Find us on Facebook Find us on LinkedIn Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to our YouTube channel

E&B student chosen to represent Australia at World Economic Forum

13 Apr 2010

James Gifford

The World Economic Forum* has chosen Economics and Business PhD graduate from 2009, James Gifford, as one of its Young Global Leaders (YGLs) for 2010.

James will join 196 other hand-picked YGLs from 72 countries at an annual summit to be held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from 2-7 May 2010. This is the first time the event has been held in Africa and is the largest ever gathering of YGLs. This is followed up with attendance at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2011.

The honour, bestowed each year by the Forum, recognises and acknowledges 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.

James, who now resides in London is Executive Director of UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and has been guiding the initiative since its inception in November 2003. He was selected because of his leadership of the PRI from its inception to what is today a global initiative with the support of 700 signatories representing US$20 trillion in assets.

He said of the honour, "I'm delighted to have received this award in recognition of my work with the Principles for Responsible Investment. This initiative arose, in part, from my PhD research, and it is great to see the academic vision come to life in such a clear way".

James will be joined at the event by a highly influential group of young leaders from various backgrounds of society (business, civil society, social entrepreneurs, politics & government, arts & culture, and opinion & media) including Agatha Sangma, Minister of State - Rural Development (from India), Roger Federer, Professional Tennis Player (from Switzerland), Evan Williams, CEO, Twitter (from the USA), Kimmee Weeks, Executive Director, Youth Action International (from Liberia), Nathalie van Ypersele, Editor-in-Chief, Trends-Tendances (from Belgium), Mandla Mandela, Member of Parliament of the South African National Congress (from South Africa), Wyclef Jean, Singer and Founder, Yele Haiti Foundation (from Haiti), Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen, (Chief Executive Officer, Vestergaard Frandsen (from Denmark), Hidetoshi Nakata, Chairman, Take Action Foundation (from Japan), and Nabil Alyousuf, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Dubai School of Government (from the United Arab Emirates), among others.

More information about the Forum of Young Global Leaders at

Background on James

James' PhD was on the effectiveness of shareholder engagement in improving corporate environmental, social and corporate governance performance. He was a member of the Global Reporting Initiative Working Group on environmental indicators for the finance sector. He has a background in IT and environmental protection. James has degrees in Commerce and Law from the University of Queensland, and a Master's of Environment Management from the University of New South Wales. He is a board member of the Melbourne-based Centre for Sustainability Leadership.

The World Economics Forum

*The World Economic Forum is an independent international organisation 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. (

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.