Meet the dynamic humanitarian change-agents leading this year’s WEF

CAPE TOWN — Six stellar young global leaders making profound and inspiring changes in diverse humanitarian and environmental fields will lead discussions at this year’s World Economic Forum, joining two veteran business icons to synthesise recommendations and resolutions from participants. We introduce you to them today, confident you’ll agree that they’re optimally-placed to help set the tone for selfless service across the planet in almost every field imaginable. With today’s global village, the theme at the traditional venue of Davos in Switzerland is appropriately Globalisation and shaping a Global Architecture in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. That some considerable thought has gone into the selection of these six young leaders becomes obvious upon reading their track records and passions below. They epitomise the best and most selfless, philanthropic responses to several crises facing humanity right now and as such will bring fresh and invigorating input to WEF discussions and debates, making it one of the most anticipated annual gatherings yet. They’re not what you’d expect at the premier gathering of thousands of predominantly capitalists and have already set the global community buzzing. With just over a fortnight to go, the scene is set for some unforgettable brain-storming and potentially globe-changing consensus. – Chris Bateman

This article is part of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

Six inspiring young leaders, including a refugee who campaigns for peace and an architect turning Iraq green, will join the President of the World Bank and the CEO of Microsoft to steer discussions at Davos 2019.

Each year the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos brings together thousands of leaders from business, government, civil society, science, media and the arts to discuss global political, economic, social and environmental challenges.

The theme for the 2019 Annual Meeting is Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The Meeting’s Co-Chairs – who in 2019 include six young leaders from the Forum’s network of Global Shapers – play an important role in developing and engaging in the discussions around this theme.

They have each blazed a trail in their fields and bring to the table a wealth of experience, leadership and expertise in international governance, business, politics, environmental protection, humanitarian relief and social entrepreneurship.

The 2019 Co-Chairs are: Basima Abdulrahman; Juan David Aristizábal; Noura Berrouba; Jim Yong Kim; Julia Luscombe; Mohammed Hassan Mohamud; Satya Nadella; and Akira Sakano.

 Davos co chairs 2019
Clockwise from top left: Basima Abdulrahman; Mohammed Hassan Mohamud; Juan David Aristizábal; Jim Yong Kim; Noura Berrouba; Julia Luscombe; Satya Nadella; and Akira Sakano

Basima Abdulrahman is the founder of KESK, one of Iraq’s first sustainable architecture consultancies – Kesk is Kurdish for “green”. Her passion for sustainable building began while she was studying for a Master’s degree in structural engineering at Auburn University in the US. Abdulrahman works to improve the environment and promote social cohesion in the northern region of Erbil, where her consultancy is based. She is a member of the Global Shapers Community, the Forum’s network of inspirational young leaders, and is on the Environmental Committee at the Shapers’ Erbil Hub, and she is also a TEDx speaker and a Climate Trailblazer.

Juan David Aristizábal is the co-founder of Todos por la Educación, Colombia’s first social movement uniting people with different ideological and political beliefs to meet key educational priorities. He is an author, broadcaster, social entrepreneur, and as a journalist he investigates and reports on Latin American innovators who are transforming the region. A Global Shaper, Aristizábal is part of the Bogota Hub. He leads a grassroots movement through Los Zúper, a platform that prepares young people and educators in Colombia to build leadership skills for the 21st Century.

Noura Berrouba is a member of the governing body of the European Youth Parliament and a board member of the National Council of Swedish Youth Organisations (LSU). She was the official Swedish youth representative to the United Nations in 2016 and was appointed to the Swedish government’s Advisory Council for Sustainable Consumption in 2018. Berrouba is a Global Shaper and a member of the Shaper Community’s Stockholm Hub. A lecturer, panelist and commentator, Berrouba has dedicated her life to advocating open-minded, tolerant and active citizenship.

Jim Yong Kim became the 12th president of the World Bank in 2012 and was re-elected in 2016 for a five-year term. He earned a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from Harvard and later a PhD in anthropology, and went on to co-found Partners in Health (PIH) which provides medical care to some of the world’s poorest communities. Kim worked as an adviser to the director-general of the World Health Organization and as director of its department of HIV/AIDS. He was awarded a MacArthur Foundation fellowship in 2003. Under his stewardship, the World Bank has been a leading force for change in driving inclusive growth and developing human capital.

Julia Luscombe is Director of Strategic Initiatives at Feeding America, a not-for-profit working to end hunger in the United States through a nationwide network of food banks. She graduated from the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and holds a Master’s in Local Economic Development from the London School of Economics. Luscombe is a Global Shaper and curator at the Chicago Hub and is passionate about creating solutions to complex social and business problems.

Mohammed Hassan Mohamud is zonal chairman of the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, one of the largest camps of its kind in the world. Established in 1992 as result of Sudan’s civil war, the camp houses nearly 150,000 people who have been displaced by conflicts in neighbouring countries. Mohamud, a Global Shaper and curator of the Kakuma Hub, has spent the last 20 years living as a displaced person and has dedicated his life to championing refugee rights and conflict prevention. His academic excellence in the teeth of tough circumstances has won him a scholarship to Princeton.

Satya Nadella has been the Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft since 2014. Born in India, he studied electrical engineering before moving to the United States to pursue further studies in computer science. At Microsoft, he led the shift towards cloud computing and
defines his mission as empowering every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.

Akira Sakano is chair of Zero Waste Academy, a not-for-profit environmental organisation that is helping the small Japanese town of Kamikatsu to become waste-free by 2020. She is also co-founder and communication director of RDND LLC and a Global Shaper and member of the Osaka Hub.

The 2019 Annual Meeting will be held from 22-25 January in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.