The Next Wave Of Leadership, From Europe To Abu Dhabi

Here’s an excerpt from this week’s CxO newsletter. To get it to your inbox, sign up here.

My favorite franchise at Forbes (besides this one, of course) is our 30 Under 30 List. Launched in 2011 by chief content officer Randall Lane, it’s a testament to the power of entrepreneurship and creativity across all parts of the economy.

We’ve just published our 2023 Under 30 Europe List. This year’s entertainment list includes Italian actress Simona Tabasco from the HBO hit The White Lotus, as well as Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chamber of the British indie band Wet Lag. (If you haven’t heard Wet Lag’s music, Chaise Longue is a good place to start. And White Lotus fans might enjoy SNL’s take.) Here’s the methodology behind this year’s list.

A 19-year-old tennis phenom, three soccer stars and a female racing driver who’s outpacing her male peers are among the athletes highlighted on this year’s list. The 27-year-old creative director of Ferragamo and a “magicineer” bringing cocktail elixirs to life are among the game-changers reshaping fashion, food and the arts. Climate is a central theme on this year’s list of social-impact entrepreneurs while AI infuses our manufacturing and industry list. Then there are the financiers and scientists like Rochelle Niemeijer, who is developing tools to tackle antibiotic resistant infections through her startup Nostics.

I have to give a special mention to Ludovico Mitchener, CTO of PhycoWorks. One reason is that the venture he cofounded with Stefan Grossfurthner combines AI and synthetic biology to develop algae strains that can transform carbon dioxide into new products. The other reason is that his mother is Daniela Vincenti, a friend and former classmate at Columbia Journalism School,, who’s now an advisor at the European Economic and Social Committee. (Such shout-outs are a newsletter writer’s prerogative, no?) As a working mom, I take that as a signal that building our own careers need not come at a cost to our kids. In fact, it might actually inspire them.

Under 30 Europe showcases leadership at its best and is a reminder that there are plenty of areas in which Europe is on par with, or ahead of, the United States. Gender parity is one, but success comes down to what’s happening in companies, not countries. Jena McGregor this week took a look at how Swedish retail giant IKEA managed to achieve the rare feat of reaching near-gender parity in its leadership roles. It didn’t happen because of legislation, which Europeans have long deployed as a tool to diversify boards, but rather through clear targets, training and incentives. And it was achieved at IKEA’s operations around the world. More proof that you don’t have to be under 30 to be a pioneer or game-changer in your industry.

Indeed, Forbes and Mika Brzezinski’s Know Your Value initiative are currently cohosting the 30/50 Summit in Abu Dhabi. (Click here for the live blog.) The event, now in its second year, brings together women from our 30 Under 30 lists and our 50 Over 50 lists to inspire and learn from each other. Here’s a preview of the lineup, which includes former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Nobel Peace Prize Malala Yousafzai, Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska, Sweet July founder Ayesha Curry and actress Catherine O’Hara. Be sure to check back for coverage.

Have a great week.

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