An alumni of Richmond, Yemi Babington-Ashaye, has formed a global organisation, Geneva-based United People Global (UPG), a community that encourages and enables people to make the world a better place.  Through UPG’s ‘four pillars’ of awareness, belief, collaboration and community, the organisation aims to achieve its mission in three ways – publishing articles and reports, facilitating initiatives that have direct impact and hosting events and interactions.

Having studied BA (Hons) Economics at Richmond with a minor in Management Information Systems, Yemi moved on to become an economist (MPAID, Harvard University); a management scientist (MBA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and a Chartered Accountant (ACCA).

He regularly collaborates with corporations, governments, non-profit organisations and individual leaders. Yemi uses strategy, management and leadership expertise to design and deliver innovative solutions.

He said, “Richmond shaped me in so many ways: some of my best friends today are friends that I made in Richmond, being a Peer Tutor in several subjects at Richmond made me realise that I loved teaching and of course there was the pleasure of intellectual discovery in the courses that I took.

“The Liberal Arts education prepared me for the workplace, where the expertise needed is increasingly multi-disciplinary. And beyond the knowledge itself, an important skill required in today’s professional world is to have a mind-set that crosses disciplines and Richmond equipped me with this.

“Socially I led two clubs at Richmond, a dance club and a statistics club. The membership of these clubs were very different and I thoroughly loved working with everyone.”

As a truly international school, Richmond also helped me to learn how to work with people from diverse backgrounds. Every experience was an opportunity to shatter myths and to focus on the shared humanity that defines us; to focus on behaviours that have nothing to do with a person’s religion, race, status or political views. Today, I always seek passion and commitment in my collaborators and these characteristics were determined through my experience at Richmond.

A former Director and Deputy Head of Africa at the World Economic Forum, Yemi diversified the organisation’s Africa operations and created a pan-African Community of Presidents, Ministers, CEOs and other leaders across sectors, interacting on the global agenda.

As Head of the Global Shapers Community, Yemi developed and executed strategy to empower youth by building the Global Shapers Community to over 450 cities in 170+ countries and territories. Yemi designed and implemented a distributed leadership strategy securing over 7,000 members whose work had impacted over one million lives through projects within the first 5 years.

As Technical Adviser for Economic Growth to the Nigerian Finance Minister, Yemi was responsible for the structure and content of the Minister’s regular State of the Economy briefings as well as overseeing fiscal initiatives to strengthen growth and national competitiveness.

Formerly at General Electric, Yemi developed software that automated his first job. He led the Project Business UK team that won the Kingston Mayor’s Award for contribution to the community.

Empowering others by sharing knowledge is something that Yemi has done throughout his career, including through teaching and research.