Young Global Leaders announced for 2009

I’m really excited to announce that I’ve been selected as a Young Global Leader for 2009, by the World Economic Forum. I’m honored to have been selected and I’m looking forward to contributing to the forum.

Techcrunch has a good post covering it.

The official press release follows:

World Economic Forum announces Young Global Leaders 2009

230 leaders from business, government, academia, media, non-profit organizations and arts chosen from around the world

Geneva, Switzerland, 25 February 2009 – The World Economic Forum has announced the Young Global Leaders (YGL) 2009. The honour, bestowed each year by the Forum, recognizes and acknowledges between 200 and 300 outstanding young leaders from around the world for their professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world.

The Forum has nominated Young Global Leaders from 71 countries, including business leaders, as well as leaders from government, academia, non-profit organizations, media and society. The new class represents all regions: East Asia (54), Europe (58), the Middle East and North Africa (12), North America (45), South Asia (24), sub-Saharan Africa (20) and Latin America (17). For a list of YGLs honoured in 2009, click here.

“The World Economic Forum is a true multistakeholder community of global decision-makers. Among the Forum communities, the Young Global Leaders represent the voice for the future and a catalyst for initiatives in the global public interest. As we currently face one of the most challenging times economically and socially, the Young Global Leaders are even more important in developing, designing and leading a world committed to positive change,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

Drawn from a pool of almost 5,000 candidates, the Young Global Leaders 2009 were chosen by a selection committee, chaired by H.M. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, comprising 31 eminent international media leaders. For a list of the selection committee, click here.

The Young Global Leaders (YGL) 2009 reflect regional and stakeholder diversity. They include :

Anies Baswedan, President, Paramadina University, Indonesia;
Shireen Bhan, Anchor, CNBC-India, India;
Omar Ghobash, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the Russian Federation;
Priya Haji, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, World of Good, USA;
Chad Hurley, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, YouTube, USA;
Paula Santos, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Vesta Technologies, Brazil;
Brent Stirton, Photographer, South Africa;
Stephan Wrage, Chief Executive Officer, SkySails GmbH & Co. KG, Germany among others.

“I am honoured to be nominated as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. I believe this will be a unique opportunity to engage with a community of thought leaders and captains of business, government and other sectors to share the challenges and opportunities faced by entrepreneurs, both working as start-ups and in partnerships with multinationals in emerging markets. There are opportunities to build sustainable businesses, but also hurdles that must be overcome for which solutions are not obvious. The YGL community provides a global network of peers to seek solutions, so that we can collectively contribute to society,” said Kamal Quadir, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, CellBazaar.

The 2009 honourees will become part of the broader Forum of Young Global Leaders that currently comprises 480 outstanding individuals. The YGLs convene at biannual summits, as well as Forum events and meetings throughout the year, and collaborate on initiatives to tackle some of the key challenges of our generation.

“Being a YGL isn’t just an honour for things we’ve each done in the past. Not an award. This is membership in an incredible community that inspires each of us to aim higher and think more broadly,” said Nancy Lublin, Chief Executive Officer, Do Something, USA, nominated to the YGL community in 2007.

In addition, Georges Kern, Chief Executive Officer, IWC International Watch, Switzerland, who has been an active member of the YGL community since 2005 commented: “The Forum of Young Global Leaders has been one of the most inspiring experiences for me, both personally and professionally. Without this global platform, we wouldn’t have had the chance to reach this many powerful business and creative leaders around the world to promote various initiatives. The level of positive drive and commitment to improve global issues, together with the enormous diversity of the community, are the impressive unifying forces of this ambitious group of individuals.”

Supporting Documents
List of YGLs honoured in 2009 (PDF, 14 pages, 243 KB)
List of the YGL community (PDF, 23 pages, 248 KB)
List of the YGL Selection Committee (PDF, 1 pages, 191 KB)

About The Forum of Young Global Leaders
Established in 2004 by Professor Klaus Schwab, The Forum of Young Global Leaders is a unique, multistakeholder community of the world’s most extraordinary young leaders who dedicate a part of their time to jointly address global challenges and who are committed to devote part of their knowledge and energy to collectively work towards a better future. Together the Young Global Leaders work to discover innovative solutions to today’s most pressing problems through various initiatives and workstreams as well as catalysing the next generation of leaders.


The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a foundation in 1971, and based in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum is impartial and not-for-profit; it is tied to no political, partisan or national interests. (

SynthaSite wins Industry Standard Awards

I’m proud to announce that SynthaSite has won the Industry Standard 100 Awards in our category – community & social! Thanks to everyone for voting!

We were up against a very tough line of competitors, including Meebo & Delicious (owned by Yahoo), and it’s a real testimony to the growth in the popularity of our service.

SynthaSite now boasts well over 1m unique visitors per month, and still on a very nice upward trend! We also launched Blogging, Shopping Carts & Domain registration earlier this month!

I must apologize to my readers for not posting much over the past few weeks, but there are some very interesting things happening over at SynthaSite which has dominated my free time (I think I’m averaging 4-5 hours per night sleep!). I’m going to be picking up the pace, real soon!

San Francisco is really fantastic, and I’m enjoying every minute here, but I also do miss home!

Thanks again to everyone for voting!

IT Personality of the Year Nomination

I was thrilled to hear that I’m nominated for the ITWeb Personality of the Year award in South Africa. The winner is selected based upon the number of votes on the ITWeb site – so I would really appreciate a few seconds of your time to vote. I’m up against a selection of industry heavyweights – so wish me luck!

Radio 2000 Interview (South Africa)

Just a quick note that I’m being interviewed by Radio 2000 in South Africa on Wednesday 11th at 15:20. I’ll be speaking to “Just Ice” live on air – it’ll be like 6:20am in San Francisco, so if I sound like I’m just waking up – it’s because I am!!