From macroeconomics to opera: Here’s the Young Global Leaders Class of 2023
- Every year, the Forum of Young Global Leaders selects and convenes the world's most promising leaders under the age of 40.
- The class of 2023 boasts experts from the world of the arts, finance, the media and more.
- Young Global Leaders are committed to using their expertise to address the world's most pressing problems and drive innovation.
Every year, the Forum of Young Global Leaders identifies the world's most promising leaders under 40. This year, we are thrilled to welcome the Class of 2023 into our community of outstanding people addressing the world's most pressing problems and driving innovation for positive change across civil society, the arts, culture, government and business.
From the Editor-In-Chief of Vogue China to the Governor of Nairobi Country in Kenya, this year's cohort includes a wide variety of talent and diversity.
We must have committed and inspired leaders who can help bridge divides and create real-world change for the benefit of all. The World Economic Forum's latest Global Risks Report underscores the critical inflection point at which we find ourselves. As we confront the most challenging combination of economic, social, political and environmental pressures — the polycrisis — in recent memory, we must identify and amplify the voices of those working tirelessly to address these issues.
What is a YGL?
The YGL community is made up of more than 1,300 members and alumni, including public officials, business innovators, artists, educators, technology developers, journalists and activists.
The mission of the Forum of Young Global Leaders is to create a dynamic global community of exceptional people with the vision, courage and influence to drive positive change in the world.
Aligned with the World Economic Forum’s mission, they seek to spur public-private cooperation amongst these unique actors to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest.
Representing more than 100 nationalities, Young Global Leaders are united by the belief that the urgent problems of today present an opportunity to forge a better future across sectors, generations and borders.
Visit the YGL website at: https://www.younggloballeaders.org/
Over the next three years, the Class of 2023 will convene to identify innovative solutions and champion ways to scale up and accelerate each other's impact. As we embark on this exciting journey, we asked these leaders: What is the one skill leaders need to hone to overcome the challenges we're facing?
Here's what they had to say:
'Self-awareness improves your listening skills and strengthens your patience'
Fagun Thakrar, Founder, CEO, Film Director, Actor, Activist and Global Ambassador
A key skill leaders need to hone is awareness; being aware of yourself and your team. This awareness helps you be in the present moment to assess and adapt to unpredictable and volatile risks. During these kinds of situations, being aware leads you to be a better decision-maker.
Self-awareness also improves your listening skills and strengthens your patience. It is the foundation of your capacity for kindness and compassion. The journey of self-awareness helps you understand yourself, how you’re made, and you can therefore navigate yourself and your team better. A tried and tested method of building this awareness is by regularly practicing breathing techniques, yoga and meditation.
'Empathetic dialogue remains our most powerful tool'
Alejo Czerwonko, Chief Investment Officer Emerging Markets Americas, UBS
We are navigating increasingly fraught geopolitical waters. Tensions between countries are rising, as great powers compete for dominance in military might, economic influence, and technological capability. While these rivalries can trigger welcome innovations, the challenge for leaders is to ensure steep competition doesn’t veer into open conflict.
Empathetic dialogue remains our most powerful tool. No matter how large our differences may seem, true leadership can only occur in conversation centred around our common grounds.
'Beyond the balance sheet, managing trade-offs and balancing tensions is a cornerstone of public policy'
David Upton, Managing Director, Chief of Staff for Public Policy and Corporate Responsibility, Barclays PLC
Business and political leaders alike need to hone their ability to effectively balance tensions and navigate trade-offs in an increasingly uncertain world.
Leaders need to balance how they manage risk exposure, while determining where best to deploy capital and resources to strategically influence positive change. They must also manage the tension between delivering near-term returns to shareholders with the need to invest for long-term, sustainable growth. Beyond the balance sheet, managing trade-offs and balancing tensions is a cornerstone of public policy. In a politically polarised world, applying this skill is more difficult and even more necessary to advance legislative agendas.
'We cannot build back strong societies, economies and health systems on the unpaid work of women'
Dr. Roopa Dhatt, Executive Director, Women in Global Health
The pandemic taught us many hard lessons. One of the most fundamental is that societies depend on the paid and unpaid work of women. In crises, women are the social shock absorbers, loaded with more unpaid care, which is not recorded, rewarded or even counted as work in metrics like GDP.
We cannot build back strong societies, economies and health systems on the unpaid work of women. A fundamental shift is needed, and all global leaders must learn and hone gender transformative leadership, challenging power and privilege for greater equity.
Gender transformative leaders intentionally address gender inequity, taking an intersectional approach to analysing how gender intersects with other facets of identity, such as race, disability, sexual orientation, caste and more to multiply disadvantages for particular groups.
When we achieve gender equality and women’s rights, we will all benefit, from a wider ‘triple gender dividend’ of better health for all, gender equality and economic growth.
'Leaders need to cultivate and hone their ability to think like scientists'
Abdigani Diriye, Founding Curator, Hargeisa Hub
Leaders need to cultivate and hone their ability to think like scientists. The economic, geo-political, environmental and humanitarian events of the last 12 months underscore that our world is increasingly more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.
One way to survive and navigate it is by applying the scientific method in analysing problems. This means creating hypotheses or a working theory to explain a situation or business problem, running experiments and taking calculated risks to collect data to validate or refute beliefs and course
correcting where necessary. This approach ensures leaders can understand their world better and adeptly respond based on data and observations.
'Leaders must establish and maintain the trust of their stakeholders'
Fridtjof Berge, Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer, Antler Innovation Pte Ltd
Leaders need to be able to build trust to tackle global risks. In a world with an increasingly polarising media landscape, where new technologies make change happen faster and at a bigger scale than ever before, leaders must establish and maintain the trust of their stakeholders to get the support needed to effectively tackle risks.
For business leaders, this is particularly important at this point in time. Business is now considered the most competent and ethical global institution, trumping governments all over the world. With that perception comes great opportunity — but also great responsibility — to utilise the trust to drive positive change.
'Leaders must adapt to the range of outcomes from each solution'
Peace Hyde, Creator and Executive Producer for Netflix
The current state of global risks requires an intentional and adaptable leader. Challenges and risks present unexpected paths.
Leaders have to be able to adapt to the potential wide range of outcomes from each solution and constantly innovate and review the progress of each plan to ensure their likely impacts are still suitable and relevant.
'With unprecedented opportunity ... we have to build the capacity to adapt and flourish'
Sudarshan Venu, Managing Director, TVS Motor Company
As leaders, we need to be prescient to spot opportunities and make the most of them. As consumer needs change and evolve to global challenges, we should orient ourselves to spot the white spaces and be in a state of preparedness allowing us to step in and build on that.
We will also experience a change in the workplace and the attitudes and skills we bring to it. With unprecedented opportunity and some attendant disruption, we have to build the capacity to adapt and flourish.