“The Great Reset” Reflections from the Global Shapers Summit 2020

Global Shapers Vancouver Hub
6 min readOct 11, 2020

For the first time ever, the World Economic Forum hosted a virtual Global Shapers Annual Summit designed to mobilize the collective action needed to realize a ‘Great Reset’. The meeting convened approximately 3000 Global Shapers and Alumni for a five-day virtual programme from August 28th to September 1st featuring plenary sessions to exchange ideas, community activities to build relationships and hands-on workshops to mobilize action.

Read more to hear some insights and reflections from ourShapers!

Key Shared Insights

“Global Shapers have the moral authority to call upon political powers to demand a better future. Like in every great revolution, young people are at the helm.” — Al Gore

COVID-19 has show us how interconnected we are, and also how interconnected our solutions needs to be. Let us continue to work together to make the world a better place. We believe that progress happens by bringing together young people from all walks of life who have the passion and potential to make a difference. We might not have all the solutions, but we know how to work together.” — Robyn Seetal via Calgary Hub.

“Nobody’s mind has been changed with a hammer. It’s always been changed with a hand.” — Sarah Kate Ellis

Young people today are the largest force for positive change in the world right now” — Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.

Shaper Reflections and Takeaways

Cecilia: A few months ago, I was invited to the Vancouver hub and to have the opportunity quickly after to meet Shapers from hubs across the world, truly is an utmost privilege. Being a part of this community means a lot to me but especially during a time of great uncertainty to have this conference become so accessible was incredibly empowering. It was easy during the pandemic to feel hopeless or disappointed about the future; as trends such as inequality or polarization exacerbated. The week became a beacon of hope to address some of the greatest challenges of our time. To have met such engaged and committed young leaders was awe-inspiring. Through the course of plenaries, workshops, engagement events, and skill building sessions, I had the opportunity to connect with different hubs and individuals across various industries and hear their experiences or expertise. Follow me along on a journey below as I recapped each day on Instagram:

Cecilia is an avid reader/writer that loves to empower youth, explore policy and the power of civic engagement, as well as engage in the arts. Find her hiking or running (towards dogs)!

Selin: It hasn’t been long since the opportunity to be a part of the Global Shapers Vancouver Hub fell into my lap; a simple email forward from my manager at the time. Fast-forward a few months, and I find myself logging onto my first Annual Summit event not fully comprehending what I was about to be a part of. To be completely honest, my younger self would have probably missed the deadline to register for the summit, let alone wake up extra early to make it to events that did not work well with the PST time zone. But a fellow Vancouver Shaper had given me the advice to become as involved as I could within the global Shapers network early on, so I put aside my procrastination problem, registered early, and set reminders for all of the events I was interested in joining.

On the first day, the first event I attended was the Celebrating our Diversity Event. It seemed like it would be a lighthearted event to start with and test the waters on this whole “Global Network” idea. Boy, was it awesome. Everybody came alive talking about their culture and their background, and you could see genuine interest and fascination from every single one of the participants when listening to someone speak about their story. I didn’t even realize I did this until after the event, but I apparently jotted down “breakout room = amazing” on my notepad in the middle of a conversation I was having with some Shapers. I got to connect with youth from completely different walks of life and quickly saw something in them. The very thing I had picked up on during my first couple months with the Vancouver hub; passion, kindness, and collective commitment to making our communities a better place. Qualities that existed in each person I met in my breakout group, and what I quickly came to realize existed in the people I had the chance to connect with that weekend.

To me, that was the key thing I took away from the weekend of virtual Summit events. Every single person brought on something special and completely different to the table, yet we were all unified through shared goals and hopes for the future. To call the experience refreshing and hope-giving (is “hope-giving “a normal thing to say?) would be a total understatement. It was that and so much more.

Selin is a music lover who is passionate about social & environmental sustainability, education, and youth empowerment.

Through the course of the conference, there were a variety of impact sessions focused on covering a range of issues such as building inclusive communities, fighting climate change, maximizing civic engagement, safeguarding physical and mental health, and upskilling vulnerable populations. Leaders from a diverse and inspiring backgrounds such as Yo-Yo Ma, Al Gore, Jayathma Wickramanayake, and Ellyn Shook shared empowering messages to youth.

Skill sessions focused on bringing tangible insights from forefront practitioners and thoughts leaders from numerous industries. Examples included measuring and evaluating social impact, scaling up social impact, investigating unconscious bias, design thinking, advocacy to achieve global goals, overcoming roadblocks in innovative problem solving, influencing policy change for climate change, and influencing systems change.

Throughout the week, there were many dance offs, karaokes, showcases, and community events for Shapers around the world to meet one another as well as build synergy for cross collaborative hub projects!

All in all, it was an incredible opportunity and the Vancouver Shapers Hub was so grateful to be a part of it!

The Global Shapers Vancouver Hub is a group of 32 Vancouver-based changemakers between 20 and 30 years old dedicated to community impact but in the company of 9,655 Shapers and 3,010 Alumni across 428 hubs in 148 countries globally. An initiative of the World Economic Forum, Global Shapers are diverse in demographics, geographical areas, and sectors, but united by a common drive to build a more dynamic, peaceful, and inclusive world through local impact.

Feel free to reach out throughTwitter , Facebook, or connect with individual Shapers through our website. If you are interested in volunteering with our Hub, connect with us here.



Global Shapers Vancouver Hub

Born out of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Global Shapers Community is a network of 378 city-based hubs in 160 countries working on local and global issues