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The World Economic Forum Selects 9 South Africans as 2009 Young Global Leaders

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Cape Town, South Africa, March 2009 – The World Economic Forum recently announced the list of Young Global Leaders for 2009 and 9 South Africans were bestowed with the honour of gracing the list. Every year the World Economic Forum identifies a group of extraordinary young individuals from across the globe. Together, they form a powerful team to help shape up the future of the world. 

The Forum of Young Global Leaders has a comprehensive selection process for identifying and selecting the most exceptional leaders 40 years of age or younger. The Young Global Leaders of 2009 were chosen by a selection committee of esteemed international leaders chaired by H.M Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The South Africans chosen for this prestigious community include Brent Stirton, Senior Photographer of Getty Images; Adria Greene, Founder and CEO of Lawpoint; Alan Knott-Craig; CEO of iBurst; Vinny Lingham, CEO of Yola formerly Synthasite; Anthony Miller, Co-Founder and MD of Lightstone; Euvin Naidoo; President and CEO of SACCA; Jack Vuyo, Co-founder and CEO of Empowerdex; James Wanjohi, Head of Branson school of Entrepreneurship; and Marianne Knuth, Founder of Kufunda Village.

These South African young leaders join an illustrious group of honoreers this year, including Tiger Woods, Michael Schumacher, Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook), Jessica Biel (actress) & Chris Martin (lead singer for Coldplay).

Anthony Miller is the Managing Director of Lightstone, a specialised GIS (geographic information system), IT and knowledge management company. Miller started his career as an engineer with Anglo American before spending nearly six years with McKinsey and Company as a strategy consultant. He left McKinsey to found Lightstone at the end of 2005. Miller has a degree in engineering from the University of Cape Town and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. 

Adria Greene is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lawpoint, a provider of outsourced legal services in English, French, German and Portuguese to leading corpoations and law firms.  She is an active member of a number of professional organizations and has provided pro bono counsel in matters of microfinance, the arts and gender equity.  She is qualified to practice law in the United States where she is admitted to the New York State Bar. Greene previously practiced corporate law in New York City. She received a Bachelor of Art in International Relations from Wellesley College and a Juris Doctor from The University of Michigan Law School. She also holds a diploma in Management from the University of Cape Town.  

Vinny Lingham is the CEO and Co-founder of Yola formerly SynthaSite, a leading free Website builder based in San Francisco. Lingham is a seasoned entrepreneur who has received global acclaim for founding a number of businesses, including the award-winning Search Engine Marketing company Clicks2Customers. Lingham has been honoured as a high-impact entrepreneur by Endeavor Global, an internationally renowned venture philanthropy organization based in New York City, and was the winner of the Top Young IT Entrepreneur in Africa Award in 2006. He is a prominent industry speaker and recently raised $25m in funding for Yola formerly SynthaSite. He studied Information Systems at the University of Cape Town and holds an honours degree in Electronic Commerce from the University of South Africa.

Brent Stirton is a Senior Staff Photographer for the assignment division of Getty Images, New York. He specialises in documentary work and is known for his alternative approaches. He travels an average of ten months of the year on assignment. Stirton’s work is published by National Geographic Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, The Discovery Channel, Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, The London Sunday Times Magazine, Le Express, Le Monde 2, GQ, Geo, Stern, CNN and many other respected international outlets. Stirton also works for the Global Business Coalition against Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He has been a long time photographer for the World Wide Fund for Nature, shooting campaigns on sustainability and the environment. He also works for the Ford and Clinton Foundations and the Nike foundation.

James Wanjohi is the Head of the Branson School of Entrepreneurship, the first Institution worldwide that Sir Richard Branson (serial entrepreneur chair of the Virgin Group of Companies) has lent his name to. Wanjohi set up the school in 2006. He is mandated to identify potential entrepreneurs, incubate them and fund them aiming to create more jobs, promote entrepreneurship and wealth creation. This is the first school on the continent set to hone entrepreneurship. Prior to joining the Branson School of entrepreneurship, Wanjohi set up Alpha Strategy consultants where he worked with numerous Public, Private and NGO clients. He is a member of the Lions Club of Illovo. Wanjohi holds an MBA in Finance and a Masters in Economics (Business economics) from Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara, India.

Marianne Knuth is the Founder of Kufunda Learning Village in Zimbabwe. Kufunda is a learning centre that helps rural people to build self-reliance at multiple levels: financial, practical, material, social, psychological, and spiritual. To enable communities to survive Zimbabwe’s challenging socio-economic environment, Kufunda demonstrates how to use environmentally and economically sustainable living practices so that each community can take care of itself and not be dependent on the failing system to cover its basic food, health, and educational needs. She has recently moved to South Africa from Zimbabwe as a partner of Reos Partners, an international organisation specialising in facilitating innovation in complex systems, in particular working to support and enable multistakeholder collaboration. Marianne holds a masters degree in international business and finance from the business school of Copenhagen. 

About The Forum of Young Global Leaders
Established in 2004 by Professor Klaus Schwab, the World Economic Forum is a unique, multi-stakeholder community of the world’s most extraordinary young leaders, who dedicate a part of their time to jointly address global challenges and who are committed to devote part of their knowledge and energy to collectively work towards a better future. Together the Young Global Leaders work to discover innovative solutions to today’s most pressing problems through various initiatives and work streams as well as catalysing the next generation of leaders.  


Written by bandwidthbarn

April 1, 2009 at 9:07 am

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