Raising awareness and sourcing solutions for the issues that matter most to young people

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In November 2023, representatives from 110 city-based Global Shaper hubs helped paint a mural at the sociocultural center for young people in Bilbao, Spain.

In November 2023, representatives from 110 city-based Global Shaper hubs helped paint a mural at the sociocultural center for young people in Bilbao, Spain. Image: AnderGMedia / Ander Gaviña Churruca


Global Shapers Community Impact Report 2022-2023

  • The voices of young people are too often excluded from decisions about the future of our communities, countries and planet.
  • The Global Shapers Community provides inclusive and long-term opportunities for young people to be active in decision-making at all levels and lead collective action to alter the direction of pressing challenges.
  • Since 2011, the change-making efforts of Global Shapers have reached more than 13.9 million people.

The impact of empowering young people.

The Global Shapers Community's Impact Report 2023 showcases the efforts of more than 10,500 young leaders in over 500 cities united by a common purpose.

Each year, young people develop innovative solutions to regional and global challenges, leading impactful projects with local communities. This report reflects the community’s dynamic work, with 370 new and unique projects developed in the last year.

Since the Global Shapers Community was created in 2011, Shapers have developed over 2,440 projects across multiple impact areas. Over the past year, Global Shapers focused the majority of their efforts on our Reskill for the Future (28%) and Protect the Planet (22%) Impact Areas:

  • Protect the planet: reduce emissions, fight drought, respond to natural disasters, preserve biodiversity, conserve nature, promote sustainable consumption and more.
  • Reskill for the future: provide all people with quality education, skills and jobs to ensure no one is left behind in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, along with promoting new standards of work, digital literacy and online safety, among other initiatives.
  • Strengthen civic engagement: empower minority leadership, mobilize citizen voting, inspire youth to run for local politics and ensure representation in decision-making and solution-building at all levels of society.
  • Create inclusive communities: advocate for human rights and disrupt harmful stereotypes on gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, homelessness and more.
  • Improve health and well-being: achieve health equality, ensure access to health services, address the social determinants of health, advance youth mental health support and respond to pandemics.
  • Deliver basic needs: respond to local disasters, take humanitarian action, end hunger, fight extreme poverty and other efforts to support the world’s most vulnerable communities.

Beyond project design, development and execution, the community serves as a platform that fosters youth connections – over 1,030 Global Shapers joined learning and leadership opportunities at our in-person community events this year. Being part of this diverse community empowers young people to amplify their voices and participate in global decision-making -- 197 Global Shapers participated in intergovernmental and multistakeholder decision-making mechanisms at World Economic Forum meetings and other international convenings, such as the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Our community aims to accelerate the meaningful participation of young people in decision-making at all levels, as we believe there is no group better positioned to shape a more inclusive, innovative and sustainable future than those who will actually live in it.

Natalie Pierce, Head, Global Shapers Community, World Economic Forum

What challenges do young people face?

With 1.9 billion people aged 10 to 24, our world hosts the largest generation of youth in history, presenting an unmatched opportunity for them to shape the future. Yet, their voices are frequently overlooked in decisions affecting our communities, nations and the planet.

Less than 3% of political decision-makers are under 30 and less than 1% are young women, according to the United Nations Youth Office. The Global Shapers Community believes that youth participation in decision-making must radically expand to challenge the status quo and deliver breakthrough solutions to systemic challenges.

Our approach to harnessing young people’s creative problem-solving power.

Across the world, young innovators, activists and organizers are igniting social movements, projects and initiatives to tackle the issues that impact their communities’ lives.

Global Shapers are creating change worldwide in 513 hubs and 154 countries and territories.

More than 13 million Filipinos can’t afford three meals a day. Yet, Filipinos also waste 300,000 tons of food each year. Being exposed to successful enterprises led by Global Shapers motivated a group in my hub to start Sureplus, a social enterprise to connect excess food from local farmers, groceries and restaurants to consumers. We also accept food subsidy donations for specific individuals, families and charities. Part of our proceeds are given to our partner charities.

Jason Occidental, Global Shaper, Davao Hub, Philippines

Global Shapers, diverse in industry and identity, champion inclusivity as youth changemakers and encompass Indigenous Peoples, people with disabilities, refugees and migrants and LGBTQI+. Global Shapers are between 18 and 33, with the highest percentage between 26 and 29 years-old.

Projects are wide-ranging – from responding to disasters and combating poverty to fighting climate change and building inclusive communities. Some examples include:

Securing Potable Water project – Global Shapers in the Colombian city of Cartagena provided 250 families living near estuaries with contaminants – such as agrochemicals, sewage and untreated urban waste – with portable, easy-to-use and electricity-free water filters. Since 2011, the non-profit Waves for Water has partnered with Global Shapers in over 20 cities to identify and reach communities in need, providing filter systems to over 25,000 people.

Financial Literacy Educational Project – The children's book Maria e o Segredo da Poupança addresses the critical issue of financial literacy among children in Portugal, which ranked last among 19 eurozone countries in 2020. Targeting 8-10-year-olds, this illustrated book project, which aligns with Portugal’s national financial education framework, distributed over 3,200 books and hundreds of e-books. 300 children attended book presentations at Portugal's largest sustainability event Greenfest and during Santander Academy sessions. Its success prompted an international rollout, with over 50 Global Shapers Community hubs translating and adapting the book to over 20 languages for various global educational and cultural contexts.

Blood4All – Since its 2016 launch, #Blood4All, a cross-hub Global Shapers Community initiative aimed to raise awareness about blood donation, increase blood donors and coordinate community-driven blood donations through partnerships. Over 60 hubs have conducted activities, including the Yaoundé hub, which collected 203 pints of blood and sensitized up to 10,000 university students on the importance of regular and voluntary blood donations.

TaalGoal – Football for Change – The TaalGoal project seeks to utilize football as a tool to reduce crime and drug abuse among children living in the most vulnerable areas of Dhaka. Beyond entertainment, the project aims to integrate them into a broader societal framework. Since 2015, TaalGoal has positively impacted over 500 children. The project, facilitated by a professional coach and in collaboration with NGOs and hyperlocal football clubs, includes five weekly practice sessions with eight male and four female teams, leading to daylong tournaments.

Get involved.

The Global Shapers Community is a non-profit organization 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.

Join the movement or open a new hub.

Join us today and help shape a better future
Get involved
Join us today and help shape a better future
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