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World Bank Youth Summit 2019: Smarter Cities for a Resilient Future

December 2-3, 2019

1818 H St NW, Washington, DC 20433


Video credit: 2018 Youth Summit sponsor Digital Creative Visionaries


  • Thanks for joining us on December 2-3! 

    Congratulations to the WINNERS of the #WBGYouthSummit Competition:

    Audience Award Winner: THE BOX BY GREEN THE GENE, Madhav Datt & Kaushal Shetty (India)

    Jury Award Winner: TUVERL, Hope Ndhlovu (Zimbabwe)

    Thank you to all 5 of our fantastic finalists, and to the 900 competition entrants from all over the world. Young entrepreneurs like you inspire us all with your commitment to tacking the most challenging development issues to build Smarter Cities for a Resilient Future!


    About the World Bank Group Youth Summit

    Established in 2013, the Youth Summit is an annual event hosted by the World Bank Group (WBG) to engage with youth globally on the most pressing topics facing our generation. The WBG Youth Summit is an affiliate of the Youth-to-Youth (Y2Y) network, the largest volunteer organization at the WBG, which aims to inspire and empower youth within and outside the institution.  

    The primary goals of the Summit are to (1) empower youth to explore innovative ideas to tackle emerging development challenges, (2) provide youth with the tools to build and engage in impactful projects, and (3) promote dialogue between youth, the WBG, and other key stakeholders globally.

    Youth Summit 2019, Joint the live event on December 2nd and 3rd

    Registrations to attend the 2019 Summit closed on October 13, 2019.

    2019 WBG Youth Summit

    The 2019 WBG Youth Summit will be a two-day interactive event, taking place at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC from December 2-3, 2019.

    The theme for the 2019 Summit is Smarter Cities for a Resilient Future.

    Over recent decades, cities have become a magnet for talent, investment, and for youth seeking a prosperous future. 

    The promise offered by cities is driving unprecedented population growth, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Globally, 4 billion people - more than half the global population - live in cities.

    Rapid urbanization at this scale presents unparalleled challenges. The increasing population density, shocks from environmental pressures, growing infrastructure demands, and the increased expectations from residents and visitors to deliver services that improve their quality of life will all need to be met – at a sustainable cost.

    Smart technologies can be harnessed to create enabling environments for innovation, sustainable economic development, high standards of living, and the improvement of all aspects of community life.These solutions will seek to address problems that lie at the intersection of technology, infrastructure, human development, and sustainable development for cities, which will impact the future of our youth and generations to come. 

    Registrations to attend the 2019 Summit closed on October 13, 2019.


    Watch last year's summit → 

  • DAY 1: Monday December 2nd 2019

    7.15 – 8.30

    Welcome to the 2019 WBG Youth Summit: Check in and meet your fellow delegates over a light breakfast

    8.30 – 9.15

    Opening ceremony




    Welcome from the World Bank Group President

    • David Malpass, President, World Bank Group

    Youth for a Resilient Future

    • Gabrielle Williams, Manager, 2019 WBG Youth Summit




    Setting the Stage: Building a More Inclusive World

    Cities have become magnets for talent, investment, and youth seeking prosperous futures. Cities are driving population growth, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, and are presenting unparalleled challenges. Increasing population density, shocks from environmental pressures, growing infrastructure demands, and increased demand for services that improve quality of life will all need to be met – at a sustainable cost. In this discussion we delve into the concept of smart cities and how to create enabling environments for innovation, sustainable economic development, high standards of living, and the improvement of all aspects of community life.

    • Miguel Gamiño Jr., Executive Vice President for Global Cities and Enterprise Partnerships, Mastercard

    9.15 – 10.45

    Group Breakout Session 1: Introduction to the Smart City Solutions Case Challenge 


    Delegates will be introduced to the Smart City Solutions Case Challenge and will form their team

    Over the course of the Summit, participants will gain real time experience in a team-based, simulated scenario identifying key challenges and opportunities in tackling issues related to the development of a smart city. Through facilitated working sessions led by leading development practitioners, the participants will work with their peers to develop and present their solutions at the conclusion of the Summit. The Case Challenge will provide a unique opportunity to demonstrate delegates' knowledge, problem-solving skills, and creativity while co-creating and networking with their peers and experts in the field.

    10.45 – 10.55


    10.55 – 11.45

    A Smart Future for All: A People-First Approach to Designing and Implementing Smart Cities


    At the core of any Smart City is its people. Residents, and especially youth, are not merely passive recipients of services and so should be actively engaged in co-creating how their city operates, providing feedback through established mechanisms to help improve service delivery. Panelists will share their vision of the use of data and smart solutions to engage with and better serve citizens while discussing how privacy and anonymity can be maintained and addressed

    Moderator: Elleanor Robins, Investment Officer, IFC Cities

    • Nigel Jacob, Co-Chair, Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics – Boston

    • Magdi Amin, Investment Partner, Omidyar Network

    • Nkechi Coker, GovTech Program Manager, Code for Africa

    • Mara Balestrini, CEO, Ideas for Change

    11.45 – 13.00

    Networking lunch


    Delegates to visit the Youth Summit atrium exhibition ‘Youth Engagement Zone’ – collaborators and youth organizations to host information booths

    13.00 – 14.00

    Group breakout session 2: Smart City Solutions Case Challenge


    Think inclusive. How does your smart city solution engage, protect, and serve the needs of residents to create a city that enables a better future for all?

    14.00 - 14.05Driving Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation
     Axel van Trotsenburg, Managing Director of Operations, World Bank will kick off the round of lightning talks, discussing the importance of the youth entrepreneurship and innovation.

    14.05 – 14.45

    Lightning talks: Smart Young Changemakers


    Get inspired by smart and young leaders! A series of short, dynamic talks given by young entrepreneurs and innovators focusing on their experience with smart cities.

    • Anurag Agarwal, Co-founder, Janajal Safe Water
    • Winnie Chepkemoi, Rotary International
    • Kelly Lovell, CEO Lovell Corporation & Founder, MyEffect
    • Alejandra Ospina, Founder, TRIBECO Sustainable Fashion

    14.45 – 15.35

    Charting a New Path: A Smarter More Resilient-Focused Approach


    By 2050, cities are projected to add another 2.5 billion people. But as urbanization, industrialization, and consumption grow, environmental pressures and natural disasters multiply. Environmental degradation can have a cascading effect on residents’ physical health and their quality of life—as well as on the long-term sustainability of the city itself. Panelists will discuss how technology can contribute to building cities that can adapt to a greater variety of chronic stresses and withstand shocks such as climate change, pollution, and disaster risk.

    Moderator: Saleema Vellani,  Co-Founder & COO, Innovazing

    • Leah Lazer, Research Analyst, Coalition for Urban Transition
    • Christina Wong, Office of Energy & Infrastructure, USAID
    • Alexandra Levin, Director, Municipal Services Division, Citi
    • Steven Rubinyi, Disaster Risk Management Specialist, World Bank

    15.35 – 15.50


    15.50 – 17.00

    Group breakout session 3: Smart City Solutions Case Challenge


    Think sustainable. How does your smart city solution contribute to resilience?

    17.00 – 17.15


    17.15 – 17.45

    Lightning talks – Learn from Young and Smart Entrepreneurs


    Get inspired by smart and young leaders! A series of short, dynamic talks given by young entrepreneurs and innovators focusing on their experience with smart cities.

    • Dick Muyambi, Investment Officer, IFC
    • Charity Kagwi, Head of Criminal Justice Program for Eastern Africa and Wambui Kahara, Regional Youth focal point for Eastern Africa, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

    • Holti Banka, Secretariat, Youth-to-Youth (Y2Y)

    17.45 – 18.00

    A Smart Way Forward: Investing in Human Capital to Prepare Youth for the Future of Work


    Annette Dixon, Vice President, Human Development, World Bank will discuss the path forward on how we can further invest in youth to prepare for the future of cities and jobs

    18.00 – 18.30

    Youth Voices Heard Around the World (MC Atrium Stage)


    Join a special dialogue with regional World Bank Group Senior Management to explore how we can work together to make youth voices heard around the world.

    • Hafez Ghanem, Vice President, Africa, World Bank
    • Humberto Lopez, Acting Vice President, Latin America and Caribbean, World Bank
    • Anna M. Bjerde, Director, Strategy and Operations, Middle East and North Africa, World Bank
    • Victoria Kwakwa, Vice President, East Asia and Pacific, World Bank (TBC)
    • Cyril Muller, Europe and Central Asia, World Bank (TBC)
    • Hartwig Schafer, Vice President, South Asia, World Bank (TBC)

    18.30 – 20.30

    Delegate reception 


    Network with and meet your fellow WBG Youth Summit delegates to share your experiences/knowledge, learn from others, and have some fun!


    DAY 2: Tuesday December 3rd 2019

    8.00 – 9.00

    Another exciting day at the WBG Youth Summit: Check in and exchange your smart ideas with fellow delegates over breakfast

    9.00 – 9.30



    Sameh Wahba, Global Director, Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience & Land, World Bank, will welcome you to the second exciting day of learning and solution discovery for Smarter Cities for a Resillient future.

    9.30 – 12.00

    2019 Youth Summit Competition – final round

    Opening remarks


    Live presentation

    • Klo’e Ng, Team Project Cube, Singapore 2018 WBG Youth Summit Competition Audience Choice Winner

    • Annie Liang, Competition Lead, 2019 WBG Youth Summit

    Listen to the inspiring 5 final teams of the 2019 WBG Youth Summit Competition live pitch their innovative ideas.  Beginning this summer with almost 1,000 proposals, 5 finalist teams have made it into the final round of the 2019 WBG Youth Summit Competition. No one is better placed than young people to innovate and overcome the obstacles faced in an era of fast-paced, technology-driven change. So, this year’s competition challenged young social entrepreneurs to submit innovative proposals for scalable enterprises that leverage smart technology to build sustainable and inclusive cities that will serve the needs of 1 million people by 2030. They will propose their innovative solutions that address (i) the rising impacts of climate change and pollution on cities; and/or (ii) promote urban inclusion to enhance social, political and economic empowerment.


    • TUVERL: Hope Ndhlovu (Zimbabwe)

    • KHAALISISI: Aayushi KC (Nepal)

    • QUIPU: Mercedes Bidart (Argentina) & Gonzalo Ortega (Spain)

    • THE BOX BY GREEN THE GENE: Madhav Datt (India) & Kaushal Shetty (India)

    • SOSO CARE: Nonso Opurum (Nigeria)

    12.00 – 13.00

    Networking lunch

    13.00 – 14.00 

    Smart Foundations: Realizing the Full Potential of Infrastructure by Leveraging Technology


    For a city to become smart, it must be connected. The underlying digital infrastructure including a network of data-collecting sensors and devices, comprehensive broadband and wireless networks, and platforms on which data can be stored and shared must be in place. Technology reduces the physical and transaction costs of gathering information on usage patterns. With an unprecedented volume of data points in hand, cities can get more out of their existing infrastructure systems. Panelists will articulate how technology changes cities’ infrastructure needs and how these technologies can be used to enhance decision-making. 

    Moderator: Lesly Goh, Senior Technology Advisor, World Bank


      • Makhtar Diop, Vice President, Infrastructure, World Bank

      • Emmanuel Nyirinkindi, Director Transaction Advisory Services, IFC

      • Dion Jerling, Co-founder, Connect Earth

      • Al Jenkins, Advisor and Strategist, Wireless2020; former Deputy Commissioner of Telecommunications Planning, NYC Department

      • Sanjeet Pandit, Head of Smart Cities, Qualcomm Technologies

      14.00 – 14.15 


      14.15 – 15.30

      Group breakout session 4: Smart City Solution Case Challenge


      Think fundamental. How has your team leveraged the full potential of smart infrastructure for your smart city solution to be functional, inclusive and sustainable. Final allocated time to put together your smart city solution in a creative way.

      15.30 – 15.45


      15.45 – 17.00 

      Group breakout session 5: gallery walk and presentations


      Showcase your team’s creative and innovative solutions to WBG and other subject matter experts demonstrating the ingenuity and innovation of young leaders to shape our future

      17.00 – 17.30


      17.30 – 18.00

      Beyond the Nomenclature: Leveraging Digitalization for the Benefit of All Communities



      Let’s explore the essence of digitalization – how can communities benefit from the next leap of digital change and what is needed to orchestrate it across stakeholders, both public and private, targeting economic, societal and environmental aims, cumulating in a New Deal that is digital in nature.

      • Bas Boorsma, Chief Innovation Officer, Change=; Professor of Practice, Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University; Vice President, Cities Today Institute; Former Digitization Leader, Cisco; Author of "A New Digital Deal"; Member of the Board, The Smart City Association Italy (TSCAI)

      18.00 – 18.30

      Closing remarks and WBG Youth Summit Award Ceremony

      Closing remarks

      Merza Hussain Hasan, Executive Director and Dean of the Board of Executive Directors, World Bank Group, will conclude the 2019 Youth Summit and announce the jury and audience award winners of the 2019 WBG Youth Summit Competition.


      Group photo of all Youth Summit Delegates!

      18:30 – 21.00

      Delegate reception







      The 2019 WBG Youth Summit is going mobile! 

      We’re proud to announce our mobile app is now live and can be downloaded at

      We teamed up with CrowdCompass to build an app that will make this years’ experience a lot more valuable:

      ·         Access the event schedule and customize your agenda

      ·         Read speaker bios and bookmark your favorites

      ·         Get to know the Youth Summit Committee members working behind the scenes

      ·         Check out the exhibitors and locate their booths

      ·         Get to know our sponsors 

      ·         Get important updates through push notifications

      ·         Contribute your thoughts, ideas, and photos to the activity feed

      ·         See who’s attending and share contact information by networking with other attendees

      Don't have iOS or Android? Verify your account by using the mobile web version of the app at


    1. Speaker Biographies

      Anurag Agarwal,
       Co-founder, JanaJal Safe Water

      Over 20 years of diverse experience in operating, advisory and investing roles as a social entrepreneur, investment banker, private equity investor, Board member, and academic professor. Passionate about social enterprises, impact investing and entrepreneurship.

      Co-Founder of Supremus Developers (brand name JanaJal), a social enterprise impact venture focused on bringing clean drinking water to millions of lower income people in India and South East Asia. Dispensed over 200 million liters of water, without using any plastic containers, since launch through our proprietary clean drinking water ATM machines being installed over the country that offer water at 10% cost of bottled water. Working with not for profits, governments and corporations on CSR projects to build national footprint of ATM machines and water entrepreneurs.


      Magdi Amin, Investment Partner, Omidyar Network

      Magdi Amin is the Managing Director with Omidyar Network (ON), focusing on global strategy, early-stage investment in beneficial technology, and leads ON’s digital identity program in Africa.  ON’s vision is for a world in which everyone has access to beneficial technology that empowers people and protects their privacy and security.

      Magdi is on external service from the World Bank Group, where he worked for nearly two decades. Most recently he managed Corporate Strategy at the International Finance Corporation and IFC’s Economic Advisory Board.  Earlier, he led World Bank and IFC private sector reform programs in Southeast Asia, Africa, and MENA, with a strong emphasis on institutional reform and anticorruption.  He led the World Bank’s Private Sector Development programs in Sudan and Ethiopia from 2005-2008 and started his WB career in Thailand during the Asian Financial Crisis.

      Prior to the World Bank Group, Magdi worked in corporate turnaround management consulting and commercial banking.  Magdi received an A.B. from Princeton University and an M.A. from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). 

      Mara Balestrini, 
       CEO, Ideas For Change

      Mara is a Human Computer Interaction (HCI) researcher and a technology strategist. She is the CEO of Ideas for Change, an innovation agency advising cities, businesses and institutions. Mara’s work sits at the intersection of civic technology, data, co-creation and Action Research. She has authored over 30 publications on these subjects and coordinated projects such as Making Sense EU, Bristol Approach and #DataFutures. Mara is also a co-founder of SalusCoop, the first Spanish cooperative for citizens’ health data.

      Mara earned a PhD in Computer Science from the Intel Collaborative Research Institute on Sustainable Connected Cities (ICRI-Cities) at University College London (UCL). She also holds a BA in Audiovisual Communications and a MSc in Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media. She is Senior Faculty at the IAAC and a visiting lecturer at the the Royal College of Art (RCA). Her work has been awarded at ACM CHI, ACM CSCW, Ars Electronica, among others, and featured in international media such as the BBC, The Guardian, The Financial Times and El País.

      Mara is also member of the UCL Engineering Exchange. Previously she was a project manager at the Fab Lab Barcelona, a research assistant at the Group of Interactive Technologies (GTI), at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona), and worked as a journalist in Latin America.

      Holti Banka, Chair, Youth-to-Youth (Y2Y)

      Holti Banka is a Financial Sector Specialist at the World Bank in Washington, DC, working on financial inclusion. He is also a the Chair of Youth-to-Youth - the largest volunteer community of the World Bank. He received his PhD in International Development/Economic Policy from the University of Maryland and his BA in Economics and Mathematics from Williams College.

      Ferid Belhaj, Vice President, Middle East and North Africa, World Bank

      Ferid Belhaj took up the position of World Bank Group Vice President for Middle East and North Africa on July 1, 2018. Prior to this, Mr. Belhaj served 15 months as the Chief of Staff of the President of the World Bank Group.

      From 2012 to 2017, Mr. Belhaj was World Bank Director for the Middle East, in charge of World Bank work programs in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Iran, based in Beirut, Lebanon. In this capacity, he led the Bank engagement on the Syrian refugee crisis and its impact on the region, including the creation of new financing instruments to help countries hosting forcibly displaced people; the ramping up of the Bank drive towards the reconstruction and recovery of Iraq during and after the ISIS invasion and the scaling up of the Bank's commitments to Lebanon and Jordan. 

      Before taking up his Mashreq assignment, Mr. Belhaj served as World Bank Director for the Pacific Department (2009-2012), where he developed a regional strategy that scaled up Bank engagement in small and fragile states, and tripled lending operations of the International Development Agency, one of the five institutions under the umbrella of the World Bank Group that provides interest-free loans and grants for Low-Income Countries. 

      From 2007 to 2010, Mr. Belhaj was the World Bank’s Special Representative to the United Nations in New York, where he engaged with various UN agencies on a range of programs, mainly climate change, the Millennium Development Goals, fragile and post-conflict states and the global financial and food crises. 

      Ferid Belhaj served as World Bank Country Manager for Morocco (2002-2007), where he developed a new and multifaceted dialogue with one of the best performing Middle-Income countries. 

      A Tunisian national, Mr. Belhaj joined the Bank in 1996 as Senior Counsel in the Legal Department, managing a number of legal and judicial reform projects. He also served as Bank Counsel for countries, including Egypt, Morocco, Iran, Algeria and Thailand. 

      Anna Bjerde, Director of Strategy and Operations, Middle East and North Africa, World Bank

      Anna Bjerde is the Director of Strategy and Operations in the Middle East and North Africa Region of the World Bank. In this position, Anna oversees strategy and work programs for the World Bank in the Region and is the deputy to the Vice President. Over her career, Anna has worked extensively on the Middle East and North Africa and is an expert in energy sector policy and reform. Prior to joining the Middle East and North Africa Region, she held a similar position in the Sustainable Development Vice Presidency, encompassing agriculture, irrigation, climate change, environment and natural resources, social and urban development, and disaster risk management, energy and extractives, transport, digital development as well as water and sanitation. In this role, Anna oversaw a portfolio of about $162 billion in development projects and programs delivered by over 2,000 staff across the Bank’s country offices and HQ. Anna has over 25 years of experience working in development in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and East Asia and South Asia. Most of these years, Anna has focused on infrastructure policy and financing with a specific interest in low-carbon, inclusive and sustainable development. Anna is an experienced leader and manager, with experience of overseeing large and decentralized workforces and country offices as well as forging strong bilateral and multilateral partnerships. Anna has a master’s in business and economics from the University of Stockholm.



      Bas Boorsma, Professor of Practice, Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University

      Bas is a leading urban innovation and digitalization specialist & executive with over 17 years of experience in the 'smart city' space. Bas is Vice President EMEA of the Cities Today Institute. He also serves as Professor of Practice at the Thunderbird School of Global Management at at Arizona State University. Bas is also Chief Innovation Officer at Change= (, a fast-growing Living as a Service company. He also serves as Member of the Board, at the Smart City Association Italy (TSCAI). Bas is the author of the well acclaimed book "A New Digital Deal". (September 2017 -

      Bas served in various global and regional leadership positions at Cisco (2007-2018). From 2015 to 2018, Bas served as Cisco's Digitization lead for the Northern European region at Cisco. In this capacity he managed a series of city engagements, leading the way on Internet of Things related innovations for, with and in cities. Bas also served as a member of Cisco's global lighthouse team that managed a portfolio of smart city lighthouse engagements globally. Typical innovations delivered include Smart Light, Smart Water Defenses, Smart Work Centers, Smart Parking, Learning Hubs, high end broadband deployment as well as the architectures and service models that will help drive the digitalization of our communities at large.

      Specialties: Community Innovation. Internet of Things. Smart Cities. Future of Work. Complex Governance Structures & initiating and managing them. Entrepreneurship. Carving our niches and new markets. Forging a vision and then 'run' with it: Linking leadership & innovations to opportunities and platform.

      Winnie Chepkemoi, Rotary International

      Winnie Chepkemoi Mutai’s passion for fostering women in leadership roles in Africa led her to participate in a six-month pilot program of the Commonwealth Women’s Mentorship Scheme in 2017. She was also a delegate to the East African Youth Summit in 2017 and attended the Commonwealth Women’s Forum in London in 2018.

      A native of Kenya, she was awarded a full scholarship in 2017-2018 for her Masters in Research and Public Policy at Egerton University, Kenya, where her thesis is focused on free maternal health care policy. She also holds a Bachelor degree in Development Studies from Jommo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

      Winnie was on the program committee for the World UN Rotary Convention held last November in Nairobi.

      Nkechi Coker, GovTech Program Manager, Code For Africa

      Nkechi Coker is a seasoned civic technologist passionate about leveraging data and technology to improve the way government engages and delivers services to citizens. For the past 9 years, she has worked with national and sub-national governments, civil societies and journalists in Africa and Asia, championing open data, open governance, govtech and building data-driven communities across Africa.She currently leads the Code for Africa’s GovTech Program to transform the way government works using data and technology and has consulted for the World Bank and the Engine Room on the same cause.

      Prior to this role, she helped set up and managed Code for Africa's  local open-data and civic technology laboratory in Lagos, Nigeria which has satellite teams in Abuja and Benin City, and helped kick started Nigeria's vibrant Hacks/Hackers community of civic 'hacktivists', and Africa’s first female network of data scientists and data journalists - WanaData.

      Her current role and pioneering work as the head for the Edo State Government's open data initiative, where she spearheaded the establishment of Nigeria's first open government portal, has seen her recognized as a thought leader in the open data/open government space in Africa.

      Nkechi is also a Mandela Washington Fellow, a member of the Global Shaper Community, Cape Town Hub and a School of Data fellow. She enjoys writing, reading and travelling in her spare time.

      Makhtar Diop, Vice President, Infrastructure, World Bank

      Mr. Diop assumed his current position on July 1st, 2018. The Infrastructure Vice Presidency comprises Energy & Extractives, Transport, Digital Development as well as Infrastructure Finance, Public-Private Partnerships and Guarantees. In this global role, Makhtar Diop leads efforts to develop sustainable solutions and help close the infrastructure gap in developing and emerging economies. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Diop served for six years as the World Bank’s Vice President for the Africa Region. He was Minister of Economy and Finance of Senegal, where he played a key role in instituting structural reforms aimed at laying a strong foundation for Senegal’s growth in the late 1980s. A recognized opinion leader in the economic and social development field, Makhtar Diop has been named one of the 100 most influential Africans in the world.

      Annette Dixon, Vice President for Human Development, World Bank

      Annette Dixon is the Vice President for Human Development at the World Bank, overseeing the Global Practices for education; health, nutrition, and population; gender; and social protection and jobs.

      She was previously the Bank’s Vice President for the South Asia Region. In managing the World Bank’s engagement in South Asia to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity, Annette led relations with eight countries, including India—the institution’s biggest client. She also oversaw lending operations and trust-funded projects worth more than $10 billion a year.

      Before joining the region, Annette was Director, Strategic Planning in the Budget, Performance Review and Strategic Planning Vice Presidency and Country Director to Central Asia, then South East Asia. She joined the Bank in 1999 and worked as Sector Director to Human Development in the ECA region.   

      Annette is a long-standing champion on gender issues. In South Asia, she has set a target to deliver 100 percent gender-informed projects and interventions, going beyond the global corporate requirements. Under her leadership, the regional priority for South Asia is to support countries to improve Women’s Labor Force Participation.

      Prior to joining the World Bank, Annette Dixon worked for the Government of New Zealand as Chief Executive of the Ministry of Youth Affairs.  She also served as General Manager, Sector Policy; Deputy Director-General in the Ministry of Health; Director of Health Policy, Department of the Prime Minister; and Manager Policy Division, Ministry of Women’s Affairs.

      Born in New Zealand, Annette holds a Master of Public Policy. She was also awarded the Harkness Fellowship in Health Policy and Management at the George Washington University in 1994-1995. 

      Hafez Ghanem, Vice President, Africa, World Bank

      Hafez Ghanem, an Egyptian and French national, is the Vice President of the World Bank for Africa since July 1, 2018. A development expert with over 30 years of experience, Dr. Ghanem leads an active regional portfolio consisting of over 600 projects totaling more than $71 billion.

      Under his leadership, the World Bank supports inclusive growth and poverty reduction by financing projects that boost human capital, support private sector development, raise agricultural productivity, improve access to infrastructure, build resilience to climate change, and promote regional integration. Intensifying assistance for fragile and conflict-affected states, promoting gender equality, and providing economic opportunities for youth are core to his vision for the Africa Region.

      Prior to his appointment as Vice President for Africa, Dr. Ghanem served as Vice President of the World Bank for the Middle East and North Africa from 2015 to 2018, overseeing the World Bank’s engagement with 20 countries. Leading up to this, he was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in the Global Economy and Development program leading the Arab economies project, focused on the impact of political transition on Arab economic development.

      Between 2007 and 2012, he served as the Assistant Director-General at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). He was responsible for the Economic and Social Development Department and the FAO’s analytical work on agricultural economics and food security, trade and markets, gender and equity, and statistics. In this role, he and his counterpart at the OECD coordinated the preparation of the International Organizations’ recommendations to the 2011 G20 meeting on how to respond to the global food crisis.  He also led the reforms of the Committee on World Food Security to make it more inclusive and responsive to country needs.

      Dr. Ghanem began his career at the World Bank in 1983 as a Young Professional. Over the span of 24 years (1983-2007), he worked on Bank operations and initiatives in over 20 countries in Africa, Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, and Southeast Asia. His previous positions at the World Bank include: Country Director for Nigeria where he led a multinational team of more than 100 professionals, managing the Bank’s loan portfolio of some $1.5 billion; Country Director for Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles; and Sector Leader for Public Economics and Trade Policy in the Europe and Central Asia Region.

      He has many publications in professional journals and was a member of the core team that produced the World Bank’s 1995 World Development Report.

      He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Economics from the American University in Cairo and a PhD in Economics from the University of California, Davis. He is fluent in Arabic, English and French.

      Lesly Goh, Senior Technology Advisor, World Bank

      Lesly Goh is World Bank Senior Technology Advisor and former World Bank Group Chief Technology Officer.  She is also a Fellow at Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) Judge Business School and Senior Fellow at National University of Singapore (NUS) Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.  She is newly appointed as Professor of Practice by ZheJiang International Business School (ZIBS).  She focuses on operationalizing technology at scale in emerging countries and leveraging emerging technology to deliver agile solutions for Sustainability Development Goals at the intersection of technology and policy frameworks.  For almost 30 years, her experience on FinTech, RegTech, GovTech spans across both the private and public sectors.  She has worked extensively on the practical application of Disruptive Technology such as Blockchain, AI and IoT.


      Lesly’s experience in the private sector covers a broad spectrum ranging from capital markets, retail banking, commercial banking, asset management, development banks and financial data providers. Her personal mission is to empower women and girls to achieve the highest potential with technology as the equalizer.   

      Dr. Merza Hussain Hasan, Executive Director and Dean of the Board of Executive Directors, World Bank Group

      A national of Kuwait with a reputation for excellence and strategic vision in international leadership and executive strategy across diverse geopolitical and multicultural environments, Dr. Merza Hasan was elected in 2006 to represent thirteen countries as Executive Director to the World Bank Group (WBG). His passion for international development, intellectual rigor, integrity and accountability in governance while building consensus with a variety of stakeholders continued to ensure Dr. Hasan’s unblemished Chairmanship as Dean of the Board of Executive Directors at the World Bank Group since 2012. In his current role, Dr. Hasan has a dual responsibility to his Constituency and the WBG Management; as he considers and decides on the proposals made by the President on IBRD loans and guarantees, IDA credits and grants, IFC investments, MIGA guarantees, and policies that impact the WBG operations.

      Dr. Hasan’s significant and practical experience spans over three decades in Senior and Executive positions in the private and public sector as well as academia. Prior to the World Bank, Dr. Hasan was Undersecretary for Industry in Kuwait; held various positions at the University of Kuwait including Dean of the College of Business Administration; and served as the Cultural Counselor at the Embassy of Kuwait in Washington DC. Additionally, Dr. Hasan’s chairmanship and membership in Boards of several institutions and executive committees have made him well-seasoned in fostering motivation and inspiring teams to feel empowered to accomplish strategic goals while working in the midst of complex operations, contexts, and stakeholders with competing agendas.

      Dr. Hasan holds a Doctorate (Ph.D.) degree in Management Science from the Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine in the United Kingdom; a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Operations Research from the George Washington University in the United States; and a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Southern California in the United States.

      Nigel Jacob, Co-Chair, Boston Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics

      Nigel Jacob is the Co-founder of the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, a civic innovation incubator and R&D Lab within Boston’s City Hall. Nigel’s work is about making urban life better via innovative, people-oriented applications of technology and design. Prior to joining the City of Boston in 2006, Nigel worked in a series of technology start-ups in the Boston area.

      He was also previously the Urban Technologist in Residence at Living Cities, a philanthropic collaboration of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions, is currently a board member at organizations such as Code For America and coUrbanize, and is an Executive-in-Residence at Boston University. Most recently, Nigel is a Barr Fellow for 2019.  

      Nigel’s work has been written about extensively in magazines such as Wired, MIT Technology Review, Fast Company and books including The Responsive City, by Stephen Goldsmith and Susan Crawford and Smart Cities by Anthony Townsend.

      This ground-breaking work has earned Nigel a number of awards including being named a Public Official of the year in 2011 by Governing Magazine, a Whitehouse Champion of Change and the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation award for 2012. Nigel is also a 12th level Wizardßßß with a special focus on causing chaos in large municipal bureaucracies via befuddlement spells.

      Al Jenkins, advisor and strategist, Wireless2020; former Deputy Commissioner of Telecommunications Planning, NYC Department

      Executive level strategist/advisor of Broadband Network Implementation and Services bridging municipal broadband deployment initiatives with wireless and wireline next generation Smart City technology.  SME on the assessment of real property assets and its viability for neutral host options for third party broadband providers.  Al is the former Deputy Commissioner of Telecommunications Planning at NYC’s Department of IT & Telecommunications (DoITT) with extensive domestic and international experience with Telecommunications & Broadband Planning senior officials and their initiatives to implement Smart City solutions. Extensive knowledge of Federal, State and Local wireless citing and policy issues. Al possesses a BS in Architecture from the University of Maryland.

      Dion Jerling, Co-Founder, Connect Earth

      Educated in South Africa, Dion started his career in the UK and entered the technology and media space during the nascent 'dot-com boom' era of the mid-1990s. This transformational period, together with Dion’s passion for media, technology and Africa, led him to found Connect Africa in 2004. Connect Africa is a socially driven enterprise,  instrumental in extending GSM (mobile phone) coverage to rural communities in Zambia and South Africa.

      Now, with twenty five years of experience in digital technology, 15 of those in connecting the  underserved, Dion is a co-founder of Connect Earth, a development driven enterprise that uses connectivity for economic, social and educational change. "Our purpose is to help fund and advise on sustainable, safe and secure connectivity networks everywhere. My goal is to use these networks to provide half a billion young Africans with access to vital online learning tools by 2050".

      Charity Kagwi, Head of Criminal Justice Program, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

      Charity Kagwi-Ndungu coordinates programs on crime prevention and criminal justice reform under Pillar IV of the UNODC Regional Office in Eastern Africa (ROEA).

      Ms. Kagwi manages the project on Strengthening the Administration of Justice and Operationalizing Alternatives to Imprisonment (PLEAD) with an objective to strengthen efficiency in the delivery of judicial services, thus creating a culture of integrity that values the rule of law in Kenya.  The UNODC ROEA Youth Programme falls within the Criminal Jusice program and under her overall management

      Ms. Kagwi is an attorney with an extensive background and experience in investigation matters and prosecution; she worked on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda for over 14 years on the investigation and prosecution of war crimes, crimes against humanity and Genocide in complex, multi-defendant cases. As Legal Counsel for the Department of Administrative Support Services, she served as the key focal point for the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) and Audit reports.

      Her degrees include a Master of Laws from Lund University in Sweden and a Bachelor of Laws from the National University of Nairobi.

      Wambui Kahara, Regional Youth Focal Point For Eastern Africa, UNODC

      Wambui Kahara is the UNODC Regional Youth Focal Point for Eastern Africa.  She has served as Kenya’s Youth Representative to the United Nations appointed by the Kenya Government. She established the United Nations Youth Delegates programme in Kenya and was one of the coordinators of the UN Joint Programme on Youth. She also has professional experience in programme management at UNDP, UN Environment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Ministry of Devolution and Planning. Wambui has represented the Kenya Government on the youth agenda in many conferences and forums around the world including the 67th-72nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York (2012-2018).

      Wambui has received many awards: The Crans Montana New Leader Award 2018, UCLG Youth Champion for Africa 2018, Ambassador for Peace 2017, Nominee Desmond Tutu Leadership 2016, Rising Star Award 2014, and the China Peace Award 2011 among others. She is passionate about youth development.

      Leah Lazer, Research Analyst, Coalition for Urban Transition

      Leah serves as Research Analyst & Project Coordinator for the Coalition for Urban Transitions. She conducts research on climate change and urbanisation, and how compact, connected cities can improve environmental, economic and social outcomes for all. Her major recent projects have included the 2018 New Climate Economy report and the 2019 Urban Opportunity report. Prior to joining the Coalition for Urban Transitions, Leah was an Urban Development Researcher at Siemens, a Program Manager at a food systems non-profit in Philadelphia, and held volunteer roles on the Mayor of Philadelphia’s Food Policy Advisory Council and the Board of Directors of Fair Food Philadelphia. Leah holds a M.Sc. in Regional and Urban Planning Studies with merit honours from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a B.A. in Food System Studies magna cum laude from Tufts University.

      Alexandra Levin, Director, Citi Group

      Alexandra Levin manages Citi Community Capital’s Strategic Investments business, which is responsible for all non-tax credit CRA-qualifying investing on behalf of the bank.

      Through the Strategic Investment business, Citi has invested almost $1 billion nationwide over the past decade to innovative, impact investments. Structures include double- and triple-bottom line private equity funds, private partnerships, traditional equity, preferred securities, and bonds. The Strategic Investment business targets a wide range of sectors such as affordable housing, education, small business finance, energy efficiency, and economic development.

      Ms. Levin joined Citi in 2004. Prior to her work in Citi Community Capital, Ms. Levin spent four years on Citi’s distressed municipal bond trading desk. In addition to the trading and analysis of distressed tax-exempt revenue bonds, Ms. Levin’s work in municipals involved creating and executing work-outs of distressed municipal projects, including affordable housing, land, power plants, and office buildings.

      Ms. Levin graduated cum laude from Harvard with a degree in Philosophy and a citation in Russian. She is active in a number of local non-profit boards and charities.

      Humberto Lopez, Acting Vice Presdient, Latin America and Caribbean, World Bank

      Humberto Lopez formerly served as Sector Leader, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management, and as the senior Economist in the World Bank's Office of the Chief Economist of the Latin America and Caribbean region. Before joining the Bank, he was a Professor of Economics at the University of Salamanca (Spain) and a Visiting Professor at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Dr. Lopez received a B.A. degree from University of the Basque Country, where he studied economics. He then studied at the University of Warwick (UK) where he got his M.Sc. (1991) before attending the European University Institute of Florence (Italy) for his Ph.D. in Economics (1995).

      Kelly Lovell,
      CEO Lovell Corporation and Founding Chair Youth 2030 Challenge

      Kelly Lovell is a 16 time award-winning entrepreneur, speaker and global youth influencer, sought out for her expertise in engaging Millennials and Generation Z. With a finger on the pulse of youth-led innovation and connections to the most prominent youth organizations, Lovell's network reaches 10 million socially engaged millennial influencers across 70+ countries.

      Featured by Forbes, INC., Globe & Mail, FOX News, Entrepreneur, and more, Lovell is ranked among the top 0.1% influencers on topics related to entrepreneurship, future of business, marketing, and youth organizations (Klout).

      In recognition of her transformative impact, Kelly Lovell met Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II in person and received the Queen's Young Leader in 2016 for her work in advancing social innovation and youth leadership.

      “In all my work, I try to exemplify passion, and commitment to challenging life’s limitations to bring about positive social change. My mission is to inspire, leaving footprints on the hearts of others; to empower individuals, particularly young, to believe in their self and create a better future for generations to come.”

      David R. Malpass, President, World Bank Group

      David R. Malpass was selected as the 13th President of the World Bank Group by the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on April 5.  His five-year term began on April 9, 2019.

      Mr. Malpass previously served as Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs for the United States.  As Under Secretary, Mr. Malpass represented the United States in international settings, including the G-7 and G-20 Deputy Finance Ministerial, World Bank-IMF Spring and Annual Meetings, and meetings of the Financial Stability Board, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. 

      In 2018, Mr. Malpass successfully advocated for the capital increase for the IBRD and IFC as part of a larger reform agenda featuring sustainable lending practices, more efficient use of capital, and a focus on improving living standards in poor countries.  He was also instrumental in advancing the Debt Transparency Initiative, adopted by the World Bank and IMF, to increase public disclosure of debt and thereby reduce the frequency and severity of debt crises.       

      Prior to becoming Under Secretary, Mr. Malpass was an international economist and founder of a macroeconomics research firm based in New York City.  Mr. Malpass served as chief economist of Bear Stearns and conducted financial analyses of countries around the world.

      Earlier in his career, Mr. Malpass served as the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Developing Nations and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Economic Affairs.  In these roles, he focused on an array of foreign policy and development issues, including the United States’ involvement in multilateral institutions; the World Bank’s 1988 capital increase, which supported the creation of the Bank’s environment division; the Enterprise for the America’s Initiative; and Brady bonds to address the Latin American debt crisis. He also served as Senior Analyst for Taxes and Trade at the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, and as Staff Director of the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress.

      Mr. Malpass has served on the boards of the Council of the Americas, Economic Club of New York, National Committee on U.S.–China Relations, Manhattan Institute, and Gary Klinsky Children’s Centers, as well as various for-profit entities.  He is the author of numerous articles on all aspects of economic development.

      Mr. Malpass earned his bachelor’s degree from Colorado College and his MBA from the University of Denver.  He was a CPA; and undertook advanced graduate work in international economics at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and has studied Spanish, Russian, and French. 

      Mr. Malpass and wife Adele Malpass, a journalist, live in Washington DC. They have four children and share a strong family interest in development issues. 

      Dick Muyambi, Investment Officer, IFC

      Muyambi joined the IFC through the Young Professional Program. He is currently in the IFC Infrastructure group focused on the Telecommunication, Media and Technology sector.

      Previously Muyambi was an investment banking associate at Bentley Associates. He has also worked in asset management and corporate development. Before transitioning to investments, he was an infrastructure engineer at Clark Construction in the DMV area.

      Muyambi holds a dual degree in Civil Engineering & Economics from Bucknell University and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

      In his free time, he enjoys cycling, running, playing football (aka soccer) and watching basketball.

      Klo'e Ng, Project Cube (Singapore) 

      Klo’e Ng, cofounder of Project Cube, is an urbanplanner by profession, and a serial entrepreneur. Project Cube is a modular, mobile classroom with a companion digital application. Packed with teaching equipment and learning materials targeting preschool children, the cube can be customized and deployed rapidly, with a interest in helping children in areas of high displacement, conflicts, and natural disasters. These areas often lack proper education infrastructure, and Project Cube strives to help affected children continue their education meaningfully. Klo’e is passionate about causes related to urban development and education, and has done work in international urban planning, education, and entrepreneurship. Klo’e graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Master in Urban Planning, and also holds a Master in Applied Urban Science and Informatics from NYU. She is currently working on Project Cube and concurrently working as a graduate teaching assistant in an urban data analytics course at MIT. Project Cubehas received funding from the MIT Sandbox entrepreneurial program and has completed the initial prototype.

      Emmanuel Nyirinkindi, Director Transaction Advisory Services, IFC

      Emmanuel Nyirinkindi is a Ugandan national and is currently the Director Transaction Advisory Services at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank Group. Mr. Nyirinkindi joined IFC in 2006 as a Senior Investment Officer in IFC Johannesburg Office. He was the Global Head of IFC’s Public-Private Partnerships Advisory Services prior to his current position. Over the past decade, Mr. Nyirinkindi has established a strong record of leadership and execution in advising governments in designing and bringing to market commercially robust PPP projects that provide high quality, affordable and efficient infrastructure and social services to the public across a variety of sectors.

      Prior to joining IFC, Mr. Nyirinkindi worked for the Government of Uganda’s Ministry of Finance where he was responsible for the introduction of PPPs in the electricity and railway sectors, and coordinated legal and regulatory reforms in the basic infrastructure sectors. He also previously worked in the petroleum products industry in Uganda and with Makerere University’s Faculty of Commerce. He holds an MBA from the University of Kansas and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Makerere University, Kampala.

      Alejandra Ospina,
      Founder, TRIBECO Sustainable Fashion

      Alejandra specializes in helping sustainable fashion brands integrate and communicate sustainability strategies and policies along the production chain in the textile industry. She is passionate about encouraging others to fulfill their professional dreams.

      With more than 7 years of experience working in Human and Social Development in organizations such as the Organization of American States (OAS), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Alejandra is passionate about finding real and efficient solutions to development generation through social entrepreneurship.

      In addition to her work as Director of TRIB • ECO, Alejandra is the co-founder of TRIB • ECO Foundation, is a consultant in Corporate Sustainability, Lecturer in Sustainable Fashion and collaborates with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), supporting content development digital impact. She is also an advisor for “Fashion Forward”, an organization that addresses environmental threats and health risks generated by the textile industry; and “Women on the Map”, an organization responsible for promoting leadership opportunities for women.

      Sanjeet Pandit, Head of Smart Cities, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc

      Sanjeet Pandit is the Global Head for Smart Cities practice at Qualcomm, Inc USA and responsible for Carrier and Ecosystem relationships in this domain. His expertise in the telecom industry spans over 20 plus years. He specializes in the areas of Smart City design, creation of Smart verticals, digital transformation and go to market strategies creating an experience that would benefit public private domains and citizen engagements. Sanjeet has worked and created relationships with the Smart city ecosystem partners, resulting in multiple Smart City projects Globally.  

      He has held various senior positions at Qualcomm and was responsible for APAC and India business development prior to leading the Smart city vertical.

      Elleanor Robins, Investment Officer, IFC

      Elleanor Robins is an Investment Officer in IFC’s Municipal & Environmental Infrastructure team, which looks at IFC advisory services and investments in cities, as well as water and waste treatment. As part of IFC’s Cities Initiative, which takes a wholistic and long-term approach to developing strategic partnerships with cities, Elleanor focuses on originating and executing municipal finance transactions across emerging markets.

      Prior to this role, Elleanor was working on investments in infrastructure in Africa. Over the past 7 years she has closed a range of complex transactions in the power and transport sectors, spanning project finance, corporate finance and equity. These have included the first independent power producer in Nigeria, an equity investment in a pan-African renewable energy platform and most recently the expansion of a gas-fired power plant in Cote d’Ivoire.

      Prior to IFC, Elleanor worked in the credit department at Dexia in New York, covering project finance transactions across the Americas (new business and restructurings).

      Steven Rubinyi, Disaster Risk Management Specialist, World Bank

      Steven Rubinyi is a Disaster Risk Management Specialist at the World Bank where he leads the World Bank’s City Creditworthiness Initiative and co-leads the World Bank’s City Resilience Program.

      Mr. Rubinyi has worked at the World Bank for six years, including in the South Asia Region where he assisted on urban and coastal resilience projects in Bangladesh and the Government of Nepal’s housing reconstruction program following the 2015 earthquake.

      In addition to his ongoing work program, Mr. Rubinyi is pursuing a PhD in spatial economics from the University of Oxford.

      Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Managing Director of Operations

      Axel van Trotsenburg is Managing Director of Operations at the World Bank.Previously he was Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean. 

      In his position as VP, he led relations with 31 countries in the region and oversaw a portfolio of ongoing projects, technical assistance and grants worth more than US$30 billion.

      From 2016 to January 2019, he served as World Bank Vice President of Development Finance (DFi), where he oversaw strategic mobilization of resources, and was responsible for the replenishment and stewardship of the International Development Association (IDA), the largest source of concessional financing for the world's poorest countries. He has led the policy negotiations and process for two IDA replenishments, which together mobilized a record $125 billion—$50 billion in 2010 for IDA16 and $75 billion in 2016 for IDA18. Under his leadership, for the first time, IDA leveraged its equity by blending donor contributions with internal resources and funds raised through debt markets.

      In addition, Axel van Trotsenburg oversaw the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) corporate finances. He co-led the World Bank Group's efforts to obtain a capital increase which resulted in shareholders endorsing a transformative package in April 2018, including an increase of the IBRD capital by $60 billion. He also co-chaired the replenishment negotiations for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) that were successfully concluded in April 2018 and was responsible of a multi-billion-dollar trust fund portfolio.

      Apart from his experience in managing World Bank finances, Mr. van Trotsenburg has had extensive experience in country operations and managing regional programs. Prior to his role as Vice President of DFi, he served as Vice President for the East Asia and Pacific Region from 2013 to 2016. From 2009 to 2013, he served as Vice President for Concessional Finance and Global Partnerships.

      From July 2007 to July 2009, Mr. van Trotsenburg was Country Director for Colombia and Mexico, and from 2002 to July 2007, Country Director for Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. From 1996 to 2001, he was the Senior Manager of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, the largest and most comprehensive debt relief program for poor countries, which delivered debt relief packages of close to $30 billion for 20 countries. In the beginning of his career, he worked as Senior Country Economist for Côte d’Ivoire and Economist for Guatemala.

      Prior to the Bank, he worked at the OECD in Paris. Mr. van Trotsenburg is both Dutch and Austrian. He holds a master’s and a doctorate degree in economics and a master’s degree in international affairs. He is married and has two children.

      Saleema Vellani, Co-Founder & COO, Innovazing

      Saleema Vellani is an award-winning serial entrepreneur, intrapreneur, and a recognized authority on inclusive innovation. She has helped leaders and organizations around the world break through their plateaus and maximize their impact through her work. Saleema is the COO of Innovazing, an education firm that helps leaders learn 21st-century leadership and communication skills through experiential workshops and programs to strengthen emotional intelligence, increase diversity and inclusion, and boost creativity and innovation. She is also Adjunct Professor of Design Thinking and Entrepreneurship at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and an advisor to several mission-driven organizations, such as Wonder Women Tech, Net Impact, Startup Africa, PCDNetwork, and the World Bank Group Youth-2-Youth Community.

      Sameh Wahba, 
      Global Director, Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice, World Bank

      Sameh Wahba is the Global Director for the World Bank’s Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice, based in Washington, D.C. The Global Practice, which also covers territorial development, geospatial and results-based-financing issues, has a portfolio of close to $30bn in commitments in investment projects, program-for-results and development policy lending and over 400 staff.  Sameh holds a Ph.D. in urban planning from Harvard University, and has over 25 years’ experience in urban development, land and housing, local economic development and disaster risk management issues.

      Dr. Christina P. Wong, Office of Energy & Infrastructure, USAID

      Christina is passionate about advancing sustainable development. She is an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the US Agency for International Development (USAID). She is serving as an Environmental Management Advisor in the Office of Energy & Infrastructure. She is helping to develop and implement USAID’s pollution mitigation strategy with a specific focus on cities. From 2017-2019, Christina was a visiting scholar at the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Beijing. She was awarded the US Fulbright Senior Scholar award and CAS Presidential award. Her research was on comparing China’s sustainable development strategy to other nations. She has published scientific articles on urban ecosystem services in Nature Communications, Ecology Letters, and Water Resources Research.  She has presented on ecosystem services and green growth to government agencies in the United States and China, and international multilateral organizations. Dr. Wong has served on the board of directors of the Student Conservation and the Wilderness Society. She received the US National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the Ford Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellowship. Dr. Wong holds a Ph.D. in Sustainability from Arizona State University, and B.A. in Biology from Occidental College.

      1.      Elleanor Robins, Investment Officer, IFC Cities

      Elleanor Robins is an Investment Officer in IFC’s Municipal & Environmental Infrastructure team, which looks at IFC advisory services and investments in cities, as well as water and waste treatment. As part of IFC’s Cities Initiative, which takes a wholistic and long-term approach to developing strategic partnerships with cities, Elleanor focuses on originating and executing municipal finance transactions across emerging markets.


      Prior to this role, Elleanor was working on investments in infrastructure in Africa. Over the past 7 years she has closed a range of complex transactions in the power and transport sectors, spanning project finance, corporate finance and equity. These have included the first independent power producer in Nigeria, an equity investment in a pan-African renewable energy platform and most recently the expansion of a gas-fired power plant in Cote d’Ivoire.


      Prior to IFC, Elleanor worked in the credit department at Dexia in New York, covering project finance transactions across the Americas (new business and restructurings).

    2. Image
      Delegates at the 2018 Youth Summit in Washington, DC

      Smart City Solutions Case Challenge

      This year’s WBG Youth Summit will feature a new action-based learning component, called the Smart City Solutions Case Challenge. The Case Challenge is a collaborative component that will be integrated into the Summit agenda, with a vision for fostering an environment of belonging and increased engagement between participants, the WBG, and external facilitators.

      Over the course of the Summit, participants will gain real time experience in a team-based, simulated scenario identifying key challenges and opportunities in the development of a smart city. Through facilitated working sessions led by leading development practitioners, the participants will work with their peers to develop and present solutions. The Case Challenge will provide a unique opportunity for participants to demonstrate their knowledge, problem-solving skills, and creativity while co-creating and networking with peers and experts in the field.

      Participants will be divided into groups to form high-performing case teams. Teams will be tasked with devising a proposed solution to the given case prompt within an allotted time, and will present their solutions to a panel comprised of WBG senior leads and partners. With an eclectic array of experiences and skills within every group, individuals will enhance their communication and teamwork skills.


      What is the Smart City Solutions Case Challenge?

      This year’s WBG Youth Summit will feature a new action-based learning component: Smart City Solutions Case Challenge. The Case Challenge is the opportunity for youth to assess some of the challenges faced by cities, think of innovative way to tackle these issues, and implement their solutions in a fictional city case. During the Case Challenge, the participants will have the opportunity to explore each of the three dimensions of smart cities that will be discussed during a panel prior each session: inclusiveness, sustainability and infrastructure.

      What is the difference between the Smart City Solutions Case Challenge and the WBG Youth Summit Competition?

      The Smart City Solutions Case Challenge is a foundational action-based learning component of this Year’s Youth Summit, fully integrated to the two-day Summit. All delegates attending the Youth Summit will participate in the case challenge, with no previous experience required.

      The WBG Youth Summit Competition is an annual competition that runs concurrent to the Youth Summit and will capstone the Summit this year. Ahead of the Summit, young professionals from all over the world were invited to propose innovative, action-oriented, business-level or policy-level solutions that leverage technology to make cities smarter and positively impact the lives of people in developing countries. A jury of experts pre-selected the most compelling proposals and invited five finalists (individuals or teams) to pitch them during the live event. Winners will be designated by both votes from the jury and the audience.

      What kind of work will be done on the case?

      The case is designed to encourage teams to provide solutions to development challenges faced by a city. Participants will analyze the case with guidance from facilitators and case materials to address the problem at hand.

      Who will take part in the Smart City Solutions Case Challenge?

      All Youth Summit delegates will take part in the Case Challenge. Participants will be split into 6 large groups and will work in teams of 5-10 people to solve the challenge.

      Is any previous case experience required?

      No prior experience is necessary. This is meant to be a fun, learning experience. Facilitators will guide delegates through the steps of the case.

      Who designs the case?

      The case has been designed by a partner organization selected by the WBG Youth Summit Steering Committee. The organizers worked with the partner organization to refine the case design.

      Who is facilitating the Case Challenge?

      Facilitators are young professionals with experience of smart cities, urban development and/or engagement with youth. They will guide the participants through the different steps of the Case Challenge.

      When and where will the Case Challenge be held?

      The case challenge is fully integrated into the Youth Summit agenda. Participants will be able to draw inspiration from panel discussions on the three pillars of inclusiveness, sustainability, and infrastructure to apply their learnings to the Case Challenge. The program will include three Case Challenge working sessions that cover the three pillars.

      Is there a participation fee?


      Do participants register individually or as a part of a team?

      The participants MUST have registered individually for the WBG Youth Summit. All teams will be formed randomly. The Case Challenge will test the effectiveness of delegates’ communication and teamwork skills working with people they have not known previously.

      What do participants get out of this?

      • Experience tackling a development case under the mentorship of industry professionals 
      • An interactive opportunity to apply knowledge gained during the panel sessions on inclusiveness, sustainability, and infrastructure
      • Networking and opportunities for collaboration with team members 


    3. Congratulations to the WINNERS of the #WBGYouthSummit Competition:

      Audience Award Winner: THE BOX BY GREEN THE GENE, Madhav Datt & Kaushal Shetty (India)

      Jury Award Winner: TUVERL, Hope Ndhlovu (Zimbabwe)

      Thank you to all 5 of our fantastic finalists, and to the 900 competition entrants from all over the world. Young entrepreneurs like you inspire us all with your commitment to tacking the most challenging development issues to build Smarter Cities for a Resilient Future!

      About the Competition

      By 2030, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities, with the majority of growth in developing countries. Cities are unprecedented hubs of opportunity, but also present some of the most complex and pressing challenges of our time. Everyone has a role to play to address these challenges – governments, international organizations, non-profits, local communities, and individuals – but no one is better placed than young people to innovate and overcome the obstacles faced in an era of fast-paced, technology-driven change.

      The 2019 World Bank Group (WBG) Youth Summit Competition challenged young social entrepreneurs to submit innovative proposals for scalable enterprises that leverage smart technology to build sustainable and inclusive cities that will serve the needs of 1 million people by 2030.

      Young entrepreneurs were asked to submit proposal solutions that:

      (i)  tackle climate change and pollution in urban spaces; or

      (ii)  promote inclusion of the urban poor to enhance social, political, and economic empowerment.

      We received a total of 885 submissions from over 98 countries, and we are proud to announce the 2019 WBG Youth Summit Competition finalists!


      2019 Competition Finalists


      Location: India

      Description of Initiative: The Box is the first-of-its-kind sustainable emergency shelter built by Green the Gene for people fleeing from violence, escaping adverse climate crises, or displaced due to natural disasters. It acts as a mechanism to help restore personal security, self-sufficiency, and dignity in times of crisis and displacement. The Box comes in a light-weight completely energy independent “shelter kit” which can be transported quickly and at scale.

      This innovative solution leverages advanced sensors and applied AI technologies and is based on the concept of delivering the “complete package” - including living spaces, solar panels, rainwater catchment, comprehensive sanitation and composting systems - all folded into a small box-like module with 6 collapsed units, that can be immediately deployed and used by displaced people in crisis situations. The Box comes in a folded flattened module (4 m x 2 m x 0.4 m) - approximately the dimensions of two king sized beds. This light and mobile kit can be easily transported and delivered quickly and at scale to areas affected by natural disasters and refugee camps. It is designed for distribution to relieve both immediate, life-saving and medium term shelter needs for displaced people. Each unit has an intended life-span of 2-3 years and can be reused multiple times in this period. Each shelter can be assembled in less than 30 minutes by 2 people with no tools or specialized training. Each shelter houses 4 people, costs $350 to build (approx. 7x cheaper than conventional refugee shelters), and can be assembled in less than 30 minutes by 2 people with no tools or specialized training.

      MEET THE FINALISTS: Madhav Datt & Kaushal Shetty

      Madhav Datt founded Green the Gene as a small environmental club in school when he was 8 years old. Since then, he has scaled the organization to one of the world’s largest completely youth-run environmental non-profits, with projects in 62 countries, and over 7,000 young volunteers. Green the Gene is developing technology and data intensive solutions for local communities in acute environmental crisis situations, across the world. Madhav studied computer science at IIT Kharagpur and Harvard University, and has worked in technology roles at Google, Citadel and IBM Research. Madhav’s work has received international recognition. He was named Straubel Foundation Impact Leader by J.B. Straubel, Co-Founder and CTO of Tesla and has received recognition from the Prime Minister of India, UN SDSN, HM Queen Elizabeth II, The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, singer Akon, and Audi. He was also invited as speaker at the UN General Assembly high-level event on climate change, TEDx, and the One Young World Summit.

      Kaushal Shetty studied Architecture with a specialization in sustainable environmental design at IIT Kharagpur and Curtin University, Australia. Kaushal is deeply passionate about inclusive products and works with the innovation labs at Mastercard. His designs have been awarded by Rice University, COINS Grand Challenge, Saint Gobain etc. He currently serves as an Associate Director at Green the Gene, where he is leading the design and development of The Box. 



      Location: Nepal

      Description of Initiative: The idea is not to disrupt the existing value chain – i.e. to use Khaalisisi’s own logistics; rather it is to enhance the current system by enhancing the work that Khaalisisi friends already do. This ensures, more recyclables are collected and Khaalisisi friends in the network can increase their pickups; thus earning more revenue, at least 32% monthly increment, and sending less waste in the landfill and building a sustainable recycling culture in the country. For the first time in 50 years waste entrepreneurs are giving away inefficient techniques to trade waste commodities. Waste-entrepreneurs (khaalisisi friends) are currently under-going trainings to use Google Maps for efficient navigation, using apps to provide real-time information. Khaalisisi’s customers have access to reports and data about their recycling history, so they can measure and manage their impact. Khaalisisi has also been recycling items like denims to making school bags that were never before recycled in the country.


      Aayushi Kc is the founder and CEO of Khaalisisi, based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Khaalisisi was founded in 2017 and is a waste management platform that connects local waste entrepreneurs - Khaalisisi friends with waste sellers. There are approximately 13,000 Khaalisisi friends in Kathmandu. The company is connected to 250 of these waste entrepreneurs at the moment. It is a doorstep recycling program where waste hoarders like households, offices, schools, embassies and government bodies are paid for their waste and get reports about their recycling. Khaalisisi has been featured by Google and Aayushi made it to the Forbes Asia's 30 under 30 list in 2018 and Asia 21 Young Leaders, 2019.


      3. QUIPU

      Location: Colombia

      Description of Initiative: We are creating Quipu, a digital marketplace platform for micro-merchants that builds credit, offers a digital means of exchange to previously cash-based, offline, unbanked populations, and unlocks the untapped economic potential of the informal economy. By bringing informal economies online at the touch of a smartphone, Quipu is revolutionizing how data can be used as a community asset and enable the redesign of informal economies so they can grow resilient and (re)develop without having to rely on the global economic systems that marginalize them.  Using the Quipu app, informal micro-entrepreneurs create business profiles to buy, list and sell goods and services on the Quipu digital market using a blockchain-based local token system.  Mapping local businesses enables users reach new customers, access more income opportunities, and grow sales. All users receive and earn local tokens which increases their purchasing power. Tokens spent on the marketplace are spent instead of pesos which means users can save or reserve their pesos for expenses outside of the community.  Quipu leverages transaction data like spending patterns, revenues, seller ratings, to assess creditworthiness and unlock access to financial services. With the Quipu app, the billions of underserved micro-businesses will, for the first time, have proof of their creditworthiness and receive equitable financial services like loans.  Quipu is creating a digital economy where micro-merchants who rely on their innovative capacities to survive can collaboratively thrive and democratize economic growth in the places that need it the most.

      MEET THE FINALISTS: Mercedes Bidart and Gonzalo Ortega

      Mercedes Bidart is the Co-founder and CEO of QUIPU and Policy Analyst of NYC Mayor’s Office New Economy Initiatives. Quipu are local digital marketplaces for low income people to exchange goods and services using local tokens. They use spending patterns data to create alternative credit scores and unlock access to equitable financial services. Her work with Quipu was featured in Forbes and was awarded by MIT Innovation competition, MIT DesignX, Sandbox, Google, Fast Forward Accelerator, among others. Mercedes earned a Masters degree in City Planning from MIT in 2019. During her time at MIT, she focused her research on the potential of technology to foster civic and economic collaboration in marginalized communities. She also collaborated with the Community Innovators Lab, U.Lab, MIT CREATE, and the SPURS Program. Before MIT, she coordinated the projects' development of CIPPEC's Cities Program and run community development projects in informal settlements with the NGO TECHO. She has five years of experience leading consultancy and research projects on sustainable governance and economic development in cities across Latin America.

      Gonzalo Ortega

      Gonzalo is a Spanish architect and urban planner whose passion for urban and social challenges has led him to academic and work experiences in Brazil, Italy, China, and Colombia, from working in architectural projects across scales in prestigious architectural offices to researching smart city initiatives in booming Shanghai or collaborating with NGO´s in informal settlements in Latin American. His passion is using his creative and technical skills for merging technology and innovation with bottom-up processes, local identities, and place-making strategies to achieve more sustainable, equitable and participatory urban development. At MIT´s Master in City Planning he could explore these aspects in an interdisciplinary environment and try to find new solutions for growing urban problems - this is why he joined Quipu and its innovative vision of fostering the long term sustainable growth of communities. At Quipu, he leads design and communications, a role which has also allowed him to explore new areas and put a particular focus on creating inclusive processes for the development of technology that are not only thought for but by the communities. We are living in a pivotal moment of change that demands new solutions, and Gonzalo is extremely thrilled to collaborate and share insights with other passionate problem-solvers from around the world.

      4. TUVERL

      Location: Zimbabwe

      Description of Initiative: Tuverl is an app that seeks to make Public Transport, cheaper, reliable and more accessible to millions of commuters across African countries, by helping Operators reduce operational inefficiencies, optimize their routes and increase their revenue. Tuverl leverages Geolocation, Fintech, and Machine Learning to improve and optimize Public Transport and fundamentally change how commuters in African countries pay for it, starting with Zimbabwe.  Using the Tuverl App, Commuters can live track minibuses, book long distance buses, hail a Taxi and pay for their Public Transportation using fintech mobile app solutions.  The Tuverl Operator App empowers Public Transport Drivers and Operators with tools to broadcast the live locations of their vehicles, manage their fleets, and process fares digitally. This helps these two stakeholders to increase the number of commuters per trip, increase the number of trips per day and reduce usage of resources like fuel and man hours wasted by randomly searching for commuters.   Optimizing Public Transport has the benefit of reducing carbon emissions by Public Transport vehicles. We strive to incentivize Public Transport Operators to maximize the dollar revenue they collect per unit gallon of fuel they use, by offering them a tool that helps them increase the number of commuters per trip and the number of trips per day with the least amount of fuel consumption.  While we are solving is a 2-side marketplace, Tuverl is a for-profit social venture with a B2B business model. We charge Public Transport operators for using the Operator app to reduce operational inefficiencies, optimize their routes, and maximize the number of commuters they pick up per trip and the number of trips they make per day. Our value proposition to Public Transport Operators is based on reducing any wastage of resources, primarily fuel, increasing their revenue and consequently increasing their profit margins.

      MEET THE FINALIST: Hope Ndhlovu

      Hope Ndhlovu, born and raised in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, is a Co-Founder and CEO of Tuverl. Tuverl is an app that seeks to make Public Transport, cheaper, reliable and more accessible to millions of commuters across African countries, by helping Operators reduce operational inefficiencies, optimize their routes and increase their revenue. Tuverl leverages Geolocation, Fintech, and Machine Learning to improve and optimize Public Transport and how commuters in African countries pay for it, starting with Zimbabwe.Hope Ndhlovu holds a B.A in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Harvard University. He is an avid amateur chess player with a passion for social entrepreneurship. He is always looking for ways to leverage Data Science to solve challenges faced by people back home. Hope is a Halcyon Incubator Fellow Cohort 10. In the past Tuverl has participated in the MassChallenge Accelerator 2018 and RevRoad Summer cohort 2019.


      5. SOSO CARE

      Location: Nigeria

      Description of Initiative: With pervasive poverty, poor healthcare financing, high maternal mortality and 3% of Nigerians having health insurance,  healthcare access is a burden on slums and suburb residents. For poor pregnant women, is considered as expensive luxury. Again, Nigeria generates over 34 million tons of waste and about 30 billion PET bottles annually causing poor sanitation which affects the environments. SOSO care as a insurtech social enterprise that aims to use recyclable garbage as a financial resource enabling millions of uninsured slum dwellers, mostly pregnant women and kids, to access micro health insurance and gain points on food stamps.  By linking garbage to healthcare access, micro capital and food stamps, we are killing 2 birds with 1 stone in addressing poor healthcare access, sanitation and environmental sustainability and access to food.

      MEET THE FINALIST: Nonso Opurum

      Nonso Opurum, CEO of SOSO,  is a former banker, Sales Agent, Web designer and development journalist. He is a fellow at the LEAP AFRICA SOCIAL INNOVATION for his works on utilizing technology to improve healthcare access. In 2018 he founded Jaracare Innovation, a digital platform which improves access to healthcare through telemedicine, that was selected as one of among 7 startups from Africa by the University of Basel, Switzerland.

      In 2019, he founded SOSO CARE a low-cost health insurance, which aims to solve health inequality in Nigeria, where over 90% of the 200 million population does not have a health cover. At SOSO CARE, Nonso and his team accept both cash and recyclables to create inclusion for the bottom of the pyramid and urban slums, while also keeping the society clean. Within few months SOSO CARE has gained local and international recognition including been listed by UN habitat as a top 20 solution using waste to create wealth.

      Nonso holds a diploma in Business Studies, BA in Business Studies and MBA in policy and strategic management from University of Greenwich, UK. 


      The 2019 Competition Final 

      Finalists will join the 2019 WBG Youth Summit at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC on December 2-3, 2019. Travel expenses will be covered including lodging for up to four nights for one representative from each finalist team.

      Finalists will showcase their proposals on the second day of the Summit, pitching their proposal in front of a judging panel, attending delegates, and a live-streamed online audience.

      One winner will be selected by the judging panel, and another winner will be voted for by the audience.

      World Bank Regional Director for Human Development Amit Dar, with Klo’e and Yu Qian Ang, 2018 Audience Award winners for Project Cube (Singapore)

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      2018 Youth Summit Competition finalists

      Find out about 2018 finalists' proposals here.

      Read about past winners in the media:

      Nigeria immunization “app” makes a global impact - Tochukwu Egesi, 2018 finalist

      Meet Makkiya Javed: The Winner With A Cause (Ary News) - Sehat Kahani, 2017 winner

      Engineer, VIT student’s renewable energy plan picked for World Bank Youth Summit (Hindustan Times) - Infinite Light, 2017 finalist

      International Youth Day: How a World Bank Youth Summit Winner is Helping Domestic Workers in Malaysia (World Bank) - Pinkcollar, 2017 audience award winner

      Youth Summit Brings New Ideas to Digital Development (World Bank) - 2017 competition summary

      A Competition To Remember (Intel) - 2017 competition summary

      How language, tech open opportunities for refugees (Reuters) - Team NaTakallam, 2016 winner



    5. 2019 Youth Summit Steering Committee


      Gabrielle Williams

      Treasurer and Resource Mobilizer

      Kilian Koffi

      Competition Lead

      Annie Liang

      Content Co-Lead - Plenaries and Keynotes

      Celine Ho

      Content Co-Lead - Plenaries and Keynotes

      Derek Ensing

      Content Lead - Workshops

      Anouk Pechevy

      Communications Lead - Social Media and Website

      Melinda Wood

      Communications Lead - Branding and Outreach

      Stefan Wolf

      Partnership Lead

      Noreyana Fernando

      Event Logistics Co-Lead - Design

      Rafa Abdalla

      Event Logistics Co-Lead - DesignGabrielle Clary

      Event Logistics Lead - Livestream and IT

      Anushuya Pandit

      Youth Engagement Lead - International

      New-Doe Kaledzi

      Youth Engagement Lead - National

      Tebo Molosiwa 


      Filip Jolevski


      Roman Balin

      Senior Advisor

      Fannie Delavelle

      Arts and Entertainment Curator

      Juliana Biondo