LOOK: Two Filipinas Made it to The Forum of Young Global Leaders 2023

The Forum of Young Global Leaders (YGL) is a prestigious program for selected leaders who represent “the voice for the future and the hopes of the next generation.”

The Forum of Young Global Leaders is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and is managed by the Swiss government. Founded by Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum in 1993, the non-profit organization chooses leaders who, in their words, represent “the voice for the future and the hopes of the next generation” to join their roster.

Out of the nearly 100 members of the Young Global Leaders Class of 2023 announced by the World Economic Forum, only two Filipinas made it to the list. Their names? Isabelle Gotianun Yap, EastWest Bank’s Executive Director and Vice President, and Natashya Gutierrez, the Editor-in-Chief of Vice News for the Asia Pacific.

The duo joins the likes of Prince Mateen of Brunei Darussalam and Marissa Giustina, Google LLC’s Research Scientist and Quantum Electronics Engineer, in the prestigious group. “We are delighted to welcome nearly 100 new Young Global Leaders to our community of outstanding people addressing the world’s most pressing problems,” says the Forum of Young Global Leaders website. 

“From courageous journalists uncovering the most critical political and human rights issues of our time to savvy entrepreneurs transforming the way we work with technology, this year’s class is packed with brilliant minds and passionate leaders from business, civil society, academia, and government,” it adds. 

Meet Isabelle Gotianun Yap and Natasya Gutierrez

Isabelle Gotianun Yap is described by Inquirer Business as someone who has finance and business running deep in her veins. After all, she is the granddaughter of Mercedes Gotianun, the county’s first female universal bank president, and the daughter of Filinvest Group President Lourdes Josephine Gotianun Yap.

The Forum of Young Global Leaders calls her “a digital native [who] helped spearhead the launch of Komo, a digital banking service under EastWest Bank, and serves as chair for f(dev), the digital-venture builder and innovation factory of Filinvest Development.” 

As for Natasya Gutierrez—who is currently based in Australia—the Forum of Young Global Leaders describes her as an “experienced multimedia journalist with a demonstrated history of working in the online media industry.” 

She is further said to be “skilled in digital reporting, editing, management, investigative journalism, and content strategy” and “particularly knowledgeable on Southeast Asia, covering women’s rights, politics, corruption, and breaking news.”

The World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders

Annually, the Forum of Young Global Leaders selects and inducts “remarkable leaders under 40 who are leading their countries, serving their communities, and launching ground-breaking initiatives to inspire new ways of driving social change.” 

Though they may be the only two Filipinas in the Class of 2023, Isabelle Gotianun Yap and Natashya Gutierrez are not the only Filipinos to ever make it to this prestigious group. 

The Class of 1996 included former Senator Mar Roxas, while current Senator Chiz Escudero was named as a member of the Class of 2008. In recent years, Edukasyon.ph Founder and CEO Henry Motte-Muñoz, Agrea Agricultural Systems International Inc. Founder and CEO Cherrie Atilano, and Kalibrr Co-Founder and CEO Paul Rivera have been named Young Global Leaders, as well.

What it Means to be Chosen as a Young Global Leader

Aside from representing the Philippines, which will, in turn, put the country on the global radar, Isabelle Gotianun Yap and Natasya Gutierrez will be able to learn more through the community built by The Forum of Young Global Leaders.

“The Forum of Young Global Leaders accelerates solutions to global challenges through new models of public-private cooperation,” the website reads. “We build bridges across sectors, regions, and ideologies to establish trust that transcends current divides. We invest in learning to help leaders deepen their understanding of key challenges facing our planet and humanity. We share their stories to illuminate what leadership could, and should, look like across the world.”

“For over 15 years, the YGLs have inspired and mobilized change throughout the world,” it ends.

Moreover, Isabelle and Natasya will be able to inspire fellow women and Filipinas to become accomplished leaders in their respective fields as role models in their own right.