A manifesto from the Annual Curators Meeting 2017 of the Global Shapers Community
What happens when you put 350 people under 30 representing nearly all countries on this planet together for four days into a city like Geneva?
You create the most diverse, inspiring and forward looking place in the world. A place of change, empowerment and happiness. A place of laughter and reflection so colourful that you will drown in it. A place of strength and vulnerability. Frank. Humble. Real. You create a place where people become best friends in 5 minutes, a place where people from countries that don’t get along with each other work together, dance together and cry together. Welcome to the Annual Curators Meeting of the Global Shapers Community.
The Global Shapers Community, an initiative by the World Economic Forum, is a tribe of young people aged between 20-30 that are exceptional in their leadership potential to improve the state of the world in they local communities. They are driven by a larger vision, entrepreneurial, and passionated in bringing people together to collaborate around global challenges and drive local action. There are over 350 hubs around the world in most major cities, called hubs, that are indenpendently organised by a curators team totalling three people. The curators team organises the local hubs and ensures that the hub strives. Every 12 month a new curators team is appointed to ensure diversity, different perspectives and fresh views on the local activities. Once a year, all curators from all hubs gather together during the Annual Curators Meeting to work on shared projects, inspire and support each other as well as drive global exchange. And the Global Shapers Community is an action community. Just look at this impressive list of 100 projects run by Global Shapers… from ocean cleaning to equality, from connecting networks to educating children.
The Annual Curators Meetings is probably one of the few events in the world where really the whole word comes together to do something to improve the state of the world on a bigger picture. Visionary thoughts and ideas like how a sustainable world without waste could look like or how humans and machines will interact in the future and how the future of cities in the fourth industrial revolution will look like. Full scale perspectives paired with concrete action, sometimes just baby steps, is what will change the world for the better in the future.
The Global Shapers Community could be described as the blueprint for the future of society, as it proves that people from all different backrounds can get along, can live next door and create something together that benefits everyone. It’s a community of empathy and respect, love and challenging. A community that is able to discuss hard questions in a reflected and appreciating manner. Willing to stand up for their ideas of the world, but at the same time humble enough to correct their thoughts if needed. Learning culture per excellence. By looking at the actions the Global Shapers community can be the role model for future generations. Even though it looks elite and privileged from the outside perspective, and yes.. sometimes it is, the community is open to everyone that is willing to join a bigger vision for the world.
But the Annual Curators Meeting creates also a place on the other side of the coin. You create a place where you realise that not every person can easily travel the world and participate in making the world a better place… and just because old men in boring suits have decided to not hand out a visa. Why am I as German or European citizen allowed to travel the world without any problems but others can’t come over to me? Why do we stop saving the world on invisible boarders that only exist in our heads? Borders that only serve the purpose of ego-driven power and not the people. The world is no longer unipolar, it’s connected. We have to include all people and make them participate, rather than excluding them because we fear that they will steal something from our country. We shouldn’t be so arrogant to think that we have created the perfect place in Europe, only because we are a member of the lucky sperm club being born here.
We are now creating the digital and cyber-physical world and people will collaborate across borders in a new system. Everybody and everything is part of something bigger now. We have to bring the people together to run the show called “life on earth”. We are sabotaging ourselves by not doing so. We are in the age where every challenge that we face is global. Climate change and natural desasters won’t stop at borders, people won’t stop at borders and neither will the digital world stop at borders. Everything will be happening everywhere at any time and any place. And the internet is the first system where we can really feel it.
We are living in a world where fridges in cities are better connected than some people in the world even though we know that technology and especially the internet has the power to fix the state of the world. It’s the first time ever that we have a system that is global, easy to access, inclusive and -even more important- a system that follows rules designed by the people. Again, we have to bring people into this system. Digital communities can’t be controlled by national or supranational legal frameworks, they define their own rules, their own values and their own identities. Everybody that has internet access enters a global world, a global network of limitless opportunities. And the more people get access to it, the more opportunities we create. Opportunities are the real drivers of change and the essential part of solving the challenges that we face in the world. If we can create opportunities for all people in the world we will get along much better.
A world of stability is a world of preservation and change. We have to balance both. We can’t just go out and change everything. We are not designed to experience enormous change all the time. We need something to believe in, something that we can identify with, something that defines who we are and where we come from. The difference defines us and gives us personality. But, nevertheless, we can make the world a better place even when we have different views and perspectives. We need a shared global identity and value system. We all want to live peacefully together without fear, in a world that offers us the opportunities to become the best version of ourselves.
And we will find this, we will find what we are looking for because we, the young people, won’t accept stupid systems anymore. We will change it! We have proven that we can do it, that we can get along with each other, that we can create something beautiful together – 6 years in a row, 6 Annual Curator Meetings in a row.
We know that it’s a long way to get there and that we will face hard times. Times where we will have doubts about ourselves, times where we will be tired, times where we think we can’t do it. But, we will push through. We will continue and we will remember that every action counts. We will keep on smiling at people, we will step up when we see bad things happening, we will say please and thank you, practice compassion and we will ask questions. We know that the little things are our most powerful weapon and that, whatever we do, kindness will always be a good option.
We won’t accept the status quo, we won’t kill our peers in idiot wars, we won’t exploit our world to the limits. We will take care of everything around us and make this world a better place. We, the people aged 27 or younger, count for almost 50% of the people on the planet. Nothing and nobody can stop us.But, we need everybody in this world to join us making the world a better place, from young to old, from poor to rich, from every culture, background and educational level. We need you to join this beautiful journey. The time for everything is now… Come join us!