Manar Ahmed is originally from the UK and lives in the UAE. She is 28 years old. She has gained several years of experience in the UAE both in Commercial Banking and Financial Recruitment.
Both of these sectors have provided her with useful transferable skills such as negotiation, effective interpersonal communication, and problem solving abilities, and her willingness to learn has pushed her to challenge herself into new and different projects or tasks.
In her own words, her patience and excellent communication skills have aided her in understanding and conveying points of thought, both at work and socially.
Her passion lies in Women’s Empowerment. She truly believe that unlocking and utilizing Women’s true and unique abilities, whether at home, workplace or in society as a whole, leads to a harmonious and prospering society.
Ammar Alazmah is form Damascus, Syria and currently based in Turkey. He is 28 years old, telecommunications engineer and currently a M.Sc. student in telecommunications engineering.
He also has a diploma in political sciences and has built an experience in sustainable development and project management.
He has been working for Syria humanitarian and development response since 2012 and contributed in establishing many Syrian NGOs. In 2013, he co-founded BINAA organization for development which is a national Syrian NGO dedicated to inspire efficiency in Syrian people and implement sustainable programs. He is now acting as Monitoring and Evaluation Manager.
His ambition is to add a brick into the tower of technology and sustainable development, to make a difference instead of being a number stepping aside and leaving the future to be built by others and not sharing this building with them.
His future plans are to carry on his work in a technology, sustainable development and public policy works, where one can stay in touch with key challenges facing the world.
Abdulhafiz Ali is 26 years old. He is an addicted Web Designer. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. He is now studying PGD Telecommunication and Electronics Engineering (part-time) in the same school. Currently he is working with an ICT company FlexiSAFEdusoft.
He is a Computer Enthusiast and likes everything around computer and new technology. Nigeria is a third world country, so technology is not given much importance in the country. He thinks it is time we realize the importance of technology andall the people in the country should be computer literate. At least even the lower class should be able to handle a small non sophisticated smartphone, this will help in making things easier (e.g. businesses, simple registration, transaction and so on) new ideas and inventions should be adopted.
He believes that helping people especially the less privileged is an obligation. That led to joining clubs like MGD in hisearly school years and volunteered with an organization called WOTCLEF (Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation). They go to the rural areas and sensitize people about child labour and trafficking.
Zubeida Allie is from Cape Town, South Africa. She has a professional background in the financial services industry and has completed qualifications in banking, financial planning and more recently digital marketing.
She believes in a philosophy of empowerment through education, and understands that people can be empowered as much by life experiences as they could from the formal education system. In her spare time, she has become fascinated by philosophy and psychology, with a special interest in mindset matters that can influence personal and business mastery.
She is currently on sabbatical, a decision prompted by the desire to do purposeful work that she is passionate about. Her personal reflections and experiences during this time have led her to the conclusion that her way forward would be as a coach with a special focus on financial and personal well-being.
Zubeida wishes to be an empowerment enabler, through helping shape the women and youth of South Africa through planting the seeds of hope that with the right mindset and an attitude of excellence in execution, anything is possible!
Abdelrahman AlSaifi is from Jordan. He is a young engineer ‘who doesn’t want to end up having a normal career without leaving his impact in this ever-changing world’.
His is an Engineer that has been trying to stand up and step out of ordinary experiences since he enrolled in university. He believes that the Global Thinkers mentoring Program will bebe a life-changing experience that will make him molten his talent and sharpen his skills to become a key player in any organization he works with.
He started volunteering with an organization called IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) in order to serve his community and develop their technical and professional skills, and improve their learning quality. The strategy they created in Hashemite University Student Branch has rocket launched the student branch to winning the awards of Best Student Branch in Jordan, Exemplary Student Branch in Europe, Middle East and North Africa, and Most Active Student Branch in Middle East, in addition to becoming one of the largest and most diverse student branches in the region.
Maha Al Shuhail
Maha Khamis Al Shuhail is a Senior Consultant with ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, and brings over 12 years’ professional experience with special focus in the field of public management, public policy, organizational development and change management, economic research and developing studies within the public sector.
She joins ASDA’A B-M from Abu Dhabi Education Council where she was a Senior Analyst – Strategic Planning & Special Projects at the Office of Planning & Strategic Affairs. Under her leadership, her team won the 2015 ADEC Internal Excellence Award for Outstanding Internal Improvement for a project she was leading. Her work involved developing strategic studies for the education sector.
Prior to this she was a Consultant with Rand Corporation in Abu Dhabi working on two projects for the Higher Education Sector within Abu Dhabi and was part of the team in carrying out two organisational assessments of partnerships for the client.
Her previous experience also includes: Project Manager of Generations for Peace at the Office of HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein in Jordan, a global not-for-profit entity that promotes sustainable peace building. She was also an Economic Researcher at the Economic Affairs Directorate of the Royal Hashemite Court of Jordan in Amman.
Maha holds an MSc in Public Service Policy & Management from King’s College London, and a BA in Economics & International Relations from the Boston University. She is fluent in Arabic and English and has basic proficiency in French.
Achingale Queen Anyifuet
Achingale Queen Anyifuet is 27 years old. She is a Communicator and Policy Analyst with a BSc in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea. She also has an MSc in International Relations with specialty in Communication and International Public Action from the International Relations Institute of Cameroon (IRIC).
She authors countless news articles on a wide variety of issues as a Journalist. As a Student, she trained with Chariot Newspaper, Chariot Radio, CBS Radio and defunct Herald Newspaper. She also trained with a multinational corporation, PHP Njombe, where she carried out a study on Corporate Social Responsibility. She has served as Marketing Manager of a real estate agency, NJICONRES Plc.
Achingale worked as an intern with the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Yaoundé and has volunteered with an NGO, BLAS, in Africa. She is goal and results oriented, she has skills to manage complexities and can live with people of different cultures. She has working experience in environmental journalism as she was the acting Head of the Communication Division of an environmental NGO, ERuDeF. She is presently a PhD fellow.
Mursal Ayobi is from Afghanistan and lives in a small town of Jalalabad 150 km east of capital city Kabul. She is 19 with lots of achievements and accomplishments.
She recently joined American University of Afghanistan, but because of some security problems in the university, she is looking for more opportunities to continue her studies in the field of Psychology.
She has attended some conferences. For Instance, Pamir International Model United Nations, Afghan Girls Leadership Program and other educational workshops. Joining these conferences increased her leadership skills, problem solving, decision making, managing and critical thinking.
Her homeland has been at war for years and these years of battle brought a great depression. Because of these wars people suffer from different physiological and mental disabilities. People suffering from such disabilities need someone with great power of convincing others with a successful educational background. Based on her academic qualities and daily life achievements, she believes she is a goal oriented, community driven and a very social person.
Daniela Badalan is a proud Romanian who has lived in four countries and on two continents so far, with her current adoptive country being the UK. And so she considers herself a citizen of the world.
She has been living in London since 2008, where she is working as a digital marketing director for Neo@Ogilvy. Previously she has also worked and studied in Austria and China.
Through her work, Daniela fuels her passion for finding digital solutions to help businesses – as she is a great believer in strategy and the power of digital as a factor that can impact real change for a brand. She is a winner of the WPP High Potential Grant and a finalist of the Future Leaders Grant offered by NABS through WACL (Women in Advertising and Communications, London).
But beyond her work, Daniela loves her travels, first because they help her stay grounded to reality rather than the bubble that we live in on a daily basis. And second, because they always confirm her strong believe in the power of people as catalyst for change in very diverse societies and in the world generally.
Fran Baker is 28 years old and is from the United Kingdom. Fran is a graduate of St Mary's University, London, with a first class degree in English & History.
She has previous experience working at a media agency for a range of clients including charities, and has this year begun working at the Centre for Global Equality, an International Development charity based in Cambridge.
Her growing interest in development and poverty alleviation has been spurred by her participation in displacement and refugee volunteering projects in Europe and disability support work in the UK. She is particularly interested in women's empowerment and encouraging future generations to work together to effect positive change in the world.
Stéphane Chui is 23 years old. Born and raised in Montréal, Canada, he is currently based in London after completing his postgraduate degree.
He has received a BA in International Relations from the University of Exeter and an MA in Applied Security Strategy from the Strategy & Security Institute. Thus, he specialises in international security and aims to engage in peacebuilding for fragile and conflict-affected states.
His interest in international development stemmed during his university years when he led a non-profit organisation called Enactus Exeter. Through Enactus Exeter, he used the power of social entrepreneurship to tackle social, economic and environmental challenges that impacted marginalised communities.
Stéphane believes that if a nation wants to achieve progress, resolving political conflict and securing its livelihood must be a priority.
Piyush Dhawan is 29 years old. He is a dreamer. A dreamer on a mission. Piyush dreams of a world where humans are more considerate to not only fellow humans, but also respect the environment that everyone takes for granted.
He strongly believes in the concept of corporate social responsibility. Most corporations focus only on profit generation, but they need to understand that our planet has only finite resources, which may soon get exhausted.
For the past four years, Piyush has been working with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in India at the Indo-German Biodiversity Programme. He is currently coordinating the India Business and Biodiversity Initiative (IBBI) with the Confederation of Indian Industry. The platform serves as the only national platform in India of businesses and its stakeholders for dialogue sharing and learning, ultimately leading to mainstreaming sustainable management of biological diversity into businesses.
After graduating in Business Economics with Honors from Delhi University, Piyush pursued his Master in Business Administration with specialization in corporate social responsibility from Pforzheim University in Germany. He enjoys traveling to new places and understanding different cultures, and has travelled for more than 30 countries.
Paul-Angelos Filippakis is from Greece and currently based on the tiny island of Oinousses. He is 21 years old. Following his family’ s nautical tradition, he is currently on his final year studying to become a Merchant Marine Captain at the Merchant Marine Academy of Oinousses.
In his words, his main motive to select this profession was to arm himself with a professional attitude from the beginning of his career - in order to cope with the harsh and competitive environment onboard. During his voyages around the world, firstly embarking on becoming a true professional of his field, he ended up thinking that there is more to this life than just achieving a certain point that our society considers as "success". Maybe life is not actually just about achieving an end goal, but more about the person he has to become to do so - the character he has to build, the choices he has to make and the impact they will eventually have on our society as a whole.
His professional aspirations are to achieve the highest of ranks on seagoing vessels (Unlimited tonnage Master - i.d. Captain) and eventually become an enthusiastic member of the international maritime community, making something from every opportunity, both on land and on sea.
Hagar Gamil is from Egypt. She is 25 years old and she has graduated from the faculty of Mass Communication in Cairo University radio &TV section.
She has worked as an investigativejournalist in "EGYPTIAN GAZETTE "newspaper, has wrote a lot of investigative features published on the paper’s first page. She also writes columns and articles for "SOUT EL GAMAA "newspaper.
She believes in empowerment and telling people what is going on. She currently works on her thesis that is focused on humanitarian cases presented in media.
Vanessa Hernandez is from Honduras. She has studied her university degree in Taipei, Taiwan with a B.B.A in International Business. She speaks Spanish, English, Mandarin Chinese and Italian.
Her professional experience includes working for a state owned enterprise dedicated to the energy and telecommunications sectors in China, Latin American and Africa. She has worked for Marriot and Expedia in the hospitably and Internet retail industry in Dubai.
Vanessa’s real passion is entrepreneurship and she would like to have her own business one day. No just any business but a Social purpose business mainly because she believes you can make money and solve a problem and benefit the people one is working with.
Currently she is working on Aroma Caribe.
Max Hoechsmann is from Germany and he is 28 years old. He is an entry level energy analyst with an MSc in Carbon Management from the University of Edinburgh.
He studied political sciences in his undergraduate studies in Munich, Germany, specialising in international relations and environmental politics. His desire to address the most pressing global challenges in an academic environment of excellence, led to his postgraduate studies at the University of Edinburgh. After being awarded a full scholarship based on academic merit, he graduated this November from the MSc Carbon Management programme, one of the world wide leading degrees on climate change. He now moved on to an analyst position at an energy consultancy in London, UK, merging his past academic interests in politics, economics and climate change.
Secondly he is dedicated to championing change, having a positive impact on society and serving others. During his undergraduate studies he led a team of three consultants on a pro bono base to develop a social media strategy for AIAS e.V. an organisation dedicated to fighting Leukemia. The strategy their team developed and implemented contributed significantly to an increase of registered stem cell donors from below 500 to over 6000 over the four months project period, which was not only a success for the organisation but one he hopes even saved human lives. Furthermore he achieved a second prize in a state wide start-up competition as one of three co-founders developing and selling a social product focused on early childhood education.
Edita Ismaili is 20 years old. She was born and raised in a small town called Bujanoc. After finishing high school, she moved to Pristina, the capital city of Kosovo, to continue her studies as a Law student in the University of Pristina.
From an early age she showed her affection to justice, human rights and combating gender differences, which have followed her during childhood.
In her own words, she understands that injustice and suffering in the world are rife, therefore, she wants to play a more important role in the protection of vulnerable victims, this is the main reason she is drawn to the law.
She has been volunteering in American Corner since 2010, and has had the opportunity to be the leader of discussions in various workshops for women rights, gender equality and multiculturalism. During volunteering she was given the chance to be part of different programs that were held by US embassy, where she gained knowledge about social problems and their solution, about different communities and refugees.
She aims to make a difference in the world by bringing together the knowledge, ideas and cooperation between people, so that future generations have a better place to live.
Lema Jaber is a Jordanian architect and urban planner working and living in Amman. Having lived in three different countries throughout her life; Saudi Arabia, Jordan and USA, Lema learned how to adapt and blend smoothly in any new environment or culture which is reflected in her wide range of expertise and interests.
In addition to the professional career of architecture she worked as a teacher, a writer and a wedding planner. She believes that someone should not get stuck with one career or one profession as a person might have hidden capabilities that might enable him to discover new paths hence finds his passion.
As Lema continues to explore and learn, her ultimate goal is to be able to design and execute a project that would be of a benefit for society and she is always in search for new ideas and concepts that can fulfill her goal.
Shaee Mohammed Kamal
Shaee Mohammed Kamal is 20 years old and is from Kurdistan of Nothern Iraq. She is a civil engineering student. In her own words, since she was a child she loved to help other people and enjoyed working with individuals of different thinking something that challenged her thought into understanding the differences in the world.
She has participated in many leadership volunteering organizations, such as Mercycorps and the Global Citizen program that made her realize that she really wants to help people understand that we all need each other and we should work with love for a better and brighter future for our generation to live in peace.
Ponelo Kalonga was born and raised in Malawi. She is 28 years old. She is committed to reforming girls’ education in the northern part of Malawi. She has a particular interest in improving the accessibility of schooling to homeless individuals, single mothers, and disadvantaged young women who got pregnant and dropped out of school.
Ponelo was raised by a single mother who has confronted homelessness and poverty, as a result of her own experiences, she is familiar with the despair and frustration endemic to young women struggling to survive. She is convinced that increasing individuals' access to girls’ education can make the difference between despondency and hope.
Ponelo is open-minded and makes it her prerogative to learn from each of daily life experiences. She would like to pursue her Education in International development studies In order to increase her knowledge and skills to engage with development problems and issues. She would like to help people as much as she can, that is her love, and it makes her feel like a better person.
Maria Kangas is originally from Finland, and 25 years old. University studies led her to Sweden, where she started off by learning Japanese, to later on go on a cultural exchange to Japan.
The time spent with other exchange participants sparked her interest in global issues, leading to her completing her bachelor’s in Development Studies, studying global development, specializing in economic history and sociology. Right now she is completing her Master’s degree, studying Economic Demography, focusing on family economics, but also data analysis.
One of the core values of Maria is the belief in equality of all human beings, and working for gender equality is one of her passions. Professionally her goal is to be able to contribute to a better society, by focusing on her own abilities to do so. As a person she is driven by challenges, which led her to working in India for a shorter time, as well as going to Egypt for an internship.
Viktoria Kostova is an eighteen-year-old student from Bulgaria. Since a tender age, she realized that what triggers her altruistic perceptions is that she wants to be aware of this world and to contribute to its development. It daunted on her that her dedication should be aimed at helping people improve.
She has been a lecturer on a psychological conference and a Junior Counselor in GLOW Leadership Academy, where she mentored sixty girls a year from all over Bulgaria on variable issues. Also, she has a lot of awards and publications in the field of literature.
Her voluntary work kept the ball rolling with her participation in AIESEC and Bulgarian Youth Red Cross, as well as in National Alliance for Volunteer Action. Meanwhile, she was a part of three Erasmus+ exchanges. Moreover, she helps Bulgarian Youth Forum with translations and texts for projects and she is on an internship position for Bauersachs Foundation as a 'Communication and Events Assistant'.
The reason why she wants to be a part of Global Thinkers Mentors is that she is ready to overcome every obstacle on her path through the nourishing obligation of becoming that key figure to reshaping the thinking model of a whole nation and to inducing the understanding of fairness, equality and commitment.
Adithya B. Kumar
Adithya B. Kumar (aka Addy) is 27 years old. He considers himself a global citizen and believes that every place can be called home as long as you put in the mental and physical effort to make it one.
Originally from India, Addy has graduated from the prestigious CEMS Masters in International Management program that has been ranked by the Financial Times in the Top 5 global programs from graduates. Being the globetrotter that he is, Addy has managed to gain professional working experience from both the private sector and the not-for-profit sector (including work experience from the United Nations) from 4 different countries.
Addy believes in equality and inclusiveness for all,regardless of any differences, and continues to strive to be a better human being. In the future, he would like to gain more work experience and go out of his comfort zone by working in locations that are post-conflict or currently experiencing conflict. Being the empathetic global thinker that he is, Addy always puts himself in others’ shoes and doesn’t shy away from helping anyone in genuine need by coming up with innovative solutions to pressing needs.
William Leverett is 27 years old. He is a New York native who is currently an Online MPA Candidate at the University of Southern California.
He is an aspiring leader in community economic development, social entrepreneurship, faith and the arts. In addition to his passions, he works to develop cross-sector collaborations to positively affect youth development and foster global citizenship. He currently lives in Morocco, lived in Jordan from 2015-2016 and worked at INJAZ, a non-profit that focuses on entrepreneurship and educational programs for youth. Prior to INJAZ, he has worked with NYC Service, an initiative of the Office of the Mayor of New York City, was a Coro Fellow in NYC and served with various U.S and global non-profits.
He is inspired to create programs, spaces and opportunities that will help transform lives. William earned his B.A. from Queens College of the City University of New York in Political Science and Urban Studies.
Ekeyenu Marma is 20 years old. He is a Buddhist monk from HCT (Chittagong Hill Tracts) of Bangladesh. He inhabited in Srilanka since 2014 and is studying at the University of Kelaniya. Currently he is in his 2nd year in the field of arts Pali and Buddhist studies with the purpose of becoming a good and kind Buddhist monk.
He selected this life because it's a very simple life and very harmless to the society. From an early age, he observed that the Bangladeshi society is chaotic, with bloodshed occurring between minority and majority groups of people, as there are at least 12 different ethnic groups of people and the majority is the main leading group (Muslims). He thinks the bloodshed is happening because of the lack of understanding among people. By being a clergy, he wants to take a step in this war, to stop it through the valuable gift of kindness and to spread diversity, inclusion and understanding all over the world.
Swati Mehta is from India, and has lived in its capital city Delhi for most of her life. She is 30 years old. Born and raised in a middle-class family with finite resources, she always tried to make most of each opportunity. She studied economics from Shri Ram College of Commerce in Delhi, and completedher masters in development management to pursue a career in the social sector.
Ever since she has worked as a researcher and technical advisor on projects to improve access to affordable financial services for the low-income unbanked population.This has taken her around the world interacting with people from rural villages of India and Philippines, to urban slums of Nairobi and her own home city Delhi. In the course, she witnessed different manifestations of lack of access to equal opportunities, be it education, health, employment, or access to finance.
Sheis passionate about ideas that incorporate approaches for integrated development of low-income households, position women and youth in the lead to bring change, and leverage the power of community networks. She strongly believes that the idea of development in the modern world is misplaced, and dreams of a world which could balance on economic, social, and environmental well-being. She is an avid traveler, loves to cycle to work and lead a life that is as minimal as possible.
Joyce is passionate about social entrepreneurship and impact investing. She is the co-founder and CEO of Givology (www.givology.org), a 100% volunteer-run online giving marketplace for education which connects donors to grassroots projects and student scholarships around the world.
Through small dollars and small hours, Givology has helped over 4,000 students in 30 countries via 50 grassroots partnerships. For her work, Joyce has been recognized as Forbes “30 under 30” in education and Wharton’s “40 under 40”. Outside of Givology, Joyce works in the investment industry.
She is Partner and Managing Director of Vernier Capital, a fundamentals-driven global investment fund. She graduated summa cum laude from the Huntsman Program of the University of Pennsylvania. As a Rhodes Scholar, she completed with distinction the MSc Economics for Development and MSc Financial Economics degrees at Oxford.
Maria Pedro Miala was born in Angola but she was raised and still lives in Belgium, she is 36 years old. Maria Pedro Miala is a nurse, she has over 10 years experience in health care, she is a certified wound care nurse and works in a private hospital in Brussels.
When Maria went to college she had to decide between ICT or Nursing, eventually she choose the latter. Today her love for ICT resurfaced as she is now following a course to learn how to code. Maria is very involved and interested in the new technology, her goal is to combine her Nursing career with ICT bydeveloping m-health apps and telenursing especially for African countries.
But Maria is not only a mother and a nurse. She is also a mentor to a few African students because she believes that everybody is capable of realizing their dreams if they really want to. Maria is a UN Empower Women Global Champion for Change 2016-2017 and she is also a guest writer for Risingafrica.org.
Menna Moges was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She went to high school at Lideta Catholic Cathedral School and then went on to Addis Ababa University to pursue her higher education. She majored in Accounting and Finance. She iscurrently studying my MBA in International Business at the University of Greenwich.
Throughout most of her teen years she has been active in community projects and professional societies. She used these opportunities to contribute to society and to find herself in the process. In her own words, she learned responsibility, what it meant to help others and more importantly how she can be a part of making changes in society. Another thing that she is quite passionate about is feminism. She believes that gender equality is a very important thing and that it should be practiced everywhere as well as in everything that we do. This equality is what will build momentum in the improvement in this world. She strongly believes that much work should be done in this regard to help females more involved in growth.
Pomi Ayalew Moges
Pomi Ayalew Moges is 26 years old. She is from Ethiopia and is currently based in the capital city Addis Ababa. Pomi is a gender equality advocate and feminist activist. She holds BA in Political Science and International Relation and an MA in Peace and Security.
Pomi has been involved with feminist, peace, and charity movements for over eight years. She has been with Setaweet, first feminist movement and social business in Ethiopia meaning ‘of women’ in Amharic, for two years as Strategic Partnership and Communication and Advisory Group member. Pomi planes to become a prominent Feminist activist.
After graduating with her BA in Political Science and International Relations she moved on to work in different international NGOs before going for her Graduate study with the Institute for Peace and Security Studies, while also volunteering for Setaweet. Up on graduation, she was hired by the Institute for Peace and Security Studies as one of their researchers. Currently she is working with ‘Setaweet Movement’ by doing research, appearing in media, and holding government agencies accountable for their failures on women equality. Pomi has also been published in different news sources including the Pan-African newspaper Pambazuka News. In addition, she is also a feminist trainer, who is piloting her own program of #Girltalk in secondary schools, with the aim of creating a safe space for young girls.
Paola Moreno-Roman is 26 years old. She was born and raised in Lima, Peru. She majored in Biology in Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (Peru). In 2012, Paola moved to the US to start her Ph.D. studies in Cellular and Molecular Biology at Stanford University.
Sexism and machismo are major issues in Latino culture, and Paola experienced them first hand. She is very aware of how the societal and cultural pressures influence people’s behavior and decisions. Thus, since very young, Paola has been committed to increasing access to quality education, with a particular focus on gender equality. She has been, and still is, very involved in initiatives to support and empower women in STEM and future female leaders in STEM both in the US and in her home country, Peru.
Paola is the co-founder of ‘Yachaq Warmi’, an initiative that aims to build and maintain a global community that acknowledges, celebrates, and empowers Peruvian women in science and future Peruvian female leaders. Last year, Paola was invited to attend the 2016 United State of Women Summit at the White House and participated as a counselor in the WiSci STEAM Camp 2016.
UK/ South Africa
Devi Nair is a Veterinary Doctor, based in London. While London is her home currently, she sees herself more as a citizen of the world, having been born in India, brought up in South Africa, and lived in the UK for the last 14 years.
Devi is a very passionate and curious individual, and has a quest for knowledge. Hence even though she has a successful and challenging career as a Vet, she is also now enrolled in a Masters course at LSE in International Development, so that she may better educate herself on wider global, social and political matters.
For her it is vital to work in a capacity where she can positively make a difference in this world, while also challenging herself personally, hence her career choices in the medical sciences and now in Development.
Chikeobi Nnah is from Nigeria. He is 29 years old and he is a Drilling & Completion Fluids Engineer with Crossbow Oilfield Services in Nigeria.
He has worked on various projects with single individuals or a group of people often with multi-cultural backgrounds, with the flexibility, focus and diplomacy such positions require. In his own words, from his work as an engineer, he has sharpened his interpersonal and communication skills, attention to detail and his ability to work with speed and accuracy while meeting his targets as well as worked as a team player to produce results with high level of efficiency, and much more. His experience has greatly improved his relationship with his clients and customers, making him friendly, attentive and patient.
Victor Odhiambo is 27 years old. He is based in Nairobi, Kenya. He is the Founder and Director of "Garden of Hope Foundation" a Community Based Organization in Kenya.
Since its inception under the leadership of Victor, Garden of Hope Foundation has worked with 3,500 youths through various programs like Mentorship, leadership, development and entrepreneurship from different communities in Kenya. Some of these youths have gone ahead to get various study scholarships, jobs and some have started their own businesses.
Victor has been nominated two times among other young leaders to represent Kenya in One Young World Summit. He has also been recognized by Her Majesty the Queen as a highly recommend runners-up in the Queens Young Leaders Awards.
Victor holds a Diploma in Information communication Technology, and is currently part of the Queens Young Leaders ”Leading Change" programme created by Institute of continuing education at the University of Cambridge.
Victor is passionate about the youth, and his hope is to provide sustainable solutions to 10,000 youths by the year 2020. “One youth at a time" is his motto".
Esther Oyewole is 19 years old. She is from Nigeria, currently based in Lagos, known as one of the fastest growing cities in the world. She is currently in her penultimate year studying Law to become an Intellectual Property Lawyer.
As a result of her exposure to the business world since her childhood, there has been an increasing passion to provide services that enable exponential growth of startups and protection of intellectual works. For her, true success comes only when you are fully maximizing your potentials and fulfilling your purpose. She believes that everyone should be committed in bridging the gap between the haves and the have-nots especially in access to technology and education.
Her professional aspirations are to become an intellectual property lawyer and a business development and analyst expert globally.
Alice Pease is 25 years old. British by birth, she is a true European, having lived, studied and worked across the continent. She has a deep love of Latin America and has spent extensive periods in Argentina.
She has a first degree in History and Languagesfrom the University of Edinburgh anda master’s in EU-Latin American relations from the University of Bologna.
Since finishing her studies, Alice has spent the past two years researching and writing a book on the political dynamics of international criminal justice. She is concerned with accountability for authors of heinous crimes and the inequalities which exist within the current system of global criminal justice. These questions are all the more pertinent in 2017 as individual states are moving in a protectionist and isolationist direction and the advances made in developing an international criminal justicesystem over the past 30 years seem to be under threat.
Besides her experience in research, Alice has spent time working at the European Commission and with NGOs in Guatemala, Argentina and India. With her global outlook, Alice hopes that she can use her next step to bring meaningful change, whether in policy, academia or advocacy.
Valeria Pini is 27 years old. She is a Project Executive at Landell Mills Ltd, a UK-based international development consultancy. She manages water resources projects in Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Nepal. She has previously worked in Colombia, China, Hungary and Italy before moving back to the UK.
Valeria holds an MA (Honours) in Anthropology and International Relations from the University of Aberdeen and a Master’s Degree in International Development from the Italian Institute of International Political Studies (ISPI).Following her interest in education, Valeria obtained a Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificate (CELTA) from City of Bristol College and has taught English in Italy, China and the UK.
She is passionate about social and educational development. She loves travelling, discovering new cultures and meeting new people. Her aim in life is to combine her passions into a career.
Lina Rengifo is 28 years old and is currently based at her hometown, Cali, Colombia. She is an action oriented environmental Economist and an upcoming social entrepreneur.
As an Economist, Lina believes that it is necessary to democratize environmental services in order to make urbanization processes economically sustainable. Hence, she founded Siembra Urbana (Urban Seeds) to channel solutions for the social and environmental issues of her city through the provision of consultancy services. Her venture aims to align the interests of the key stakeholders that interact in shaping the urban environment, such as construction companies, government agencies and local communities, in order to enable a more respectful relationship between nature and the citizens, and assure that environmental services are equally accessible for the poor and the rich in the city.
Siembra Urbana has recently delivered its first contract for the landscape design at a 288,000 meter social interest housing construction site in Cali, that will impact the environmental well being of nearly 3,500 people. During the project, Lina was able to merge the cost optimization interests of the client, a construction company, with the design’s philanthropic objectives.
Lina aspires to amplify Siembra Urbana’s impact about urban and environmental management in Colombia, by broadening her client base, bolstering her team and portfolio, and acquiring specific skills related to her work through a master’s degree in Urban Planning.
Abdullahi Yusuf Sada
Abdullahi Yusuf Sada is from Nigeria. He is a 25 year old Master of Science degree holder in Renewable Energy Engineering from Cranfield University, Bedford, United Kingdom. Prior to this, he had acquired a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Power & Control Engineering at Arab Academy, Egypt, having graduated in July 2013 with a second class upper degree.
He recently concluded his National Youth Service Program where his place of primary assignment was Sokoto Energy Research Center, Sokoto and currently working with International Resource Management Corp. as a Facility Support Manager.
In his own words, due to the constant power outages in Nigeria, he was motivated into studying Electrical Engineering in his first degree and Renewable Energy Engineering in his Masters program. His ultimate goal is to bring a possible solution to the power problems in Nigeria.
He dreams of becoming a well renowned Energy specialist that can provide energy or power solutions to his country and other developing countries as well.
Carol Ward Sarraf
The entrepreneurship in business and architecture shaped Carol’s career and her professional profile. Her experience and expertise combine developing opportunities and project management. Carol’s interpersonal skills and amicable yet professional accessibility enriched her with a wide network of professionals and influential people on local and international level.
Her role of consultant to foreign trade to French government strengthened her network and her skills in building cultural and business bridges between countries, corporations and individuals.
Carol is a big fan of cultural exchange and human interactions and a major supporter of CSR missions and objectives as well as social entrepreneurs. She planned and launched the strategy of expansion with architects, engineers, developers and contractors in the healthcare, in retail urban planning as well as different various challenges and fields.
The scope of her responsibilities covered governmental organizations, foundations and associations, and investment banking entities.
Carol has participated actively to international conferences as visitor exhibitor organizer or speaker. Among her direct responsibilities were identifying business opportunities, launching projects developing partnerships, optimizing potentials in order to create jobs added values and to promote innovations industries SMEs. It’s a challenging activity but rich in learning, development and achievements. But most of all, she enjoys connecting people and witnessing their growth and success.
Finally what Carol loves most is to put meaning and sense in every single action moment and relation.
And beyond everything she is very grateful to life for her family, her double culture, her PR and she will always promote dialogue links and shares for a better world.
Anan Magdy Shendy
Anan Magdy Shendy is 28 years old. She is a young ambitious, perseverant Egyptian woman who strived to be successful, independent and effective citizen through dreaming big.
She graduated in Faculty of English Literature and Language at Ain Shams University and pursued her post graduate studies in Applied Linguistics, Media and Journalism, teaching and Assessment methodologies at the AUC.
Though she believes that “knowledge” is power, it is a life-long experience of understanding meanings and taking actions that cannot be limited to a certificate. She practiced these beliefs through facing a lot of obstacles and fighting back stereotypes.
Anan is a university lecturer and a researcher in fields of linguistics and media in many universities and Institutions around Egypt. Also, she is an assessment and testing consultant at the AUC. Besides, she is a public speaking and communication trainer. Recently, Anan has been selected from among 80,000 candidates to join the first round of the presidential Leadership program (PLP) in 2016, Cairo-Egypt.
Her passion is to perfect what she does, learns, teaches, and to help others do the same. The case she is concerned with is to empower the “Egyptian Identity” through women and youth development.
Avantika Shrivastava is from India. She is 27 years old. She is a journalist by training, she started her career at Indian news agency PTI where she voluntarily reported on social issues that have an impact on the country apart from being an editor.
As her job responsibilities grew in recognition of her performance, she learnt a valuable lesson. She realised that public awareness was not an end in itself but was rather part of a larger and more significant process of knowledge creation, which drove social change. She then transitioned to MSF so as to be more involved in this transformation. She traveled to the Indian states of Bihar and Manipur to document the lives of people trapped in conditions of underdevelopment through human interest stories. She is a professional communicator with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and more recently a Masters scholar at the University of Edinburgh.
Yasmeen Smadi is from Jordan. She moved to The Netherlands in 2014 to do her MBA at Nyenrode Business University, and she is currently living and working there.
Yasmeen has been working in the pharmaceutical industry since she got her bachelor’s degree in pharmacy, following the footsteps of her mom and dad who are both pharmacists. However, she has always had passion for business and entrepreneurship which is why she started two small ventures along the way.
Yasmeen always wanted to progress in her career and reach the highest positions, which was her idea of success and happiness. But this changed tremendously in the past few years, especially after travelling to different places and meeting people from different backgrounds and cultures. She believes that leadership is not linked to a title and happiness is more about the people we cherish, the memories we make, the hearts we touch and the lives we change.
She aspires to be the best version of herself, to help people realize their dream and make a difference in this world!
Khadija Timami is from Kenya. She is 23 years old and graduated with a BA Degree in International Relations in Izmir, Turkey.
Despite achieving good education, she finds it hard to find answers and motivation on how or what exactly she can do to make a positive change in development in the society that she lives in through policy making. In her own words, she lives in an underdeveloped country that is nontheless growing and my areas of interest are in Governance, Public Policy and Social Policy. She is currently volunteering at a non-profit organization for Dialog hoping to achieve inter-cultural and inter-faith peace. There has been recent news on Muslims protecting Christians from a terrorist attack in Kenya, and this act by the Muslims makes her happy but her dream is for this to happen in harmony, not in lack of security. Development and positive globalization, to her, seem to be the way.
Yanga Totyi is from South Africa. She is 23 years old and was born and bred in the rural areas of the Eastern Cape. She did most of her schooling in her birth place, primary school through high school, and the only time she has lived outside the Eastern Cape is when she had matriculated and obtained university admission.
She started her first year of university in the University of the Witwatersrand, where she was admitted for a general BSc, majoring in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics.
In 2014, after she had left Wits University, she stayed at home seeking for some employment to hopefully raise registration fees for the following year. Half way through the year she had to leave the Eastern Cape and head for Cape Town, in hope of an employment opportunity. In August 2014 she joined a non-profit organization called IkamvaYouth, as an intern, which was the beginning of a whole new world to her. She was then later employed in April 2015 as a branch assistant.
Maansi Verma is from India and has been born, brought up, educated and currently employed in the capital city - New Delhi. She is 26 years old.
Maansi did her graduation in business and then enrolled herself in law school. She became a lawyer, but felt that she still had a lot to learn and that took her to the liberal art academic program called the Young India Fellowship. From this she moved to another Fellowship, which gave her the opportunity to work with a Member of Parliament on policy issues. This is where she got the idea to work on her own policy venture – Maadhyam – which is envisioned as a participatory policy making tool.
She believes that every once in a while each one of us is gripped by an idea that consumes them completely. She seems to have stumbled upon that idea and now her professional aspiration is to do complete justice to it. Personally, she wants to learn as much as possible about being an entrepreneur so that she can take and employ those qualities in everything she does.
Hanne Vrebos is 27 years old. She was born and raised in a small village in Belgium. After high school, she went to study a Bachelor followed by a Master in Architectural Engineering at the Free University of Brussels (VUB).
While working at an architectural office in Sao Paulo, she faced the harsh challenges of spatial inequality, inadequate infrastructure and rapid urbanization. Through these challenge, Hanne decide to focus on improving settlements and urban processes from a human perspective. This life goal was further shaped by a Master in Urban Ecological Planning at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), with research projects on housing projects for low income saving groups and colonial architecture in Uganda.
After this master’s, Hanne continued her work towards a better urban world with the slum upgrading unit of UN-Habitat. Recently she worked in and did research on refugee settlements in Europe. Currently Hanne is working as an urban resilience officer in the EU Aid Volunteer programme with Concern Worldwide.
Ryan Winch, 25 years old, is a Canadian currently based in Toronto, Canada. After completing his MA in Global Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, Ryan spent 6 months working at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Bangkok, Thailand as a Communications Junior Professional Consultant.
Following this, he moved to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to work as a Resource Mobilization & Monitoring and Evaluation Officer with Equality for Growth, an organization seeking to empower women working in Tanzania’s informal sector. Currently, Ryan works as a Research and Direct Support Consultant with CIVICUS, as a part of their DataShift programme.
Ryan is particularly passionate about environmental issues, especially those related to the global extinction crisis and climate change. He works as a volunteer with WildAid’s East Africa team, helping to increase awareness about the harms of poaching through WildAid EA’s #PoachingStealsFromUsAll campaign.
Ryan’s hope is that the Global Thinkers Mentors programme will help him to think more deeply about how he can generate positive change through his career and to focus him in on career paths that best suit his skills. He looks forward to having enlightening discussions from his mentor and to being able to learn from their experiences.
Thanabodee Yeh (Duke)
Thanabodee Yeh (Duke) is from Thailand. He is a Master student at Royal Holloway, University of London reading for an MSc degree in International Management, specializing in startup behaviour.
In his own words he is drawn to the prospect of working in a broad spectrum of industries, interacting with the brightest and the best, and to have a challenging future career that is constantly changing and growing. Moreover, having an international background, he really values diversity and thoroughly enjoy experiencing different cultures. He graduated a Bachelor and a Master degree from the University College London (UCL).
The courses at UCL taught him the real sense of teamwork and collective responsibility with a unifying goal, as he worked alongside other scientists to complete numerous projects. This had demonstrated that he is a team player and would work well with other colleagues if needed. Lastly, in the previous Master project, he lead his research independently with the guidance of his supervisor, to analyze data from 8 patients for the epigenetic steps required to propel a malignant tumour development in Small Intestinal Neuroendocrine Tumours.
Unique Zimuto is from Zimbabwe. She is currently doing her Honors degree in Development studies. She is also a volunteer at Restless Development which is an organization that puts youth at the forefront of Development.
She holds O’ Level and A’ Level Certificates and has acquired a Behavioral Change Programme Certificate from St Johns Emerald Hill High School and a Guidance and Counseling prize from Prince Edward. She has been doing volunteering work in peer-counseling at Afric-Aid, an NGO which is involved in counseling of HIV infected Infants and Youths. As a Zimbabwean youth she has a passion and drive to make a difference through her contributions as a youth representative at the United Nations level. She strongly believes that the youth, as future leaders have a critical role to play inside and outside her country in shaping up the country’s future.