The new generation of leaders
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Making an impact

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Latest Initiatives

  • Tau Investments

    TAU Investments is an investment firm that transforms global supply chains. With investments in places like Bangladesh, its mission is to revamp the vast infrastructure that moves millions of products and materials around the world, using capitalist solutions to solve capitalism’s worst failure – the undervaluation of human and natural resources. By investing to enhance the operational performance of manufacturers, TAU delivers value to all stakeholders, including investors seeking both superior returns and social and environmental benefits.

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  • Ebola deeply

    Ebola Deeply is a part of News Deeply, a new media startup and social enterprise led by journalists and technologists that explores a new model of storytelling around a global crisis. At the YGL Annual Summit 2014, a group of YGLs came together to discuss the Ebola breakout in West Africa and what could be done to help with the response, improve healthcare systems and education in Liberia and Guinea. The goal is to build a better user experience of the story by adding context to content, using the latest digital tools of the day. The hope is to add greater clarity, deeper understanding and more sustained engagement to the global conversation.

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  • Myanmar at a click

    “Since the minute a camera got in my hands, I want to present my feelings, the things that are reflected on my heart and the feelings that can’t be described with words”. With this as inspiration, Gina Badenoch led Myanmar at a Click, a project to bring the visions and voices of the Myanmar people to the YGL Annual Summit in 2013 through a 45 picture exhibition. It offered them a means for the Myanmar people in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw to express themselves, their ideas and their dreams and learn about the power and inclusivness of photography.

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  • Collectively is a new digital media and action platform, backed by brands and driven by and for young people, that intends to inspire the world to live, and buy, more responsibly, by publishing of informative, upbeat articles about sustainable living and meaningful action. The project is running a pilot in the US and UK, and will soon expand across the globe.

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  • Tree of Pascal

    The project aims to bridge art and science, and looks at the phenomenon observed when the brain is at peak performance, state of “flow” like “getting in the zone”. Little is known about this in entrepreneurs, policymakers, scientists and artists. YGLs Drue Kataoka and Tan Le gathered electroencephalogram recordings of YGLs who were visualizing the world-changing activities they are passionate about. The electrical fluctuations from neurons interacting and shifting were recorded and compiled into a museum-quality conceptual art piece: The Tree of Pascal. It illustrates the power of shared thinking by 100+ Young Global Leaders across disciplines, countries, cultures and backgrounds to keep a small tree alive.

  • The Circulars

    The Circulars, is an annual event recognizing individuals and enterprises from commerce, civil society and academia that have made a notable contribution to driving circular economy principles. The circular economy is an alternative to the traditional linear economy. It decouples growth from scarce resource use allowing economic development within natural resource limits and allowing companies to innovate to enable customers and users to do ‘more with less’.

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  • 1000 Scholarships for Syrian students

    1,000 Scholarships for Syria is calling on universities around the world to dedicate one or more annual scholarship grants for the next few years for Syrian students. Several top schools in North America and Europe have already made this commitment, and we are confident many more will find it possible to do the same. The exposure will help create a generation of well-educated, forward looking Syrians that are eager to transfer the knowledge and experience they acquired during their education at these universities. This constituency will prove vital in the future rebuilding of the Syrian state and society.

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  1. Tau Investments
  2. Ebola deeply
  3. Myanmar at a click
  4. Collectively
  5. Tree of Pascal
  6. The Circulars
  7. 1000 Scholarships for Syrian students

Initiatives since 2005

  • Global Dignity

    Global Dignity is a youth empowerment initiative was founded by three Young Global Leaders: Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, the Finnish professor of philosophy Pekka Himanen and the American non-profit entrepreneur John Hope Bryant. Its mission is to realise the universal right of every human being to lead a dignified life and its main activities are so called Dignity Days. There are three goals: to spur a global conversation on dignity, to arrange Global Dignity Days at schools and promote dignity-based leadership. Global Dignity is a non-profit, non-criticism and non-partisan initiative. In 2014, alone, it reached over 400,000 students in 68 countries.

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  • Table for Two

    1 billion people around the world suffer from malnutrition, while another billion suffer from obesity. Table for Two rights this imbalance by simultaneously addressing the two opposing problems through a unique calorie transfer program. The idea is simple: for every healthy lunch served in the developed world, 25 cents is donated to an organization that provides meals to school children in regions in need. TFT has partnered with over 600 corporate and school cafeterias, universities, restaurants, and organizations worldwide.

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  • Learn Money

    Launched in 2009, Learn Money aims to improve young people’s financial and economic knowledge. It connects educational institutions, the media, policymakers, business and science at events and study courses to promote public discussion and anchor financial topics within educational curricula. Through its activities it empowers diverse financial actors to be confident, responsible and skilled economic citizens.

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  • Beyond Tomorrow

    Three days after the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in 2011, Chikara Funabashi, a YGL from Japan, telephoned three others to say “we have to do something.” Within a week 20 other YGLs and joined and they launched Beyond Tomorrow, an initiative to help high school and university students who had suffered great personal losses due to the tragedy. Each YGL committed $10,000 to hiring a fulltime manager and set about sponsoring the students’ college tuition and giving them mentorship. So far, they have sponsored 50 students and 200 have attended their leadership workshops.

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  • Fish banks

    At current global consumption rates of fish, global fisheries are projected to collapse by 2050. The Fish Banks initiative works to create a new business model for ocean conservation, through self-sustaining marine reserves that pay for themselves, restore fish stocks, create jobs, and turn a profit. The general fish banks business model has been published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE in 2013. The fish bank team has also produced the first business plan for a marine reserve, identifying financing mechanisms and proving that ocean conservation can be a profitable business. It is currently looking to implement its model and is in the process of identifying pilot projects.

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  • Thirst

    Water scarcity is rapidly becoming a reality for communities across the world, yet our behaviour has lagged behind. In 2012 the Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum launched a massive awareness initiative, driven by a thirst for change. Thirst is tackling the world’s water scarcity crisis by educating and engaging the next generation of global consumers. Thirst’s mission is to build awareness about the water crisis among 14-24 year olds around the world, starting in China, by becoming the foremost online and on campus provider of positive, accurate and fun content about the water scarcity crisis. Thirst is headquartered in Beijing, China.

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  • Deworm the World

    More than 600 million school-age children worldwide are at risk of parasitic worm infections, which cause malnutrition and anaemia, stunt physical and cognitive development, and decrease school attendance and performance. Over 400 million of these children remain untreated, exacting a clear toll on human capital and hindering eonomic development in parts of the world that can least afford it. There is a simple, safe and cost-effective solution: mass school-based deworming. It results in treatment coverage of over 80% of at-risk children, and reduce costs to less than USD 50 cents per child per year.

    Deworm the World treated 37 million children in the 2013/14 school year in India and Kenya. It supports the world's largest school-based deworming program in Bihar and it has just announced the launch of a national deworming program in Ethiopia.

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  • Public Leadership

    The YGL Public Leadership Initiative was launched in the summer of 2009 by a group of YGLs committed to supporting political entrepreneurship. It was aimed at YGLs already in public office and those looking to run for public office. Since 2009, two political bootcamps have been held in New York and Washington DC and several workshops have been run alongside Forum events.

  • The Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement

    Started by YGLs, The Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement was first agreement of its kind that Colombia signed with a country in the northern hemisphere. Since it began, in 2011, it has increased trade and investment between the two countries. Negotiations first started in 2002 but appeared doomed from the outset, due to Canadian concerns over human rights in Columbia. But thanks to friendship between YGLs Luis Plata (then Minister Of Trade for Colombia) and Scott Brison (Shadow Minister Of International Trade In Canada), it was eventually ratified. The key factor was an amendment – that they proposed together – in the form of a human rights treaty that would require annual reporting on the impact that the agreed had on human rights in both countries.

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  • Plastiki

    When YGL David de Rothschild’s mentioned the idea of sailing from San Francisco to Sydney (8,000 nautical miles) on a boat made from 12,500 discarded plastic bottles, YGL George Kern – CEO at IWC - was excited. He was already a champion of sustainability in his own company and he felt the project would mesh their ethos in exciting ways – in terms of the technological challenge of something never done before, of the spirit of adventure, and of the message about reimagining plastic waste and promoting a vision of sustainability. On March 20, 2010, the sailing vessel – sponsored by IWC and featuring many renewable energy systems, including solar panels, wind and trailing propeller turbines, and bicycle generators - set off from San Francisco, California to cross the Pacific Ocean and arrived in Sydney Harbour on July 26, 2010. The project raised awareness of what plastic does to our environment and oceans, and how to deal with plastic waste.

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  1. Global Dignity
  2. Table for Two
  3. Learn Money
  4. Beyond Tomorrow
  5. Fish banks
  6. Thirst
  7. Deworm the World
  8. Public Leadership
  9. Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement
  10. Plastiki

YGL blogs on the Forum Agenda

How to tackle malnutrition and obesity at the same time

Is it possible to solve two contrasting global issues – malnutrition in developing countries and obesity in developed ones – at the same time?

read more on The Agenda

How China is tackling its water crisis

Imagine identifying an issue so big you think you’ll never make a dent in it. Then think about how you’d feel if you actually could.

read more on The Agenda

Why it pays to join the circular economy

“The circular economy needs to make sense to policy-makers in developing countries as well as in Europe and the US…

read more on The Agenda