When Laura Booi, who is in her 30s and has a PhD in gerontology, couldn’t find a global network for emerging dementia researchers, she helped create one. In 2014, Booi co-founded WYLD, or World Young Leaders in Dementia, which describes itself as “a network of passionate young professionals working across disciplines and borders to develop innovative dementia solutions.”
“There was no group like this specifically for internationally-led dementia researchers and advocates,” Booi says. “None of us are being paid for it. We’re just coming together because we really believe in this, we enjoy each other’s company, and we get a lot from the collaboration and networking we offer each other.”
Currently working as an Atlantic Fellow with the Global Brain Health Institute at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, Booi connects virtually with dementia researchers, advocates, and care workers in the WYLD network to share the latest insights into dementia treatment, prevention, and research. She says the enthusiasm the younger talent brings has helped WYLD grow quickly into a comprehensive group of subject matter experts that have informed dementia policy for the World Health Organization, the United Nations and the World Dementia Council, of which WYLD is an affiliate.
“We bring a lot of innovation, energy and creativity to the table,” Booi says. “If you are a millennial working in this space, you do have a lot to offer. Contact us, join our conversations.” [ ]