January 29, 2018

Meet the future leaders of Davos ... our Global Youth Ambassadors

As world leaders met at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, we highlighted the entrepreneurial spirit of our Global Youth Ambassadors, some of whom could one day be leading summits such as WEF. 

Trevor Molelemane, South Africa 

Omotoke Olowo Titilope, Nigeria

Afolabi Williams, Nigeria

Anoka Abeyrathne, Sri Lanka 

Daniel Stephen, Nigeria

Maisha Reza, Singapore 

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“Growing up most of my school holidays would be spent with relatives in Bangladesh. One of my close friends was the daughter of my grandmother's domestic helper. We would play on our lawn from afternoon until evening prayer call. We'd rush home and I would get my books to begin revisions while her mother would call her into the kitchen to start kneading the dough to make roti for next morning’s breakfast. At the age of 7, I would be tremendously jealous that she would get to play with dough and continue having fun while I had to do the boring activity - study. Years later I realised that what I had was a privilege. She got married at the age of 13, and when I was sitting for my ‘A’ levels, I heard she got a divorce because of her abusive husband and in-laws. I began to realise that the success we claim to achieve in our lives is nothing but a series of opportunities, privileges and ample resources that were laid out for us, which could have otherwise transformed the lives of girls like hers. The question ‘What if?’ sparked my idea of becoming an entrepreneur - What if she was born in my family instead? She could have been a doctor, lawyer, engineer, pilot, businesswoman, firefighter or anything she wanted to be. And What if I was born in her family? Maybe I would have suffered the same fate? I have since then, decided that as I work in science and contribute to the growing pool of knowledge, I will try in every way possible to empower women and enable quality education for children in underprivileged environments. It is only when we recognise and turn our privilege into a platform for action can we make a significant impact locally and globally." Maisha Reza, Global Youth Ambassador, Singapore #socialentrepreneur #womenentrepreneurs #womeninSTEM #womeninscience #socialchange #Davos #futureleader #WEF #whatif

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Dea Salsabila Amira, Indonesia

Grace Waguthi Jayo, Kenya

Kirthi Jayakumar, India

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“That was when it hit me: there's so much sitting on one domino: gender inequality. If we knocked it, this enormously global burden of inequality could just, just be knocked out. In all honesty, you could say that the idea was in the making, but didn't quite catalyse into the form and shape until June 2013. But the story, though, begins on the night of December 17, 2012. On December 15, 2012, I had turned 25. On December 16, 2012, the gang-rape in Delhi, as most people know, took place. On December 17, 2012, I was at the US Consulate General at Chennai, receiving an award for my work with a US-based NGO called Delta Women, which worked for the rights of women in the US and in Nigeria, and the right to education for children in Nigeria. When I received the award, I truly felt like a hypocrite - because here I was, receiving an award when there was so much more left to be done, and when a girl was battling for her life because we as a community sacrificed her at the altar of patriarchy, misogyny, toxic and hegemonic masculinity, and inaction on part of a civilian populace that should have been vigilant. I went to bed that night, thinking of how much we had allowed to pass in the name of "We are like this only". It was on the same day that I had come to face a dissociated past, where I had completely blocked out my own memories of facing abuse as a child. I decided to do what I could on my own, and started by telling my story.” Kirthi Jayakumar, Global Youth Ambassador, India @kirthipotamus #story #womenentrepreneurs #metoo #genderequality #socialjustice #socialenterpreneur #wef18 #davos #futureleader #changemakers #womensrights

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Touhid Kamal, Bangladesh 

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"Isn’t everyone an Entrepreneur? Look around you. Don’t you think about what could have happened if more villages had access to electricity, computers, and internet? Don’t you feel that other school on the block can do better with the technology you read on that website? Don’t you discuss with your friends about how you can reduce traffic problems? Water crisis? Pollution problems? If you do and do care about these things, you are definitely an Entrepreneur. But the difference lies in acting, rather than just thinking and discussing it. That is where I believe an entrepreneur’s journey starts as a change-maker and a problem solver. A lot of my friends are working on the grassroots level of education and trying to impact from the beginning. I respect that so much and therefore to complement them, I started working on the other way around. In UniTV Bangladesh, we are trying to help University students realize and grow their hidden and unforeseen capabilities to help them with a more balanced life. It’s definitely an everyday fight, but a great human experience on the other hand. A challenge, a bet against the odds will feel like nothing when you feel you are doing the right thing. So what are you waiting for? Start Acting!" Touhid Kamal, Global Youth Ambassador, Bangladesh #inspiration #motivation #davos #wef18 #futureleader #entrepreneur #changemakers #problemsolvers

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Taha Fathima Khan, India

Nematullah Ahangosh, Afghanistan

Ajisola Oluwafisayo Ajibola, Nigeria

Nina Mbah, Nigeria

Sarah Mwikali, Kenya

Javnyuy Joybert, Cameroon 

Umair Asif, Pakistan 

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