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AIESEC Alumni 40 under 40
In a time that society largely recognises the importance of global leaders, large impact across regions, building considerable fortunes from start-ups, AIESEC took the opportunity to publish a list of Alumni that have incredible stories that represent the importance of thinking global and acting local. Looking at Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin & Larry Page, or Marc Andreessen you might think there aren’t too many inspiring and empowering stories out there. Through this list, AIESEC intends to showcase that there are far more stories than just the ones the common person would know about. We found 40 extraordinary stories of people under 40 years old, that come from all corner of the world and sectors: from technology, health care, sustainability, finance, an entrepreneurship. What do they have in common? They are creating a positive impact, being role models for their communities, enhancing local leadership, innovating and growing their businesses/products/ideas. They have a global mindset, while applying local expertise by being entrepreneurs. Ready to know more about them? Check our AIESEC Alumni 40 under 40.
Table of Contents Introduction Sarah Endline and Ardantya Syahreza Pedro Santos and Theofilos Vasileiadis Gabriela Albescu and Diego Molano Fernando Mendes and Ted Kouri Marianne Knuth and Jarda Dokoupil Márton Svékus and Mairi Jüriska Ryan Peden and Tori Anderson Emanuel Gävert and Piyush Tewari Rajeev Mecheri and Brenda Nwagwu
40 under 40
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Stefan Palarie and Anirban Blah Brodie Boland and Kate Larsen James Eder and Paul Coffey Shudzeka Jean Louis and Chad Park Mojmír Jiříkovský and Kurt Archer Vincent Kalimba and Vinay Jaju Lassaad Ghachem, Jeremy Higgs and Abu Musuuza Teia Gavrilescu and Mohamed Fawzy El-Haw Yasmine Khater and Richard Seshie Ahedor Piyush Suri, Ripunt Mehta and Tamer Zikry
12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
Sarah’s favourite quote:
Sarah’s company, sweetriot, is 100% human, globally responsible, irreverent and built for a new generation. sweetriot produce natural and healthy chocolate in a way that builds Latin American communities, supports fair trade, showcases artwork on every package, and proves that business can be done responsibly, plus is really tasty!
“Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
She often calls sweetriot an ‘AIESEC company’ as she believes the values inside were directly crafted from her personal experiences in AIESEC – teamwork, vision, ownership, positive energy.
40 years old in 2011
Sarah Endline sweetriot Founder and CEO/Master & Chief Rioter United States
Sarah founded sweetriot in 2005. sweetriot’s products are sold in over 2,000 stores including Whole Foods Market, Safeway, Wegmans, Zabar’s. It also owns the title of being the very first food product ever sold at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Design Store. sweetriot was named a finalist on Fast Company’s ‘Fast 50’ list and in the Top 3 of Fortune’s Small Business Competition. The sweet treat has been called out as a ‘Sustainable Product & Green Gift’ by Vanity Fair, CNN, Food & Wine, and was selected for the New York Gift Show’s “Sustainability: Design for a Better World”. Sarah’s work and sweetriot have been featured by the New York Times, Today Show, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, Business Week, Gourmet, People, and more. Sarah has a Bachelor from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Ardantya is a well known and respected alumnus in the AIESEC community in Indonesia. In 1998-1999 he served as President of AIESEC Indonesia, and during the following 5 years he gained experience in marketing research and advertising companies. In 2005 he started his own business, K-Food Indonesia, which is a small enterprise leveraging the local potential of the Indonesian food industry. He also initiated PT. Marketing Komunikasi Indonesia, a strategic marketing communication and research agency to help brands in Indonesia interact with their target market. “As an entrepreneur, as well as the excitement and adrenaline of making business, I believe being an entrepreneur is about taking responsibility to lead change; it is our job is to seek opportunities and initiate innovations for the people and the society” Ardantya recalls, “Being an entrepreneur is a noble job and carries great responsibility, to take care of our employees and to ensure the better living of our stakeholders.”
34 years old
In an interview with Ardantya, he mentions the following “Entrepreneurship, in Indonesia, is our key to become a welfare nation. A normal welfare nation needs at least 2% of the total population to be entrepreneurs. Indonesia still has only 0.18% of its total population engaged in entrepreneurship. There is still a lot of work to do and it needs the support of current entrepreneurs. An entrepreneurship solution can help address unemployment and poverty in Indonesia.”
Ardantya Syahreza Owner & CEO at K-Food Indonesia Owner & CEO at PT. Marketing Komunikasi Indonesia Indonesia
40 under 40
After serving as President of AIESEC International in 2003-2004. he joined DHL as the Management Assistant of the CEO of DHL in Asia Pacific. He continued his career in DP DHL until 2009. In this time he worked as the Regional Program during 4 years in Singapore and then as Regional Costumer Manager in Hong Kong, where he was responsible for commercial customer relations with some of DP DHL’s main clients in AP such as Dell, Adidas and Nike. In 2009 Pedro decided to return to his home country, Portugal, where he started his own business, a beauty spa chain. After getting that project off the ground Pedro decided to devote himself to what really inspires him, which is working in the area of people development. Currently Pedro is one of the Directors at Sintese Azul, a renowned training and consultancy firm in Portugal.
33 years old
Pedro Santos Sientese Azul Director Portugal
“One of my favourite quotes is “Success is a journey, not a destination”. For me success is to achieve the goals that were set but also to do it in the right way. It is to be happy with the now; it’s not only about looking to the future or to the past” Pedro remembers, “I try to live my life with a purpose and have a positive influence in everything I do. I have moved from a very successful corporate life to a small organization which has a focus on working with people because I feel that’s where I can have a stronger contribution. My vision in life is to help individuals to discover and develop their dreams. This is what moves me in life.”
Pedro’s motto is:
Theo’s favourite quote:
Only A+ people make A+ organizations Theofilos has been a role model for a generation of AIESECers in Greece, as he has managed to overcome a climate of resistance to entrepreneurial innovation in Greece, by building his own group of successful companies. Currently Theofilos is the CEO of Group IMI, his exhibition business. He is also the VP of Strategy for CareerBuilder in Europe, Middle East and Asia, which creates new business in India, South East Asia and the Middle East. Theofilos is a true inspiration for many people, as he is also a founding member of Melampous, an NGO fighting skin cancer. He is also participating in the Millennium Promise initiative in Malawi, Africa. Theofilos is a proud Harvard Alumni, graduating from the OPM at Harvard Business School in Boston in 2010.
35 years old
Theofilos always refers to AIESEC as the single most powerful and life-changing experience in his life. “AIESEC unlocked my potential, creating a leader out of me and guiding me to see the world as my oyster! If I hadn’t set foot in the AIESEC office in October 1994, my life wouldn’t be as it is now...” In his words: “Defining success by itself is narrowing its real meaning. Paraphrasing Aristotle, success is not an achievement, it is a habit. If I could locate the characteristics of successful individuals, I would say that it is if their dreams are more important to them than their achievements. Success isn’t the sum of what you conquered in the past, but a combination of what you live through today and what you dream for yourself and the people around you in the future.”
Theofilos Vasileiadis Vice-President Strategy EMEA at Careerbuilder.com Founder- CEO of Group IMI Greece
40 under 40
Gabiza, as people know her, was involved in AIESEC during 7 years leading projects first in Romania and Moldova and then in AIESEC International as President for the term 20072008. Gabiza is an agent of positive change, committed to bring new ways of organising communities into structures that effectively generate a sustainable world and a connected humanity as a force for good. After her experience in AIESEC Gabiza joined Future Considerations where she worked in designing and delivering large scale organisational transformation and leadership programmes with key clients across several sector such as TATE Britain, BP, KPMG and HSBC. 28 years old
Gabriela Albescu Director The Hub Romania
Recently Gabiza joined The Hub as a member of the global team overseeing the organisational development and design as part of the efforts of The Hub to become the leading global network in stimulating social innovation and entrepreneurship.
Diego, from Colombia, is currently the High Commissioner and Director of the Presidential Agency for Social Action and International Cooperation - “Acción Social”. This is the government agency responsible for social affairs in Colombia. As part of his work in Acción Social, Diego was one of the architects of the Law of Victims, recently approved by the Colombian Congress, which establishes a framework to repair those Colombians who have been directly affected by armed conflict. He also carries the responsibility of applying and executing this law as the person responsible for social affairs in Colombia. Diego was part of AIESEC International team during 1992-1993 and he holds an MBA from Columbia University, US. “Inspiration and role-model: Diego is the clearest example of the positive leadership that AIESEC creates in society for Colombian youth. He is a true change maker who is changing the lives of millions of Colombians who live in poverty and undesired social conditions.” Lucas Florez – President AIESEC Colombia 2008-2009.
40 years old in 2011
Diego Molano High Commissioner and Director of Acción Social Colombia
40 under 40
Fernando is an entrepreneur like no other; he was one of the founding members of AIESEC in Mozambique when the initiative began in 1999. Over the past few years, Fernando has started several companies in Portugal and Mozambique. His first project in 2001 was On-Spot Marketing, which was the first campus marketing agency in Portugal. In 2002, he started his second company; Q21 is a consultancy company and he founded together with another AIESEC Alumnus. It was in 2005 when he initiated Kulunga in Mozambique, a market research and training company which recently merged with Portugal’s largest market research agency. In 2007, Fernando started Weekeego, which is a platform to promote community tourism. 34 years old
Fernando Mendes BLUE GO Owner and Business Developer Portugal
Fernando’s favourite quote: “If
In the past two years, Fernando started two new initiatives: Patamar is a platform for entrepreneurs in Mozambique, which may be recent but is already supporting six companies in Maputo. His second initiative is CoWork Lab, which is a space for entrepreneurs seeking a collaborative environment in Lisbon. AIESEC still has a lot of impact on Fernando’s daily life. His newest venture is with two fellow alumni, both of whom were Presidents of AIESEC in Portugal. ”AIESEC was the most important school I attended, which is to say the least,“ he recalls, ”The leadership positions I held in AIESEC, especially as President of AIESEC in Portugal, were crucial to build up my self-confidence, develop a strong personal vision and train a portfolio of soft skills.”
I would have asked people what they wanted they would have said faster horses.” Henry Ford
Ted’s favourite quote: “What
you are must always displease you if you are to attain that which you are not.” St. Augustine After his year on the national staff of AIESEC Canada in 1997-1998, Ted participated in AIESEC’s internship programme, taking a position with Delta Marketing, the Latvian office of advertising giant Ogilvy & Mather. In 1999, Ted co-founded Incite Solutions Inc. with Jared Smith (also an AIESEC Alumni). Based in Edmonton, Incite Solutions is an outsourced marketing company that specialises in relationship management and B2B marketing. Incite Solutions won the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Small Business Owners of The Year Award in 2004 and the BDC Alberta Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008. “During my university career 80% of everything I learnt, I learnt in AIESEC. AIESEC was an organisation that gave people the chance to learn about the world and their community. It gave them the opportunity to develop and grow; to make mistakes, 36 years old learn from them and move on. Without this organisation, I wouldn’t have been able to develop my business network at such a young age and I wouldn’t have had the confidence to start my own business right after my internship. AIESEC Incite Solutions gave me the tools to become a young entrepreneur and to do Principal something in which I believed.” Canada
40 under 40
Marianne is a young woman of Danish and Zimbabwean origin. Marianne was President of AIESEC International in 1997 and after her experience in AIESEC she completed her Masters in International Business and Economics at the Business School of Copenhagen in 1999; after finishing her studies she decided with a group of friends to create Pioneers of Change, a global learning community aimed at fostering the understanding, capacities and relationships needed by younger practitioners committed to stepping forward and creating the change they want to see in the world Pioneers of Change attracted over 1,000 individual pioneers in 70 countries, all of whom made a personal commitment to continuous learning and social contribution.
40 years old in 2011
Marianne Knuth Kufunda Learning Village Founder Zimbabwe
After leading Pioneers of Change for three years Marianne returned to her roots in Zimbabwe to start one of her dreams, The Kufunda Learning Village. The purpose of Kufunda Learning Village is to inspire the co-creation of strong life affirming communities in Zimbabwe and beyond by living and sharing the wisdom, practices and social systems that are required for such communities. Kufunda Village strives to be a resource for the world giving people a place where they can explore anything they believe to be possible. Currently, Kufunda is working with leaders from several primarily rural communities in Zimbabwe, in their quest to support life-affirming communities.
‘’I think I must have been born with the passion and love that I feel so deeply for this continent and the people. I know that Africa has many gifts to offer both herself, and the rest of the world, and so in a way I think that Kufunda Village is a part of a dream and a vision I have for an awakened Africa’’ Marianne Knuth. Jarda was actively involved as a member in AIESEC until 2007 when he finished his term as Regional Director for Central and Easter Europe in AIESEC International. After a very strong and meaningful experience in AIESEC Jarda joined Future Considerations in the UK, where he worked as facilitator, learning designer and project manager on clients such as HSBC, KPMG, Thames Water, Shell and AIESEC. In 2010 Jarda founded the Tribe Network, which connects leading individuals and organisations and helps them to do what matters.
30 years old
Jarda Dokoupil Founder and Director at Tribe Network Consultant at Future Considerations Czech Republic - UK
Jarda has over 10 years of experience in facilitating leadership development and social change in over 20 countries. In 2010, he has written ‘The Invitation’ which invites readers to fully step into their lives based on freedom, inspiration and active participation in shaping our future. “It is an invitation to all of us to create a world that we know deep inside us is around the corner.” Jarda mentions. To know more about please visit www.invitationtribe. com, www.jardadokoupil.com or www.tribenetwork.org. Jarda’s favourite quote at the moment is: “Come to the edge. We might fall. Come to the edge. It’s too high! COME TO THE EDGE. And they came. And he pushed. And they flew” Christopher Logue.
40 under 40
Márton was enrolled in AIESEC from 1995 to 2000, and held various leadership positions in AIESEC in Hungary and Switzerland. After the meaningful AIESEC experience he had, Márton worked in several companies such as SIEMENS ICM and Bryanston Square, both jobs had a strong connection with AIESEC. It was in 2004 that he began working for Common Purpose International, and thereafter established the affiliated office in Hungary. Common Purpose is an independent not-for-profit organisation that aims to develop leaders who can lead beyond authority. It targets leaders in profit-oriented, non-profit and state-run organisations and enables them with skills and attitudes to lead our society towards a balanced, more cooperative and sustainable state. Márton measures success by the individuals changed and those that choose to further develop themselves. This mission is achieved through the courses of Common Purpose and these individuals drive change in all levels of Hungary’s society. Márton is widely recognised in Hungary, and in 2010 was awarded the Civilian Knights’ Cross-of the Republic of Hungary by the President of Hungary, László Sólyom. Nowadays Márton is still contributing to AIESEC through mentoring members and by supporting the fast growing internship program by referring AIESEC to other companies. We believe Márton is a clear role model for AIESEC in Hungary today.
37 years old
Márton Svékus Common Purpose Hungary Founder and Managing Director Hungary
Márton’s favourite quote: “We cannot
wait for great visions from great people, for they are in short supply. It is up to us to light our own small fires in the darkness.” Charles Handy
Mairi is a committed social entrepreneur in the field of health, especially health promotion. Her most recent experience was running the Health Estonia Foundation and Estonian Business Coalition on HIV and AIDS. In the fall of 2011, she will begin a Masters programme at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden in public health policy, economics and management to continue her contribution to the benefit of improved health globally. In her spare time she assists various civic movements, including World Cleanup 2012 and is a member of AIESEC Estonia’s Board of Advisors. 28 years old
Mairi Jüriska Health Estonia Foundation CEO at the moment on maternity leave Estonia
In AIESEC, Mairi held various leadership positions for 4 years consecutively, enabling her to practice leading people and managing organisations and projects towards a desired state. Thanks to AIESEC, she became aware of her values and found her raison d’etre.
‘’Imagine waking up in the morning, having your loved ones around you, feeling that it is important for you to start working in something sincerely relevant, which depends on you and how well you do your job” is the definition of success according to Mairi. Mairi took on the role of CEO at Health Estonia Foundation right after her term in AIESEC International. During her tenure as CEO, she established the Estonian Business Coalition on HIV and AIDS. Consequently, she received recognition from the Estonian Network of Non-Profit Organisations and the Chairman of the Estonian Parliament and was honoured by the President of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves. Thanks to her work, more than 15,000 people in Estonia have been educated on HIV and AIDS in the past 4 years.
40 under 40
After completing his time working for AIESEC International in 2007, Ryan moved to Hungary where he established his own business, SELTI International. SELTI provides language training for individuals and businesses in the areas of general English, exam preparation and business training. In 2011 Ryan company began a new joint venture, Bridge Education Centre, in Qatar, providing English training to many different levels of society and business. Ryan 27 years old
CEO at SELTI International General Manager at Bridge Education Centre in Qatar New Zealand
“Happiness for me is very simple. Being able to go a loving home every evening after a day where I know I did everything I could at work to ensure future success” Ryan Peden.
“Since working full-time on my business in 2007, SELTI has grown from a one-man company to a million US dollar plus company, which has provided employment to over 60 people during our 4 year history” Ryan recalls, “We achieved this during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, by developing innovative projects and identifying new markets to approach, while many of our competitors were going out of business. I am proud of the fact that despite the market downturn our perseverance and innovation has meant that as the economy contracted, we didn’t have to fire a single person as we found ways to continue to be profitable, while providing security to our loyal staff during an insecure time. Our company does not only have employees in Hungary, we also have people in the Czech Republic and Qatar. We will not stop until we reach our ambition of being the next major player in the worldwide language education industry.”
Tori has been working in the development sector for the last 9 years where she has focused on issues to do with women’s and youth empowerment, child marriage, micro-credit initiatives and most recently she has represented Australia in establishing and producing a documentary on child sex trafficking throughout Southeast Asia. The film, entitled: ‘Corridors of Children’ is due to be aired on global television in 44 countries towards the end of the year. This documentary will be used by anti-human trafficking NGO’s working in Southeast Asia, as well as by universities across Australia as an educational tool to stop children from being trafficked. In conjunction with this film, Tori has founded the NGO ‘Children United’ (www.childrenunited.org.au) which raises awareness about child sex trafficking and advocates towards tighter law enforcement on child sex tourism. AIESEC has played a strong role in Tori’s life, she was founder and President of AIESEC at Edith Cowan University, a Local Chapter in Australia, and also founded and served as the President of AIESEC in Pakistan. She readily comments that because of her AIESEC days she now has the skills, network and ability to strive to create a positive change. Tori constantly aim to challenge her personally and professionally. The definition of success to Tori is very tangible, and can be measured by each child that she is able to rescue from the sex industry and place into education or vocational training. 29 years old
Tori Anderson Children United Founder Australia
Tori continues to be an active alumni of AIESEC. She is a mentor to several AIESEC members and is a member on the Supervisory Group for AIESEC in Pakistan and has been on this board for the last 6 years.
40 under 40
After his experience in AIESEC International, Emanuel started a fruitful career in Cadbury as a global marketing analyst. In 2010, Emanuel became Innovation Leader for Cadbury-Kraft Foods and today he is Innovation Manager of Global Chocolate in Kraft Foods. Emanuel defines success as living a life of integrity for himself and with his most important relationships. 28 years old
His vision is to make an organisation thrive while being in harmony with all aspects of our society. “It is important to recognise that my business, as any business, has one ultimate goal – return to share owners. Whilst I find it hard to believe that business’ ultimate goal will change in the near future, I do believe corporations are amongst, or even, the most advanced social system in our current paradigm and, as such, one of the
Emanuel Gävert Manager Innovation, Global Chocolate Kraft Foods Sweden most influential” Emanuel recalls.
“Before deciding to join Kraft, Cadbury at the time, I was asking myself if I wanted to be the person trying to tell people inside the gates of businesses that what they are doing is wrong, recognising that I would only have assumptions about how they are actually doing things, or is the best that I can do actually entering the gates to better understand and eventually influence. My thinking at the time, and still today is if I can gain an understanding of how business works, show that I can be successful and expand my circle of influence, while playing by the existing rules, then maybe I can build enough credibility to get the mandate to fully pursue my secret mission.” Emanuel is constantly involved in various organisations and networks. Specifically he is advising Grasslands trust in the UK, a charity committed to preserve grasslands across the UK with the vision of every family in the UK being able to live close by grassland.
Piyush is considered an agent of positive change for his dedication to ensure that the cause of Emergency Care & Road Safety receives immediate attention in India. Piyush founded the SaveLIFE Foundation to prevent unnecessary roadside fatalities by enabling Police and public to become first-responders to victims. The foundation trains police officers and volunteers to provide rapid trauma care, including CPR, bleeding control and spinal immobilization, for road accident victims. Piyush won the 2010 Rolex Award for Enterprise and the inaugural Rolex Young Laureates Award for breakthrough innovation in the area of emergency medical response in India. His story was covered by CNN, BBC, ABC News Australia, the International Herald Tribune and Time Magazine, among others. SaveLIFE Foundation shares two of AIESEC’s values, Striving for Excellence and Acting Sustainably. The recognition received from Rolex, a brand known for its excellence in quality, is in itself a testimony to the foundation’s focus on excellence. SaveLIFE also has a strong focus on sustainability. For instance, not only has the foundation trained Police officers in Delhi but has also helped institutionalize the programme by supporting the Delhi Police Training College add the programme to it’s curriculum, allowing all officers joining the force to learn important life-saving skills. Piyush’s most difficult challenge over the past year has been, “Making a choice between continuing a successful corporate career and dedicating myself full-time to the cause of saving road victims has been the most difficult challenge I have faced in the past year. I have eventually quit my corporate job and now focus full-time on SaveLIFE.”
40 under 40
31 years old
Piyush Tewari SaveLIFE Foundation Founder and President India
Rajeev’s story as a young entrepreneur is an inspiration to many members of AIESEC India. After completing his experience as President of AIESEC India in 1990 and an internship in Sweden in 1991, Rajeev started to build 1993 with his brother a successful company , DATS India Limited (DATS stood for Digital Alarm Technologies). While raising private equity, Rajeev completed an acquisition of an Irish Company before selling the business to Siemens for a tidy sum. During this time Rajeev also started The Mecheri Foundation Trust that provides educational scholarships to students every year and contributes to the life improvement of underprivileged children. He is also the Chapter Chair of Youth Presidents Organisation (YPO). In addition, Rajeev founded the Entrepreneurs Organisation in Chennai, making him a first generation entrepreneur in the building automation and security industry. Rajeev is a successful entrepreneur and a role model for many people. In 2010 Rajeev was inducted into AIESEC’s Global Alumni Hall of Fame.
40 years old in 2011
Managing Director at Mecheri Smart Capital Pvt Ltd India
Brenda is a distinguished business woman in Nigeria, she is accountant by profession but her passion for media lead her to build experience in this industry for over 10 years. Brenda is also a very respected alumnus in Nigeria, since she finished her term a President of AIESEC in Nigeria in 1998 Brenda always supported AIESEC in different ways such as coaching and mentoring, internship raising and as member of the Board of Advisors. “I met Brenda since I joined AIESEC in Nigeria, she was always inspirational to me, she represents the courage and dedication of women in Nigeria. It is almost impossible to go through to AIESEC without making a remark on how much she holds the values and purpose of the organization through commitment, support, passion and dedication.” Elema David. President of AIESEC in Nigeria 2009-2010 Africa Director in AIESEC International 2010-2011
37 years old
Brenda’s idea of happiness: “My idea of happiness is being with family particularly my children, because as time goes by, all that is ever left at the end is family. When I look at my children, I see a part of me that I helped create, and that fills me with immense awe and joy.”
Head of Media Strategy and Planning in All Seasons Mediacom Nigeria Principal Consultant at QTV Media Limited Nigeria
40 under 40
Stefan spent 5 years in AIESEC Romania and Belgium leading teams at local and national levels. During the following seven years, Stefan gained experience in different companies such as IBM, Interact, and P&G. It was in 2009 when Stefan started his organisation, School of Values. School of Values is a modern organisation that supports education with innovative methods combining the experience of trainers, psychologists and educators. School of Values currently holds a strong partnership with AIESEC in Romania where the internship programme plays an important role. “…more than anything else I am driven by a vivid passion for creating something valuable for the Romanian Society. For this I use all the strengths I have gained both in the non-corporate environment, AIESEC and JCI, and in the companies I have worked, DHL, Procter & Gamble, IBM, and Interact.” “The idea of the School of Values (www.scoaladevalori.ro) came up from the questions that have tormented me for some time: How can I help Romania? What am I best at? How can I make my personal and professional experience relevant for the society in which I am living? AIESEC didn’t just “contribute” to my development around these areas, but it helped me to totally build another mentality and believe “I can!”. My expectations about my future and personal performance exploded once I joined AIESEC.“ For Stefan, being successful means, “having a wonderful family with two kids and being appreciated for the value I create in the society by doing what I like.”
32 years old
Stefan Palarie President at School of Values Trainer and Consultant at Interact Romania
After Anirban’s experience in AIESEC concluded in 2002 he founded his first venture, GloboSports, with the celebrity tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi, GloBoSport is an entertainment and marketing company focus on sports. In 2009 Anirban found himself in the entrepreneurial seat once again, starting his own firm, KWAN. Today KWAN is India’s first ever entertainment marketing company with a global outreach. KWAN is present in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore. Anirban built KWAN with a strong social responsibility foundation. In partnership with Akshara Centre, they promote economic independence of socially disadvantaged women through formal, non-formal and vocational education. Through this partnership all the KWAN celebrities and talent help raise scholarships and give financial support to 150 women from Akshara Centre.
Anirban’s idea of happiness is :
33 years old
Anirban Blah Managing Director KWAN India
40 under 40
“Remember that financial and professional success are not what leads to happiness, but rather having a fulfilling and balanced life.”
After finishing his term as President of AIESEC International, Brodie graduated from the University of Calgary and landed a position at the world’s top consulting firm, McKinsey and Company. He worked as a business analyst, gathering more experience in organizational strategy but from a very different perspective than the one he had in AIESEC. After his time at McKinsey, he was inspired to pursue a PhD and is doing so at Case Western Reserve University, one of the top institutes in the world in the field of Organizational Behaviour. He is exploring how whole societies can change themselves to become environmentally sustainable. He has had papers accepted to international conferences, including Academy of Management and the European Group of Organizational Studies. He was also one of ten scholars selected for the distinguished George Washington University - CIBER Summer Doctoral Institute. Brodie is an exemplary case of someone who combined their experience in AIESEC and the idealism and values it fosters, with real world understanding and work, to find an avenue in which he could truly become an agent of positive change. He exemplifies the quote “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs – ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.” 28 years old Brodie’s idea of happiness: “I’m sitting with the people I love around a campfire on a rocky shoreline of Case Westerns Reserve University – Organizational Behaviour a Canadian wilderness lake. The stars and moon PhD Student are mirrored in the still water, and the sounds of our Canada laughter join the call of the loon in the quiet night.”
Kate started her AIESEC career in Auckland in 1998, later working with AIESEC United States (but based in Beijing) in 1999 and 2000 in the project team which opened AIESEC in Mainland of China as China extension manager. After her experience with AIESEC, Kate gainied experience in companies like Yahoo Inc., Future Considerations, and ERM (Environmental Resources Management) consulting.
Kate Larsen Senior Manager, Corporate Responsibility for Asia Burberry New Zealand
In 2006 she entered Burberry as Manager of Corporate Responsibility for Asia. She now leads a team that manages ethical trading and environmental management in the Asia region. As now Senior Manager at Burberry, she continues to also develop global policy. Kate represents Burberry participation in workgroups such as in BSR (Business for Social Responsibility), the Ethical Trading Initiative, Save the Children, Leather Workgroup and with UNCTAD on biodiversity. On a personal note Kate is an avid dragonboater, hiker, and a member of Greenpeace, WWF, Amnesty Intl, and has volunteered teaching english to refuggess in Hong Kong.
“I am an agent of change as I speak up for sustainable development and how we can protect the planet and our people while achieving profit.” 40 under 40
After graduating from university and at the age of 22 James set up his business; studentbeans.com is a website offering the latest student deals, discounts, university advice and job offers for students in different cities of the UK. In 2005 James recognised a need to help students in the UK stretch their loan and save money and time. The site provides a valuable resource to help students make the most of their university experience. James is also an ambassador for Make Your Mark. And he’s a guest lecturer at Birmingham University. “If you ask a group of 15-16 year olds what they plan to do after school, the majority will say, ‘Go to university, then get a job’,” says James Eder. “I ask them, ‘How about starting your own business?”
28 years old
James Eder The Beans Group Co-Founder and Commercial Director UK
Today James leads a team of 24 people in studentbeans.com and the site is now recognized as the leading UK site for marketing to 15-24 years old reaching 600,000 registered users. In 2010 James was named one of the top ten Future 100 Young Entrepreneurs of the year. AIESEC is still very much part of who James is and he is looking forward to continuing his involvement, giving even more back and recruiting more AIESECers for many years to come. James’s favourite quote: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover” Mark Twain.
Paul strongly believes in bringing cultures and people together, an attitude he has role modelled in his life. Paul has spent the last 5 years building a business that encourages and fosters the ability to fluently speak a second language. This business has developed a unique process and software package that allows individuals to rapidly learn a second language, no matter the time available to them. Through his entrepreneurial spirit, Paul actively demonstrates a commitment to personal growth and a desire to help others bridge the language and culture divide inherent in cross-cultural living. In 2003, after his term working for AIESEC globally, Paul was passionate about finding business opportunities that made a difference to society. After learning to speak Mandarin and Cantonese fluently he became a founding manager of Third Ear Publishing, established in 2008. Third Ear Publishing works with teachers in rural China, donating products and expertise, to help them cross the language divide. Starting in October 2008, Paul spent 18 months working on the “Kungfu English Application” for iPhone. In 2010 Kungfu English was the 4th Highest Grossing App in the Chinese iTunes Store, and was the highest grossing app in the education category.
32 years old
Paul Coffey Third Ear Publishing Limited Director Australia
40 under 40
Roles which Paul took in AIESEC helped him to; develop the ability to lead a team; collaborate with stakeholders and believe that the impossible can be achieved, if you work hard enough. Paul left AIESEC with the self confidence and skills required to run a business, as well as the ability to harness the enthusiasm of different people to aid in building the business.
In 2002 Shudzeka co-founded the NAVTI Foundation with other members of his community. “Navti” in the native language Lamnso means “to repair”. NAVTI Foundation’s goal is to act as a pivot centre for rural developmental issues within our region; to help groups work towards self reliance and sustainability. NATVI offers vocational training, education in health, HIV and AIDS and community development to local Cameroonian communities. During the last seven years, NAVTI has changed the landscape of development in the North West Region of Cameroon with his innovative fundraising actions and international network. Shudzeka’s 31 years old leadership has led to the construction of a hospital in Nseh, five primary schools and the ability to receive over 30 volunteers from different counCo-Founder of NAVTI Foundation tries to assist the community. He has organized CEO of BIMELA International ltd Hong Kong and trained many people and groups on how to Cameroon develop projects, create fundraising strategies, manage groups, market and build good governance structures. His charity is the first to crest a poultry farming project with incubator facilities in the region.
Shudzeka Jean Louis Bimela
“We focus our work in a largely rural area of 420,000 inhabitants who suffer from unavailable good road networks, insufficient education facilities, lack of adequate water and electricity and high poverty levels. We strive to assist in the fight against poverty for the underprivileged in our community of which rural women, the disabled and orphaned children face the greatest difficulties.”
Chad is a founding member of The Natural Step Canada. As Director of Programmes and Strategy, Chad oversees the strategy and delivery of The Natural Step Canada’s programmes, including advisory services for sustainable business, sustainable communities, sustainability learning programmes, emerging leaders, and The Natural Step Exchange. Chad is a past national president of AIESEC Canada from 1996 to 1998, and his facilitation and envoy experiences have taken him to dozens of countries around the world. Chad is a great inspiration for AIESEC members in Canada.
36 years old
Co-Founder of the Natural Step Canada Canada
Chad’s favourite quote is an extract of a speech of Vaclav Havel: “In today’s multi-cultural world, the truly reliable path to co-existence, to peaceful co-existence and creative co-operation, must start from what is at the root of all cultures and what lies infinitely deeper in human hearts and minds than political opinion, convictions, antipathies or sympathies; it must be rooted in self-transcendence. Transcendence as a hand reached out to those close to us, to foreigners, to the human community, to all living creatures, to nature, to the universe; transcendence as a deeply and joyously experienced need to be in harmony even with what we ourselves are not, what we do not understand, what seems distant from us in time and space, but with which we are nevertheless mysteriously linked because, together with us, all this constitutes a single world. Transcendence as the only real alternative to extinction.”
40 under 40
In 2007 Mojmír along with Nina Ročiaková and Marián Kobolka started a new company in the field of waste management. In that moment Mojmír and his new partners Nina and Marián, also AIESEC Alumni, observed the positive trend that people in Slovakia was adopting towards the environment, they also realized that in countries such as Norway, Denmark and Germany there was already a strong tradition of composting organic waste and they identify the need of bringing these services to Slovakia. Today JRK Waste Management, offer solutions to households, restaurants and also municipalities to support proper waste management not only in Slovakia but also in Czech Republic and very soon in Hungary and Romania; after one year of existence his company became number one on the Czech and Slovak market. For Mojmír entrepreneurship and social responsibility are important values in his daily life and it was because his experience in AIESEC and his term in the national office of AIESEC in Czech Republic that he developed this values and found his passion for this sector. Through the example of Mojmír members of AIESEC and other young people in the Czech Republic see that the change in society and entrepreneurship is possible and everyone has a chance to make a difference to an entire community and country! JRK Waste Management Owner Czech Republic
26 years old
Kurt has founded 2 NGOs that focus on youth leadership towards finding environmental solutions in a course of two years. The first he began in 2008, Bangalore, India together with AIESEC alumni called myworldmychoice.org. Kurt then brought that program back to Canada and through his AIESEC network launched two chapters, one in Calgary and the other in Guelph in the same year. Now through his mentorship the AIESEC chapter in Lahore, Pakistan is running the program while taking 3 interns! The second organization he founded was Pakistan Sustainability Network which aims to bring together youth and various actors across Pakistan to build the environmental momentum within the country. To date he has engaged over 100 volunteers and dozens of organizations to better coordinate this cause. Success for Kurt is seeing local leaders take initiative, start up projects on their own, or having young people just believing in themselves. ‘’Real success is when norms begin to shift and new behaviours get adopted’’ Kurt mentioned.
Kurts favourite quote is: “There can
be no purpose more enspiriting than to begin the age of restoration, reweaving the wondrous diversity of life that still surrounds us.” Edward O. Wilson
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29 years old
My World, My Choice! / Pakistan Sustainability Network Founding Director Canada
“Be the Change you want to see in the World.” Mahatma Gandhi
Kalimba’s favourite quote:
Vincent may be just 28 years old, but he has achieved great things professionally as he follows his passion about building Rwanda as a country in any way he can. 28 years old In 2009, Vincent started to work for Land O’Lakes under its International Development Division and he helped start a project that supported Rwandan farmers to produce high quality milk so that the industry Land O’Lakes could raise the quality of their produce according to Organisation Coordinator international standards. Today, the project is supported Rwanda by USAID and has been implemented nation-wide. In 2010, Vincent initiated the Rwandan National Dairy Board that represents the dairy sector. Vincent also co-founded DQAL Inc., to assist farmers in ensuring quality milk throughout Rwanda.
Vincent is one of the founders of AIESEC in Rwanda, and it was after his term as Vice-President of Talent Management that he realized his capabilities to make a positive impact on society in the way he felt most needed. He identified that there were no quality testing laboratories for food in Rwanda, and some food had to be imported from neighbouring countries, which increased the price of these goods, making them unattainable by most people. He then applied for a grant at USAID to begin milk and food testing, and that’s why the Dairy Quality Assurance Laboratory became a significant influence in Rwandan’s dairy industry. Since then, he has expanded quality testing to more products to ensure that the right nutrients are included in an entire diet. Kalimba, as he is known by many people in his community, is both a role model and leader for current and former AIESEC members, his colleagues, family and friends. After his internship in GE Commercial Finance in Australia, Vinay co-founded ONergy in 2009 and since then he has been focused on eradicating the use of kerosene and diesel as a source of fuel in rural Indian communities.. ONergy is a renewable energy venture, passionately committed to sustainability and equity, providing energy solutions in rural India while teaching them how to use appropriate renewable technology. ONergy has a vision to “ONergize” the lives of 1 million people in India by 2015. Vinay and his team in ONergy distribute Solar LED Lights, solar home electrification systems, solar water heating systems, solar TV and computers, water purification systems, solar cookers and bio-energy solutions in rural communities. They currently have interest in building such infrastructure and distribute renewable energy solutions in other parts of India without losing focus on the bottom of the pyramid.
27 years old
Most inspiring person for Vinay Jaju: “My mother, for her strength, unconditional love and trust.”
Co-Founder and Director at ONergy India
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Lassaad’s favourite quote: “Failing
to Plan is Planning to Fail.” Winston Churchill
Doctor in Management from the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Lassaad is a recognized expert in e-business and entrepreneurship not only in his home country but also in Canada and Switzerland. One of his latest publication is the book ‘’How to launch an E-Business”. Lassaad is actually professor at the Faculty of Economics and Management in Mahdia Tunisia. Lassaad is as well a very important alumnus for the AIESEC community in Tunisia, he was a member of AIESEC from 1994 to 1998 and held dif38 years old ferent positions such as national vice-president of AIESEC in Tunisia and Organizing Committee President of several national and international congresses. E-Business Consultant Professor at the Faculty of Economics, Mahdia Tunisia
Jeremy comes from Sydney Australia but during 2008 he moved to Pakistan where he became President of AIESEC in Pakistan; after his AIESEC experience Jeremy stayed there to lead a new organization, NOWPDP.
26 years old
NOWPDP is the first of its kind in Pakistan and seeks to make significant difference to the quality of life and welfare of persons with disabilities by the provision of strategic support augmenting the functioning of organizations, and with, such persons across Pakistan.
Network of Organizations Working for People with Disabilities, Pakistan (NOWPDP) NOWPDP acts as a catalyst for 200 organisations CEO working on disability in Pakistan, while implementing Australia innovative projects in the areas of education, employment, awareness and rights. In the past two years, NOWPDP has placed 200 people with disabilities into full-time jobs. It is also conducting training sessions for teachers in the province of Sindh (teaching techniques) and in partnership with the AKDN in the Gilgit-Baltistan region (inclusive education). Without Jeremy’s experience in AIESEC, he never would have travelled to Pakistan, and developed the skills necessary to lead an organization at the age of 26. His experience in AIESEC has connected him to powerful concepts and models of understanding of societal impact, relevance, and social entrepreneurship. He continues to inspire local Pakistani AIESEC members and contributes regularly to AIESEC Pakistan by attending events, working on the supervisory group for the national office, delivering trainings, speaking at conferences and working as a mentor.
Abu was President of AIESEC in Uganda in 2003-2004 and after his experience in AIESEC Abu started his career with Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, spending 6 years and 3 years as Director for East Africa to become one of the top consultants on social entrepreneurship in East Africa. In 2009 Abu co-founded Village Energy Ltd to bring safe and sustainable electricity to the 85% of Ugandans who live in villages without access to electricity. The company employs peri-urban and rural based Ugandans to assemble, market and install low cost solar systems for rural and peri-urban households and small businesses. Village Energy will be the first social enterprise that assembles micro-solar systems locally in Uganda. Abu’s favourite quote is “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult” Seneca.
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31 years old
Abu Musuuza Co-Founder of Village Energy Uganda
Teia comes from Romania but her intense AIESEC experience offer her the opportunity to work in 5 different countries including Belgium, Germany and Costa Rica where she served as national president.
Teia 32 years old
‘’Everything you do in AIESEC is about leadership; to join the organization in Bucharest I had to apply and be selected among 400 other students. I had to pass through a selection process where it’s important to have a vision for the future of the organization, share it with the others and get them on board to actually make it happen!’’ Teia mentions during an interview with AIESEC members.
After her AIESEC experience Teia worked for ABN Amro Bank during tree years in The Netherlands and Romania. After that FuturePlus (ViitorPlus) she worked in the national department on President and founder of Future Plus Strategic Planning for Sustainable DevelRomania opment within the National Ministry of Environment in Romania. Teia was in charge of the National Sustainability Strategy revision, approval and implementation. Moreover she was also the focal point for Romania’s Sustainability strategy within the EU institution. In 2006 she started her own NGO and today Teia is the President of ViitorPlus (www.viitorplus.ro). ViitorPlus is dedicated to implement sustainable development at individual, organizational and community level. Some of the latest projects of ViitorPlus include ‘’Adopt a Tree”, “La Recyclette” and “ECOmmunity” these projects are focus on environmental sustainability. Teia idea if happiness: “Living my dreams. The ones related to my life, what it’s up to me, what I consider important and relevant, what makes sense for now and the future.”
Mohamed has been always interested in projects that can support the education system and development of kids in Egypt and after working during two years in projects related with education Mohamed decided with another 3 CoFounders to start Taleeda Foundation which is the envision to be social venture launch pad. Educate-Me is one of the projects that Taleeda is driving right now. This project aims to enable unprivileged children to discover their own aspirations and dreams, they guide them on what changes can make evolve their community and they train them on transferable skills such as being proactive, building their own vision, problem solving, active listening, deductive thinking and team work using a highly creative and experiential learning approach. AIESEC was a great university and platform for Mohamed to discover, practice and develop most the necessary skills for him to start his own foundation as well as holding such an important position in Alcatel-Lucent as the Head Employee Learning in Middle East and Africa at such a young age. Mohamed’s favourite quote: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, who am I to be CEO and Co-Founder at Taleeda Foundation brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, Head of Employee Learning in Alcatel-Lucent MEA who are you not to be?...” Marianne Williamson Egypt 26 years old
Mohamed Fawzy El-Haw
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Over the past few years, Yasmine found a way to support causes through a distinct approach. In 2010, she and other AIESEC Alumni from Singapore made a trip that helped her to discover the power of supporting women and children living with disadvantages through sports.
Yasmine 26 years old
Yasmine Khater Co-Founder of Gone Cyclin’ Coach at Transpiral Egypt
Yasmine’s idea of happiness: “Happiness for me is to continuously challenge myself to follow my passions and transform them from thought to action. I am happy on a daily basis but even more if I have had to go to hell and back to spark the change.”
Yasmine is not deterred by challenges; this is evident in the tasks she has taken up for herself and her community in previous years. In 2010, Yasmine co-founded the organisation Gone Cyclin’; Gone Cyclin’ recruits young professionals to take up endurance cycling challenges such and raise funds for the purpose of investing in and empowering women in marginalized areas to become self sufficient. In 2010, 3 riders raised 25,000 USD and helped 360 disadvantaged women in Timor. There are currently 12 riders preparing to embark in an effort to raise additional funds for impoverished women in Cambodia. Yasmine was a member of AIESEC from 2004 to 2008, the last position she held was as project manager for AIESEC in Middle East and Noth Africa.
Richard Seshie Ahedor is a seasoned sustainability professional with over 7 years of experience. He currently serves as the Clean Energy Practice Leader for Green Cross Ghana where he incubates 2 ambitious programs of delivering a sustainable charcoal industry and greening clinics in Ghana. He previously served in different capacities with Ashoka Innovators for the Public, Innovest Group and Microsoft. He co-founded ‘My World, My Choice!’ a premier international sustainability leadership program for youth based in Canada and is the acting Executive Director of the AIESEC Alumni Sustainability Network, a not-for-profit membership association of over 400 Sustainability professionals. Richard is also recognized as a British Council Global Changemaker fellow. In 2008 and 2009 Richard went on internship with AIESEC to India as an analyst for a micro insurance programme for Ashoka; afterwards Richard went to Morocco where he worked for Microsoft as a coordinator in the area of Community Affairs. ‘‘AIESEC has helped me many ways; the environment I grew up in Cote D’Ivoire when the civil unrest happen made me realize what was the difference I want to make in my community, at that time I was enrolled in AIESEC and the people I worked with became my family and support, that is why I try to show gratitude to this organization by contributing back in different ways.’’
“If you’re doing your best, you won’t have any time to worry about failure.” H. Jackson Brown
Richard’s favourite quote: 24 years old
Richard Seshie Ahedor Co-Founder at Vivus Executive Director at AIESEC Alumni Sustainability Network Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana
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Piyush and Ripun are both entrepreneurs and AIESEC Alumni. They met when they were members of AIESEC in India in 2003. After their AIESEC experience both of them started a new business with 5by7. 5by7 offers design and innovation to medium scale businesses with technologically savvy systems, personal attention and customer focus. Both of them often support AIESEC in India in different ways like coaching members of the local office in Delhi, by sponsoring events or helping raising internships in 5by7.
28 years old
Piyush Suri Co-Founders 5by7 India
“Ripun and Piyush have always been a motivation to AIESECers. Having done brilliantly well in their AIESEC careers, they moved ahead to doing really well in their professional careers. Looking at them achieve so much in their start up 5By7, which is now rapidly moving towards a SME, is highly inspiring. They illustrate leadership, hard work and the concept of breaking mindsets in the best possible manner. They are not just fantastic working professionals, but are also amazing individuals who have a true sense of responsibility towards the society.”
30 years old
Ripun Mehta Co-Founders 5by7 India
Aastha Govil AIESEC in India - National Vice-President 2010-2011
Tamer was part of AIESEC International team in 2007-2008. After his experience as Director of AIESEC in MENA Tamer started a master in Management of Telecom and Digital Business at Instituto de Empresa in Spain. It was after his studies in Spain when he joined Ericson to start a successful career there. “Tamer Zikry is an unforgettable name in the history AIESEC Egypt and also AIESEC MENA. His dedication and commitment towards this organization has been evident not only throughout his experiences and roles in AIESEC but also in his massive support to the organization as an Alumnus. Tamer never hesitated in supporting or empowering young leaders, being one 27 years old himself, he has personally taught me many things and I am grateful and indebted for his support that helped me be where I am toHR Business Partner and Subject Matter Expert for Talent Management day.” Ericsson Egypt Nour El Din Hussein
President AIESEC in Egypt 2010-2011 AIESEC International Country Development 2011-2012
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Acknowledgements AIESEC Alumni â€“ 40 Under 40 Publication Manager: Fatima Rocha
Layout and Design: Larry Ioannidis
Special thanks to: Ruthie Garelik, Jake Formosa, Hugo Pereira and all AlESEC Alumni who contributed to this first edition. The 40 Under 40 publication is available for download on the global website. This edition was compiled and edited at the AIESEC International Office in The Netherlands.
Copyright ÂŠ 2011 by Stichting AIESEC International Published by Stichting AIESEC International Teilingerstraat 126, 3032 AW Rotterdam, The Netherlands Tel: +31 10 443 43 83 Fax: +31 10 265 1386 Web: www.aiesec.org
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40 under 40
This is a publication of 40 of the best AIESEC Alumni stories describing their life and endeavours post AIESEC.