing, and coaching startups pro bono.

Agon Gashi

Chief Executive Officer, Meridian, Kosovo

Agon is born and lives in Pristina, Kosovo. Agon graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Bard College in New York and he also completed a leadership program at IMD in Switzerland a few years later.

Agon joined his family business in June 2010, and in two years, he co-founded Meridian Express, a chain of neighborhood stores, now one of the leading retail companies in the country. In 2020, Agon managed to acquire 100% of SPAR Kosovo, an international chain of supermarkets.

Agon is a very active member of society and positively transforms Kosovo's business environment by showing that we can all do well by doing good. He is Vice-Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce, founder and board member of Kosovo CSR Network, founder and board member of the Kosovo Retail Association, and a signatory of WEPs (Women's Empowerment Principles).

In 2018, Agon led Meridian to become a New Champion at the World Economic Forum. Agon is currently the CEO of two retail companies in Kosovo (Meridian Express and SPAR) with more than 1000 employees and concrete plans to further expansion locally and regionally.

Jussi Herlin

Vice Chairman of the Board, Kone Corporation, Finland

Jussi Herlin works and learns at KONE Corporation – a global leader in People Flow solutions and a pioneer in creating sustainable urban life through better vertical mobility and more efficient construction – as Executive Vice Chair of the Board. He has served on the Board of Directors since 2007 and in the present position since 2014. Previously Jussi was a Strategy Development Manager in the Strategy and Market Intelligence team of KONE.

In 2012 Jussi graduated as M.Sc.(Econ.) in Management and International Business Communication from the Aalto University School of Business in Helsinki. Jussi also holds Board positions in Security Trading Oy, Holding Manutas Oy, Tiina and Antti Herlin Foundation, Kaskas Oy, Technology Industries of Finland and Confederation of Finnish Industries.

Jussi is endlessly fascinated by planetary boundaries, sustainable urbanization, leadership, intersectional feminism, impactful business, and behavioral sciences.

Sven Holstenson

Managing Partner, Pictet & Cie Group SCA, Switzerland

Sven Holstenson joined Pictet in 2012 as a project director in the internal consulting team (Corporate Office). In 2015 he moved to Pictet Wealth Management, where he held various roles before being appointed Head of Europe in 2019. In this position, he oversees the six European branches comprising 12 offices and over 250 employees. Sven is also a member of the Executive Committee of Pictet & Cie (Europe) SA. In September 2022, the Board of Partners announced Sven’s appointment as Managing Partner, effective 1 May 2023, pending regulatory approvals.

Wei Li

Global Chief Investment Strategist, BlackRock, United Kingdom

Wei Li, Managing Director, is Global Chief Investment Strategist for BlackRock. She leads the Investment Strategy team within the BlackRock Investment Institute (BII), responsible for developing thought leadership on tactical asset allocation and delivering actionable views across asset classes.

Devina Pasta

Chief Executive Officer, Siemens Software, Siemens, Germany

Devina is transforming the industrial world through digital technology to enable countries and cities to shift towards more sustainable and efficient mobility, infrastructure, and energy systems; European governments have invited her to share her work with other pioneers; she was nominated 'Changemaker' at the London Tech week and is a strong advocate for diversity in tech.

Tom Plümmer

Chief Executive Officer, Wingcopter, Germany

Tom Plümmer is the Co-Founder and CEO of Wingcopter. He heads Wingcopters Business Development and is the driving force behind the company's strategy. His vision centers around the global implementation of civilian drone technology that enables economic growth and the improvement of living conditions. Tom was featured in Forbess 30 under 30.

Sanaa Souidi

Head of Group Risks and Analytics, Swiss Re Management, Switzerland

Appointed Managing Director, Souidi is responsible for a team of 50 risk experts across two continents. As an excellent strategic thinker, she has positively influenced many of SwissRe's Risk Management Leadership Team's complex topics. She is also Ambassador for the work of the Fondation Marocaine de l'Etudiant (FME).

Fagun Thakrar

Founder, The Purpose Movie Studio, United Kingdom

Fagun Thakrar is a critically acclaimed actor, writer-director, founder, CEO, social entrepreneur, activist and global ambassador.

Fagun began her education studying Medicine at the University of London Medical School and went on to study a range of disciplines to Master’s level. Fagun has an MBA from the University of Cambridge, Masters in Acting from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in the UK and Film Directing from the US.

As an actor Fagun has appeared in several Hollywood and international films and has starred alongside Academy Award winners. Her films have been released in cinemas internationally, have been selected in festivals and have won awards. Fagun’s focus is cinematic roles with strong intellectual social-impact content that encourages positive global change.

As a writer-director Fagun further explores the power of storytelling through film to create meaningful content. Her expertise and passion lie in developing films which shine a light on critical issues. Fagun’s vision is to establish a pioneering film studio which focuses on creating purpose-driven films with the potential to change peoples lives globally.

As an activist, Fagun is involved in local level and global non-profit work with children, girls, women and the health sector. Fagun supports initiatives focused on global health and well-being. She is a certified Yoga and Meditation expert, and she regularly shares her expertise with people from disadvantaged children to world leaders and national presidents.

Fagun is the Global Ambassador and spokesperson for many non-profits, including The Women’s Brain Project. Building on her experience in this field, Fagun founded her own non-profit, The Creatively Inspired Life Foundation that is dedicated to empowering young people through creativity.

Fagun currently lives and works between the UK and the US. The aim in all of her work and passions are to inspire people, improve lives, and help effect positive change across the globe.

David Upton

Managing Director; Chief of Staff, Public Policy and Corporate Responsibility, Barclays PLC, United Kingdom

David is based in London and has a broad remit focused on bringing together the different aspects of the global Public Policy and Corporate Responsibility agenda to help drive Barclays' strategy. As part of the Group CEO Office, David works closely with senior stakeholders across the bank on a range of Group-wide issues and is responsible for the operation of the Group Executive Committee. Previously, he helped to lead the development and execution of Barclays Compliance Strategy and advised on issues relating to Conduct and Reputation Risk, regulatory engagement, and executive governance. Before Barclays, David worked at the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority in Strategic Business Planning and Human Resources. He graduated with a degree in Physics from the University of Warwick.

Maria Vircikova

Chief Executive Officer, MATSUKO, Slovakia

Maria Vircikova is the Co-Founder and CEO of MATSUKO, which aims to revolutionize everyday communications through a 3D hologram connection. The world’s first real-time app for holographic presence, MATSUKO, winner of the 2022 SXSW in Extended Reality and Immersive Technology, allows users to embark on a holographic experience through the use of smartphones and mixed reality glasses. Prior to embarking on this entrepreneurial endeavor, Vircikova performed research in the field of AI, human-robot interaction and service robotics, lectured at universities and conferences on all continents. In recognition of her expertise and accomplishments, she has also notably been awarded the European Tech Women Award and she is a 2023 European Young Leader.