Here are the Young People Pushing Boundaries and Changing the World in 2019

13 Mar 2019

Aylin Elci, Communications Officer, Public Engagement, Tel.: +41 75 404 10 95; Email:

· One hundred and twenty seven individuals changing the world are joining this year’s cohort of Young Global Leaders, a dynamic community of people under the age of 40 who represent the best of their generation.

· The class of 2019 includes the most decorated Olympian female swimmer of all time, the founder of the first app providing advice on contraception in Bangladesh, the managing director of a leading supermarket chain looking to ban plastic packaging, and a female scientist whose work is revolutionizing batteries.

· This year, the list includes the Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze and the Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada, as well as Juan Guaidó President of the National Assembly of Venezuela and widely recognized by more than 50 governments as the interim president of his country

· See the list of Class of 2019 Young Global Leaders below and at

Geneva, Switzerland, 13 March 2019 – One hundred and twenty seven of the world’s most promising social activists, business leaders, public servants, artists and technologists under the age of 40 have been invited to join the World Economic Forum’s community of Young Global Leaders. They are pushing boundaries, achieving firsts, and breaking traditional rules to improve the world.

The Forum of Young Global Leaders is a diverse community of leaders from all walks of life and from every region of the world. Current members lead governments and Fortune 500 companies, hold Nobel Prizes and Academy Awards, and have become UN Goodwill Ambassadors and Social Entrepreneurs. The community aims to bring together individuals with different skill sets from exciting fields to shape an inclusive and sustainable future for the world.

By working as a community, Young Global Leaders have supported the entrepreneurial skills of young refugees in the Kenyan camp of Kakuma, are pushing governments to set up a “New Deal for Nature” that will protect lands and oceans, and are tackling hunger and malnutrition using social gastronomy. Notable alumni include Amal Clooney, Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers, United Kingdom; Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand; Emmanuel Macron, President of France; Larry Page, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Google, USA; and Jack Ma, Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group, China.

This year, more than one-half of the new members are women, and many of the Young Global Leaders are from emerging economies. They have been selected for representing the best of their generation, for their ability to enhance understanding and promote action, as well as their innovative activity in the fields of art, business, civil society, energy, government and health.

Members of the new class will take part in a five-year programme that will help them identify ways in which their groundbreaking work can advance new models of innovation and make a difference in their communities.

“We look to these leaders to take forward the challenge of improving the state of the world. In offering opportunities and experiences to transform their understanding of the possibilities presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we are investing in them to drive a future where we all can flourish,” said Mariah Levin, Head of the Forum of Young Global Leaders at the World Economic Forum.

The Young Global Leaders Class of 2019 include:

East Asia

Melanie Perkins, Chief Executive Officer, Canva, Australia. Her visionary work opened up graphic design for all with a rate of 13 designs per second created on her platform.

Clare O'Neil, Member of Parliament for Hotham, Parliament of Australia. She became the youngest female mayor in Australian history when she took on the role at the age of 23.

Lucy d'Arville, Partner, Bain International, Australia. She is transforming healthcare by working with large payor and provider organizations.

Chea Serey, Director-General, National Bank of Cambodia, Cambodia. As one of the world’s few female leaders in central banking she is advocating for women's access to finance.

Stefanie Kurniadi, Founder, Owner, PT. Citarasa Prima Indonesia Berjaya, Indonesia. She is reviving local Indonesian cuisine with restaurants featuring street food and playful themes.

Nabilah Alsagoff, Co-Founder, Doku, Indonesia. She created the largest and fastest growing provider of electronic payments in her country, now used by the likes of Oppo and Air Asia.

Yasukane Matsumoto, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Raksul, Japan. He is revolutionizing the efficiency of the printing industry through the internet.

Genki Oda, Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer, Remixpoint, Japan. In five years, he turned a loss-making company into one with profits of $34 million.

Anjhula Mya Singh Bais, Chair, Amnesty International, Malaysia. As her country’s only international psychology trauma specialist, she spearheads a host of pro bono, humanitarian, and whistle-blowing endeavours.

Syed Saddiq bin Syed Abdul Rahman, Minister of Youth and Sports of Malaysia. He is an advocate for anti-corruption issues, and dedicated to engaging youth in politics.

Yeo Bee Yin, Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change of Malaysia. She transformed a high crime area into a business hotspot.

Daniel Hyunsung Shin, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Ticket Monster, Republic of Korea. His company is one of the largest e-commerce businesses in his country employing more than 1,000 people and with a turnover of $1 billion.

Chang Seung-Joon, Chief Executive Officer, Maekyung Media Group, Republic of Korea. His media group is among the most influential and has received the highest ratings among Korean cable TV channels for 57 months.

Geoffrey See, Founder and Chairman, Chex SG, Singapore. He is training entrepreneurs in North Korea and his work is ensuring communication channels for economic issues between China, South Korea, North Korea and the United States.

Huijing Serene Chen, Managing Director, Deutsche Bank, Singapore. She is a leading advocate for women in business and has been instrumental in supporting female leadership in the industry, actively working to empower, mentor and build their confidence.

Ruangroj “Krating” Poonpol, Managing Partner, TrueNorth Venture, Thailand. He is leading one of the most successful start-up accelerators in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and opened a pioneering “start-up school” in the region.


Annika Saarikko, Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health of Finland. She is the woman managing the Social and Health Care Reform, one of Finland's most extensive social projects.

Diane Binder, Vice-President, International Development, Africa, Middle East and India, SUEZ, France. She has founded the leading online platform Action Emploi Refugies from where refugees in France can find jobs.

Julie Bonamy, Vice-President, Corporate Planning and Strategy, Saint-Gobain, France. She was appointed adviser for the budget and digital sector in July 2015.

Geoffrey Bouquot, Group Director, Strategy and External Relations, Valeo, France. He develops partnerships with technologists and innovators enabling his company to reduce carbon emissions and develop intuitive driving in the automotive industry.

Anne-Sophie Grouchka, Chief Customer Office and Executive Board Member, Allianz France, Allianz SE, France. Through her focus on the welfare of people she has put customer services at heart of Allianz' daily work.

Jean-Jacques Barbéris, Member of the Executive Committee; Co-Head, Institutional Clients Coverage, Amundi, France. He is the chairman of En Temps Reel, a think tank focusing on the future development of the European Union.

Ketevan Bochorishvili, Chief Executive Officer, JSC “Anaklia City”, Georgia. She is pioneering women’s presence in Georgian businesses and enabling ease of business through leading reforms.

Mamuka Bakhtadze, Prime Minister of Georgia. He is working towards NATO membership for his country as well as liberal reforms, and in previous role as finance minister, improved the country's tax system.

Thomas Saueressig, President of SAP Product Engineering, SAP, Germany. He is a self-proclaimed millennial providing a seamless customer experience by automating processes with artificial intelligence.

Jessica Burgner-Kahrs, Chair of Continuum Robotics, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany. She developed the world's first robotic system for bone cutting, and works with continuum robots – tiny, tentacle-like robotic arms that are used in surgical medicine for their minimally invasive nature.

Eva Scherer, Vice-President, Head of Business Administrations, Siemens Mobility Division, Siemens, Germany. She played an instrumental role in the signing of the Siemens-Alstom rail merger.

Nora Khaldi, Founder and Chief Security Officer, Nuritas, Ireland. Her company is the first in the world to have introduced artificial intelligence to the food sector with the aim of creating the future of health.

Cristina Pozzi, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Impactscool, Italy. Her company aims to prepare for the combined effects of technology and the human experience so that no one is left behind.

Sarah Nicholls, Director and Head, Global Sustainability, Jones Lang LaSalle, Netherlands. She was the first one to set sustainability targets in her company of more than 77,000 employees.

Daniel de Boer, Chief Executive Officer, ProQR Therapeutics N.V., Netherlands. His company develops drugs for severe and rare diseases for which no treatments are available, such as cystic fibrosis.

Pablo Alberto Barrera Lopez, Executive Vice-President; Head, Global Supply Chain, Yara International ASA, Norway. He works for one of the world's largest crop nutrition companies.

Paweł Surówka, Chief Executive Officer, PZU, Poland. He leads his country's biggest insurance company, which places heavy emphasis on social responsibility.

Tigran Khudaverdyan, Chief Executive Officer, Yandex Taxi, Russia. He assumed leadership of Yandex Taxi in 2014 and negotiated its independent structure through a deal with Uber in 2015.

Anton Alikhanov, Governor of Kaliningrad, Kaliningrad Regional Administration, Russia. He was the youngest governor of an oblast (an administrative division) when he was first appointed in 2013.

Carlos Reines, President and Co-Founder, RubiconMD, Spain. He is disrupting healthcare systems with innovative electronic medical consultation solutions that cut costs for primary care providers.

Pablo Casado Blanco, Party Leader, Partido Popular, Spain. He is the youngest Spanish politician to have held this position and the voice of a new generation.

Guillaume Lefevre, Managing Director, New Ventures and Business Development, Zurich Insurance Company, Switzerland. He is shaping one of the world's largest insurance company through customer-centric and digitally integrated ideas.

Bilge Demirkoz, Professor, Department of Physics, Middle East Technical University, Turkey. She is a role model for the next generation of scientists in her country and as an astro-particle physicist is working to change the government’s approach to science.

Daria Kaleniuk, Director, Anti-Corruption Action Centre, Ukraine. Experienced in stolen assets recovery, the powerful national organization she has created is shaping her country's anti-corruption legislation.

Richard Walker, Managing Director, Iceland Foods, United Kingdom. His leading supermarket chain removed palm oil from the ingredients of all its products since 2018 and is committed to eliminating plastic packaging for all own-brand products within five years.

Yalda Hakim, Anchor, BBC News, United Kingdom. She went from being a refugee to a journalist covering Isis, Mexican drug cartels and South Sudan’s civil war.

Nerissa Naidu, Global Head of Strategy, American International Group, United Kingdom. She has been a proponent of equality and strived to break the mould of stereotypes in gender, race and professional norms.

Sue Anne Tay, Director of China and RMB Internationalisation, HSBC Holdings, United Kingdom. She is championing next-generation thought leadership in China.

Greater China

Chao (Amy) Gao, Founder, Shanghai May Foundation, China. She initiated her company’s social work by promoting volunteerism among students and sponsoring projects in universities in her country.

Dinglong Huang, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Malong Technologies, China. He has developed groundbreaking solutions for artificial intelligence by improving speed, cost and accuracy in deep learning.

Gary Liu, Chief Executive Officer, South China Morning Post Publishers, Hong Kong SAR, China. He is shaping the Asian news scene through flagship news products and looks after the Hong Kong editions of Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Elle Men, Esquire and Cosmopolitan.

Gong Rujing, Co-Founder and Chairwoman, Happy Life Tech, People's Republic of China. She leads her country’s largest medical data company and is a game changer in the health technology industry.

Jiakai Yuan, China Chief Representative, United Way Worldwide, People’s Republic of China. He heads a leading provider in the non-profit sector.

Longmei Zhang, Deputy Resident Representative for China, International Monetary Fund, People’s Republic of China. She is an expert in economics with extensive experience with IMF programme negotiations and reviews.

Pei-Chun Tsai, Chief Executive Officer, Pou Chen Group, Taiwan, China. Her company makes 300 million shoes per year for big brands.

Qian Liu, Managing Director, The Economist Group, People’s Republic of China. She has introduced her audience to cutting edge economic research on gender, and is bridging China and the West.

Yin Qi, Chief Executive Officer, Beijing Mevgii Technology, China. He is a leading entrepreneur in artificial intelligence and deep learning, particularly in the area of facial recognition technologies.

Latin America

Gregorio Werthein, Managing Director, Grupo Werthein, Argentina. He is a businessman and former Olympic athlete.

Angela Daniella Garcia Moreno, Founder, Chief Executive Officer, Elemental School, Bolivia. She has given more than 1,500 children, aged 7 to 18, the chance to train in digital and soft skills through online and in-person programmes.

Joice Toyota, Executive Director and Founder, Vetor Brasil, Brazil. Her organization develops and places hundreds of graduates from top universities in young public management leadership roles throughout Brazil’s 27 states.

Fernando Grostein Andrade, Director, Spray Filmes, Brazil. He is a film-maker, director, producer, screenwriter and director of photography, and has filmed more than 100 campaigns for clients like Coca-Cola, Mitsubishi Motors, Pfizer and Nestlé, as well as thought-provoking films.

José Manuel Moller, Chief Executive Officer, Algramo Group, Chile. Through an innovative and disruptive business model his 1,700 stores deliver essential food and cleaning products to low-income communities.

Jonathan Malagon, Minister of Housing, Cities and Territory of Colombia. His former experience includes positions as vice-president of the Colombian Banking Association, executive director of the Colombian National Program of Telecommunications, and chief of staff, chief economist and assistant to chief executive officer at Telefonica Colombia.

Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of Costa Rica. Inaugurated at the age of 38, he is his country’s youngest serving president since 1914.

Richard Martinez, Minister of Economy and Finance of Ecuador. He previously served as chairman of the Ecuadorian Business Committee

Victoria Alonsoperez, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Chipsafer, Uruguay. Her platform tracks cattle remotely and autonomously to identify unusual behaviour.

Juan Guaidò, Venezuela. He is an engineer and politician.

Middle East and North Africa

Esra’a Al Shafei, Founder and Executive Director, Mideast Youth, Bahrain. Her organization is one of the region’s leading civic technology companies, and she creatively publicizes under-represented voices ranging from migrant workers to the LGBTQ community.

Ameer Sherif, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Wuzzuf, Egypt. He is leading one of the largest internet startups in his country, focused on connecting people and jobs.

Noura Selim, Executive Director, Sawiris Foundation for Social Development, Egypt. She leads one of the Arab world’s leading grant-giving foundations.

Lucy Aharish, Anchor, Reshet 13, Israel. She is the first Arab Muslim news presenter on Hebrew-language Israeli television.

Taymour Jumblatt, MP and Leader of the Socialist Progressive Party, Parliament of Lebanon. He is an exciting addition to his country’s political landscape.

Lisa Ivers, Partner and Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group, Morocco. She opened the first Boston Consulting Group office in Africa and is addressing some of the major development challenges in Africa and the Middle East.

Nadia Maqbool, Founding Partner, 23 Degrees North, Oman. She is an internationally recognized Omani architect leading an award-winning architectural start-up.

Ahmed Ali Al-Hammadi, Group Head, Active Investments, Qatar Investment Authority, Qatar. He oversees investments for one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world.

Ahd Kamel, Director and Actor, Odd Camel, Saudi Arabia. She is an internationally recognized award-winning actor and film-maker, who began her career when cinema was still banned in her country.

Ibrahim AlMojel, Chief Executive Officer, Wisayah, Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia. He set up the Muslim Scholar and Entrepreneur Award rewarding Muslims in sciences, the arts and business at Stanford University

Sarah bint Yousif Al-Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Sciences, Cabinet of the United Arab Emirates. She is also the Emirates Mars Mission Deputy Project Manager at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre.

Rima Assi, Partner, McKinsey & Company, UAE. She advises leading regional governments on public finance for social and economic transformation, and is a champion for women's empowerment.

North America

Andrew Serazin, President, Templeton World Charity Foundation, Bahamas. He is creating artificial intelligence that improves moral decision-making and innovations that promote humility, gratitude and forgiveness.

Jean-François Gagné, Chief Executive Officer, Element AI, Canada. He is actively involved in guiding the impact of artificial intelligence’s impact on business, people and society, and advises Canadian and European governments on the ethical development of artificial intelligence.

Karina Gould, Minister of Democratic Institutions, Government of Canada. She is an advocate for women’s issues and social inclusion as the youngest woman appointed to cabinet.

Maya Roy, Chief Executive Officer, YWCA Canada. She runs the largest women’s service organization in Canada and shapes critical policies around gender rights and equality as a survivor of assault.

Michele Romanow, Co-Founder and President, Clear Finance Technology - Clearbanc, Canada. She is an engineer, serial entrepreneur, role model, champion for women, and one of Canada's leading technology titans.

Sam Lee, Senior Vice President & Head of Growth, WeWork, USA. He has accelerated the evolution of the future of work in his day job, and additionally helps reimagine youth education through The Future Project.

Bryony Winn, Senior Vice-President and Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, USA. She builds partnerships and improves customer experiences to make quality health and social care increasingly accessible and affordable.

Ruba Borno, Vice-President and General Manager, Cicso Systems, USA. She is the youngest member of Cisco's Executive Leadership Team, coordinates an effort to retrain millions affected by automation, and advocates for gender rights as a former Palestinian refugee.

Anjali Sud, Chief Executive Officer, Vimeo, USA. She advances the economic impact of creative industries by leading the world’s largest ad-free online video platform.

Cal Henderson, Chief Technology Officer, Slack, USA. He has built and disseminated some of the most widely-used technology applications and is a world-renowned expert, speaker and author.

Katherine Maher, Executive Director, Wikimedia Foundation, USA. She pursues equity and opportunity in new technologies and is an outspoken human rights advocate.

Eric Dayton, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Askov Finlayson, USA. His outdoor clothing company measures its own carbon footprint and gives away 110% of that amount annually to support climate change solutions.

Cyrus Habib, Lieutenant-Governor, Washington State, USA. He is a lawyer, professor and one of the top-ranking Democrats in the Washington State Legislature.

Halla Hrund Logadottir, Co-Founder, Arctic Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, USA. She is shaping business and social innovation to help preserve the Arctic.

Farhan Latif, President, El-Hibri Foundation, USA. He is an interfaith leader challenging global extremism and working towards minority inclusion.

Priyanka Bakaya, Chief Executive Officer, Renew Oceans, USA. She has commercialized breakthrough technology to affordably convert landfill-bound plastics into high-value fuels and chemicals.

Nick Ayers, Managing Partners, Ayers Family Holdings, USA. He formerly served as Chief of Staff to the Vice-President of the United States.

Peter Buttigieg, Mayor, City of South Bend, USA. He is America’s youngest mayor and is competing to become the democratic party’s first openly gay presidential candidate.

Rohit Chopra, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission, USA. He is an advocate for improving loans for students, a trillion-dollar market in his country.

Christine Ho, Chief Executive Officer, Imprint Energy, USA. She has invented safe, ultra-thin, rechargeable and flexible batteries to revolutionize sustainable electronics.

Carol Reiley, Founder, Investor, Board Member,, USA. She is a top female engineer, a DIY hacker, a luxury brand ambassador, and a children’s book author.

Agnes Budzyn, Managing Director of Strategic Growth, Consensys, USA. She innovates approaches to implement and adopt blockchain technology around the world at a market-leading blockchain company.

David Chubak, Head of Global Retail Bank and Consumer Lending, Citi North America, USA. He runs a global business spanning 19 markets and serving 24 million customers across 2,600 branches and with 65,000 employees.

Joseph Konzelmann, Managing Director and Senior Sovereign Strategist, Goldman Sachs, USA. Prior to his career in finance, he served in the US Government and advised Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan, on economic development programmes for weak and fragile states.

Erika Najarian,Head of North American Banks Research, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, USA. She introduced regulatory balance to ensure her firm’s management is always compliant, and is a passionate advocate for the professional development of women and people of colour.

Nathaniel Harding, President, Antioch Energy, USA. He is pushing the boundaries of the US's energy industry through pioneering technology, as well as advising on the country's STEM education strategy.

Emily Kirsch, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Powerhouse, USA. She is advancing renewable energy affordability by connecting clean energy entrepreneurs, corporations and venture capitalists as well as supporting 50 clean energy start-ups.

South Asia

Wasfia Nazreen, Founder, Osel Foundation, Bangladesh. She is the youngest Bangladeshi, and one-woman team, to reach the peak of Mount Everest.

Ivy Huq Russell, Founder, Maya, Bangladesh. She is empowering women through the first phone app in Bangladesh to provide advice on vital issues such as menstruation, contraception and reproductive health.

Asif Zahir, Deputy Managing Director, Ananta Apparels, Bangladesh. He is transforming his family business into one of the largest, fastest-growing apparel manufacturing companies in Bangladesh.

Matthew Guilford, Chief Growth Officer, Telenor Group, Bangladesh. He founded Telenor Health and tripled the number of people in Bangladesh with health insurance in less than 24 months.

Manu Kumar Jain, Head of India, Xiaomi, India. He is one of India’s youngest internet entrepreneurs, building bridges between China and India while managing a multi-billion dollar business.

Phanindra Sama, Chief Innovation Officer, Government of Telanga, India. Previously, he founded the world’s largest bus ticketing company, changing the experience of millions of passengers.

Piyush Tewari, Chief Executive Officer, SaveLife Foundation, India. He runs an award-winning non-profit organization best known for saving road collision victims in India.

Nara Lokesh, Minister of Information Technology, Electronics and Communications, Government of Andhra Pradesh, India. He is accelerating development in even the most rural villages of Andhra Pradesh as one of the youngest ministers in the country.

Sucharita Mukherjee, Co-Founder, Kaleidofin, India. She believes in finance for freedom and is making financial services accessible to all.

Poonam Mahajan, Member of Parliament, India. She is both President of the Youth Wing of one of India's major political parties, and the first female President of India’s Basketball Federation.

Faisal Khan, Co-Founder and Lead, Peshawar 2.0, Pakistan. He is supporting the start-up scene in Peshawar and as an academic, leading a research group on synthetic biology and precision medicine.

Deshal De Mel, Economic Adviser to the Minister of Finance, Sri Lanka. He is a member of the National Negotiating Committee, leading trade in services negotiations between his country and China, India and Singapore.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Bogolo Joy Kenewendo, Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry of Botswana. At 31, she is one of her country's youngest cabinet members.

Umra Omar, Founder, Safari Doctors, Kenya. She is saving thousands of lives a year by providing free basic health services including malaria treatment in rural Kenya.

Wanuri Kahiu, Film Director, AFROBUBBLEGUM, Kenya. Her collective supports African art and as an award-winning director, producer and author she is part of the new generation of African storytellers.

Kamissa Camara, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Mali. She is the country’s youngest and first female minister of foreign affairs, working for peace, security and development across the Sahel.

Adebola Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Red Media Africa, Nigeria. His civic participation group engages millions of African youth and his work has helped elect three African presidents.

Anta Babacar Ngom, Managing Director, Groupe SEDIMA, Senegal. She has significantly developed Francophone Africa’s largest agriculture business.

Aminata Kane Ndiaye, Chief Executive Officer, Orange, Sierra Leone. She is a leading executive driving the operations of the telecommunications giant with more than 1.8 million local subscribers.

David Moinina Sengeh, Chief Innovation Officer; Head, Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI) a, Government of Sierra Leone. As his country's first chief innovation officer, he is transforming critical thinking for youth across Africa.

Tolu Oni, Associate Professor, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, South Africa. As a leading female African scholar, she explores the intersections of health and urbanism.

Kirsty Coventry is Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation of Zimbabwe. She has won more Olympic medals than any other female swimmer in history and is the most decorated African Olympian.

Notes to Editors

For more on the YGL Class of 2019 click here

Meet the new YGLs on our blog Agenda

Learn more about the YGL community on here

Follow us on Twitter at - #YGL19

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All opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Economic Forum Blog is an independent and neutral platform dedicated to generating debate around the key topics that shape global, regional and industry agendas.

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