Building a movement

We believe in a world where young people are central to solution building, policy-making and lasting change.

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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 6,000 members, the Global Shapers Community spans 378 city-based hubs in 160 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 and race, 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.

Leadership

The Global Shapers Community is governed by a board of directors that includes leaders from business, government and civil society.

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum

William Saito, Special Advisor, Cabinet Office Government of Japan

H.R.H. Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway

Fahd Al Rasheed, Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia

Jack Ma, Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group Holding Limited, People's Republic of China

Jaideep Bansal, Leader, Energy Access, Global Himalayan Expedition, India

Layla Dong, Founder, Boshang Technology, People’s Republic of China