Since the global financial crisis, economies around the world have experienced lower growth in their productive capacity. Without technological progress, investment in productive capital and proactive responses to demographic shifts, the world will face a future of slow and imbalanced growth.

The ninth Annual Meeting of the New Champions, the Forum’s global meeting on innovation, science and technology, will convene its Members, Partners and all of its future-oriented communities to explore innovative and entrepreneurial responses to the new growth challenge.

Each year, the Annual Meeting of the New Champions selects a group of leaders from the world’s most innovative and visionary organizations as Co-Chairs.

This year’s meeting will be Co-Chaired by:

Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairwoman, Mozilla Foundation, USA

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Mitchell Baker has been the general manager of the Mozilla project since 1999, and served as Chief Executive Officer of Mozilla until January 2008. As Executive Chairwoman, Baker remains engaged in developing offerings that promote the company’s mission of empowering individuals, and guides the overall scope and direction of Mozilla. She is committed to an open, innovative Web and the infinite possibilities it presents. Born and raised in Berkeley, California, she earned a BA in Asian Studies from UC Berkeley and her JD from the Boalt Hall School of Law.

Time Magazine profiled Baker in its Time 100, and she has made numerous television appearances to discuss open source software and the Firefox phenomenon. Baker was honoured as winner of the Anita Borg Institute’s 2009 Women of Vision Award; in 2010, she was the recipient of the Aenne Burda Award for Creative Leadership. In 2012, Baker was inducted into the founding group of the Internet Society’s Hall of Fame.

Nathan Blecharczyk, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder, Airbnb, USA

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Nathan Blecharczyk has a degree in Computer Science from Harvard University. He became an entrepreneur while in high school, selling to clients in more than 20 countries. Blecharczyk has held several engineering positions with Microsoft, OPNET Technologies and Batiq. He is the Co-Founder and CTO of Airbnb and oversees the technical strategy of the company. He is dedicated to building a team of world-class engineers to keep Airbnb at the forefront of the industry.

Francis S. Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health, USA

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Francis S. Collins is the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the largest supporter of bio medical research in the world, spanning the spectrum from basic to clinical research. Collins is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and leadership of the international Human Genome Project. He served as Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the NIH from 1993 until 2008.

Previously, Collins was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of Michigan. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2007 and received the National Medal of Science in 2009. He holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry from Yale University, an MD from the University of North Carolina, and a BSc from the University of Virginia.

Ken Hu, Deputy Chairman, Huawei Technologies, People’s Republic of China

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Ken Hu is the Deputy Chairman of Huawei Technologies, People’s Republic of China. He has served as President of the Marketing and Sales Department in China, President of the Latin America Region, President of the Global Sales Department, Chief Sales and Service Officer, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, Chairman of the Corporate Global Cyber Security Committee, Chairman of the BOD of Huawei USA, Corporate Executive Vice-President, and Chairman of the Human Resources Committee. Born in 1967, Hu holds a bachelor’s degree from Huazhong University of Science and Technology. He joined Huawei in 1990.

Cheng Wei, Founder, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Didi KuaiDi Group (Xiaoju Science and Technology), People’s Republic of China

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Cheng Wei is the Founder, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Didi KuaiDi Group (Xiaoju Science and Technology), People’s Republic of China. He founded Beijing Orange Technology Co. in 2012, and then launched the taxi-hailing app Didi Dache in the same year. In February 2015, Didi Dache merged with Kuaidi taxi, becoming the leading company in the mobile internet industry in China. The company has transformed from a taxi-hailing service provider to the largest one-stop transport network in the world. Didi KuaiDi aims to fulfil China’s massive unmet commuting demand by aggregating various transport tools, from taxis and private cars to bus and chauffeur services. By May 2015, Didi KuaiDi was providing 3 million private car rides per day and now accounts for 80% of the private-car market. It also provides 3 million taxi rides per day and has 99% of the market share in the taxi-hailing industry. Previously, Cheng was the youngest regional manager in Alibaba Group’s B2B service and Vice-President of Ali-pay’s B2C service. Cheng is from Jiangxi Province and graduated from the Beijing University of Chemical Technology.

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner, Research, Science and Innovation, European Commission, Brussels

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Carlos Moedas has been Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation of the European Commission since 2014. Previously, he served as Secretary of State to the Prime Minister of Portugal from 2011 to 2014, and as a Member of the Portuguese Parliament in 2011. Prior to that, Moedas was the Senior Economic Adviser of the Portuguese Social Democratic Party. He is the founder of Crimson Investment Management, and was Managing Director and Member of the Executive Committee Board of Aguirre Newman until 2008. Earlier, he was a consultant on mergers and acquisitions for Deutsche Bank and Eurohypo Investment Bank and an Investment Banking Associate at Goldman Sachs. He began his career as Engineer and Project Manager at Suez Group (2002-2004).

Moedas holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a degree in Civil Engineering from the Instituto Superior Técnico de Lisboa. He is co-author of The New Paradigm of Real-Estate Investment (O Novo Paradigma Do Investimento Imobiliário).

Li Ruigang, Chairman, China Media Capital (CMC) Capital Partners, People’s Republic of China

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Li Ruigang is Chairman of China Media Capital (CMC) Capital Partners, and was President of Shanghai Media Group from 2002 to 2011. He oversaw a mass media holding company that includes television stations, radio, newspapers, magazines and internet ventures. During his tenure revenue for the company expanded six-fold.

Previously, Li was Director of Features and Documentaries and News Perspective Producer at Shanghai TV; and Deputy Director of Programming at the Shanghai Radio, Film and Television Bureau. Earlier, he served on Shanghai Municipal Government. Li holds an MBA from Furan University and was a visiting scholar at Columbia University.

Jeffrey R. Tarr, President and Chief Executive Officer, DigitalGlobe, USA

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Jeff Tarr is Chief Executive Officer, President and a Director of DigitalGlobe, a global provider of commercial high-resolution Earth imagery products and advanced geospatial solutions. Since joining DigitalGlobe, Tarr has led its transformation into a high-growth geospatial information company.

Previously, Tarr joined IHS as President and Chief Operating Officer of one of the company’s two operating divisions. He was named Co-President and Co-COO of IHS in 2007 and sole President and Chief Operating Officer in 2008. Prior to IHS, Tarr was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hoover’s, a publicly traded business information provider. Tarr began his career with Bain & Company, and was later a Vice-President and General Manager with US WEST, where he served on the executive team and led the creation of the company’s Internet yellow pages business.

Tarr holds an MBA from Stanford University and a BA from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. He is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a Member of the Boards of CEB (formerly the Corporate Executive Board Company) and the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.

This list is current as of July 2015, and will be amended as further Co-Chairs confirm.

Author: Sebastian Buckup, Director, Programme Development Team, World Economic Forum

Image: AMNC 14, Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin, People’s Republic of China 2014. World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell