Meet the 2021 class of Young Global Leaders

Sinéad Burke is the CEO / founder of Tilting the Lens.

Sinéad Burke is the CEO / founder of Tilting the Lens. Image: World Economic Forum / Sandra Blaser

Sarah Shakour
Project Specialist, Forum Foundations, World Economic Forum Geneva
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  • Each year, the World Economic Forum names its new Young Global Leaders.
  • This group of remarkable people under 40 come from different communities and industries worldwide.
  • We celebrate the individuals in this class of 2021 and the difference they are committed to making globally, particularly at this critical juncture.

Over the past year, the world has dealt first hand with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, systemic inequalities, discrepancies in our healthcare systems, economic downturns and education shifting to digital. While many leaders call on the need to ‘fix’ what is broken, the more urgent need is to take immediate action. Young leaders around the world are leading by example and paving the way for action on these issues.

Each year, the Forum of Young Global Leaders goes through a rigorous selection process to identify, select and commemorate remarkable leaders under 40 who come from different communities and industries worldwide. These young leaders exemplify what we need most today: hope, empathy, authenticity and the drive to develop solutions that can change the world for the better.


What is a YGL?

Below are just a few examples of our remarkable YGLs from the class of 2021. We celebrate these individuals and the difference they are committed to making globally, particularly at this critical juncture.

Sinéad Burke: Sinéad is the CEO / founder of Tilting the Lens. She works to accelerate systemic change within the domains of diversity, education, inclusion, design and disability. She consults within the fashion, architecture and design industries to ensure that spaces and products are accessible to all. Her TED talk on “Why Design Should Include Everyone” has amassed over 1 million views.

Jessica Mauboy: Jessica is an Australian R&B and pop singer, songwriter, and actress. Jessica is a role model for Australian girls, particularly indigenous girls, for her positive messages about the value of education. She actively encourages indigenous girls to undertake formal education, and supports several charities and initiatives that promote literacy among indigenous people.

Conrod Kelly: Conrod is Executive Director of Social Determinants and Population Health at Merck, leveraging health determinants to make healthcare more equitable among underserved populations. Conrod promotes diversity, equity and inclusion, especially as it pertains to public health. “We each have the power to act and inspire in pursuit of purpose. But we must do so both with humility and humanity, or else we will lose the power and ability to lead," he says.

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Catherine Lenson: Catherine is Chief Human Resources Officer and Social Impact Lead at SoftBank Investment Advisors (UK). She is responsible for all human resources activity within the company’s Vision Fund – a $100 billion fund that invests in technology companies disrupting their industries. She is also the first woman to become a Managing Partner at SoftBank. For Catherine, leadership in 2021 means, “rising from the ashes of COVID-19 to propel a transformation where the domains of work, purpose, creativity and individual fulfilment can intersect and flourish.”

Amit Paley: Amit is Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of The Trevor Project, one of the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organizations for LGBTQ youth. He is a global expert on suicide prevention and the mental health of young LGBTQ people. Under his leadership, the Trevor Project has received acclaim as one of the most innovative and technology-driven non-profits globally.

Wawira Njiru: Wawira is a trained nutritionist, who deploys cutting-edge technology and innovation to feed the future of Africa, unlocking the potential for hundreds of millions of young people. For Wawira, leadership means service. “Having the courage and grace to serve people with humility, and the belief that every human innately has limitless potential,” she says. “It’s working to ensure those around us live lives of dignity and meaning, and are able to achieve their highest potential.”

Roberto Patino: Roberto is a Venezuelan democracy activist and social entrepreneur. He founded the NGOs Mi Convive and Alimenta La Solidaridad, which work within 216 vulnerable communities, empowering more than 4,000 women volunteers to feed 14,500 children daily and reduce violence in hotspots. Roberto is an expert in citizen security, negotiation and conflict resolution.

Alanoud Bint Hamad Al-Thani: Alanoud is the first woman and youngest member appointed to Qatar Financial Centre’s (QFC) Executive Committee as Managing Director. She has played a key role in achieving QFC’s highest growth performance since its inception, by bringing in 817 companies in financial and professional services, managing a portfolio of $4 billion worth of assets, and creating thousands of jobs in the private sector. “Today, the world needs responsible leaders who can articulate a vision and mobilise communities to achieve them. We need leaders who are inclusive in their approach and honouring their values,” she says.

See the full list of YGLs below, or come meet the new class here:

  • Abasi Ene-Obong
  • Dalal Saeb Iriqat
  • Ibram Kendi
  • Izkia Siches
  • Lu Chaoyang
  • Tom Crowther
  • Wu Chen
  • Christoph Bornschein
  • Faouzi Khlifi aka El Seed
  • Hu Ge
  • Jessica Mauboy
  • Li Ni
  • Lukas Nelson
  • Mashrafe Bin Mortaza
  • Nathalia Arcuri
  • Rohan Ramakrishnan
  • Wang Guan
  • Brian Kaufmann
  • Catherine Lenson
  • Cristina Fonseca
  • Daniel Ahn
  • Gregoire Pictet
  • He Zhengyu
  • Lee Seung Gun,
  • Luis Felipe Cervantes Legorreta,
  • Mohammad Salem Omaid,
  • Arvan Chan,
  • Burcu Ozturk
  • Conrod Kelly
  • David Alexander Walcott
  • Qian Zhuang
  • Shiho Azuma
  • Terrence Kommal
  • Vasudha Vats
  • Achmad Zaky
  • Aditi Avasthi
  • Alexander de Carvalho
  • Anneliese Schulz
  • Clarisse Iribagiza
  • Elham Al Qasim
  • Francesca Chia
  • Gazal Kalra
  • Hitesh Wadhwa
  • Hriday Ravindranath
  • Kira Radinsky
  • Obi Ozor
  • Paul Rivera
  • Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty
  • Suren Aloyan
  • Xue Peng
  • Yifan Li
  • Adriana Cargill
  • Andrey A. Guryev
  • Anne-Laure De Chammard
  • Claudia Vergueiro Massei
  • Dana Juffali
  • Erica Alessandri
  • Gareth Wong
  • Haley Lowry
  • Kishin Rk
  • Laure Forgeron
  • Liam Sobey
  • Matthew Chamberlain
  • Mohamed Al Hashemi
  • Nari Kahle
  • Nirvana Chaudhary
  • Ricardo Weder
  • Roongchat Boonyarat
  • Rose Damen
  • Shreevar Kheruka
  • Sophie Kim Seul Ah
  • Srikanth Bolla
  • Sylvia Wiesner
  • Tanit Chearavanont
  • Amit Paley
  • Anulika Ajufo
  • Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim
  • Jessica Jackson
  • Jocelyn Formsma
  • Roberto Patino
  • Sangu Delle
  • Sinéad Burke
  • Zolzaya Batkhuyag
  • Wawira Njiru
  • Ameya Prabhu
  • Alexis Crow
  • Emily Serazin
  • Esraa Al-Buti
  • Laura Gersch
  • Lucy Cooper
  • Luiza Mattos
  • Megan Greenfield
  • Sanae Lahlou
  • Adriana Ortiz
  • Alanoud Bint Hamad
  • Alberto de Belaunde
  • Amélie de Montchalin
  • Andrew Bragg
  • Fawaz Farooqui
  • Gadeer Kamal-Mreeh
  • Garlin Gilchrist II
  • Lea Wermelin
  • Maleeka Bokhari
  • Martin Guzman
  • Ronald Lamola
  • Tendayi Achiume
  • Vera Daves de Sousa
  • Virginijus Sinkevicius.
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