Highlights & updates


Greta Keenan, Sam Leakey, and Alice Hazelton

4 ways Global Shapers are reponding to COVID-19 this week

In Lagos, Nigeria, the Forum's Global Shapers distributed free sanitary pads and other hygienic products - as well as food supplies and face masks - to over 100+ young girls in their community

In Copenhagen, Denmark, Global Shapers sponsored monthly calls for the community to speak with members from the World Health Organization's (WHO) Europe regional office to discuss COVID-19 facts, prevention methods, treatments and vaccine development.

In Brisbane, Australia, Global Shapers built a collective diary from around the world to spread inspiration and love, and to remind their community that no one is alone as a new wave of mental health challenges emerge due to COVID-19.

In Faisalabad, Pakistan, Global Shapers produced and distributed over 100,000 hand sanitizers to members of their local community to prevent the spread of the virus.

These are just some of the ways that young people, supported by the World Economic Forum, are responding to the needs of their communities. Read more about what Global Shapers have done to date around the world.

3 ways Young Global Leaders are responding to COVID-19 this week

After having to remain in the United Arab Emirates due to lockdowns around the world, Forum Young Global Leaders Mamadou Kwidjim Toure and Bodour Al Qasimi came together to launch the #UbuntuLoveChallenge. Ubuntu – meaning “I am because we are” – is a core philosophy deriving from ancient African ancestral knowledge. The challenge aims to bring people together, collaborate and find compassion during the pandemic crisis.

YGL Cherrie Atilano, from the class of 2020, started the Move Food Initiative in the Philippines, bringing crops from farmers directly to homes as lockdown prohibited consumers from going to markets.

And as a collective collaboration with the Global Shapers Barcelona Hub, YGL alum Javier Garcia Martinez produced scalable artificial ventilators to aid the lack of supplies for hospitals in Spain.

Keep up-to-date with the Young Global Leaders' active response to COVID-19. Read here to learn more about each project, as well as articles written by our community members and alums.

What happened during the latest COVID Action Platform virtual meeting?

Speakers in this week's webinar session included Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan; Sigrid Kaag, Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Netherlands; Werner Baumann, Chief Executive Officer, Bayer AG, Germany; and Meenakshi Gupta, Co-founder, Goonj, India.

Rethinking higher education for the post-COVID world

Since the launch of the COVID Action Platform in March, the Forum has convened the presidents of the world’s leading universities for dialogues on the myriad short-term challenges posed by the pandemic, while also brainstorming how universities can contribute to a more inclusive world.

Chaired by Suzanne Fortier, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University and Chair of the Forum’s Global University Leaders Forum community, each dialogue has gathered between 30-40 presidents from around the world.

Screenshot of the first University Leaders Dialogue
Screenshot of the first University Leaders Dialogue
Image: Jaci Eisenberg, World Economic Forum

The first dialogue focused on sharing experiences to find support during a difficult time and the second focused on surfacing short- and long-term questions to set priorities for future dialogues. Upcoming discussions will focus on the below topics:

  • Inter-university partnerships for the new normal
  • Future-proofing higher education
  • Shaping public policy more effectively
  • Promoting a common science agenda

New report: COVID-19 Risks Outlook

A prolonged global recession, high unemployment, another outbreak of an infectious disease and protectionism are the biggest near-term worries for companies, according to the Forum’s new report, COVID-19 Risks Outlook: A Preliminary Mapping and Its Implications.

The report, released 19 May, argues that we are not prepared for the knock-on effects of far-reaching environmental, societal and technological risks. Economic distress and social discontent will rise over the next 18 months, unless policymakers and business leaders work together to manage the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

Image: World Economic Forum

The report also presents a series of guiding questions for decision makers, to ensure that recovery efforts lead to a more socially-just and sustainable global economy. The report should be seen as a preliminary outlook that will be supplemented by further work from the Forum's Global Risks Initiative and its partners Marsh & McLennan and Zurich Insurance Group.

Find the key insights here and read the full report here.

Image: World Economic Forum