Youth Forum 2021

Youth Forum 2021
16 - 18 September 2021
Virtual conference centre, Frangipani

Pull up: Change Di Riddim

The world stands at a critical point, with its inequalities in sharp focus as the COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic impact continues to increase unresolved challenges. Global leaders are now tasked with deciding whether the global agenda will focus on the resumption of business as usual or a redefined collaborative mission that translates the hopes and aspirations of people around the world into new and lasting prosperity for all.

From 16 to 18 September 2021, the UNCTAD Youth Forum will offer a dynamic platform to young men and women around the world to engage in critical and interactive dialogues in the form of discussion and career building sessions, projects presented by youth, Youth o'Clocks, and networking at the Youth Café; all with the aim to prepare a Youth Declaration that will be officially submitted to governments at the UNCTAD15 ministerial Conference.


Visit the virtual conference centre


With the theme "Pull up: Change Di Riddim", the forum will be focusing on innovation, inclusion and youth empowerment for developmental transformation.

The forum will continue during UNCTAD15 from 3 to 7 October 2021 where forum participants will be offered the opportunity to share their views with global leaders and present their Youth Declaration.

This year's forum is open for students and young professionals between the ages of 18 and 30 who speak English, are interested in trade and development-related issues and want to contribute to shaping the world that their generation will be at the helm of in 2030.

For more detailed information on the UNCTAD15 Youth Forum, visit our conference site:

Rebeca Grynspan
UN Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

Rebeca Grynspan, of Costa Rica, became UNCTAD's eighth Secretary-General on 13 September 2021 and is the first woman to lead the organization.

Prior to her UNCTAD appointment, she was the Ibero-American secretary-general from 2014 to 2021, also the first woman to head the organization. During her mandate, she has coordinated the 22-member Iberoamerican Conference and led four key summits of Heads of State and Government. 

In 2010 she was appointed Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Associate Administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and prior to that was UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.  

Prior to joining the United Nations, Ms. Grynspan served as Vice-President of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998. She was also Minister of Housing, Minister Coordinator of Economic and Social Affairs, and Deputy Minister of Finance. In 2021 she was named Special International Advisor to the newly created Economic and Social Council of Argentina and invited to join as member of the G20 High-Level Independent Panel on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response.

In addition to her experience as a lecturer and advisor to several international organizations, she has been actively involved in key United Nations initiatives, such as the Millennium Project's Task Force on Poverty and Economic Development and the High-level Panel on Financing for Development.  

In 2014 and 2015, she was recognized as one of the 50 leading intellectuals of Latin America.  And she was recognized as one of the 100 most powerful women in Central America by Forbes magazine.

Ms Grynspan holds a degree in Economics by the University of Costa Rica and a MSc in Economics by the University of Sussex. She has been awarded a Doctorate Honoris Causa by the University of Salamanca, the University of Extremadura and the European University of Madrid in recognition of her outstanding professional achievements. 

Mia Amor Mottley
Prime Minister

The Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, Q.C., M.P., became Barbados' eighth and first female Prime Minister on 25 May 2018.

Ms. Mottley was elected to the Parliament of Barbados in September 1994 as part of the new Barbados Labour Party Government.

Prior to that, she served as one of two Opposition Senators between 1991 and 1994. One of the youngest persons ever to be assigned a ministerial portfolio, Ms. Mottley was appointed Minister of Education, Youth Affairs and Culture from 1994 to 2001.

She later served as Attorney General and Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados from 2001 to 2008 and was the first female to hold that position.

Ms. Mottley is an Attorney-at-law with a degree from the London School of Economics, specialising in advocacy. She is also a Barrister of the Bar of England and Wales.

In 2002, she became a member of the Local Privy Council. She was also admitted to the Inner Bar, becoming the youngest ever Queens Counsel in Barbados.

Simon Sinek
Founder and Visionary
Simon Sinek Inc.

Simon Sinek, founder and visonary, Simon Sinek Inc. Unshakable optimist. He believes in a bright future and our ability to build
it together.

Described as “a visionary thinker with a rare intellect,” Simon has devoted his professional life to help advance a vision of the world that does not yet exist; a world in which the vast majority of people wake up every single morning inspired, feel safe wherever they are and end the day fulfilled by the work that
they do.

Simon is the author of multiple best selling books including Start With Why, Leaders Eat Last, Together is Better, and The Infinite Game.

Brian A. Wong
Alibaba Global Initiatives

Brian A. Wong is Alibaba Global Initiatives Advisor and Managing Director, Seacliff Partners, Ltd, an angel investment firm dedicated to empowering start-ups in their pursuit to solve social problems using innovative technology solutions. He is also founder and Chairman of RADII, a digital media company focused on sharing unique stories from the heart of China’s youth culture.

Brian, spent a 16 year career at the Alibaba Group where he was the first American and 52nd employee. Wong contributed to the company’s early globalization efforts in various business roles such as vice president of sales, special assistant to the Chairman for international affairs, and executive director of the Alibaba Global Leadership Academy. He also led the Alibaba Global Initiatives (AGI) team, developing and leading capacity building programs for entrepreneurs, universities and government leaders in emerging markets from Africa to Asia. Today he is an adviser to AGI.

Wong earned his bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College, holds a Master’s certificate from the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for US and China Studies and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

He is China Fellow with the Aspen Institute, was recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and is a member of the Committee of 100.

Chad Blackman
Minister of Economic Affairs and Investment
Government of Barbados

Chad Blackman, Barbadian politician and former diplomat, was appointed to the Senate of Barbados by the Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Amor Mottley, as well as Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment.

He served as the Senior Advisor to the Director-General of the ILO, and as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Barbados to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva, Vienna, and Rome, and Barbados’ Ambassador to Austria, Hungary, and Serbia

He was the President of the G77 and China Group in Geneva. He is the former Chair for the Trade and Environment Committee and former Chair of the Trade and Development Committee, both in the WTO. He chaired the SIDS Group at UNCTAD, was the Americas Co-ordinator for the Government Group in the ILO, and is a UN International Gender Champion Global Board Member.

Mr. Blackman holds a Law degree and a Master’s in International Trade Law from the University of Essex.

Isabelle Durant
Deputy Secretary-General
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

Ms. Isabelle Durant, of Belgium, is Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD. From February to 12 September 2021, she headed the organization as Acting Secretary-General before the appointment of a new UNCTAD Secretary-General on 13 September 2021. Prior to holding this position, she served the organization for over three years as UNCTAD’s Deputy Secretary-General.

Ms. Durant had a distinguished career in Belgian and European politics. She held the offices of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Transport and Energy and Senator in the Belgian Government. She also served as Vice-President of the European Parliament and Presidency of the European Union Council of Ministers of Transport.

Ms. Durant has a wealth of experience collaborating with civil society and the private sector as well, notably as the Vice-President responsible for relations between the European Parliament and civil society. Finally, Ms. Durant has held posts as a senior consultant on the empowerment of women in local government for the UNDP and as a member of Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region in Belgium.

Lizzie Carr
Planet Patrol

Lizzie Carr MBE is an environmental activist, award winning campaigner and the founder of Planet Patrol, a global non-profit that combines the power of community action with science to collect data around single use materials to drive action that serves to protect our planet and wildlife from the harmful effects of pollution. 

She is the first person in history to paddle board the length of England’s waterways, completing the 400-mile journey in 22 days, plotting more than 20,000 examples of plastic waste. Lizzie has completed a further two world first paddle boarding expeditions and is the author of “Paddling Britain”, a best-selling book. She the host of Earth Shakers, a podcast that delves into the stories behind people changing the planet. Lizzie is a respected environmental voice and was named in the top 10 female climate activists by Stylist, Marie Claire and Glamour magazine. In 2020 she received Stylist’s Inspiration of the Year in the Remarkable Women Awards. In that same year she was appointed as a LinkedIn Changemaker and awarded the Points of Light Award by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

In June 2021, Lizzie received the ultimate honorary title, an MBE (Member of the British Empire) for her outstanding contribution to environmental work and activism. Lizzie and her achievements to rid the world of plastic pollution have been internationally recognised by the media and the general public.

Amanda Abrom
Program Manager of the Global Schools Program
United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network

Amanda Abrom is the Program Manager of the Global Schools Program, an initiative of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network which supports a network of K12 educators and schools in 80 countries, as well as 600+ program alumni. 

Previously, Amanda has held positions with the Chilean Ministry of Education and worked on the US Department of State’s international exchange programs for young leaders from Africa and the Middle East. Her interests in education and student engagement stem from various youth leadership and graduate student roles at UNICEF’s Education Cannot Wait Fund, the UN Joint SDG Fund, the Columbia Earth Institute, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Youth Initiative), and the United Nations Association of the USA. She is a Fulbright Scholar recipient and a Global Ambassador for Quality Education on behalf of the UN Foundation. 

Amanda is a published author and holds a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia SIPA, a Masters in Public Administration from the London School of Economics, and an Honors Degree in Economics from the University of Delaware. Her academic scholarship centered on teacher training and education for sustainable development.

Mathias Haas
Founder and CEO

Mathias Haas is Founder and CEO of SuperSocial a Social Media and Event Experience Design Agency. As a social entrepreneur, he curates and moderates TEDx events and initiated the Charity Art and Journalism Project Findia and the Digital Participation Camp and Summit.

Mathias teaches Social Media Communication, Digital Storytelling and eCommerce at several Universities such as the Austrian Marketing University for applied Sciences, the EPFL and the University of Vienna and Zürich.

For his projects, among them ZIAG Refugee platform, Facebook Application Intercultural, Findia, Popedu, and the YA!Friends Platform, he has already won many international awards such as the Austrian Youth Award, European Youth Award, United Nations World Summit Youth Award and the Social Impact Award. Meanwhile, Mathias serves as National Expert for Austria for the World Summit Awards.

Mathias lives for his passion: off-beaten-track travelling, youth work, social media and digital competence, technological innovations, learning about new cultures, and adventures.

Kanika Sahijwani
Marketing and Business Development Strategist
Global Transmission Report

Kanika Sahijwani is currently working at the Global Transmission Report, she is a Marketing and Business Development Strategist, Social Impact Consultant and a Fine-art Artist from India.

Kanika is a young leader with over eleven years of experience with different non-profit organizations in various capacities. 

She received the 2021 Diana Award in recognition of her efforts in the social and non-profit spaces. Kanika has presented at UNCTAD Youth Forum’18 held at UN Headquarters in Geneva and also led a session on SDG 8 at the ECOSOC Youth Forum’19 at UN in New York. 

She is an aspiring social entrepreneur focused on empowering underprivileged women through skill building and employment generation in India. She graduated from the University of Delhi, India with her Bachelor of Arts (Honors) degree in English in 2017.

Krystal Hoyte
Multimedia Journalist
CBC News

Krystal Hoyte is a Multimedia Journalist at CBC News with five years of experience in the industry from print news to digital media and now Broadcast.

Kristal love for journalism is rooted in providing credible information in an era of fake news whilst providing a platform for ordinary people with extraordinary stories.

Matheus Falasco
Youth Action Hub Curitiba

Matheus Falasco is a Sustainability Consultant at SEED Consultoria em Sustentabilidade. He is also a lawyer and founder of Youth Action Hub Brazil. Currently, he serves as the coordinator of youth action hub Curitiba, as well as a consultant at SEED consultancy, with a focus on ESG and CSR. 

In addition, Matheus is the Ambassador of the Brazil Conference at Harvard & MIT, junior advisor to the Paranaense Council for Corporate Citizenship (CPCE), member of the Young Scholars Initiative of the Institute for New Economic Thinking and UNCTAD Youth Network.

Vansh Madaan
Youth Action India

Vansh Madaan is the coordinator of the Youth Action India, a youth-oriented organization in New Delhi working on community engagement to support the rural sector of the city. He is an SDG advocate and public policy enthusiast skilled in leadership, project governance, public speaking, and community engagement.

He is a Social Impact professional and legal expert with experience in the development sector at all levels of government in India and a social entrepreneur with a history of working in the public policy sector.

Sade Jemmott
National Youth Policy Coordinating Committee

Sade N. Jemmott is an attorney-at-law and business development consultant, currently working as Chairperson of the National Youth Policy Coordinating Committee. She has over 10 years of experience advising entrepreneurs and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) on various legal matters, commercial strategy and business development opportunities, including access to resources, business coaching, mentorship and the development of strategic partnerships. This also extends to supporting social protection initiatives of international agencies such as UNDP and UN Women as well as the creation of various capacity building online resources. Most recently, Sade was also appointed by

the Government of Barbados to oversee a consultative policy development and implementation process in her capacity as Chairperson of the National Youth Policy Coordinating Committee.

Regina Cornish
Policy Officer
British Embassy in Mexico

Regina Cornish is a Policy Officer at the Financial Services Strand of the Prosperity Program at the British Embassy in Mexico where she promotes poverty reduction and gender equality. Over the past five years Regina has designed public policy and implemented diverse development programs. 

Regina is the Mexico Youth Action Hub Coordinator and aims to create an inclusive and sustainable ecosystem for young people. Before, she worked at the Ministry of Economy where she focused on financial inclusion and education. She was also part of the Mexican Mission in Geneva for the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. She has represented Mexican youth in diverse international conferences including UNCTAD14, World Youth Forum, ECOSOC Youth Forum, among others. 

Her passion for development led her to do field work in Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Jamaica. Regina is a Master's candidate for Human Rights and Constitutional Law at la Universidad Panamericana; she graduated cum lauder for Government and International Relations at Lawrence University. 

Kristofferson Nunes
Co-Founder and CEO
UCA Limited

Kristofferson Nunes is the Co-Founder and CEO of UCA Limited, a multifaceted freelance platform and marketing agency. A 27 year old creative entrepreneur, family man and the novelty idea alchemist, with the knack for flipping his mental compositions into invaluable powerhouses. The span of his professional sojourn has dubbed him “The Connector of People and Services”. 

His company, UCA Limited, a multifaceted freelance platform and marketing agency that not only has provided economic opportunities for tertiary students but also hosts the full business catalog of head-hunting, recruitment, resume revamping, virtual casting and talent management services since its conception in 2017.

He has further developed and crafted his unique skill set into other notary businesses, most recently being Kristofferson Nunes & Co and Lavender Calf LLC, the baby centric family brand. 

With years of acquired knowledge and talent, Kristofferson has made partnerships spanning across a plethora of fields; artificial intelligence, career consultancy, education, finance, interview preparation and coaching, job development & readiness marketing, manufacturing, just to name a few. 

In addition, he is a public speaker and mentor, who has seen commendations and awards encompassing the Creative Business Cup and the Prime Minister’s Youth Award for Excellence. 

Janique-ka John
Women in Tech Caribbean Community

Janique-ka John is the Founder of the Women in Tech Caribbean Community and a Software Engineer currently working in Brussels.

Janique was born and raised in St.Vincent and the Grenadines, where she first fell in love with computers and computing. During her bachelor's degree at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill she discovered her love for programming and went on to pursue a Masters Degree in Applied Computer Science.Through projects like caricovidmap, and experimenting with a Twitter bot that tweets out Vincentian news, Janique-ka has proven that she is enthusiastic about development, but in a context of solving Caribbean problems.

Drew Gardiner
Youth Employment Specialist
International Labour Organization

Drew Gardiner is a Youth Employment Specialist and member of the Global Technical Team of International Labour Organization’s Employment Policy Department. He was previously the Chief Technical Adviser of the ILO’s “Taqeem initiative” Which undertakes impact evaluation of policies and programmes on women’s and youth employment.

Drew is a researcher, speaker and adviser on evidence-based active labour market intervention and has mobilized and managed a portfolio of labour market interventions and has mobilized and managed a portfolio of labour market programmes related to skills, entrepreneurship and employment services across Africa and the Middle East government. He has a B.A. in International Relations and French from the University of Calgary and an MBA from the University of Geneva.

Francesca Chia
Chief Executive Officer

Francesca Chia is the Co-Founder and CEO of GoGet, an on demand workforce technology platform that connects businesses to reliable part timers, called ‘GoGetters’. 

Francesca graduated with a BA in Economics from Northwestern University and was inspired by social enterprises because they redefined traditional ways of doing business and running a non-profit. Prior to launching GoGet, Francesca was a Management Consultant in The Boston Consulting Group for 4 years. Francesca is also an Alibaba eFounders Fellow from the program jointly created between Alibaba and UNCTAD. Most recently, Francesca was invited to speak at a summit in conjunction with United Nations General Assembly 2019 about the platform and how it is specifically addressing the Sustainable Development Goal #8. She was announced as the World Economic Forum’s 2021 Young Global Leader. In terms of national contribution, Francesca has been appointed by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to join the National Employment Council (NEC), representing the entrepreneurship and innovation sectors. 

Francesca is pushing boundaries in the technology industry and the traditional labour market of Malaysia. She brings with her insights on the future of work, how businesses will adjust models to suit new labour requirements and how empowerment is possible through technology innovation.

Daniel Fadelle

Daniel Fadelle is the Co-Founder of, and a Merchant Success Manager at Shopify. A Dominican national born in Toronto, Canada who holds a Bachelor of Social Science from the University of Ottawa, Graduate Certification in Project Management from Humber College and studied eCommerce and Online Business Management at the University of Toronto. Prior to his current positions, Daniel spent over 4 years in South Korea as a teacher, program coordinator, traveller and event planner. He is passionate about entrepreneurship, technology and education.

Thutukani Ndlovu
Founder and Creative Director
The Radioactive blog

Thuthukani Ndlovu is an Assistant Coordinator at Vrystaat Arts Festival and the Founder and Creative Director of The Radioactive blog. More popularly known as TK – is an author, poet, XR (Extended Reality) enthusiast, digital artist and Art curator learning Video and Film production in Bloemfontein, South Africa. He works for the Vrystaat Literature Festival as an assistant coordinator, while also being a project manager for the Pan African Telematic Art Project - PATAP (an initiative of the Vrystaat Arts Festival).

He’s the founder and creative director of The Radioactive Blog, an online creative hub that aims to drive innovation and creativity through artistic expression, capacity development and technology. In terms of sharing his work, his performance journey spans across Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Zambia, Malawi and South Africa, and in 2020 he published his debut poetry collection "My Poetic Collage" (Which is the first South African published poetry collection that features Augmented Reality.) Most of his poetry and digital art is centered around social activism, with the objective of trying to develop communities through creative expression. On this note, he also advocates for exploring creative ways to express poetry and digital art through experimenting with technologies like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.

To date, he has worked with Creative Digital Arts Festival – under the banner of the Makhanda National Arts Festival, Fakugesi African Digital Innovation Festival, Harare Litfest, Brighton Digital Festival (in partnership with Urban Flo), Free State Digital Art fest and Tumaini Festival (A festival at the Dzaleka Refugee camp in Malawi). Thuthukani is also part of The Festival Academy Alumni – after being selected to participate in their Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Johannesburg and Gothenburg in 2018. If he’s not blogging, working, reading a book or having a coffee date

Ana Lokotkova
International career advisor

Ana Lokotkova, is an international career advisor, speaker and LinkedIn branding trainer based in Calgary, Canada. She is known for helping professionals approach their job hunt with confidence, effective tools, and a clear action plan that gets them hired. She gets regularly invited to speak at conferences across North America, and delivers high-powered workshops for job seekers. 

Ana’s insight was featured on Forbes, Brainz Magazine, Jobscan, LinkedIn News, and other career resources. Her two big passions are public speaking and LinkedIn, which has become the main engine behind her personal brand and coaching business. You can also find Ana on YouTube where she regularly posts engaging videos on career and job search related topics.

Nancy Amunga
Dana Logistics

Nancy Amunga is a digital entrepreneur from Kenya who runs Dana Logistics. She has won several international accolades for her business and also for the work she does with fellow youth. She is the youngest honoree of the African Achievers Awards - social impact category - which she received at the House of Commons, UK Parliament in July 2018. Nancy is also an awardee of the Commonwealth young entrepreneur of the year 2018.

She received the Dedication and Excellence certificate from the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KNCCI) for her dedication towards youth in business. 

Nancy has taken part in UNCTAD-EMPRETEC women in Business Program, eFounders fellowship Initiative, and the eTradeforAll Masterclass.

She is passionate about young people in business hence her initiative dubbed the Sprout Agenda where she mentors them and connects them to potential mentors. She uses her blog – - as a platform to mentor the youth as well as engage with them. Amunga's desire is to impact as many youths as possible and believes that, "Live for yourself and you will be in vain. Live for others and you will live again."

George-Ann Ryan
Chief Operating Officer
Ryan Group

George-Ann Ryan is currently Chief Operating Officer at Ryan Group of Companies, working toward building and modernizing one of Antigua’s largest indigenously owned retail and development empires. She is an economist and entrepreneur with a focus on economic and enterprise development, and building better business practices. 

Prior to this role, she has held numerous prestigious roles in nonprofits, economics, and policy. She was a founding executive member and Chief Financial Officer at The Sadie Collective. She also flexed her data science and organizational management skills as a Summer Research Associate at The Hamilton Project at Brookings Institution and a Research and Administrative associate at the Economic Security Project. She also serveson the Board of Directors of The Sadie Collective — chairing the finance committee.

George-Ann has appeared in BBC World Service's World News Have Your Say, the World Bank's International Finance Corporation Insights Magazine, and the Mathematica On the Evidence Podcast. She has also written for publications such as the Antigua Observer, Tremor and The Financial Diet.

She is an alumna of both Pace University, NYC and Columbia University | SIPA where she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, magna cum laude and a Masters of International Affairs (MIA) with a concentration in Economic and Political Development and specialization in Data Analytics and Quantitative Analysis respectively.

Vansh Madaan
Youth Action India

Vansh Madaan is the coordinator of the Youth Action India, a youth-oriented organization in New Delhi working on community engagement to support the rural sector of the city. He is an SDG advocate and public policy enthusiast skilled in leadership, project governance, public speaking, and community engagement.

He is a Social Impact professional and legal expert with experience in the development sector at all levels of government in India and a social entrepreneur with a history of working in the public policy sector.

Thomson Ch’ng
International Specialist Advisor
ASEAN Focus Group

Thomson Ch’ng is the International Specialist Advisor at ASEAN Focus Group (AFG) - an Asia and Australia-based corporate advisory and consulting firm with over 25 years of experience in creating alliances, relationships and transactions in Australia, Southeast Asia and India; including a 15 year history of corporate and equities advisory in Australia, undertaking merger, acquisition, divestment, fundraising and consulting for private and public companies. He is also an award-winning international alumnus, international speaker and an international education specialist. 

In 2016, Thomson was a special advisor to the Consulate of Malaysia and Education Malaysia Australia in Sydney on Malaysia’s education engagement with Australia. He was the Regional Vice President in the Jakarta based ASEAN Youth Organization (A.Y.O), where he has represented Malaysia at the inaugural UNCTAD Youth Forum 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. At the forum, he co-drafted the Youth Declaration on Quality Education, which was presented at the High-Level Official Meeting. Thomson was again a delegate at the 2018 UNCTAD Youth Forum, where the UNCTAD Youth Action Hubs were launched.

In 2018-19, Thomson served as a Special Advisor to a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) in Penang.

Kurba-Marie Questelles
Peace and Security Specialist

Kurba-Marie Questelles is a Peace and Security Specialist and a certified Restorative Justice Practitioner who has previously briefed the United Nations Security Council. She is a qualified Trainer of Trainers with areas of expertise in crime and violence prevention, preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) and Peacebuilding. Kurba-Marie serves as the Caribbean Coordinating Ambassador at One Young World and in 2019, was inducted as a 30 Under 30 Emerging Caribbean Leader by the Institute of Caribbean Studies in Washington D.C. Her areas of interest include youth development, National, regional and international peace and security. 

Ndumiso Mngomezulu
Founding Associate

Ndumiso Mngomezulu is a Founding Associate and Head of Strategy at the Associates, a global development and business advisory firm. His work experiences span from business strategy, consumer marketing insight, brand strategy, marketing and communications to leading public affairs and policy strategy for some of the world’s leading multinationals corporations and global development agencies. Having consulted extensively in: Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Financial Institutions, Telecommunications, the South African Government and Foreign Development Cooperation Agencies, this maverick has cemented himself as a go-to consultant. 

Many organisations seek his deep understanding of the intersection of strategic marketing, communications and public affairs in building an organisation trusted by its stakeholders to deliver against their interests without compromising the bottom line or objectives. He has mastered building resilient and connecting pathways between business, society and politics.

Ndumiso has been awarded the Young Communicators Award and the President Award by the Duke of Edinburgh for his contribution to Youth Development.

Sanja Rajpal

Sanya Rajpal is a Lawyer, with a Masters in Education and International Development from UCL, and MBA from the University of Oxford. Her work spans interdisciplinary approaches to systems change, particularly focused on public-private partnership and impact invest. She is passionate about using education, entrepreneurship and policy to facilitate individual empowerment in underserved communities. As a young leader, her goal is to ensure that all young people have the opportunity to have their voices heard, and learn the skills necessary to drive change in their own unique way!

Mario Jordan Fetalino
Chief Financial Officer
RCT5 Global Inc

Mario Jordan "Magellan" Fetalino III is the Chief Financial Officer of RCT5 Global Inc, an FMCG and Agri firm that created the most popular adlai (job’s tears) brand in the Philippines, Oh Crop. 

He is also the Founder and former CEO of Acudeen Technologies, Inc., an online movable asset exchange in the Philippines, winner of Seedstars Global 2017, regarded by IDC as one of the Top 10 fastest growing fintechs in the Philippines, and more recently, recipient of the 2019 ASEAN Business Award for Most Digitized MSME in the region.

Mario serves at the Board Trustee of Fintech Alliance Philippines, helping support policymaking and policing of fintech players in the Philippines. He also used to serve as the Chairman of the Board of The Global Filipino Investors, one of the biggest financial education companies in the Philippines.

He took up B.S. Entrepreneurship in the University of Santo Tomas. He is a graduate founder from Founder Institute, and a graduate founder from the E-Founders program at the Alibaba Business School in Hangzhou, China. He holds a number of Board Directorship roles in different related fintech and non tech firms given his expertise in the subject matter. 

Nathaniel Lekatompessy
Senior Associate

Nathaniel Lekatompessy is a Senior Associate at Deloitte, with a bachelor’s degree from the Netherlands and United Kingdom, continuing his Master degree studies in management in IE Business School.

Nathaniel has always had a passion in economic development, poverty alleviation and education for the youth and has had the opportunity to build schools in the state of Gujarat, India. Currently, he is the coordinator for Youth Action Hub Jakarta that aims to improve basic infrastructure and education quality with the aim to alleviate poverty in Indonesia. 

During the pandemic, he has started up his own venture called Steril+ in the healthcare industry that aims to provide the best food-grade hand sanitizers in the market as well as PPE to offer the best protection and comfort towards frontline and essential workers. 

Alex Downes
Communications Officer
Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

Alex Downes is a Communications Officer at Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. He is a journalist and youth leader, who has had a unique opportunity to view the world from multiple angles. It gave him the ability, not just to see and understand the challenges many people face, but to conceptualise some solutions to these problems.

His personal challenge is to make these solutions a reality by telling stories that change the world.

He’s eager to add to his experiences, and with knowledge in communications, advocacy and international law, and committed to developing journalism to make the Caribbean and wider world a better place, one story at a time.

Chris Crichlow
LIVE Operations Manager for Europe

Chris Crichlow is currently the LIVE Operations Manager for Europe at TikTok, responsible for all of their key LIVE broadcast and production moments. To date, this includes programming for EURO2020, International Women’s Day, Black History Month, Ed Sheeran, Sir Elton John, and many more. His career has also included managing event venues and broadcast systems engineering for Google, tour management for O2, technical event directorship for Facebook in EMEA and brand activation for Channel 4.

Outside of technology, he has delivered shows for Carlos Santana, Wretch 32, The Viennese Philharmonic, and various other musical acts.

As well as being involved in various mentorship programs for young black men, he is the Co-Lead for TikTok’s Employee Resource Group for Black employees, BLXCK and he was also one of the founding people behind the Hackathons delivered by the Black Googlers Network and Facebook. 

Robin Kumar
Youth Action Hub Mumbai

Robin Kumar is the coordinator of the Youth Action Hub Mumbai and a Chartered Accountant. Robin, being on the forefront in his professional journey in finance, he is an avid learner of financial products and technological development which includes blockchain, cryptocurrency, equity markets, green economy, etc. 

He has been working in the rural areas of Rajasthan for the benefit of villagers on water scarcity issues, teaching underprivileged students in Mumbai and representing India at United Nations events, such as OP-14 held by United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and speaking at India at CRIC-19 (2021), UNCTAD ECOSOC (2021), UNCCD COP-14 (2019), World Investment Forum (2018), UNCTAD Youth Forum (2018), World Sustainable Development Summit (2018), and Harvard US-India Initiative (2018). 

He was the youngest Editor of a national newspaper in India, founded a society in Delhi University, and is currently running the UNCTAD Youth Action Hub in India.

Ashma McDougall
National Youth Council of Dominic

Ashma McDougall is a Senior Lecturer of Economics at the Dominica State College and an independent Business Consultant having worked with UNESCO and the World Bank projects, government funded initiatives to include a few.

Ashma is currently the President of the National Youth Council of Dominica and a Reader in International Development. She holds a B.A. degree in Economics, Bachelor of Science degree in Finance with a minor in Political Science from Bemidji State University in Minnesota and the M.A. in Economic Policy from the George Washington University.

She has been active in the area of developmental research of SIDs for the last four (4) years and has been a frequent contributor to the mentorship of entrepreneurs and small business owners in Dominica. Her current doctoral research involves the study of culture and poverty within the Kalinago Territory analyzing the dissonance of culture across indigenous generations and its impact of poverty in the Kalinago Territory; understanding the scope of the survival of the Kalinago heritage in the coming decades.

Ashma is currently focused on youth development in Dominica and a greater scope in the region as an advocate for youth development through empowerment, engagement and increased involvement in decision making.

Dalano DaSouza
Assistant Lecturer in Economics
The University of the West Indies

Dalano DaSouza is a Caribbean Policy Analyst. He holds a BSc (Economics and Management), MSc (Banking and Finance) and PhD (Economic Development Policy) and is currently Assistant Lecturer in Economics at The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus. Dalano is also a Caribbean podcaster and is one-half of the popular ‘A Lawyer and a Policy Analyst Walk into a Bar’ podcast which raises awareness about Caribbean economic, political, legal and social issues.

Serena Zheng
Chief Architect and Data Management department

Serena Zheng is working in the Chief Architect and Data Management department of ABN AMRO Bank in Amsterdam, active in advocating equality and strongly interested in sustainable finance.

Serena is a former member of Youth Action Hub Netherlands. She joined UNCTAD Youth in 2018. She is 26 years old, born and raised in China, moved to Europe to study and work at the age of 20, lived in France, Spain and the Netherlands.

Bora Kamwanya
Deputy Secretary General
PAN- African Youth Union

Bora Kamwanya is Deputy Secretary General of the PAN- African Youth Union.

He was born in Kinshasa, DRC. He graduated in International Relations and is pursuing a master’s in business management.

Bora has worked with multiple Diaspora NGO and periodically advises the EU, the AU, the UN and the ACP among others on topics such as youth inclusion in all spaces. Since December 2017, Bora is serving in the Executive Committee of the Pan-African Youth Union as Deputy Secretary General in charge of Diaspora Affairs. Bora organized and took part in different Youth conferences and high level panels in Africa, Europe and the Caribbean.

Bora was part of the United Nations Lisbon+21 Task force and the Commonwealth International Task force organizing the Commonwealth Youth Forum.

Bora is an active member of the African Union Diaspora Youth Initiative, convened by the African Union delegation to the EU and the Secretary General of ACP Young Professionals Network (ACP YPN). 

LeAundre Knight

LeAundre Knight is a Consultant specializing in development policy and project development, working most recently on the drafting of various proposals to public ministries and international organizations. He is a young economist and development specialist from Barbados, with a wide array of experience in project management, data analysis and policy development. 

He has experience in both the public and private sector working with the Barbados Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and previously to that, Actavo Barbados. 

He is passionate about youth development and has been a member of the UNCTAD Youth Network since his attendance at the previous forum in 2018. He currently sits on the organizational committee supporting the UNCTAD 15 Youth Forum. LeAundre is passionate about educating young people on achieving stability through investing and financial budgeting

Linda Okero
Communication and development

Linda Okero is a communications and development enthusiast at GrowthAfrica, enhancing socio-economic transformation over the last seven years in the Micro-Finance, Government, Business Acceleration and Advocacy space.

She has served in various capacities and been instrumental in the development of strategic sustainable agendas focusing on inclusive development. Her interest is to accelerate innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges by inspiring, supporting and connecting ecosystem players across countries, organizations, and sectors through communications development. 

Linda is passionate about creating opportunities that will enable youth to actively engage in issues that affect them at local and regional levels through mindset and behavioural growth. She is the Coordinator of Youth Action Hub Kenya (UNCTAD Youth), a YALI Alumni and Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society. Her vision is to inspire peers to rise and break barriers for social and economic transformation.

Linda graduated Cum Laude from Daystar University (Kenya) with a B.A in Mass Communications.

Quote: In today’s world, talking about change feels a lot like running a never-ending marathon. An achievable dream has become a tiring mission. Yet, the pit of my stomach burns with grit to keep reminding people that all it takes is to imagine the possibilities and refuse to be limited by human deficiencies because we deserve a better world.

Lawrence Njihia
Founder and Co-CEO

Lawrence Njihia is the founder and Co-CEO of SHOPJIJI a fashion e-commerce start-up based in Nairobi that is helping to connect Africa’s fashion brands to customers online. With a background in Entrepreneurship and Finance from Strathmore University Kenya, he is currently a JASIRI Talent Investor Fellow - a program by the Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropy that seeks to identify, select and invest in individuals who display high potential to create high growth ventures. With his JASIRI colleagues, they’re exploring the potential of agriculture providing opportunities to Africa’s hidden middle. 

He is also an Youth Action Hub Kenya member and is the Vice-Coordinator where he spends a lot of time working on expanding opportunities for the youth. Lawrence was also an UNCTAD 2016 Youth Delegate in Nairobi, Kenya where he represented his country.

Alicia Nicholls
Junior Research Fellow
The University of the West Indies

Alicia Nicholls Is a Junior Research Fellow of The Shridath Ramphal Centre for International Trade Law, Policy and Services of The University of the West Indies.

Alicia, B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. (Dist), LL.B. (Hons) is a multilingual, multidisciplined and legally-trained international trade specialist whose research interests include foreign investment law and policy, financing for sustainable development, investment migration programmes, as well as global financial regulatory issues. She is presently a trade researcher and part-time lecturer at The University of the West Indies. 

Alicia is a frequent presenter on contemporary trade matters at academic and industry conferences and events and since 2011, is the founder of one of the Caribbean’s leading blogs on trade matters. She also contributes articles to a variety of international and regional publications including IFC Review, AfronomicsLaw Blog, the Barbados Business Authority, among others.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science (First Class Honours), a Master of Science in International Trade Policy (with distinction) and a Bachelor of Laws (Upper Second Class Honours) from The University of the West Indies. She also holds the FITT Diploma in International Trade from the prestigious Ottawa-based Forum for International Trade Training (FITT).

She is an Advisory Board member of the Caribbean-ASEAN Council, a member of the Network of Experts of the Caribbean Chamber of Commerce in Europe (CCCE), a member of the Academy of International Business (AIB) and the International Studies Association (ISA)

Daniela Perozo Coste
Project Management Specialist
Presidential Office for Information and Communication Technologies of the Dominican Republic

Daniela Perozo is a Project Management Specialist working at the Presidential Office for Information and Communication Technologies of the Dominican Republic, passionate about agriculture, youth empowerment, and international trade. 

In her academic experience, she is currently studying for a master's degree in International Development at the University of Edinburgh, holds a master's degree in Diplomacy and Consular Services at INESDYC, and a bachelor's degree in International Business at APEC University. In the past, she has worked in the maritime and business sector. 

Nowadays, she is a Project Specialist for the Direction of Digital Government Transformation at the Governmental Office for ICT's development in the Dominican Republic. 

Steve Whittaker
STEM Instructor
Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College

Dr. Steve Whittaker is a STEM Instructor at Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College. Kittitian; Analyst; Consultant; Environmental Health and Climate Change Researcher; Epidemiologist; Statistician; Educator; Occasionally published writer; Sometimes graphic design artist; Chronically likes to combine STEM academic principles with artistic pursuits, e.g., prose, poetry, photos, essays, and think-piece;. 3x Ivy League Survivor; Eternal consumer and curator of Caribbean culture; Literature.

lover and people-watcher.

Shanna Challenger
Offshore Islands Conservation Programme Coordinator
Environmental Awareness Group in Antigua

Shanna Challenger is the Offshore Islands Conservation Programme Coordinator for the Environmental Awareness Group in Antigua. She is the former coordinator of the Redonda Restoration Programme, where she successfully led the team restoring the Caribbean's top priority island for conservation through invasive species removal. With the Environmental Awareness Group, she has worked with the conservation of the critically endangered Antiguan Racer Snake, and regularly conducts terrestrial and marine wildlife monitoring surveys. The results of her work have been documented in popular media outlets such as BBC, the Guardian and National Geographic.

Shanna was recognized in 2017 by Caribbean Beat as one of the Top 25 Outstanding Caribbean Achievers Under 25. In 2019, she was awarded the prestigious Chevening scholarship and has a Masters oF Science in Conservation Biology from the University of Kent with the award-winning Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology.

Désirée Van Gorp
Professor and Chair
International Advisory Board at Nyenrode Business University

Désirée van Gorp is Professor of International Business and Chair of the International Advisory Board at Nyenrode Business University. She is visiting Professor at MIP Politecnico di Milano (Italy) and Renmin University (China). Other positions include Board member of Atradius Crédito y Caución S.A. de Seguros y Reaseguros, Advisory Board member of the World Trade Organization Chairs Programme and the International Institute for Social Studies and ECP NL.

Désirée is also a Supervisory Board member of Atradius, NBTC Holland Marketing, Missing Chapter Foundation and on the Board of the Young & Bold Foundation and the Committee of Recommendation of AMREF Flying Doctors.

Kirk Humphrey
Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy

Kirk Duncan Matthew Humphrey is a Barbadian politician and the current Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy. He is the first Minister to hold this post and was appointed in May 2018 as part of the new administration. The focus of the ministry is to streamline and coordinate Barbados' Blue economy and to explore new industries and revenue streams from the ocean while conserving and preserving the marine environment in most sustainable ways.

He holds a degree in Management from the University of the West Indies in Barbados, A Masters Degree in Social Policy and Planning from The London School of Economics and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University. A trained social scientist and community practitioner, Mr. Humphrey believes that the blue economy can make a real difference for people in Small Island Developing States.

Danielle Howell
Disaster Risk Management and Consultant

Danielle Howell is a Disaster Risk Management Consultant who started her career interning at the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) in 2015 post graduating from University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus with a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental and Natural Resources Management.

Ms. Howell joined the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) in 2016 where she spent five years as a Consultant and a Programme Officer. Danielle’s portfolio at the DEM included working with the Technical Standing Committee on Coastal Hazards and coordinating the Coastal Hazards and Earthquake Smart Month of Activities, inclusive of the annual Caribe Wave regional exercise. 

Ms. Howell’s biggest project at the DEM involved working closely with The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Tsunami Ready Recognition Pilot Programme, to ensure that the north western coast of the island of Barbados received its Tsunami Ready status. Success was achieved in September 2020 when Shermans, St. Lucy to Mullins, St. Peter was recognized as Tsunami Ready. During this interim, Danielle also maintained the DEM’s social media platforms and was the brainchild behind the annual “Run Tsunami Run: 5K Walk and Run”. 

Over the years, Danielle facilitated many presentations on Introduction to Disaster Management, participated in the World Bank’s Understanding Risk Conference as a youth panelist and attended the Environmental Management and Sustainable Development training course in Suzhou, China.

In 2020, Danielle captured the prestigious Chevening scholarship funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and travelled to the United Kingdom to pursue a Master’s of Science in Coastal and Marine Resources Management at the University of Portsmouth. Her dissertation focused on bridging the relationship between coastal and marine management, disaster management and public communication and was titled “A critical evaluation of public attitudes and perceptions to coastal hazards: A case study of Barbados”. It is anticipated that this research will aid in shaping a communications strategy for coastal risk management in Barbados by increasing public awareness and education that will assist the country to become a better prepared and resilient coastal island. 

Danielle is a current member of the Kiwanis Club of Barbados Young Professionals and the Caribbean Youth Environmental Network (CYEN) where she sat on the Executive Board during 2019- 2020 calendar year.

Loren Newman
Government Affairs Lead
World Economic Forum

Loren Newman, Government Affairs Lead, Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution at the World Economic Forum since August 26, 2019.

Originally from Napa, Loren pursued a passion for literature and politics to Stanford before joining then Senator Obama’s Presidential Campaign in 2008. From there, he spent four years building partnerships for Google, one year as a curious backpacker, and two years completing his MPP at the Harvard Kennedy School.

 More recently, Loren returned from three years with Alibaba in Hangzhou, China creating and facilitating programs designed to promote inclusive growth with entrepreneurs and policymakers in the developing world. He currently manages three C4IR Centres in Africa and the Middle East, co-designing policy for new technology.

Ajani Lebourne
Vice President
Saint Lucia National Youth Council

Ajani Lebourne serves in various capacities as a Leadership and Career Coach, 1st Vice President of the Saint Lucia National Youth Council and Vice Chair- Advocacy and Partnerships for the Commonwealth Students’ Association. He presently studies Political Science at the University of the West Indies.

Ajani is a young leader and professional with expertise in Training and Development, Life Coaching, Leadership and Organizational Management for NGOs. Since 2014, Lebourne has served in leadership capacities within several Civil Society, Public and Private Sector spaces. He is recognized nationally as a changemaker and team-player, dedicated towards improving the leadership capacity of young Saint Lucians. As a student leader, Ajani advocated strongly for equity in education through student support programmes and curriculum reform to maximise the potential of students at all levels. These efforts led him to become a recipient of the 2017 Queen’s Young Leader award and Saint Lucia's Outstanding Student Leader in 2016.

Ajani is an optimist and firm believer in the power of thought leadership to transform lives.

David Johnson
Let’s Unpack it

David Johnson is the Founder of a mental health advocacy group called “Let’s Unpack It”, with a vision to create a safe space for young people to discuss and learn about Mental Health and Wellness, and inspire the development of National Mental Health Policy. A twenty-two year old Medical Student and Mental Health Advocate whose company has amassed some 1000+ followers since the organization’s inception, and the Executive team has grown to 9 members, drawn from 7 small island states. As an advocate, David has yielded several opportunities to promote Mental Wellness as an important facet of human development, youth empowerment and holistic health.

Rukaiyah Abdullah
Herbert Smith Freehills

Rukaiyah Abdullah is a Solicitor at Herbert Smith Freehills. She is a young West African social entrepreneur and commercial lawyer with strong values on paying forward and giving back to society.

Rukaiyah has worked and lead numerous SDG related youth groups including the Australian chapter of the UNCTAD Youth Action Hubs. Rukaiyah has additionally sat on a Board to represent the interests of young ethnic minority groups in Austraila. Rukaiyah currently works as a lawyer at a Global Band 1 ESG law firm.

Rukaiyah is also the CEO of a luxury lifestyle social enterprise that was established to assist with contributions towards bridging the development divide across the African continent.

Tember Cadette
Do Something Different

Tember Cadette holds the position of a Chairman and Founder of Do Something Different, an entirely youth-driven, non-profit organization that seeks to assist and empower underprivileged youth in Saint Lucia. She is a twenty-three-year-old philanthropist and advocate born and raised in Saint Lucia. 

She attended the St. Joseph’s Convent Secondary School and the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College where she graduated with an associate degree in General Studies. She is currently reading for her Bachelor's Degree in Digital Business at the University of Westminster in the United Kingdom. As her most recent achievement, in 2020 she was awarded the Saint Lucia Medal of Honor Silver for eminent service rendered in the field of youth development and voluntary service. She also received nominations for Outstanding Youth Fellow and Youth of the Year at this year's Saint Lucia National Youth Awards (2020). Tember additionally also serves as a Sustainable Development Movement Ambassador for the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States, and a One Young World Ambassador representing Saint Lucia. 

Aside from her active philanthropy, Tember is also a content creator and avid reader who aspires to become a Digital Brand Strategist in the near future. As a Digital Brand Strategist, she hopes to assist young entrepreneurs in the Caribbean in taking their brands online successfully and sustainably. 

Government of Barbados

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