By Fiona Wakelin, Topco, Group Editor
Every year a selection of outstanding young leaders (young meaning under 40) from around the globe is chosen by The Forum of Young Global Leaders R. This year representatives from 42 countries were selected to “responsibly improve the state of the world” – and 5 young South Africans made the cut. But first, who is this community?
The Young Global Leaders ® Community is an accelerator for a dynamic community of exceptional people with the vision, courage, and influence to drive positive change in the world.
Our growing membership of more than 1,400 members and alumni of 120 nationalities includes civic and business innovators, entrepreneurs, technology pioneers, educators, activists, artists, journalists, and more.
Aligned with the World Economic Forum’s mission, we seek to drive public-private co-operation in the global public interest. We are united by the belief that today’s pressing problems present an opportunity to build a better future across sectors and boundaries. – The Forum of Young Global Leaders.
With all the challenges facing the Blue Planet – the latest UN report on climate change warned that it is “now or never” to reverse human-induced global warming from carbon emissions – as well as the growth of socioeconomic and geopolitical tensions exacerbated by 3 years of COVID (which in itself seems like a never ending story) to know that we have dynamic, courageous leaders and influencers working together to ameliorate what at times seems like a tar pit, is news we sorely need.
It is no less heartening that 5 young South Africans are among the 109 chosen from among the world’s best to share their insights, drive, energy and vision. Please meet one of them – Mmaki Jantjies:
Mmaki Jantjies is Group Head of Innovation and Transformation at Telkom and an adjunct associate professor. Passionate about digital inclusion, she has led initiatives and studies focusing on system design and adoption of mobile application’s use to improve education and healthcare in South Africa. She was the 2017 and 2018 South African delegate representative to the W20 in the G20, contributing to engagement on policies that look at the impact of digital inclusion of women.
Working with UN Women and the Mozilla Foundation, she founded a non-profit organisation, Peo ya Phetogo, which runs various STEM programmes to ensure that young South Africans take up technology as a business or career; the organisation went on to start further programmes which develop teachers’ skills in technology and digital literacy.
Mmaki has been recognised for her contribution to the South African technology sector with local and international awards.
“I was humbled by the announcement to form part of the young global leaders program. It is an exciting platform to be part of a cohort of young leaders who are passionate about creating a sustainable future. The collaborative opportunities provide a platform to bring an African view to the world, on creating a sustainable impact of technology across sectors.”