Yana Peel, Chief Executive Officer Intelligence Squared, Hong Kong SAR Class of 2011
Being a YGL has dramatically accelerated my career path, in terms of both my philanthropic work and my professional trajectory. After leaving investment banking, my work with the arts started on a platform of culture and creativity for the public benefit. Thanks to some of the relationships I have built within the YGL community, I have extended my efforts into new directions where the arts meet technology and democratization. If it wasn’t for the YGL community, I would not have been able to achieve my ideal: connecting culture and technology to bring the arts to unprecedented numbers of people in new ways.
In the past few months, we have used so many YGLs as speakers at our Intelligence Squared events – Jamie Drummond’s expert voice on Africa and ethics, Katinka Barysch on whether Britain and Europe would be happier if they got divorced and Justin Forsyth offering pointed views on whether the West has failed Syria, to name a few. My work has allowed me to take the ideas of my fellow YGLs to wider audiences, while accelerating their reach with televised and digital broadcasts to millions of people all over the world.
YGL Yan Yanovskiy and I recently organized a four-day “Russian discovery journey” in Moscow for YGLs. We spent months curating the programme, so as to be able to reveal every facet of Russia, be it by meeting the foreign minister of Russia or the US ambassador to Moscow, and to enable conversations on a lot of what is being talked about on Russia right now. As YGLs, we all hold ourselves to high standards when executing something for our peers whom we respect so much. So we had to ensure that the calibre of speakers was very high, the mix between press and politicians balanced, the rhythm varied over the four days. We brought speakers from the world of business, technology, innovation, government, media and culture, and visited the finest museums and cultural venues to give our fellow YGLs an understanding of where Russia stands on the global stage today.
As a YGL, you must appreciate the opportunities that being part of this community gives you, and bring to the table what you can. Following on from my association with the YGL community, I am now part of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Role of Arts in Society. In this role, I am trying to formulate and mobilize new models of engagement for the arts – for the benefit of culture, commerce and communities. I am happy that I will be able to put a decade of experience in the arts to use while working with peers to move the arts from the periphery to the centre. Overall, being part of the YGL community has been a wonderful opportunity to concentrate my thinking while broadening my horizons.
“Seventy YGLs from 25 countries left Moscow after a four-day marathon with a heightened understanding of their host country, following discussions with business, third sector and political leaders. Yana and I tried to leave our fellow YGLs with a lasting impression of Russia’s political, economic and cultural landscape, and the message that in order to further the Forum’s mission, a win-win ethos must prevail.”
Yan E. Yanovskiy
Member of the Board of Directors
VERA Charity Foundation, Russian Federation
Class of 2011