12 February 2021

Talal Rafi, who graduated with First Class honours in our Business Management (BA) course in 2013, has recently been appointed as the World Bank GYCN Climate Ambassador for his home country of Sri Lanka.

We are incredibly proud of Talal's contribution to the global community - he has also helped formulate recommendations for G7 and G20 leaders on gender equality in a post-COVID world - and his achievements reflect the University's aspirations to become the most enterprising in the country, preparing students to drive innovation and sustainability. 

As Sri Lanka was previously ranked the second most vulnerable country in the world to climate change, there is a real urgency to tackle the issue.

"My time at UEL has played a significant role in shaping my views. Being at UEL gave me exposure to diverse cultures and helped me look at things from a different perspective,"

Talal Rafi, UEL Business Management graduate and Sri Lanka Climate Ambassador, said.

The World Bank provides loans and grants to governments of low and middle-income countries for capital projects, and work extensively with countries around the globe on climate issues.

As part of their ongoing efforts, the Global Youth Climate Network (GYCN) was formed, with a representative from every nation involved with the World Nation represented.

Talal's appointment came on the back of the brilliant work he has carried out in entrepreneurship development, working with startups to ensure their business models are sustainable and manage climate change.

The GYCN will be meeting regularly to inspire, engage and empower young people in global development, offering insight and advice on how to manage the pressing issues of the day. 

Ranging from rapid urbanisation to mass consumerism, the causes behind climate change are wide and varied and Talal and his colleagues will have plenty on their plate.

"Being appointed as a World Bank GYCN Climate Ambassador gives me the platform to engage with national stakeholders, entrepreneurs and industry leaders," continued Talal.

"I'm looking forward to pressing ahead on developing forward-thinking, environmentally sustainable businesses and initiatives''.

Talal continues to be involved in a large portfolio of work away from his role with the World Bank, including being on the Advisory Group at the Global Business School for Health (University College London) where he is helping to develop an MBA program focused on health innovation.

He was also recently nominated as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and was involved with Chatham House London, an independent policy institute which offers solutions to global challenges.

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