Shaping the world — one BBQ at a time

On Sunday, March 12, the Global Shapers Johannesburg Hub hosted hub members from Soweto and Tshwane (Global Shapers is a global network of young changemakers under 33) as well as the WEF Young Global Leaders (A network of changemakers above 33) for an informal get together to get to know each other personally, but also explore opportunities to work together as hubs on certain projects and initiatives. The event was a global first — the first structured interaction between two communities that are otherwise separated and don’t talk to each other much.

The meeting had 2 objectives:

  1. -Introduce the different hubs and groups to each other in an informal setting
  2. -Lay the foundation for cross-hub collaboration on projects and initiatives


Shapers and YGLs getting to know each other

To meet point one, we organized an informal Sunday barbeque, themed “Sunday at the Hamptons” to make sure that people could connect in a casual environment outside of the office and the hustle and bustle of the weekly schedule. The event lasted for a total of 5 hours.

To meet point 2, we hosted a short 1 hour session where attendees introduced each other through an ice breaker game, followed by a short 3 minute project introduction by each hub. After the first part, attendees split up in three groups with the mandate of adding as much value to each project as possible in the short time span. We wanted to make sure that people don’t have to commit to projects in the long run while still being able to tap their brains, address books, experiences and more and the output was fantastic. 


The three workshops

The three projects that were presented were:


1. Brainstorming around the Johannesburg Hub Projects

  • Johannesburg Hub | | 


2. Brainstorming around the Soweto Hub Projects

  • Soweto Hub | |The discussions were beneficial to leverage off the Young Global Leaders, some of the important resolutions were:
  •  The exploring of a campaign that reveals and highlights the economic impact of xenophobia and how it affects the “pockets” of ordinary citizens. YGLs offered support in facilitating this conversation and research.
  •  YGLs also encouraged the Soweto Hub to register as an NPC so as to be able to explore funding for capital projects through the JSE.
  • The Soweto Hub was encouraged to make use of media platforms, such as Soweto TV by YGL to become more impactful and build awareness of campaigns, initiatives and projectss


3. Brainstorming around the Tshwane Hub Projects


  • Tshwane Hub |WASH Project | The Tshwane Hub introduced their WASH project and managed to get insights and collaboration opportunities with multiple people from different hubs and groups.One of the YGLs requested a concept note to help access CSI spend and opened her network to help find another potential funder. One entrepreneur from the Johannesburg hub is keen to connect on a schools tour campaign he is starting with 150 schools in the Western Cape and possibly run a similar collaboration with Tshwane schools. Lastly, a Joburg shaper has an interesting manufacturing plant that focuses on sanitation products (kgoshigadi) that would like to support and partner. Maybe Niel could also contact her for the Made in Tshwane campaign depending on where the actual manufacturing or head office is.

We are very thankful for the privilege of having been able to host such an event and we hope that it will be a role model for other interactions between YGLs and Global shapers going forward. We also want to thank all the hubs as well as the YGLs who took time to join us on a Sunday!


Please reach out to us any time if you have questions about how we did it at

Lastly, thanks to the team who put this together: Kola, Oliver, Lisa, Niz, Ludwick and Marcello