The World Economic Forum out of Davos just announced its new 2008 list of YGLs—Young Global Leaders. In a growing universe of private social networks, the YGL network has got to be one of—if not THE—most exclusive sn around. A few weeks ago, I predicted that Cameron Sinclair, who founded Architecture for Humanity would become a YGL—and he did.
YGLers can find out who fellow members of the social network are in any particular city around the world by clicking on the map site (can’t do it here, sorry). Works for regions too. Want to chat with a fellow YGLer if you’re visiting Silicon Valley, call up Marc Benioff, Shai Agassi, Sergy Brin, Gavin Newson (San Fran mayor), Jerry Yang or John Battelle. If you’re in New York City, Business News TV star Maria Bartiromo is a YGLer.
Sinclair’s on the list of some 200 new YGLers from 65 countries that include Vikram Akula, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, SKS Microfinance, India (I spent a dinner with Vikram and his outfit is helping hundreds of thousands of people—and has a portfolio of loans that’s sounder than Bear Stearns); Steffi Graf, Founder and Chairperson, ‘Children for Tomorrow’, Germany; Wadah Khanfar, Director-General, Al Jazeera Satellite Network, Qatar; Mugo Kibati, Group Chief Executive Officer, East African Cables, Kenya; Shakira Mebarak, Singer and Manager, Pies Descalzos Foundation, Colombia; and Michelle Peluso, Chief Executive Officer, Travelocity.com, USA; among others. Anderson Cooper anchor on CNN is a new YGL. So is the actor, Leonardo DiCaprio. Eric Anderson, the CEO of Space Adventures made the cut.
We have royalty on the YGL list. The Queen of Morocco, Lalla Salma and the King of Bhutan, H.R.H King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck. The global royal network is not something most of us are connected to but it is fascinating for the Queen of Jordan to bring them into the YGL social network (I’m assuming she’s the one who knows them).
The Director-General of Al Jazeera Satellite Network, Wadah Khanfar from Morocco is a new YGL. So is the Governor of Lousiana, Bobby Jindal.
Hmm.. One of my favorites on the 08 list is George Walker, Managing Director and Global Head of Investment Management for—-Lehman Brothers.
Elon Musk, the chairman of Tesla Motors, the much-publicized electric sports-car company, is a new YGL.
There are other YGLers from the past who are in the social network: Sergey Brin, Co-Founders of Google, USA; Crown Prince Haakon of Norway; Malvinder M. Singh, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Ranbaxy Laboratories, India; Hiroshi Nakada, Mayor of Yokohama, Japan; Nicky Newton-King, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, JSE, South Africa; Carlos Danel, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Banco Compartamos, Mexico; and Jack Ma Yun, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Alibaba Group, People’s Republic of China.
The YGL grouping is perhaps the paramount networking network in the
globe. It already includes such notables as Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Co-Founders of Google, USA; Crown Prince Haakon of Norway; Malvinder M. Singh, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Ranbaxy Laboratories, India; Hiroshi Nakada, Mayor of Yokohama, Japan; Nicky Newton-King, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, JSE, South Africa; Carlos Danel, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Banco Compartamos, Mexico; and Jack Ma Yun, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Alibaba Group, People's Republic of China. Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia is YGLer, as is Newsweek's columnist Fareed Zakaria.
I do have one question when it comes to selecting this unique group of achievers. That's the selection committee. The selection committee is chaired by Queen Rania of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and is composed mostly of media titans. Here are many of the 31 judges:
Nicolas Beytout Editorial Director, Les Echos, France
Carl-Johan Bonnier Chairman, Bonnier AB, Sweden
Ferruccio de Bortoli Editor-in-Chief, Il Sole - 24 Ore, Italy
Hubert Burda Publisher and Chief Executive Officer, Hubert Burda Media, Germany
Carlo Caracciolo Chairman, Gruppo Editoriale l’Espresso, Italy
Juan Luis Cebrian Echarri Chief Executive Officer, Grupo Prisa, Spain
Chang Dae-Whan Chairman and Publisher, Maeil Business Newspaper and TV, Republic of Korea
Mathias Döpfner Chief Executive Officer, Axel Springer AG, Germany
Jorge Fontevecchia Publisher and Owner, Diario Perfil, Argentina
Steve Forbes President and Chief Executive Officer, Forbes Inc., USA
Tom Glocer Chief Executive Officer, Reuters Group Plc, United Kingdom
Shekhar Gupta Editor-in-Chief and Group Chief Executive Officer, The Indian Express, India
Hisashi Hieda Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Fuji Television Network Inc., Japan
Juan-Pablo Illanes Director, Empresa Periodistica El Mercurio SAP, Chile
Nabil A. Al Khatib Executive Editor, Al Arabiya News Channel, United Arab Emirates
Jihad B. Khazen Director, Al Hayat Newspaper Ltd, United Kingdom
Arnaud Lagardère General Partner and Chief Executive Officer, Lagardère SCA, France
Giovanni Di Lorenzo
Editor-in-Chief, Die Zeit, Germany
James R. Murdoch Chief Executive Officer, British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc, United Kingdom
Gavin K. O’Reilly Chief Operating Officer, Independent News & Media Plc, Ireland
Nduka Obaigbena Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, Thisday, Nigeria
Aroon Purie Editor-in-Chief and Chief Executive Officer, The India Today Group, India
Michael Ringier Chairman, Ringier AG, Switzerland
Jonathan Rothermere Chairman, Daily Mail and General Trust Plc (DMGT), United Kingdom
Prannoy Roy President, New Delhi Television (NDTV), India
Rui Chenggang Director and Anchor, China Central Television, People’s Republic of China
Marjorie Scardino Chief Executive, Pearson Plc (The Financial Times Group), United Kingdom
Peter Sullivan Group Editor-in-Chief, Independent Newspapers, South Africa
Arthur Sulzberger Chairman and Publisher, The New York Times, USA
Robert Thomson Editor-in-Chief, The Times, United Kingdom
Elizabeth G. Weymouth Washington Post Group, Newsweek, USA
Mehmet Ali Yalçindag President and Chief Executive Officer, Dogan Media Group, Turkey.
Is this the optimal group of people to decide on the young global leaders of tomorrow? Aren't many of them in mainstream media struggling with business models that are melting down, hapless in the face of new technologies? What do you think?
Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.