A green tech start-up entrepreneur, the leaders of international companies and a UAE education minister join forces this July to co-chair the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions (AMNC).

The 13th edition of the event, taking place in Dalian, China from 1-3 July, has the theme Leadership 4.0: Succeeding in a New Era of Globalization. It allows participants to pool ideas as they seek to achieve sustainable, inclusive growth in a global economy that is being disrupted by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a changing geopolitical landscape, climate change and rising inequality.

“Today’s leaders must make decisions amid rapidly changing technological, geopolitical and regulatory conditions,” said David Aikman, the World Economic Forum’s Chief Representative Officer for China. “The Annual Meeting of the New Champions provides them with the contextual intelligence to navigate this new reality, and an opportunity to play a formative role in shaping a more sustainable and secure future.”

The Co-Chairs, who will play a vital role in shaping the agenda of the meeting, are: Enass Abo-Hamed, Flemming Besenbacher, Suphachai Chearavanont, Alain Dehaze, Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Ning Gaoning, Charles Li and Jessica Tan.

Left to right, top row then bottom: Enass Abo-Hamed, Flemming Besenbacher, Suphachai Chearavanont, Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Ning Gaoning, Charles Li, Jessica Tan and Alain Dehaze

Young Scientist community member Enass Abo-Hamed is a researcher and entrepreneur in energy storage technologies. Her start-up, H2GO Power, aims to provide safe and low-cost hydrogen energy to increase access to a zero-emission and reliable power supply for millions across the world. A fellow at Imperial College London, she has also received the MIT Technology Review’s Innovators Under 35 Europe award for Visionary of the Year, and is a member of the Global Future Council on Advancing Energy Technologies.

Flemming Besenbacher is the Chairman of the supervisory board at Carlsberg Group, and sits on the board of directors of the Carlsberg Foundation, and is currently Vice-Chairman of the Innovation Fund Denmark. A scientist by background, he was the founding director of the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Centre at Aarhus University from 2002 to 2012. Professor Besenbacher is honorary doctor at 16 Chinese universities, and he has received distinctions in Denmark and abroad for his research, including China’s International Science and Technology Cooperation Award. He is a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Academician) and holds the title of Commander of the Order of Dannebrog. In January 2019, he was recognized with the Award for Circular Economy Leadership at Davos.

Suphachai Chearavanont is CEO of the Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group, a Thai family business that is also one of the world’s largest agro-industrial conglomerates. Consisting of 100 companies operating throughout 21 countries in food, retail and communications, it is the single largest investor in mainland China today. Khun Suphachai is also the Chairman of the executive committee of True Corporation, a communication conglomerate, and a member of the Thai government's Independent Committee for Educational Reform. In 2013, he helped launch Thailand’s first telecommunications infrastructure fund, the Digital Infrastructure Fund, and established True’s CSR initiative, which delivered education to underprivileged children in 6,000 schools in rural areas of the country. In 2015, he was awarded Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Telecom CEO of the Year at the Asia Pacific ICT Awards, and was elected President of the Telecommunications Association of Thailand. He was an advisory board member for the One Young World summit in 2015, where he gave a speech on how media networks form our social systems. He has been Chairperson for the United Nations Global Compact Network Thailand since 2016.

As CEO of the Adecco Group and a member of the International Labour Organization’s Global Commission on the Future of Work, Alain Dehaze is a leading voice on the new world of work. A Fortune Global 500 company, professional staffing giant the Adecco Group was also ranked second on World’s Best Workplaces List in 2017. After graduating as a commercial engineer, Alain joined the workforce solutions sector in 2000, and was CEO at Solvus, COO of USG People and CEO of the Dutch staffing services company Humares before being appointed CEO of the Adecco Group in 2015. He plays an active role in shaping the labour markets of tomorrow as Chair of the Global Apprenticeship Network, steward of the World Economic Forum’s Centre for New Economy and Society and Co-Chair of the Governors for the Forum’s Professional Services Industry community.

Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi is the Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills for the UAE, where he supervises the development of higher education and scientific research. Previously, he was the CEO of clean energy firm Masdar, leading the company’s strategic growth and development within the renewable energy and clean technology sector. He is currently the Chairman of both the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources and the UAE Space Agency. He has also worked with the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, and has a PhD from Sir John Monash University in Australia and a master’s from the University of Melbourne.

Ning Gaoning is Chairman of the Chinese state-owned Sinochem Group, one of the world’s largest chemical companies. With many years of experience in corporate strategy, Ning sits on the Executive Board of the International Chamber of Commerce, and has been named CCTV China Economic Person of the Year three times. He has been recognized among the nation’s top 25 most influential business leaders by China Entrepreneur for 10 consecutive years, and as one of China’s most influential business leaders by Fortune. In 2009, he was named Asia Business Leader of the Year by CNBC Asia Pacific. He is the Chairman of the Hong Kong Building and Loan Agency and Deputy Chairman of Chinese real estate company Vanke. In 2018, he was elected Chairman of the board of directors of the Swiss-based, Chinese-owned agrochemical company Syngenta.

Charles Li has served as CEO of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) since 2010. In this role, he has orchestrated some of the most significant strategic initiatives in HKEX's history, including the acquisition of the London Metal Exchange in 2012, the launch of clearing service OTC Clear in 2013, and the introduction of the investment channel Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect in 2014, Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect in 2016 and Bond Connect in 2017. Li was born in Beijing and grew up in the northern Chinese province of Gansu. Before leaving the country to study journalism at the University of Alabama, he was an offshore oil worker in the North China Sea and an editor-reporter for China Daily. After completing legal training in the US, he practised law in New York with Davis Polk & Wardwell and Brown & Wood. Prior to joining HKEX, he was Chairman of JP Morgan China, before which he was President of Merrill Lynch China.

Jessica Tan is co-CEO of Ping An. China's top insurance company, Ping An has expanded into other fields and last year spent 1% of its annual revenue on R&D in emerging technologies; it has now accumulated nearly 500 million online users. Tan chairs Ping An Technology, the company’s tech arm, and is Director of controlled subsidiaries including Ping An Property & Casualty, Ping An Life, Ping An Annuity, Ping An Financial Technology and Ping An Asset Management. She is also Non-Executive Director of Lufax, an online finance marketplace. Before joining Ping An, she was a global partner at McKinsey. She received bachelor's degrees in electrical engineering and economics, and a master's degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In addition to leaders from government, business and academia, the AMNC will play host to 150 of the world’s most promising start-ups, and members of the Forum’s Technology Pioneer and Young Scientists communities.