26 October 2015
Two South Africans top a list of leaders who millennials around the world admire: Nelson Mandela at number one and Elon Musk at number three. Pope Francis came in at number two.
A survey of over 1 000 young people aged between 20 and 30 from around the globe found that millennials admired leaders who offered technology and social change to the world.
Three of the world’s leading technology brains were flagged by the millennials. Musk, of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, leads a pack that includes Microsoft founder Bill Gates (at number five) and Apple founder Steve Jobs (at eight).
Other business leaders these young people admired include Virgin entrepreneur Richard Branson (seven), social entrepreneur Mohammad Yunus (nine), investor guru Warren Buffett (11). Yunus was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for founding the Grameen Bank and his work to “create economic and social development from below”.
Mandela topped the list of political movers and shakers that included Mahatma Gandhi (four), American President Barack Obama (six) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (10).
The Global Shapers Annual Survey 2015 is one of the most geographically diverse surveys of millennials, with responses from 285 cities in 125 countries. The respondents are all members of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community, a network of over 450 city-based hubs of young, civically engaged leaders aged between 20 and 30.
According to Yemi Babington-Ashaye, the head of the Global Shapers Community, the survey reveals that millennials care about society in their reflections and in their own career and economic choices. “In addition to the diversity that we observe, the survey reminds us of those things that millennials value everywhere.”
The Global Shapers Annual Survey 2015 was released on the eve of the Summit on the Global Agenda, which started yesterday and ends tomorrow in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The summit is the world’s largest global brainstorming event, bringing together the most relevant thought leaders of the World Economic Forum’s Network of Global Agenda Councils.
Comprising more than 80 groups of experts from business, academia, government and civil society, the councils advance knowledge and jointly explore critical issues shaping the global, industry and regional agendas.