A tipping point
With the largest youth population in history, there is an unprecedented opportunity for young people to take an active role in shaping the future. This generation has inherited enormous global challenges, but has the ability to confront the status quo and offer youth-led solutions for change.
A grassroots network
Born out of the World Economic Forum, the Global Shapers Community is a network of inspiring young people under the age of 30 working together to address local, regional, and global challenges. With more than 14,000 members, the Global Shapers Community spans 456 city-based hubs in 150 countries.
In each city, teams of Shapers self-organize to create projects that address the needs of their community. Projects are wide-ranging – from responding to disasters and combating poverty, to fighting climate change and building inclusive communities. Shapers are diverse in expertise, education, income, heritage and identity, but are united by their desire to bring about change.
By holding a meaningful dialogue, we are showing the world that these young people understand, as Canada does, that pluralism is the key to building resilient, confident nations around the world.— Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
A global footprint
Shapers look for opportunities to have impact on a global scale by joining forces with other hubs. They represent a network of peers connected through technology, events and joint projects. Each year, hundreds of hub leaders known as Curators come together to showcase the work of their hub and strengthen relationships across communities. On the regional level, events are designed and led by Shapers to encourage collaboration, share expertise and explore community solutions.
It's more than just talented individuals, it's a family who sacrifices time, effort and resources to make a better world. As a Shaper, I have the opportunity to be inspired and to inspire others to actively shape our environment without expecting to be rewarded.— Luis Sena, Santo Domingo Hub
The power of teams
Shapers are taking action on critical issues - big and small.
As a student, Global Shaper Siddarth Hande organized clean-up drives on the beaches near his home in Chennai, India. He and his friends quickly realized that just moving waste from one place to another was not tackling the root problem. So, they reached out to kabadiwallas – small shop owners who buy materials from waste pickers and then sell to middlemen before making its way to processing facilities.
Hande believed the kabadiwallas were critical players in the recycling chain, and with support from a grant, the Chennai Hub set up Kabadiwalla Connect, which streamlines the collection and processing of organic waste and recyclables from small urban waste generators in India. A smartphone app helps homeowners and businesses locate kabadiwallas to arrange for a waste picker to collect from them directly. By collecting and reselling materials to processors without the use of middlemen, kabadiwallas can now sell their waste at higher prices.
Kabadiwalla Connect aims to empower stakeholders in the informal waste ecosystem, helping to create better incomes and provide a more effective sourcing mechanism for small waste-pickers and kabadiwallas in urban India. And it benefits the environment. Kabadiwalla Connect’s mission is to help divert 70% of urban India’s waste away from landfill, helping to avoid the emissions of close to 80 million metric tons of CO2 every year.
If you asked me to choose the best part of being a Global Shaper, it's not any of the fancy stuff. It's the people.— Mariel Reed, San Francisco Hub
Shapers and the World Economic Forum
In 2011, Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, founded the Global Shapers Community to empower young people to play an active role in shaping local, regional and global agendas.
The Global Shapers Community is a non-profit organization registered in Geneva, Switzerland and housed at the World Economic Forum. The Forum’s contribution to the Shapers organization includes significant financial and in-kind contributions for operational support including staff time, technology tools and opportunities to interact and collaborate with its membership network.
10 Year Anniversary Celebration
In 2021, the Global Shapers Community celebrated its 10 Year Anniversary! To mark this milestone, we teamed up with Accenture, Project Everyone and Salesforce to share our community's impact with the world.
Since 2017, Shapers have directly benefited almost 2 million people through locally-led projects and reached or mobilized more than 11 million people! They have volunteered 46,000 days, changed 37 policies and advanced all 17 Global Goals worldwide.
For the decade ahead, Global Shapers will continue to drive dialogue, action and change under six new impact areas:
- Protect the planet: reduce emissions, fight drought, respond to natural distastes, preserve biodiversity, converse nature, promote sustainable consumption, and more.
- Reskill for the future: provide all people with quality education, skills and jobs to ensure no one is left behind in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, along with promoting new standards of work, digital literacy, online safety, among others.
- Strengthen civic engagement: empower minority leadership, mobilize citizen voting, inspire youth to run for local politics and ensure representation in decision-making and solution-building at all levels of society.
- Create inclusive communities: advocate for human rights and disrupt harmful stereotypes on gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, homelessness and more.
- Improve health and well-being: achieve health equality, ensure access to health services, address the social determinants of health, advance youth mental health support and respond to pandemics.
- Deliver basic needs: respond to local disasters, take humanitarian action, end hunger, fight extreme poverty, and more, to support the world’s most vulnerable communities.
The Global Shapers Community is governed by a Foundation board that includes leaders from business, government and civil society.
Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum
David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Carlyle Group, United States of America
Ellyn Shook, Chief Leadership and Human Resources Officer, Accenture, United States of America
Juan Jose Pocaterra, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, ViKua, Venezuela
Basima Abdulrahman, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, KESK Green Building Consulting, Iraq
Wanjuhi Njoroge, Founder of People Planet Africa, Kenya
Eric Tse, Executive Director of Sino Biopharmaceutical, People's Republic of China
Noura Berrouba, President, National Council of Swedish Youth Organisations (LSU), Sweden
Tariq Al-Olaimy, Co-Founder and Managing Director, 3BL Associates, Bahrain