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News Release

World Youth to Shape the Global Agenda

Maxwell Hall, Senior Media Manager: Tel.: +41(0)79 329 3500, E-mail: maxwell.halla22e68b8c7@4cab264182dedweforum.org

  • 70 young Global Shapers will help set the agenda at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012.
  • Global Shapers are aged 20-30, with great leadership potential across all sectors of society.
  • Half of the world’s population is under the age of 27, making it vital that young voices are heard at the Annual Meeting.

Geneva, Switzerland, 13 January 2012 A group of 70 exceptional individuals under the age of 30 will be engaging with world leaders and shaping the agenda at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012, taking place in Davos-Klosters on 25-29 January. 

The Global Shapers is a World Economic Forum community of young people from all walks of life who have demonstrated great potential for future leadership and are united by their drive to improve the world around them. At the Annual Meeting, they will consider pressing issues, including the global youth unemployment crisis and the role of business in society, all under the theme of this year’s Meeting, The Great Transformation: Shaping New Models.

The Shapers come from 44 city-based “hubs” established by the Forum in 36 countries, including China, Egypt, India, Israel, Mexico, the Palestinian Territories, Russia, Switzerland and the US. The community has an average age of 27 and its representation at the Annual Meeting will include 20 chief executive officers, a 24-year-old mayor from the Philippines, a bioengineer who created a cardiac surgery simulator used by over 3,000 surgeons worldwide, and a professor of nanotechnology from Zurich. A video playlist of Global Shapers participating in the Annual Meeting 2012 can be found at http://wef.ch/Ytsz.

"Once, the best indication of success was an individual's past experience. Now, with the world as interconnected as it is, we find the old models are no longer working and we need fresh approaches to solving the world's most pressing problems,” says Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

“The Global Shapers are ‘digital natives’ who grew up with the Internet. They have vision, think laterally, act quickly and make connections across networks in order to successfully solve problems. This community is of vital importance and we see tremendous opportunities for Shapers and today’s leaders to learn from one another.”

Global Shapers participating in the Meeting are also connected to their peers online in more than 125 hubs around the world. They have been reaching out to one another through their own private social network and will share ideas publicly on the Forum Blog (http://wef.ch/blog) and on Twitter (using the #4mygen hashtag).

“Young people don't need today's leaders to empower them. They are already empowered through their passion, ideas and access to information and technology. That's true whether they live in Berlin, Bamako or Ulaanbaatar,” says David Aikman, Head of the Global Shapers Community at the World Economic Forum. “We want to connect the Global Shapers to the Forum's network of leaders so that they have more say in the decisions being made that will affect their generation.”

Manju George, a Global Shaper from India, is the co-founder of Intellecap, an advisory firm that helps build innovative businesses for social change. “The aspirations of my generation are higher than ever before – for ourselves, our countries and the world. It’s vital that we include our voice in any conversation shaping our tomorrow,” she says.

The Global Shapers will be speaking in various public programme sessions during the Annual Meeting 2012, and four of them will be featured in the Closing Plenary with Professor Klaus Schwab.

Notes to Editors

Follow the Global Shapers on Twitter at @globalshapers
Become a fan of the Global Shapers on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GlobalShapers
For more information about the Global Shapers Community, visit: www.weforum.org/globalshapers and http://youtu.be/shaAiy2S3fk
See the YouTube playlist of Global Shapers going to the Annual Meeting at http://wef.ch/Ytsz
Read the Forum Blog at http://wef.ch/blog
Upcoming Forum events at http://wef.ch/events
Subscribe to Forum news releases at http://wef.ch/news
For updates on the activities of the World Economic Forum, subscribe to RSS feed


The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is independent, impartial and not tied to any interests. It cooperates closely with all leading international organizations (www.weforum.org).

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