Marc Benioff Selected As One of 237 Exceptional Leaders to Participate In New Major Global Undertaking to Shape The Future

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — January 14, 2005 — Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, released the names of the first 237 young leaders who have been selected and have accepted to take part in The Forum of Young Global Leaders, working in close cooperation with the World Economic Forum. Marc Benioff has been named as one of the Young Global Leaders. This new global undertaking, The Forum of Young Global Leaders, brings together outstanding leaders, aged 40 years or younger, who have committed to devote part of their knowledge and energy over the next five years to collectively work towards a better future.

Drawn from a pool of 8,000 candidates from around the world, the Young Global Leaders nominated in 2005 have been selected by a nomination committee of 28 eminent international media leaders, including Marjorie Scardino, Arthur Sulzberger, Tom Glocer and Katsuji Ebisawa. The committee is chaired by Her Majesty Queen Rania of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

"Rising leaders of today need to forge viable partnerships to spearhead a process of change," said Her Majesty Queen Rania of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. "The Forum of Young Global Leaders will activate a network of insightful, innovative and energetic young people whose vision and dynamism can usher a future of hope, progress and positive change."

One of this year's Young Global Leaders is Marc Benioff, founder, Chairman and CEO of He is also the founder of, a philanthropic programme focused on bridging the digital divide in communities served by He is recognized as one of the pre-eminent thinkers in information technology, and an ongoing advocate for positive social change. Benioff is the pioneer of the "1 percent solution" — where the company contributes 1 percent of profits, 1 percent of equity, and 1 percent of employee hours back to the communities it serves — the has demonstrated the power and impact of integrated philanthropy.

"It is a privilege to be honoured as a member of The Forum of Young Global Leaders," said Benioff. "As an advocate for compassionate capitalism I look forward to working with other thought leaders worldwide to affect change in 2005 and beyond."

The Young Global Leaders nominated in 2005 form an exciting, powerful network of leaders from 69 different countries: 72 are from Europe, 62 from North America, 49 from Asia, 19 from the Middle East and North Africa, 18 from sub-Saharan Africa and 17 from Latin America.

Reflecting the diversity of stakeholders, the Young Global Leaders nominated in 2005 comprise 57 political leaders, including heads of state, ministers and parliamentarians. From the business sector there are 97 Young Global Leaders, mostly chief executive officers and successful entrepreneurs. The other stakeholders consist of 28 intellectual leaders, 27 societal leaders, 23 active opinion leaders and 5 cultural leaders. Women make up 30% of the entire group.

"We would like to integrate those Young Global Leaders into processes which will allow them to have a real impact on global affairs and to make sure that global decision-making preserves the interests of the next generation," said Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. "The Forum of Young Global Leaders will be a strong force from all walks of life to shake up traditional thinking and to bring a bold, forward-looking approach to the world."

The Young Global Leaders will engage in the 2020 Initiative, a comprehensive effort at addressing together the complex challenges of today to shape a better future for our world. The Young Global Leaders will meet for the first time as a community at their Inaugural Summit in Zermatt, Switzerland, 24-28 June 2005, where they will assess current and future trends, risks and opportunities both at global and regional levels. The Young Global Leaders will then develop global strategies and put forward concrete actions to be taken today in order to advance towards a better world in the year 2020.

For more information and a detailed list of all Young Global Leaders, please visit

Benioff is the Chairman and CEO of, the worldwide leader in on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) services. He founded in 1999, introducing the first complete online CRM service. An expert with twenty years of experience in the software industry, he previously worked more than 10 years for Oracle. In 2000, he founded, now a multi-million dollar philanthropic initiative focused on bridging the digital divide in communities served by In May 2003, President George W. Bush appointed him co-chairman of the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC), a bi-partisan organization of business leaders and academics that guides the Administration on developing and adopting vital information technology. In 2004, Benioff co-authored Compassionate Capitalism, the first-ever best practices guide for corporate philanthropy that illustrates the success of the integrated model. The book was launched in conjunction with the World Economic Forum's 2004 meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Previously, members of the World Economic Forum selected Benioff as a "Global Leader of Tomorrow," one of 100 leaders in business, politics, and the arts committed to addressing social issues. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including Israel's Promise for Peace award, for his work using information technology to foster the peace process.

The Forum of Young Global Leaders, based in Geneva, Switzerland, is in the process of being incorporated as an independent, not-for-profit foundation, under the supervision of the Swiss Government. The Forum of Young Global is comprised of leaders, aged 40 years and younger, committed to shaping the future. The Young Global Leaders include leaders from each of the seven geographic regions and from the worlds of politics, business, society, learning, arts and culture. Each year, around 200 Young Global Leaders are nominated to serve for a period of five years, ultimately forming a community of 1,111 by 2009. The Forum of Young Global Leaders was created by Professor Klaus Schwab in 2004 and acts in close cooperation with the World Economic Forum in their joint commitment to improving the state of the world.

The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world. The Forum provides a collaborative framework for the world's leaders to address global issues, engaging particularly its corporate members in global citizenship. Incorporated as a foundation, and based in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum is impartial and not-for-profit; it is tied to no political, partisan or national interests. The Forum has NGO consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

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