The next wave of leadership, from Europe to Abu Dhabi

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

My favorite franchise at Forbes (in addition to that, 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 in all parts of the economy.

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

A 19-year-old tennis phenom, three soccer stars and a female racer who is outperforming her male peers are among the athletes highlighted on this year’s list. Ferragamo’s creative director, 27, and a “magician” who brings 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 list of manufacturing and industry. Then there are funders and scientists like Rochelle Niemeijer, who is developing tools to fight antibiotic-resistant infections through her startup Nostics.

I have to give a special mention to Ludovico Mitchener, PhycoWorks CTO. One reason is that the business he founded with Stefan Grossfurthner combines artificial intelligence and synthetic biology to develop strains of algae that can convert 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 is now an adviser to the European Economic and Social Committee. (Such cries are the prerogative of a newsletter writer, right?) As a working mom, I take this as a signal that building your own career doesn’t have to come at a cost to our children. In fact, it might inspire them.

Europe under 30 demonstrates leadership at its best and is a reminder that there are plenty of areas where Europe is on par with or ahead of the United States. Gender parity is one thing, but success comes down to what happens in companies, not countries. Jena McGregor this week looked at how Swedish retail giant IKEA managed to achieve the rare feat of achieving near gender parity in its leadership roles. It has not happened because of legislation, which Europeans have long used as a tool to diversify boards, but rather through clear targets, training and incentives. And it was done at IKEA operations around the world. More proof that you don’t have to be under 30 to be a trailblazer or a game changer in your industry.

Really, Forbes and Mika Brzezinski’s Know Your Value initiative are currently hosting the 30/50 Summit in Abu Dhabi. (Click here for live blog.) The event, now in its second year, brings together women from our 30 Under 30 and 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 laureate Malala Yousafzai, Ukrainian 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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