About us

Meet the team serving the Global Shapers community

Photo of David Aikman  

David Aikman

Managing Director, Head of the New Champions

David is a Managing Director of the World Economic Forum and the Head of the New Champion communities, which include Global Shapers, Young Global Leaders, Social Entrepreneurs, Technology Pioneers & Global Growth Companies. David has held a number of positions at the Forum since joining in 2003, including the Partnership Team (responsible for the Forum's highest-level relationships with corporate partners) and leading the Professional Services industry practice (leading law firms, accounting firms, management consultancies and executive search firms) to shape industry agendas. Prior to the Forum, he worked for the International Olympic Committee in Business Development, Marketing and Licensing for seven years. A Canadian citizen, David holds an MBA from IMD (Switzerland) and a BA (with Honours) in English and German Literature from Dalhousie University (Canada), where he was a member of the President's Leadership Class (an innovative programme to develop youth leaders for service that took him on volunteer development and education projects in Guyana and India). He earned his International Baccalaureate at Lester B. Pearson UWC of the Pacific and David now serves as a Council Member of the United World Colleges. Besides his passion for developing young leaders, David has a passion for the vineyards of southern France. He and his wife Anne live in Geneva with their two children, Juliette (13) and Owen (9) who also aspire to help people in lots of different places when they grow up.


Photo of Adeyemi Babington-Ashaye  

Adeyemi Babington-Ashaye

Director of the Global Shapers Community

Yemi is Head of the Global Shapers Community. He joined the World Economic Forum as a Global Leadership Fellow to strengthen the Forum’s community of African leaders. He designed processes for consultation with stakeholders across the continent, led the inaugural Global Agenda Council for the Future of Africa and designed the programme development process that sets the agenda for the Forum’s Africa Meeting. Prior to the Forum, he started his career as a Chartered Accountant (ACCA) and was a member of the Financial Management Programme at GE Capital. While completing his masters in development economics at Harvard University Yemi was a teaching assistant for two courses: Financial Management of Public Institutions and International Capital Markets.  He completed his MBA at MIT Sloan School of Management .Yemi also served as Technical Advisor for Economic Growth to the Nigerian Minister of Finance with responsibility (among others) for ensuring the integration of economic data and information into the decision-making process, this culminated in the development of State of the Nation reports that guided policy priorities. In addition to overseeing fiscal policy matters, he also designed stakeholder outreach sessions. He was invited by Professor Klaus Schwab onto the core team that established the Global Shapers Community in 2011.



Wadia Ait Hamza

Head of Interactions

Senior Community Manager, MENA

Wadia is currently a Senior Community Manager of the Global Shapers Community in the Middle East and North Africa as well as a Global Leadership fellow at the World Economic Forum. Previously, he worked at the Rabat School of Governance and Economics (EGE Rabat) as public Affairs Manager, at Toyota Morocco as Training & Human Resources Development coordinator, as well as in the European Institute for the Mediterranean in Barcelona. He is a former member of the Youth Consultative Committee of the League of Arab States.

Wadia holds a Master Degree in Euro- Mediterranean Affairs (Università degli Studi di Perugia in Terni, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Université Hassan II in Casablanca & Universidad de Granada), and a Bachelor degree in International Studies, with a minor in Women & Development from Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane. Wadia is 2012 United Nations Alliances of Civilizations fellow.


Chidiogo Akunyili

Senior Community Manager, Africa

Chidiogo is the Senior Community Manager for the Africa Shapers Community and a Global Leadership Fellow at the World Economic Forum. Born and raised in Nigeria, Chidiogo completed her undergraduate studies in International Relations and French from UPenn and Sciences Po Paris. During the three year hiatus between Bachelors and Masters, she worked as a Research Assistant at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia; as well as was the initiator and Program Director of the Cultural Diplomacy in Africa Program for the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin, Germany. Following her interest in China’s burgeoning role in Africa as a development partner, Chidiogo spent the next two years working in Beijing as a Consultant in the field of Sino-African relations.  This experience led to a deeper focus on development in Africa, and inspired a Masters degree in International Relations with focus on Development Economics and Emerging Markets from the Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS examining how the intricacies of diplomacy, trade, security and development, coalesce into tangible strategies that affect various developing nations especially across Africa. Upon graduation, and before joining the Forum, Chidiogo’s  most recent experience was working as a Strategy Consultant with Roland Berger based in Lagos and UAE. Chidiogo is currently the Manager of the Global Agenda Meta-Council on Inclusive Growth.


Shimer Diao

Community Manager, China Region

Shimer is the Community Manager of Global Shapers Community, China Region. She works closely with local partners in China, in Shaper nomination and community building. Born and raised in Shanghai, Shimer receives her degree in Media and Communication/Asian Studies, University of Sydney. Prior to the World Economic Forum, Shimer had been in the TV broadcasting industry for almost seven years, she was one of the youngest producers at Shanghai Media Group. After dabbling in the different forms and methods in traditional media, she’d also been experimenting with new media. She is the founder of the online English teaching platform, Oh My English.


Photo of Spring Fu  

Spring Fu

Senior Community Manager, China

Spring Chunxiao Fu is the Community Manager for the Global Shapers Community in China. She works closely with local partners in China, in Shapers nomination and community building. Spring is taking care of the Young Global Leaders Community in Greater China as well. Prior to the World Economic Forum, Spring was a Customer Relations Manager at Hewlett-Packard (HP) China between 2005 and 2009, and Client Management Associate at Ogilvy Public Relations Shanghai in the Summer of 2010. At HP, she worked closely with the Executive Council overseeing service management process, formulating customer strategies and serving as company ambassador for Top 100 Strategic Clients. She is also a certified Quality Management Consultant on business process control. Spring received her BA in Renmin University of China, and an MPA at Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs.

Johann Hartmann

Team Coordinator

Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, Johann left his home country at a young age and grew up living in countries such as Singapore, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the USA. He returned to Switzerland to complete two Bachelors of Science in International Hospitality Management within the Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne. Following his studies, Johann joined the front office team of the American Hockey League’s Portland Pirates as attaché to the Managing Owner/CEO with the task of supporting on internal team structuring and budgeting. Further to his US experience, Johann returned to Lausanne and joined the International Boxing Association (AIBA) as a Competition Manager for the newly launched AIBA Pro Boxing program (APB). During his time at AIBA, Johann was a member of the team in charge of developing and structuring the APB competition meant to improve the conditions of professional athletes as well as providing an opportunity to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Outside of work, Johann enjoys watching ice hockey games, travelling and discovering new cultures.


Antonio Gomez Lopez

Senior Community Manager, Latin America

Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Antonio earned a BS in Computer Engineering (Summa Cum Laude) from Universidad Simón Bolívar and years later he earned a MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Prior to joining the forum, Antonio represented the voice of consumers through his work as a market researcher for Procter & Gamble, with focus on business analysis, forecasting and optimization of new initiatives for the North America, US Hispanics and Emerging Markets businesses. He also served as co-organizer and sponsorship leader for Reaching Out MBA 2012, the annual US conference that connects LGBT MBA students from all over the country with potential employers from the private and public sectors; due to the efforts from the organizing team that year, the conference held record attendance with 1,200 attendees between students and industry partners. Outside work, Antonio enjoys resistance training, scuba diving, travelling and learning foreign languages.


Anastasia Kalinina

Associate Director, Eurasia

Head of Hub Activity

Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, Anastasia has graduated from St. Petersburg State University with a degree in Literature and simultaneously received a degree in Humanitarian Sciences and Arts from Bard College in New York. She has authored a published book of short stories along with various online publications. After pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Relations in the University of Northern Iowa, she worked in St. Petersburg-based organization Doctors to Children as a PR Manager, and later on as a project manager helping women and children in difficult life situations. She launched and developed multiple human rights and youth-oriented projects, like the first all-Russian website for HIV+ women and “Coaching for Development” project in Nepal . After having received Master’s in Human Rights from London School of Economics, Anastasia worked for Amnesty International in London and ran several projects of her own. Since leaving London, she has lived in France supporting projects for young entrepreneurs. Currently, Anastasia is the Senior Community Manager for Global Shapers in Russia and CIS. She is also a Global Leadership Fellow. She likes to spend her spare time traveling with her husband, writing prose and poetry, and taking part in youth initiatives all over the globe (Sandbox, Palomar5, and the like). Currently, Anastasia is the Senior Manager for Global Shapers Community in Eurasia.


Olympia Mantzourou

Senior Partnerships Activation Manager

Head of Partnerships

Olympia was born and raised in Athens, Greece. Speaking four languages and holding an MBA from the University of Piraeus, she started her career in finance but after almost 2 years she decided to change path. In the 9 years that followed, she worked in brand marketing and marketing communications positions for Unilever, L’Oreal and most recently for Nokia as a Marketing Manager. Olympia joined the World Economic Forum in 2012 as a Senior Partnerships Activation Manager in the Global Shapers Community and a Global Leadership Fellow. In her spare time, she loves to dance, swim, travel in different countries but also relax at her favourite island, Tinos.


Murray Nicol

Senior Manager, Media and Communications

After graduation from Montreal’s Concordia University with a degree in Communication Studies, Murray devoted the next 13 years of his career towards exploring the complex and ever-changing world of media, and this on an international level. His work as a documentary filmmaker brought him from Siberia to South Sudan, as well as most places in between, with one of his final projects consisting of documenting a United Nations World Food Program mission to Juba. Other projects have included social media strategy development, media relations, and marketing communications for organizations such as the Canadian Olympic Association, as well as the first video series to transition from the web to a major broadcaster. Murray most recently completed his MBA at HEC Montréal where he was awarded the HEC Foundation Scholarship and the HEC Global Citizen Scholarship in recognition of his achievements in academics and leadership. Having spent much of his career seeing the world, he now looks forward to working with the Global Shapers community to help change it. He lives in Geneva with his wife Johanna, and his baby daughter Meryn.


Photo of Melih Nurluel  

Melih Nurluel

Associate Director, Europe

Head of Programmes

Melih is a member of the Global Shapers Community team at the World Economic Forum. He acts as the Head of Interaction and is responsible for the management of the Community in Europe. Prior to joining the Forum, Melih ran his own consulting company specialized on the European Union. At the height of Turkey's efforts to join the EU, Melih started up INSIDE consulting to serve non-profit organizations such as municipalities, governorships and chambers of commerce and industry. Later on, he became partners in Novicor Technology Partners, a consulting company specialized in R&D. After selling one of the companies and closing down the other, Melih moved to Geneva to be a part of the exciting initiative of setting up a global network of young and enthusiastic people.



Vijay Raju

Associate Director, South Asia

Head of Collaborations

Vijay serves the South Asian region for the Global Shapers community and is based in Geneva. Vijay is passionate about global politics and designing new models for inclusive development. Prior to joining the Forum, Vijay was a Senior Consultant with Innosight, where he was part of business model innovation efforts for J&J, Medtronic and Tata (TCS). Before that, he worked as a Venture Leader with Innosight Ventures where he incubated several disruptive businesses at the BoP including the Edison Award winning ‘Healthy Heart for All’ for Medtronic. Vijay also spent several years leading animation and computer graphics projects in India and US. Vijay has a MBA from the International University of Japan, where he received the Monbukagakhusho Scholarship, and Bachelor of Engineering from India including a ‘Ship for World Youth’ fellowship from the Government of Japan. 


Photo of Vera Schneider  

Vera Schneider, Associate Director

Head of Architecture 

Vera Schneider is an Associate Director and Head of Community Architecture for the Global Shapers Community. She is a Research Psychologist with international experience in monitoring and evaluation, and has worked on large-scale qualitative and quantitative social studies in the areas of gender-based violence, crime and justice, and families and children. In her current role, Vera is focused on increasing the efficiency of our processes to ensure that we remain in a position to seize opportunities and adopt and implement creative ideas that strengthen the Community. She is responsible for structuring guidelines and infrastructure that can help the scalability of the work of the team and the evolving needs of the Global Shapers Community. She also manages the Global Agenda Council for Brain Research and is a Global Leadership Fellow. In her spare time, she is an intrepid traveller, art enthusiast and enjoys winter sports and running. 


Manuel Wachter

Associate Director, North America & the Caribbean

Head of Hub Development

Manuel Wachter is a transcultural facilitator and researcher specializing in the relationship between leadership development, diversity and identity.
Born and raised in Guadeloupe (French Caribbean), Manuel completed his undergraduate studies of Philosophy and Comparative Literature in Paris in 2003. 
Manuel went on to earn a double Master’s in International Management from ESCP Europe and the City University of London in 2006. The three-year program conducted in Oxford, Madrid and Paris allowed for work placements in each. Having specialized in International Project Development, Manuel honed his skills as a transcultural facilitator in such varied contexts as the media industry in Turkey, diplomatic service in Brazil or microfinance consulting in Morocco. 
Manuel completed J.P. Morgan’s Management Training program in 2009 and joined ICAP in Frankfurt, Germany as International Sales Associate, expanding the company’s business into French-, Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking markets. In 2012, Manuel joined the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland as a Senior Manager for the Global Shapers Community focusing on North America & the Caribbean, and also as a Global Leadership Fellow. In 2014, Manuel was promoted Associate Director and global Head of Hub Development. He was also made Manager of the Global Agenda Council on Migration.


Photo credit : Enrique Pardo