José María Figueres

Former President of Costa Rica


We have to get it right the first time
- we can only have a plan A
because there is no planet B.

About José María Figueres

José María Figueres reached world stage recognition as President of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998. As such, he was the youngest President of a Central American country in modern times. During his presidency he showed his unique leadership skills through implementing invaluable changes that opened opportunities for further development revolutionising his country’s economy and transforming Costa Rica into the environmentally conscientious country it is today.

After leaving government, he helped create and lead the United Nations ICT Task Force. In 2000 he then joined the World Economic Forum and became its first CEO in 2003. One of his main achievements in this role was strengthening global corporate ties to social and governmental sectors by identifying their common long-term interests. Today his work revolves around core strategic issues such as innovation, competitiveness and sustainability as key drivers of a new global economy.

He is currently President of the Carbon War Room, established by Sir Richard Branson, which helps develop market-driven solutions to mitigate climate change and achieve sustainability. He is also a member of the United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change.

In addition he is also the Chief of the Organization of American States, OAS, Electoral Observation Mission.

Corporations and governments together must be more attentive not only to reaping the benefits of globalization but also to addressing the problems created by its unintended consequences.

José María Figueres