Ideas for Action Hosts First Global Young Leaders’ IdeaLab

World Bank Supports Young Leaders in Devising Innovative New Strategies for Financing Sustainable Development

Washington, DC – Ideas for Action, a joint initiative created by the World Bank Group and the Wharton School to foster youth engagement in international development, has hosted its first Global Young Leaders’ IdeaLab. The one-day program was exclusively dedicated to providing young leaders from around the world with a unique opportunity to interact with industry professionals and receive expert support in developing pioneering ideas for financing the UN’s newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals.

Ideas for Action (I4A) is a global competition in which students and young professionals from around the world develop ideas for financing sustainable development. Mahmoud Mohieldin, the World Bank’s Senior Vice President for the 2030 Development Agenda, emphasized that he considers “Ideas for Action as one of the [World Bank’s] most successful partnerships, because the program receives powerful interest and positive support from those who will be owning the outcomes of the SDGs in 2030.”

Contributions by the Office of Mr. Mohieldin, the World Bank’s Youth to Youth Community (Y2Y), the IFC, the Global Partnership Forum, Young American Business Trust (YABT), bestselling author Tom Oliver, and corporate partners such as the Swiss perfume and flavor company Firmenich, allowed participants of the IdeaLab to gain a broad range of perspectives as well as individual support in preparation for the 2016 Competition.

Haleh Bridi, the World Bank’s Director for External Relations and Partnerships, Africa Region, encouraged participants to develop ideas that take advantage of the unique opportunities that Africa in particular offers today. The continent still faces significant challenges, but is rich with commodities and healthier, better-educated human capital. “Famine. War. Poverty. No vision. No hope. Stagnation. That was the Africa of 30 years ago. Today’s Africa is the new land of opportunity – you should pack your bags and leave.”

Participants of the Global Young Leaders’ IdeaLab were excited about the opportunity to share and discuss their ideas with industry professionals. Ideas for Action seeks to provide them with a unique platform for developing ideas and to ensure that they will be reach policy makers, ministers of development and finance, leaders of the private sectors, think tanks, universities, and development practitioners from around the world. Proposals for the 2016 Competitions are to be submitted by February 29, 2016.

Session 1

  • Mahmoud Mohieldin, Senior Vice President for the 2030 Development Agenda, World Bank
    Djordjija Petkoski, Senior Fellow at the Wharton School
  • David Shipman, Group Vice President of Corporate Compliance and Sustainability, Firmenich
  • Amir Dossal, President and CEO, Global Partnerships Forum
  • Sara Haq, Principal, SH International LLC
  • Alexander Sotiriou, Investment Manager, MicroVest
  • Alan Schlaifer, Chairman, Annual Wharton DC Innovation Summit; President, Wharton School Club of DC

Session 2

  • Jeffrey French, Managing Director, DO School
  • Haleh Bridi, Director for External Relations and Partnerships, Africa Region, World Bank
  • Djordjija Petkoski, Senior Fellow at the Wharton School
  • Tom Oliver, Tom Oliver Consulting

About Ideas for Action: Ideas for Action (I4A) is a joint initiative of the World Bank Group and the Wharton School to foster youth engagement in international development. Every year, students and young professionals from around the world devise innovative new strategies for financing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Winners of the competition receive the opportunity to present their ideas at the Annual Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group, receive support from a project incubator at the Wharton School, and benefit from unique networking opportunities with experts from international development, academia, and the private sector.

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