Movers And Shapers


A new initiative by the World Economic Forum is putting together a band of young proteges who will shape our future. Sujay Shridhar investigates the Global Shapers Community

Addressing the dearth of structured progressive efforts focused on the power of the youth, the World Economic Forum has launched its brand new community development initiative, recruiting enthusiastic individuals from all over the world. “I’m glad that the Global Shapers community has been formed, which will give the youth of India, and around the world, a voice,” says Ankit Fadia, 28, who is a member. Since its inception in 2010, scores of brilliant minds have been inducted into the WEF’s Global Shapers community.

The Global Shapers community is a development initiative spearheaded by young leaders between 18 and 30 years of age. It operates through a global network of self-organising local ‘Hubs’ which are based in major cities around the world. Each Hub is curated and run by members known as Shapers. There are currently 310 Hubs globally with 3274 active Shapers. There are Hubs set up in 16 Indian cities. The initiative also has the backing of corporate heavyweights like Reliance Industries and The Coca Cola Company.

The Mumbai and Delhi Hubs boast of a power-packed set of Shapers, with a name like Snapdeal founder and CEO Kunal Bahl among the roster. Social entrepreneurship consultant Zainab Kakal heads the Mumbai Hub. The Delhi Hub is curated by Sharanya Chandran who is a Consultant in the National Skill Development Agency (Ministry of Finance) as well as a nationally graded Bharatanatyam dancer and Vice-President of Natya Vriksha.
Shapers with expertise in the education sector, finance and economics, social entrepreneurship and politics have come together in a multi-dimensional pool  of talent. The Bhopal Hub is still in its founding stages. Ajay Chaturvedi has been appointed as the Founding Curator of the Bhopal Hub. He was previously honoured by the World Economic Forum as a top Young Global Leader 2013-18. The Bhopal Hub solicited 2000 applications from Bhopal and surrounding areas in February. The shortlisted applicants were people with the potential and eagerness to make the world a better place. They were inducted, groomed and assigned projects of their choice.

A number of high impact projects have been executed by the major Hubs in India over the past 3 years. The Mumbai Hub launched an education campaign named Sakhi in 2013 which was aimed at reducing school dropouts among young girls in the slums of Mumbai. Cooperative Reflective Learning (CRL) was used as the method of delivery thereby promoting inclusion and better absorption of classroom knowledge. With a seed capital of about Rs. 54000, Shapers built a learning centre complete with a library of books and teaching aids as well as course materials. The pilot class recorded not a single drop-out since inception.
The Delhi Hub wasn’t far behind, and organised a one-of-its-kind project with students of the American Embassy School, New Delhi to support WORK+SHELTER, an NGO that focuses on empowering women by offering them a secure environment to live and work. The project culminated in a fashion show and a charity gala which generated proceeds of about Rs. 9,00,000 which were completely donated to WORK+SHELTER. The project was launched on 10 November 2013 by Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder of the World Economic Forum.

The Mumbai Hub has already announced its recruitment for the year 2014 and has invited young enthusiastic minds to apply for membership.
“We are looking to raise our Shaper base from the present 20 to a stronger number. We are excited to induct individuals from diverse backgrounds and expertise as Mumbai, in essence, represents just that.” says Zainab Kakal, curator of the Mumbai Hub. Applications can be made at  www.globalshapers.ord/apply to a Hub of your choice along with the necessary information and a statement of purpose. The communications manager of the respective Hub will then contact interested applicants and take the selection process further. If you are brimming with ideas about community development, and are on the lookout for a suitable platform, then here’s your chance of having a valuable stake in the development of society. Go on, shape the world!

“We are given guidelines as to what not to do, but what we can do is totally up to our will and imagination.” Binit Vasa, Head of Communications, Mumbai Hub







Volume 3 Issue 10


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