- 187 entrepreneurial leaders, aged under 40, have been selected to become Young Global Leaders (YGLs) of the World Economic Forum
- The new class of YGLs signals an optimistic future of global leadership: diverse, innovative and committed to make a positive impact on society
- Find out what makes a YGL and download the class of 2015 at http://wef.ch/ygl15
Geneva, Switzerland, 17 March 2015 – The World Economic Forum announced today the leaders under 40 who are shaping the future of industry and society. A third of the new class of Young Global Leaders (YGLs) come from Asia and about half come from emerging economies. The list of YGLs has a strong representation from women leaders and is split 50-50 between business and non-profit sectors (academia, arts and culture, civil society, policy and government, media and social entrepreneurs). The full list can be downloaded here http://wef.ch/ygl15.
The class of 2015 joins a community which has been growing in significance since it began 10 years ago. Current and former YGLs include 11 heads of state and government, 10 heads of Fortune 500 companies, 15 UN Goodwill Ambassadors, six Guinness World Record holders, four Oscar winners, three Olympic gold medallists, two Nobel Prize winners and an astronaut.
“The YGLs include the world’s most pioneering, next-generation leaders who have developed in their journey to produce positive, tangible impacts in their countries, industries and societies,” said John Dutton, Director and Head of the Young Global Leaders Community at the World Economic Forum. “The class of 2015, together with the community over the past 10 years, shows how the future of business and public leadership is becoming more gender-equal, more geographically diverse, more varied in its expertise and is challenging established ways to get things done.”
The class of 2015 includes 23 people from East Asia, 17 from Greater China, 39 from Europe, 13 from Latin America, 16 from the Middle East and North Africa, 44 from North America, 18 from South Asia and 17 from sub-Saharan Africa. This year’s YGLs include:
- Ashish Goyal, the first blind trader on Wall Street who received a national award from India for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities
- Roya Mahboob, an Afghan tech entrepreneur and businesswoman who is building classrooms across Afghanistan to allow more than 160,000 female students connect to the world
- Smriti Irani, who rose from sweeping floors in a fast food restaurant to become a top politician in India and the youngest member of the Narendra Modi cabinet
- Michelle Dipp, one of biotech’s leading female innovators who co-founded OvaScience, which is developing a treatment to improve the odds for women to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization
- Elizabeth Holmes, who, at 19, dropped out of Stanford University to found Theranos, a revolutionary blood analytics company that now employs over 500 and is valued by investors at about $9 billion
- Li Na, a former professional Chinese tennis player who was once ranked the women’s world No. 2
- Hugo Barra, the former Google executive who is vice-president of China’s biggest smartphone maker, Xiaomi, and leading its expansion into India and South Asia
- Safak Pavey, the first disabled woman elected to the Turkish parliament, and a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- Andrew Bastawrous, a Kenya-based ophthalmologist who is delivering eyecare in some of the world’s most challenging places to those who need it most
- Mokena Makeka, the South African architect noted for cutting-edge public life designs
- Naomi Koshi, Japan’s youngest woman to be elected mayor
- Victoria Ransom, a New Zealand software entrepreneur who founded and runs Wildfire, bought for $350 million by Google
- Mamadou Toure, founder and chairman of Africa 2.0, an advocacy group of young Africans with a vision of finding sustainable solutions to the most pressing issues facing Africans
- Daan Roosegaarde, a Dutch artist whose pioneering designs include the World’s first photoluminescent bicycle path, as a homage to Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night painting
- Yancey Strickler, the 35-year-old CEO of the crowdfunding website Kickstarter, which has raised $1 billion in five years to finance 60,000 creative projects
The YGL Class of 2015 was drawn from a pool of over 2,000 candidates who were evaluated by Heidrick & Struggles and screened by a selection committee chaired by H.M. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Previous YGL nominees include: David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; Jack Ma, Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group, People’s Republic of China; Marissa Mayer, Chief Executive Officer, Yahoo, USA; Larry Page, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Google, USA; Claudia Sender Ramirez, Chief Executive Officer, TAM Linhas Aereas, Brazil; Matteo Renzi, Prime Minister of Italy; Ashish J. Thakkar, Founder and Managing Director, Mara Group, United Arab Emirates; Naoko Yamazaki, astronaut and mission specialist on the crew of STS-131 Discovery, Japan; and Zhou Xun, Actress and Goodwill Ambassador, United Nations Development Programme, People’s Republic of China.
About the Forum of Young Global Leaders
Established by Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, in 2004, the Forum of Young Global Leaders is a unique, multistakeholder community of more than 900 exceptional young leaders. Bold, brave, action-oriented and entrepreneurial, these individuals commit both their time and talent to make the world a better place. Every year, the Forum honours about 200 outstanding young leaders from around the world for their professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world.
The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is independent, impartial and not tied to any interests. It cooperates closely with all leading international organizations (www.weforum.org).