Young Global Leaders Annual Summit 2019 and World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions

Human-Centred Leadership

200 Young Global Leaders from 64 countries participated in this year's Young Global Leaders Annual Summit in Dalian, People's Republic of China. Coming together under the theme of Human-Centred Leadership for Globalization 4.0, the summit aimed to provide space for YGLs to reflect on the leadership required for the next era of globalization; connect and share their expertise on critical issues; and mobilize their individual and organizations' influence to affect positive change in the world.

Some specific outcomes include:

  • A beta-mentoring platform to connect refugees to the global economy, to be refined during the YGL Impact Expedition in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya, in July 2019. The community plans to roll out the platform globally in 2020. To learn more about YGL work in Kakuma or to sign up as a mentor, check out the project page on TopLink, the Forum's digital engagement platform.
  • Dedicated funds and expertise to apply blockchain technology to environmental monitoring, through an initiative called Global Ledger. Global Ledger will leverage data from sensors nano-satellites, drones, and other technology to transparently track sustainability commitments.
  • The Patience Premium, a coalition of YGLs working towards an investment approach that valuates risk through a long-term focus on efficient financial returns and effective Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards.

The YGL team looks forward to supporting additional ideas that emerged from the summit in the coming weeks and months.

Take a look at the pictures of the YGL programme.

Reflecting on Leadership

Who do we want to be as leaders? How do our actions promote the values we want to see in the world? YGLs reflected on what it means to be an authentic leader in intimate discussion circles led by Farhan Latif. Community members shared how pivotal moments have shaped their leadership stories and decision-making.

The more you know yourself and the values that ground you, the more you spread those values in society. - Farhan Latif

Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, addressed questions about the history and purpose of the Forum of Young Global Leaders, as well as the World Economic Forum's relationship to China. Through interactive questions with YGLs, he discussed the importance of human-centred leadership, particularly at this juncture of technology development and societal shifts. He pressed YGLs to take up the responsibility to promote inclusive dialogue to uncover new solutions for the next era of globalization.

The community welcomed Prime Minister of Georgia, Mamuka Bakhtadze, a member of the YGL Class of 2019, to hear his personal reflections on his leadership journey as well as his vision for the future of the country. Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze encouraged YGLs to consider the opportunity to shape the future of governance by joining and contributing to the public sector. He described the challenges of delivering on promises in complex political circumstances and his hope that more young people will enter Georgian politics.

Politics in the 21st century should be totally different. - Mamuka Bakhtadze

Connecting Together

Through various sessions and experiences, YGLs deepened their relationships across the community and expanded their skills to lead in the global context. In a series of workshops, they explored practices to maintain mental balance, build resilience, and advance their missions in light of 4IR technology.

Peer-led workshops were led by YGLs across the following themes:

  • Khaled Al Sabawi - The Psychology of Storytelling and the Hero's Journey
  • Maya Roy - Diversity Builds Resiliency
  • Anjhula Mya Singh Bais - Mental Health, Finding Coherence through the Five senses
  • Carol Yu Ying - Finding the Voices of Others
  • James Chau - Transformations, Rebranding the 4IR
  • Kathryn Dovey - Silence in a Noisy World

Hosted by YGL Foundation Board Member, Zhang Yi-Chen and CITIC Capital, the opening dinner brought together community members from more than 60 countries at the iconic Castle Hotel, Dalian. The dinner location exposed YGLs to a new side of Dalian, highlighting the beauty of the coastline within the port city. In welcoming remarks, Zhang Yi-Chen shared insights on China's role on the global stage and called on the community to build bridges across societies and cultural contexts.

Affecting Positive Change

Across the YGL Annual Summit, Peter Lacy was able to expand upon the collaboration announced between Accenture, the Forum of Young Global Leaders and the Global Shapers Community focusing on Responsible Leadership in the 4th Industrial Revolution. This was punctuated with the closing dinner, hosted by Peter Lacy and Accenture - a memorable moment where YGLs and Alumni came together to reflect on learnings from the Summit and to celebrate the diversity of the community.

Leading in a human-centred way during times of significant geopolitical, economic and environmental transformation requires working together. YGLs joined efforts to support one another's work and exchange ideas to amplify impact through YGL Coalitions. YGLs self-organized according to their shared interests and the coalitions will serve as a starting point for continued collaboration throughout the year on TopLink, the Forum's digital engagement platform.

Being a YGL has been the best gift of my adult life. - Ilona Szabó de Carvalho


The 2019 YGL Annual Summit was made possible through the support and partnership of our host, Accenture. We thank Peter Lacy for his leadership at Accenture in collaborating with the YGL Community at this summit and over the coming years.

We also thank YGL Foundation Board member, Zhang Yi-Chen, and CITIC Capital for having generously hosted the Opening Dinner of the YGL Annual Summit on Sunday, 30 June.

Annual Meeting of the New Champions

YGLs and Alumni contributed to the Annual Meeting of the New Champion's official programme by sharing their expertise on a diversity of topics with over 90 speaking roles as panellists and moderators.

  • Samantha Freebairn, Ilona Szabo, Arvind Satyam and James Chau in Navigating the Skies discussed the process of decision making in high-pressure context.
  • Hao Jingfang in Promoting Responsible Leadership pondered the responsibility of current leaders to address the concerns of the next generation around climate change and social inequality.
  • IIm Fahima Jaschja reminded us of the risk of gender violence in public spaces and the importance of services and laws to make transport safe.
  • Yuan Jiakai in The Rise of Chinese Philanthropy analyzed the evolution of Chinese philanthropy and its impact on society.
  • Ronaldo Lemos curated a conversation on the opportunities and threats that AI represent for governments.
  • Bernise Ang and Fan Ling shared their thought on how big data can be used to make cities safe and sustainable.
  • Bernice Dapaah in Green Leadership: Sustainability as Strategy told the story of the Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative in a conversation about sustainable innovation as competitive advantage.

Explore many more televised sessions by YGLs on the World Economic Forum website and see more pictures of the Annual Meeting of the New Champions.

YGLs in the media

YGLs contributed to the theme Leadership 4.0. and shared their insights on the World Economic Forum’s Agenda which is visited by over 6 million people every month.

Social media

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