A World Economic Forum initiative
The Global Shapers Community, an initiative of the World Economic Forum, is an ecosystem of extraordinary people in their 20s and early 30s, launched in 2011 in response to the absence of young peoples' voices in global decision-making. Shapers are exceptional in their potential, their achievements and their drive to make a contribution to their communities through projects.
We are diverse in demographics, geographical areas, and sectors, but united by a common desire to shape the future and build a more peaceful and inclusive world. Shapers run non-profits, work in the medical field, are creatives, and much more. Members of the Shapers community possess an entrepreneurial spirit, leadership potential, and a desire to improve the state of the New York. The community is non-political, self-selected, and self-organized around issues facing the globe.
Shapers are organized in a network of local hubs based in major cities around the world, including New York.
New York Hub
Global Shapers are organized in a network of local hubs based in major cities around the world, including New York. New York is one of the most established and diverse hubs in the network.
Because New York has such a dense population of amazing people, there are two New York hubs. The hubs organize a range of local events and opportunities for Shapers and design projects and activities that generate a positive impact within New York. In May of 2016, the two hubs merged operations, and now collaborate frequently and meet together.
Our Hub meets officially once a month, with other social events as well. We also work together on broader initiatives with other hubs from around the world.
Past and Ongoing Projects
This is how we serve the New York community.
Project Manager: Laura Patel
A Global Shapers Impact Fund: an investment vehicle focused on circular economy projects in New York City. Qualifying projects will be defined by our Shaper project team, and will all have NYC communities at their core.
The Problem: New York City creates more waste than any other city on the planet, and spends $1bn carting the waste away to less affluent areas each year. To approach this problem, we need system-wide innovation that will redefine products and services to remove the concept of waste from the system, while minimizing negative impacts.
Next Steps: Currently, projects in the Circular Economy lack scale as the focus has been on piloting. To have the impact required, we will need to help bring the circular economy in New York City to scale, by surfacing projects that exist, and investing in projects to help them grow.
More about the Circular Economy: The circular economy is the term given to projects that take resources and enter them into a cycle of using and reusing. WEF is heavily involved in coordinating stakeholders, and have a circular economy taskforce. For additional reference, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has a good overview of the Circular Economy here.
Avenues for Justice
Project Lead: Georges Clement
What and why: Avenues for Justice is an alternative to incarceration nonprofit with centers in East Harlem and the Lower East Side. Kids (mostly high school age) come to AFJ every weekday to check in and engage in various programs, including tutoring and drug and mental health counseling.
Results/Impact: 5 Shapers have volunteered with Avenues for Justice, delivering fantastic workshops which inspired over 80 kids -- a particular highlight was a global shaper (Isaac Stonefish) who hosted workshops about China, including a cooking class with traditional Chinese cuisine.
Fundraising and in-kind donations in 2017 were put toward renovations and equipment for a brand new computer lab in the Lower East Side center.
Next Steps: The project has been completed.
Art & Life Immersion
Giving NYC youth access to career advancement and support for the arts and culture industries locally.
We Write: Communities Creating Diverse Children’s Books
Harnessing the power of new book creation technology and our diverse backgrounds as Shapers, we will work to author, illustrate and publish diverse children’s books for speakers of underserved language groups in NYC.
Black Lives Matter x Design Thinking
Project Manager: Jehane Akiki
Problem: With the future of work becoming more uncertain and disrupted by technology, the future of education has to change to teach skills that are becoming more necessary for today and the future. Unfortunately, a lot of the underserved communities in the world are stuck doing the routine work that will become obsolete because of machines and have greater risk of being left behind and falling into the skills gap because they have smaller chance of learning and applying skills that are becoming increasingly in demand.
Solution/Concept: This project aims to develop a design thinking workshop to help underserved Black Lives Matter youth learn some of the crucial competencies of the 21st century to create projects that solve real problems faced in their communities. Design thinking is a powerful framework to teach such relevant skills in an engaging, student-centered manner by working on real-life team projects that also help the community.
Next Steps: This is a new project that has just started. Details on results once completed.
Syrian Youth Empowerment
Project Lead: George Batah
What and why: Syrian Youth Empowerment (SYE) is an initiative to support the higher education of Syrian high school students by offering mentorship, along with free TOEFL and SAT classes, to secure scholarships in universities in the United States.
Results/Impact: Global Shapers helped developing the mentorship curriculum, fundraising strategy and provided pro-bono legal assistance to kick-off the process of registering SYE as 501(c)(3). Additionally, Shapers reviewed and provided feedback for 20+ essays for Syrian and refugee students..
SYE Project Success! 10 shapers have helped secure over $3.564 Million of scholarships for 10 Syrian Students coming mostly but not exclusively to America.
Admission and full scholarships came from: MIT(2), Cornell, Brown, George Washington, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Denver, West Virginia University, Lafayette College, University of British Columbia(Canada), Bard (Germany), Jacobs (Germany), Bennington, Western Reserve, University of Oklahoma, Cambridge (UK).
Next Steps: Obtaining the legal status, expanding strategically to countries other than the US (Canada, Australia and some countries in Europe are our top choices for expansion), ramp up fundraising and continue engaging Shapers in the applications review process.
Climate Change Brain Trust
Project Lead: Neil Yeoh
What and why: A new, interactive one-day program bringing 10 NYC climate-tackling startups to a roundtable of experienced academic and business leaders to address their challenges. Organised by the World Economic Forum Global Shapers New York Hub in partnership with Echoing Green.
The four objectives of the NYC Climate Braintrust were to:
New Home, New York
Project Lead: Omar O. Abboud
What and why: NHNY is a website dedicated to helping recently arrived refugees and immigrants with the information, tools, and services necessary to start their lives in New York State. The site contains valuable guides on the benefits system & medical care relevant to immigrants, refugees, and their case workers.
Results/Impact: Our guides were adopted by volunteers affiliated with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) in New York State, one of only seven authorized refugee resettlement agencies in the country. Volunteers have used NHNY to assist refugee families with navigating the public benefits system, seeking legal recourse and fair hearings, and filling out important documentation such as Medicaid recertification.
Next Steps: Expand the website to include guides on more topics -- such as medical care -- and work with legal aid organizations to proliferate the guides we’ve already written more widely.
New York Shapers
We are Global Shapers.
To become a New York Global Shaper you need to apply through the hub's own application process.
We are now accepting applications for the NYC Hub of Global Shapers.
Deadline is Sunday, November 4, 2018 (11:59 pm EDT)
The New York City Hub welcomes young people to apply to be a part of a group of like-minded individuals with a desire to change the state of the world, and New York City. You must reside or work in/near NYC, be under the age of 29, and have a concrete idea for how you want to make a change in the region. Your idea might make its way as a project that the hub collectively backs – or you can join existing projects if you think your interests and skills align.
Process and key milestones:
Rules and expectations – first 6 months!
All new Shapers are in a probationary period and must demonstrate the following values
What is the NYC Hub like?
We have monthly meetings where we talk about how we’re progressing on our projects, support each other as we navigate our own personal/professional lives, and meet up in socials to learn about small businesses around NYC or just have fun. Check out our Instagram for more recent updates on life with the hub.
Remember we are a project based hub. Expect to be on a project or leading a project. There is a 6 month probation period and you're expected to deliver.