Facebook, YouTube, Digg & SynthaSite Leaders to Make World Better

    February 26, 2009
    Chris Crum

The World Economic Forum announced selections for its Young Global Leaders. This group consists of business, government, academia, media, non-profit organizations and arts leaders from different regions around the world. Among the selections were a number of Silicon Valley leaders including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Chad Hurley of YouTube, and Kevin Rose of Digg (not to mention non-techies like Tiger Woods and Jessica Biel).

World Economic Forum

Vinny Lingham the CEO of Synthasite (who recently came into $20 million in funding) was also selected, and took the time to answer a few questions about the group and what it hopes to accomplish.
Chris Crum: What was the process by which you were selected by the World Economic Forum?

Vinny Lingham: Application and selection is a three step process — nomination, short list and final selection:

1. This year almost 5,000 candidates from around the world were nominated to the Forum of YGL based on the following criteria:

– He/she is 40 years of age or younger at the time of nomination.

– He/she has a recognized record of extraordinary achievement and a proven track record of substantial leadership experience. Typically, this means 5-15 years of outstanding professional work experience and a clear indication of playing a substantial leadership role for the rest of his or her career.

– He/she has demonstrated a commitment to serve society at large through exceptional contributions, and have a global perspective.

– He/she must have an impeccable record in the public eye and good standing in his/her community, as well as show great self-awareness and a desire for learning.

– Candidates from the business sector must be responsible for the full operation of a qualifying corporation or division and must hold one of the following titles: President, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director, Managing Partner or Publisher, or equivalent of any of the above. If the company is a Member or Partner of the World Economic Forum, the candidate requires the approval of the CEO or Chairman of the Board of the respective company.

– Companies, organizations and entities can only nominate one candidate from the qualifying company every two years.

2. Candidates were evaluated by Heidrick & Struggles, recognized as one of the world’s leading executive search firms.

3. As a final step, candidates were screened by the WEF Selection Committee. This year the 31-person selection committee was chaired by H.M. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

A full list of committee members can be found here.

CC: What will your role be in the organization?

Vinny LinghamVL: My acceptance on this forum is brand new so specific roles are still being defined.

As a group, our activities and agenda will focus on the three pillars of the YGL community – community building, generating insight and undertaking collective action. We’ll have regular events throughout the year including the YGL Summits, which provide an opportunity for us to meet, share ideas and discuss ways to collectively shape the future. Within the YGL Forum there are different task forces focused on the biggest global challenges facing our generation – health, education, the environment, global governance and security, and development and poverty.

This is a three-year commitment that I’m excited to dive into. I’ll be participating in the summits and events and, of course, actively contributing to online discussions throughout my tenure. I will keep you posted as my role is further defined. 

CC: What ways will this allow you to contribute to making the world a better place?

VL: One of my proudest achievements is the ability to inspire other entrepreneurs in South Africa and the U.S. to start businesses and assist in job creation. Joining this Forum brings that capability to a global scale.

CC: Will you be collaborating directly with other members (like Zuckerberg, Kevin Rose, etc)?

VL: Individual roles are yet to be determined and we’re all trying to figure out which task forces we’ll best be able to serve. I’m sure our paths will cross on this Forum in one way or another.

CC: Please tell me anything else about the World Economic Forum and Young Global Leaders you’d like to share.

I’m thrilled to be part of the Young Global Leaders.  It’s a great honor.  I’m looking forward to contributing my unique perspective to the community and learning from the insights and expertise of others in the forum.

Thanks to Vinny for taking the time to answer a few questions. I would imagine his plate is quite full. A full list of the Young Global Leaders selections can be found
here (pdf).