For the purposes of this post, we are defining “young adults” as any adults under 40 years of age. [Yes, there will be some 20-year-olds who view 39 as ancient. LOL). But this definition enables us to closely look at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) “Young Global Leaders: Class of 2016” reports.


According to WEF:

“The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.The Forum engages the foremost political, business, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas.”

“Meet the Young Global Leaders class of 2016. Brilliant scientists. Emerging entrepreneurs. Tech investors. Activist MPs. Each year, we select the most innovative, enterprising, and socially minded men and women under the age of 40 who are pushing boundaries and rethinking the world around them. This year’s class of Young Global Leaders gives hope that they are ready to tackle the world’s most complex and pressing challenges. They are invited to join a community and a five-year leadership journey that we believe will help them break down silos, bridge cultures and use their collective skills to get things done for positive impact across private, public, and civil society organizations.”

Click this image to access the “The Forum of Young Global Leaders.”

Click on the image below to access the 121 members of Class of 2016, with a short bio on each. Regional distribution: Asia Pacific (15); Eurasia (4); Europe (23); Greater China (13); Latin America (7); Middle and North Africa (10); North America (27); South Asia (11); and Sub-Saharan Asia (11).



19 Replies to “Under 40s Impacting the World”

  1. Leaders are getting more and more younger now. This trend is really obviously. Many leaders succeed when they are just around 28 years old like Mark Zuckerberg. Leaders under 40 years old are from different area like business, science, technology etc. There are making change for our world now. They pushing boundaries and rethinking the world around them, which means a lot for our world.

  2. Nowadays there are a lot of people even my friends choose to start an business in their younger age. I believe this a good trend and it encourage our young people to become an leader in the society. For me, it is also encouraging and make me think of life. What kind of person I want to be in the future and what kind of actions I could take now to achieve my goal!

  3. In the past few years, younger people have chosen and been able to take on important leaderships roles that have had a huge impact on companies. I believe this is good because young people are motivated and have the drive to work hard and reach their goals as fast as they can. To me it is also very motivating to see people in their 20s accomplish so much at a very young age because it shows that anything is possible when you put your mind to it and work hard. It shows that having a goal in mind and doing whatever it takes is important because it will allow you to have the life you wish to have.

  4. One of the reasons why more and more young people become the leaders of new companies is that there are various capital raising channels in financial market nowadays. We have venture capital, angel investors and crowdfunding to encourage people have innovative business ideas to develop their own business. It is a good sign for business world. Even the competition among different industries is intensive, the development of distinctive business ideas provides customers more choices of lifestyle.

  5. I think the key point why more and more young adult become leaders is the ability to be interested in, accept and apply new things. New ideas, products, and technologies appear to in everyday, so definitely the society need people who prefer to learn and can learn to lead in.

  6. This news reminds me what Chairman mao said to the young people, “The world is yours, as well as ours, but in the last analysis, it is yours.” More and more young entrepreneurs and leaders are changing the world, bring innovation and creative ideas to make a better world. What my peer taught me is that when you are young, don’t be afraid of refuse and anything that would stop you. I want to be part of them one day.

  7. Firstly, true leadership knows no age. Leaders are people of any age who just go do it. Secondly, young leaders learn fast and they bring enthusiasm and optimism to their work. The most important is that they understand next generation trends. I think I’d like to work with them, because they love fun. And who wants to work in a boring workplace?

  8. I find seeing these young adults as such strong leaders very inspiring. Older generations do not have a good impression of my generation, and I hope that these young adults can help inspire others my age to be hard-working leaders. A lot of people are too scared to be leaders and seeing someone closer to my age doing incredible things helps me realize that I can be a leader too.

  9. Many people think that starting a business is not for them. They are either worried about finding funding and making money, or because they don’t think they have the skills or experience needed.I think that 20 years ago, if one got a Masters degree, it guaranteed some sort of “security.” With education becoming more prevalent and the business landscape becoming more competitive, it take more creativity to achieve success. Don’t hesitated to make decisions, just try it.

  10. More and more young adults affect the world by becoming leaders, because they are easily accept new concepts, also they have more passions and willing to change current situations. Besides, they would be the leading roles in the next 20 years, it is valuable that if they have influence to even small proportion of people.

  11. Because of many approaches to raising money, more and more young people choose to start their own business to realize the dreams. In addition, young people are more willing to accept new technology and new idea. As for me, I should be more brave and not be afraid of failure. Every attempt means a precious experience to me .

  12. The younger, the better. Nowadays younger people are the future leaders. It interesting how the younger generation has been impacting the business world. If you think about it, couple of years ago they would have never had an article for Entrepreneurs under 40, like Forbes does now. They even have one called 30 under 30. Along with that there are shows, like Jeopardy and Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader, to promote the young and smart kids, who will become the world’s next influential leaders.

  13. Younger generations have always been progressive in nature, which leads to many of them wanting to start their own businesses or invent things to solve problems. Being able to compete in an open market in the United States gives these entrepreneurs the ability to succeed and compete with the best in the industry. Personally, I know two people who made the Forbes 30 under 30 list in the last few years from my home town. Chris Marra, who works for Facebook and helped write the code that determines what content you see on your news feed, won in 2013 (I think). Also, my friend’s sister, Rebecca Liebman, was on the list last year for her work with the company LearnLux. (my friend is also the co-founder and president of that company). Younger generations are often risk takers, so it is not a surprise to me that you see a lot of innovative ideas come from the minds of younger people.

  14. I think that it is amazing how much these young global leaders can accomplish at such a young age. The Forum of Young Global Leaders sounds like a great opportunity in which these next generation leaders commit a portion of their time to shape a better future and to improve the state of the world.

  15. As time goes by, more people are impacting world with their career in earlier and earlier ages. The more time goes by, the more advanced the world becomes, the younger the people are to be in their career and be able to make a difference. In my opinion, it is great to start doing what you love at a younger age and be able to make a difference, being a leader at a younger age is better than being no one at an older age without any career or future. More people are committed to becoming leaders the better it is for the society.

  16. Not only are business starters getting younger and younger, but when looking through each subcontinents global leaders you notice a significant number of female representatives.I can relate this to a discussion we had in class on the substantially larger amount of females attending college in comparison to males. This segment pays notice to the long awaited yet noticeable repositioning of equality for females within business. With continuous development within the health, science and technological fields, the global leaders will only get younger due to the ability to adapt to a changing market. A younger forces lacks much of the training that an older individual might need to keep up.

  17. It is very important to be a leader in this world. Without leaders and innovation nothing will ever progress. By creating this leadership group I believe many things can be learned for them to use in the real world and with those skills their potential will be even greater than it was before.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.