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World Economic Forum launches Global Shapers Community

By Fon Mathuros (People's Daily Online)

14:53, September 15, 2011

Dalian, Peoples’ Republic of China, 14 September 2011 – The World Economic Forum today announced the creation of the Global Shapers community. Launched at its Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2011, the community will provide youth with a global platform to shape the future – integrating personal, community and global dimensions. Working in collaboration with the Forum of Young Global Leaders, this community will help youth develop their leadership potential to serve society.

The Global Shapers community will include extraordinary young individuals with great potential for future leadership roles in society. Aged between 20 and 30 years, they represent all walks of life and share a spirit of entrepreneurship in the global public interest. They have an entrepreneurial track record; have already initiated and delivered a major project or founded a company or organization; contribute exceptionally to serving society at large; and are ready to deeply engage in the community, reinforcing its mission and objectives and supporting fellow Shapers in their individual and professional development.

Shapers are organized in a network of local hubs based in major cities around the world. They will undertake events and activities that generate a positive impact within their local community. The community is vitalized by the manifold interactions generated inside each hub, between hubs and on a global level. Complementing face-to-face meetings, emphasis will be placed on the virtual dimension – enabling shapers to collaborate and learn from each other through the community platform. Global Shapers will have an impact by catalysing and enhancing – individually and collectively – fresh ideas and entrepreneurial solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. Shapers will also cross-mentor with other World Economic Forum communities.

Global Shapers are chosen by their local city hubs through a rigorous nomination and selection process run in collaboration with the Forum’s Young Global Leaders. More than 75 city hubs have been established to date, including New York, Santo Domingo, Mexico City, London, Geneva, Amsterdam, Kiev, Amman, Johannesburg, New Delhi, Ulaanbaatar and more.

In China, the Global Shapers community is being developed in collaboration with Youth Business China (YBC), a non-profit educational programme promoting youth entrepreneurship through mentoring and skills development. YBC and the Forum share a multistakeholder approach to development, engaging mentors from business, government and civil society organizations to help young leaders reach their full potential.

As part of the global launch, a further 40 city hubs will be developed in China and the first Shapers from China, nominated and selected by YBC, have joined the Annual Meeting of New Champions 2011 and will meet with Young Global Leaders, Technology Pioneers and other eminent leaders to exchange views.

“With 50% of the world’s population under the age of 27, the majority of whom live in urban areas, a new global dynamic is emerging,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. “We are becoming increasingly aware that solutions to our global challenges must purposefully engage youth at all levels – locally, regionally, nationally and globally. This generation has the passion, dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit to shape the future.”

“It is significant that the millennial generation consider themselves as active agents of change rather than passive bystanders.” said David Aikman, Head of the Global Shapers community, “In a recent Euro RSCG study, 92% agree that the world must change; 84% consider it their duty to drive this change; and almost 82% believe they have the power to make it happen. In large part, this generation is increasingly self-empowered and given access to information and technology, which has catalysed tremendous opportunities for interaction and collaboration.”

Zhou Changkui, Chairman of Board of Trustees, made a statement at the signing ceremony on behalf of the Ying Foundation: “Youth is the future of our country, the hope of our nation and the significant driving force to promote human progress. The Chinese government attaches great importance to youth development, and offers young people greater platforms to participate and devote themselves to social development with developed and implemented youth policies from the strategic and long-term perspective. Nowadays, since youth development has become a part of global development goals, young people are of great significance as community contributors rather than passive receivers or the cause of social problems. They learn from each other and enhance mutual understanding and friendship to undertake responsibilities to address the global challenges we face together through this international platform.”

He added: “We are willing to work together with the youth from different countries to establish a harmonious world with lasting peace and common prosperity. Let’s work together for the better future!”


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