What's a YGL?
I'm only 6 weeks late with this post. That's pretty good for 2011, all things considered.It's been a pretty amazing year so far -- packed with opportunities, travels and discovery -- though my blog has paid the price for that. I have more half-written draft posts than I care to admit, and a pile of good intentions behind them. These days it's easier to get the quick-and-exciting stuff out immediately on Twitter, but that still leaves a gap for more thoughtful reflection.Probably my most exciting -- and certainly most humbling -- news is to have been named a Young Global Leader (YGL) by the World Economic Forum. It's an honor I never dreamed could happen to me, and a journey which I am thrilled-beyond-words to take. I got the news right before my birthday (end-January, as Davos was starting) and then had to keep it top-secret until the public release was issued on March 9. I have a pathetic poker face for things like this.Each year the Forum selects approximately 150 individuals under age 40 from around the world based on their “professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world.” The YGL community includes heads of state, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, policy makers, Olympic athletes, actors, artists and many others. This year YGLs come from 65 different countries, with the largest gender parity (44% women) and representation from the developing world ever. Here's the 2011 YGL list.I join the YGL community formally for five years (officially beginning on July 1, 2011) and remain a YGL alumna for life. During my active YGL years, I’ll have the opportunity to attend Davos and get involved in a variety of other Forum-related activities such as the YGL water and poverty alleviation initiatives. There are also other topic- and geography-specific Summits throughout the year. The first one is the Annual Meeting of New Champions in Dalian, China this September. So my passport and frequent flier accounts should get continued good use and -- if I’m lucky -- I’ll visit lots of new places too.My first few weeks as a YGL have been phenomenal. Due to fortuitous logistics I've been able to attend the first-ever YGL Innovation Summit (held in the Bay Area, with 100 other YGL'ers from 35 different countries), hold meetings at the World Economic Forum HQ in Geneva, Switzerland, and meet a variety of YGL'ers independently. The more I learn and observe, the more inspired I get. It's going to be a fascinating journey: as I said to the Forum, with the YGL community I hope to help amplify and disseminate things that really work -- often blending for-profit and non-profit, public and private sectors -- to do business and make policy in better ways. So let's get started!