YANGON, Myanmar – The Young Global Leaders, a community of the World Economic Forum that brings together some of the most promising entrepreneurial and socially engaged minds worldwide, today begins its Annual Summit in Myanmar. Nearly 300 YGLs are in Yangon ahead of the World Economic Forum on East Asia, which will take place in Nay Pyi Taw on 5 to 7 June. The event aims to help them understand Myanmar in more depth, encourage cross-learning with local leaders and promote an environment for making a tangible impact on some of the most pressing issues facing the country.
A key part of the programme is a series of Impact Journeys that focus on arts and culture; business and entrepreneurialism; capacity building; education and healthcare; inclusive growth; peace and reconciliation; and poverty eradication. These sessions give YGLs a chance to visit a range of local organizations and meet leaders and beneficiaries. The organizations range from art galleries to NGOs, businesses to social enterprises, schools to health clinics and a peace-building centre. The experience allows them to build lasting relationships, give something back to the organization and community, and share the experience globally. Elsewhere in the world, these sessions have led to a range of YGL initiatives and task forces. The meeting is also an opportunity for community-building among the YGLs – particularly the new YGL Class of 2013.
The Forum of Young Global Leaders is a community of exceptional young leaders who share a commitment to improving the state of the world. They come from all regions and represent business; government; civil society; arts and culture; academia and media; as well as social enterprises. Nominated under the age of 40, they are assessed according to a rigorous selection process and must have demonstrated their commitment to serving society at large. The legitimacy of the community stems from its integrity and impact.
David Aikman, Senior Director and Head of the Forum of Young Global Leaders, said that those taking part represent the kind of innovative thinking that can transform lives: “After 50 years of relative isolation, Myanmar is undergoing a rapid transformation. We believe that the current period is the best possible opportunity to resolve divisions and achieve economic progress that is both inclusive and beneficial to all. The Forum of Young Global Leaders is a unique platform for engaging diverse leaders within and outside of the community, representing every stakeholder in society – business, government and civil society. Through frank discussions, I truly believe the YGLs will be an energetic catalyst for constructively seeking solutions to some of the toughest challenges facing the region.”