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News Release

First anniversary sees Global Shapers establish grassroots projects worldwide

Maxwell Hall, Senior Media Manager: Tel.: +41(0)79 329 3500, E-mail:

  • Global Shapers have established more than 160 city-based hubs worldwide that carry out grassroots initiatives to tackle some of the most press problems in their communities
  • With 50% of the world’s population under the age of 27, the World Economic Forum brings its experience of building multistakeholder communities to create a global platform for this dynamic generation
  • Global Shapers are 20 to 30 years of age, with great potential for future leadership roles in all sectors of society. For more information about the Global Shapers community:

Switzerland, 22 August 2012 – One year after it was launched, the World Economic Forum’s community of Global Shapers has grown to actively engage more than 1,200 of the world’s most promising leaders under the age of 30 working on grassroots projects that benefit their local communities in more than 160 cities worldwide.  

Projects include a national newspaper, radio and TV campaign in Bamako, Mali aimed at inspiring young people to vote; an initiative to address violence and social division among young people in Caracas, Venezuela; a project aimed at closing the education gap in the Philippines by setting up 200 libraries nationwide; a drive to encourage millions of mobile phone subscribers in India into small philanthropic donations with their bill payments; and an earthquake recovery project in the tsunami-hit region of Tohuku, Japan. 

The Global Shapers Community was launched in Dalian, China, at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2011.  The aim is to tap into the potential of the youth generation, providing talented 20- to 30-year-olds with a global platform to shape the future and develop their leadership potential to serve society.

Global Shapers represent all walks of life and share a spirit of entrepreneurship in the global public interest. They include business and social entrepreneurs, academics, musicians, artists and policy-makers.  At the time of their selection, they have an entrepreneurial track record having already initiated and delivered a major project or founded a company or organization. 

The community is organized into a network of local hubs based in major cities around the world.  Shapers undertake activities that generate a positive impact within their local community, while also contributing to dialogues between hubs both regionally and globally.  In the last year, more than 200 Shapers have attended World Economic Forum regional meetings to cross-mentor other Forum communities.

“The Global Shapers community is the first truly global youth network that is focussed on improving the state of the world.  Recent events have shown the power of young people through technology, information and mobilization to bring change around the world to places where we never even thought change was possible.  We see this as an opportunity to bring young people into the World Economic Forum and have them sit at the table with leaders in dialogue to shape the future of this world in a way that reflects the needs of this generation,” said David Aikman, Head of the Global Shapers Community at the World Economic Forum.   

More than 160 Global Shapers and Hub Curators from around the world are meeting at the World Economic Forum’s offices in Geneva, Switzerland, this week for the first Annual Curators Meeting to discuss the future strategy, vision, governance and long-term goals of the community.  

About the Global Shapers:

Notes to Editors

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