The Forum of Young Global Leaders, or Young Global Leaders (YGL), was created by Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum. The YGL, a non-profit organization managed from Geneva, Switzerland, is under the supervision of the Swiss government. The program was founded as part of the World Economic Forum in 1993 under the name “Global Leaders for Tomorrow” and was renamed Young Global Leaders in 2004. Schwab created the group with 1 million won from the Dan David Prize, and the inaugural 2005 class comprised 237 young leaders.
Representing 70 different nations, Young Global Leaders are nominated by alumni to serve six-year terms and are subject to veto during the selection process. Candidates must be younger than 38 years old at the time of acceptance (meaning active YGLs are 44 and younger), and highly accomplished in their fields. Over the years, there have been hundreds of honorees, including several celebrities and recognized high achievers and innovators in politics, business, academia, media, and the arts.
Michelle Rempel, a Canadian Conservative politician, says she found out she had been selected as a Young Global Leader in 2016 with an email that she thought was spam, and described a 2017 meeting as “no different in feel from an academic conference, if a bit more global in nature and with more high-profile politicians and CEOs in attendance.