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News Release

World Economic Forum Announces Young Global Leaders for 2012

Maxwell Hall, Senior Media Manager, Tel.: +41 (0)79 329 3500 – maxwell.hall@weforum.org

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  • The Forum has honoured 192 young leaders from 59 countries for their outstanding leadership, professional accomplishments and commitment to society
  • Of the selected young leaders, 46 are from Europe
  • Young Global Leaders are selected from a variety of sectors such as business, government, academia, media, non-profit organizations and arts and culture, and from all regions of the world
  • Young Global Leaders engage in initiatives that address specific challenges of public interest with the objective of shaping a better future

Geneva, Switzerland, 6 March 2012 – The World Economic Forum has announced its Young Global Leaders (YGLs) for 2012.

The honour, bestowed each year by the Forum, recognizes up to 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. Past YGLs include Maria Bartiromo, Anchor, Closing Bell, and Anchor and Managing Editor, Wall Street Journal Report, CNBC, USA; David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; Esther Duflo, Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA; Larry Page, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Google, USA; Zhang Xin, Chief Executive Officer, SOHO China, People's Republic of China.

For 2012, the Forum has selected 192 YGLs from 59 countries and all sectors of society (including business, civil society, social entrepreneurs, politics and government, arts and culture, and opinion and media). The new class originates from East Asia (38), South Asia (19), Europe (46), Middle East and North Africa (15), sub-Saharan Africa (18), North America (37) and Latin America (19).

“In the last few years, the world has seen the biggest recession in almost a century and we now face daunting global challenges,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. “Recovery and innovation will require new, unique ideas and an environment where the best minds, ideas and leadership can thrive. The most important determinant of this will be how we use human talent. Within the World Economic Forum community, the Young Global Leaders represent the voice for the future and the hopes of the next generation. I am particularly proud of this year's honourees, who I believe will address the challenges we face in a meaningful way through fresh thinking and true multistakeholder engagement.”

Drawn from a pool of several thousand candidates, the 2012 YGLs were chosen by a selection committee, chaired by H.M. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and they comprise respected international leaders from business, government and media.

The 2012 YGLs reflect different types of leadership in different parts of the world and society. Those from Europe include: Brendan Cox, Director of Advocacy and Policy, Save the Children International, United Kingdom; Franz Koch, Chief Executive Officer, PUMA, Germany; Maggie Berry, Founder and Director, Women in Technology, United Kingdom, Birgitta Ohlsson, Minister for European Union Affairs of Sweden;, Alvaro Fernandez, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, SharpBrains, Spain; Michal Krupinski, Head of Global Banking and Markets Unit, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Poland; Danny Cohen, Controller, BBC One, United Kingdom.

“The next era of human evolution will be defined by the problem solving power of networks. All around us we see people getting organized and committing themselves with heart, body and mind to work at the scale of the problems we all face,” said Niall Dunne, Chief Sustainability Officer, BT, United Kingdom. “The YGL community is one such network. Becoming part of it is humbling yet thrilling as it is networks like this and our innate ability to get organised and innovate that will create the systemic change necessary to sustain and empower every man woman and child on the planet.”

Another recently selected YGL from Italy, Angela Morelli, Graphic and Information Designer, commented: “Change does not happen in one day. It is a slow process made of thousand of individual actions, energies, minds, souls. Sometimes, if we are to turn potential into reality, our task is to connect them. My hope is that being part of the Young Global Leaders community will bring me the precious opportunity to do just that.”

The 2012 honourees will become part of the broader Forum of Young Global Leaders community that currently comprises 713 outstanding individuals. The YGLs convene at an Annual Summit, which will be held this year in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on 14-18 April. YGLs are actively engaged in the community, are integrated into events organized by the World Economic Forum, and organize events of their own, as well as launch and lead their own innovative initiatives and task forces. These activities enable YGLs to learn from and with each other; build knowledge and engender a better understanding of global challenges and trends, risks and opportunities; and further enhance their unique role as leaders within their own organizations, the World Economic Forum and the broader global community.

“The Young Global Leaders are a truly global network. They are passionate, open-minded and hands-on. Being part of this unique community is a great privilege, but also an obligation to make a positive impact on the world,” said Gregor Hackmack (2010 YGL), Co-Founder, ParliamentWatch, Germany.

“One of the unique aspects of the YGL Community is that it is the first generation of leaders who are truly global citizens: they have all lived, studied and worked in different countries throughout their careers,” said David Aikman, Head of The Forum of Young Global Leaders. “They see themselves as being fundamentally interconnected and have the cross-cultural leadership skills to be successful in a globalized world. Thanks to the incredible diversity of the group, they are able to collaborate across complex systems and build informal coalitions to facilitate action on the biggest challenges facing the world today. This entrepreneurial approach to public good is the best way to move the world forward. We look forward to integrating the 2012 YGLs into our discussions and initiatives.”

Notes to Editors

More information about the Forum of Young Global Leaders at http://www.younggloballeaders.org/
List of YGLs honoured in 2012
List of the YGL community
Visit our YGL YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/yglvoices
Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/YGLvoices
Nominate a potential Young Global Leader through our website