“Welcome to the YGL Class of 2012. Congratulations’, You have made it to the starting line”, said David Aikman, Head of forum of YGLs at the World Economic Forum, welcoming us, the new batch of 2012.
After an arduous 40 hours of flying, beginning from my home town, Bangalore, India, I made it to Mexico. My first visit to this country could not have got any better, as I landed in Puerto Vallarta, the beach side city, which is about 560 miles from Mexico City. The 9th and the largest YGL summit till date (with over 250 YGL participants) surely deserves such a fantastic venue!
One of the guiding principles of the YGL summit is to meet as many people as possible and leave the rest to serendipity. The first YGL I met was a chef from Brazil and the second an editor of newspaper from Nigeria. Over the course of the day, I lost track of the amazingly diverse kinds of people I met. Cinema Owners, social entrepreneurs, writers, doctors, engineers, artists – name them and I had met them all, I thought to myself.
In his official welcome Dr Klaus Schaub (founder of the Forum, who was introduced as the “original YGL” – since he founded the Forum at the age of 33), talked of “capitalism being replaced by talentism” – read here. Almost every speaker emphasized that the YGL is a community and NOT a network. The focus is on action and everyone has to give more than what they take from the community. This definitely did strike a chord with me.
There was an interesting session by former YGLs to the new batch which ended on the following note – “You have been given the ticket to the greatest show on earth. It’s your decision whether you want to be an actor or spectator”. There was an interesting “speed meeting on the beach”, where all the YGL’s got 90 sec to introduce themselves and meet other YGL’s. The highpoint of the evening were the “inside blasts” – short 6 minute Insight Blasts, presentations in the open amphitheatre by 6 YGL’s of the 2012 batch – each more impressive than the other! Everyone who presented, had done something which was very counter intuitive – the list will surprise everyone – “Teaching photography to blind”, “Dark Side of Moore’s Law”, “Death as a way of life”, “Lose to win”, “Usable Vs Useful vs Delightful”.
The last presentation by Hip Hop artist Emmanuel Jay (2012 YGL) received a standing ovation, a truly deserving one - see his TED talk @ http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/emmanuel_jal_the_music_of_a_war_child.html.
When I returned to my room late past midnight – I was convinced that everyone has a story that needs to be told…and one that needs to be heard! Everyone has the impossible moment, but it’s the “impossible that makes the incredible happen”!
Can’t wait for Day 2 of the summit and the exciting YGL journey ahead.
V. R. Ferose ss a 2012 Young Global Leader and Managing Director, SAP Labs India