Stephanie Dexter (Heineken/USA), Janis Tong (Good Lab/Hong Kong sponsored by ABN AMRO) and Merve Şensoy (Ferrero/Turkey) have been announced the winners of the first Nudge Global Leadership Challenge 2014. The competition challenged 30 young professionals from 16 countries to gain insight into their own talents and development areas of leadership and sustainability. The prize is a mission to Rwanda in 2015 to work on the Virtual Grid project of WakaWaka bringing light to thousands of people and change their lives.

Why this Global Leadership Challenge?

Facing a multitude of challenges, our world is undergoing drastic changes. Natural resources are becoming scarce, new technologies are creating new dilemmas and the call for responsible leadership is becoming louder than ever before. Are we entering an era of transformation, can we leave the industrial revolution behind us? If the answer is yes, we need new leaders and new forms of leadership. How are we going to find these new leaders? Where do we start searching for them? The Nudge Global Leadership Challenge is the start of this search.

About the Challenge

After three leadership challenges for Dutch young professionals, Nudge has started the search for future leaders on a global level. Founder of Nudge, Jan van Betten: “I am very impressed that young professionals from so many cultures and backgrounds are able to work together with the same focus. It’s my dream that this will be the beginning of a worldwide movement and network of future leaders determined to make a big difference. I am proud to have witnessed the start of it.”

Young professionals were selected to enter this competition from all over the world. Inspiration and insights were provided by keynote speakers Daniel Erasmus (Owner The Digital Thinking Network; CEO NewsConsole), Abdoulie Janneh (Former United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, currently Board Member/Executive Director at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation), Eric van der Hoeven (General Manager Middle East Baby Nutrition at Danone), Kees Kruythoff (President of Unilever North America) and Kees Kodde (Programme leader Greenpeace). Princess Laurentien van Oranje led a brainstorm session with the participants and children from the International School in Hilversum. The 20 nine-year olds provided the participants with clear insights into how to be a leader in sustainability.

The jury comprised of experts in the field of sustainability, business, media, law, leadership and finance. The three winners demonstrated their skills such as ‘resilient and adaptable’, ‘able to connect’ and ‘able to put ideas into practice’. Janis Tong on her announcement as winner: “Thanks to ABN AMRO Hong Kong, I was able to join this terrific 3-day Challenge and become even more inspired by different leadership stories and encouraged to contribute further to my commitment in sustainability.”