Welcome to our new Vancouver Global Shapers

Global Shapers Vancouver Hub
10 min readAug 18, 2020


The Vancouver Hub of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community is excited to introduce you to our new Global Shapers! Our sixteen new Shapers, selected after an intensive recruitment process, come from different experiences, sectors, and backgrounds and share the common goal of bettering our community through collaboration. We are proud to welcome them to our Hub.

Situated on the ancestral, unceded, and traditional lands of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, the Vancouver Hub is comprised of emerging and accomplished leaders across the public, private, and non-profit sectors working in finance, technology, management consulting, law, academia, public policy, politics, and entrepreneurship. The Vancouver Hub is engaged in projects to foster positive change and sustainable impact locally and internationally.

We received many applications from talented young leaders in Vancouver this recruitment cycle and our decision was incredibly difficult. We were honoured to meet so many people doing incredible work in our city. These sixteen individuals we have selected to join our Hub this June were selected on the basis of their impact, leadership potential, unique skills and perspectives, and commitment to building their communities.

Please join us in welcoming Vancouver’s newest Global Shapers!

Zoe Beynon-MacKinnon

Zoe is a passionate food justice activist and community organizer. A founding member of Lettuce Harvest Foundation, Zoe works to build climate-resilient communities through urban food production. Zoe holds a MA in Political Science from UBC and a BA in Sustainability, Political Science, and Economics from Dalhousie University. Her greatest area of interest is the potential to benefit both environmental and human wellbeing through transitions from the predominant industrial food system to sustainable agricultural practices.

Zoe is a vocal advocate for the role of food sovereignty in just climate-action, and the necessity to address environmental racism and systematic oppression within our food systems. When not working for food justice, Zoe can be found in her vegetable garden, out on cycling adventures, being excited about plants, and lifting heavy things.

Sean Celi

Sean was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to Canada when he was 15. His migration experience motivated him to be involved with immigrant and refugee youth communities in Vancouver. He founded the Vancouver Immigrant Youth (VANITY) Blog in 2013 to provide an online platform for youth immigrants to share resources and their experiences to fellow newcomer youth in the Lower Mainland. Since then, he has facilitated workshops for immigrant youth on topics like career, community building, and intercultural understanding.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of British Columbia, and currently works at Immigration, Citizenship, and Refugees Canada. He hopes to combine his work with refugee youth, his public service experience, and his education to advocate for policies that addresses inequity issues affecting youth immigrants and economic inequality more broadly. In his spare time, he loves going to karaoke, playing volleyball, and binge-watching Succession.

Tabinda Shah

Tabinda is an interdisciplinary, applied-based learner with an interest in socioeconomic urban systems, data-driven design thinking and digital media/communication. She treats life like a trial-and-error rubik’s cube, and is always trying something new, either to learn something about herself or develop a skill. Community is fundamental to delivering her vocations, and she aims to support communities with the emotionally intelligent practices she continues to learn, detail-oriented planning, as well as her resourcefulness.

Mei Xi Tan

Jenny Tan Mei Xi (陳美希) is a journalist, jeweler, and first-generation immigrant with roots in Singapore and the Hakka, Hokkien, and Teochew communities. Her journalism has taken her from rural Saskatchewan to coastal Vancouver, with work in radio, podcasting, and print. She’s also led business development at a marketing agency, produced projects for political caucuses and major non-profits, and bridged businesses and the environmental movement. As important as her professional work is the time she spends in the kitchen cooking authentic Singaporean curry or frolicking in the natural abundance of BC.

Anitra Paris

Anitra is a self-proclaimed renewable energy nerd, she currently works as the Operations & Policy Manager at Clean Energy BC. She holds a BSc. in Natural Resource Conservation from the University of British Columbia with a major in global perspectives. Finding collaborative solutions to big problems is what drives her work. Born and raised in BC, she has an appreciation for rural and urban living. On the weekends you can find Anitra immersed in nature, from mountain tops to tidal zones.

Cecilia Pang

Cecilia is a Political Science student at UBC and the Co-Managing Editor of “The Exchange,” an economic policy publication at the Vancouver School of Economics. Given her interests in public policy and behavioural economics, as an Economic Policy Analyst, she enjoys developing research strategies on issues such as employment, sustainability, and equitable development. Passionate about youth empowerment and civic engagement, she has helped shape Canada’s inaugural Youth Policy unveiled in May 2019.

As a curious explorer, she strives to gain a better understanding of the world through her love for writing and volunteering. She has done this through starting initiatives of her own such as her website ajourney2success.com (est.2012) to empower thousands of young global readers and her non-profit Art2Heart Foundation (est.2014) to implement arts programming in City of Surrey. She can often be found avidly hiking the North Shore mountains or running at Kits Beach and reading books.

Gary Thomas Cooke

Gary is a recent Irish immigrant to Vancouver working in Railway Engineering. Gary’s passion is education and transformative power of intercultural learning. Gary held the position of Vice Chairperson of EIL Intercultural Learning, an educational charity focused on providing diverse range intercultural experiences. While living in London, he actively participated the Institute of Mechanical Engineering working to promote STEAM opportunities to students and coordinating events to promote the rail industry. He is passionate environment and works within his professional role to deliver public transit solutions for cities across Canada. Gary is an avid hiker and novice snowboarder.

Lina Abouzaid

Lina is a healthcare management professional working on healthcare providers’ engagement and organizational development. With a background in pharmacy and a Masters in Health Administration from UBC, she’s worked in the field in Egypt and Canada in the non-profit, public, and private sector for the past 6 years.

Lina is passionate about improving access to services for minority and high-risk populations, and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion. She loves traveling, reading, and binge-watching Netflix shows.

Selin Oğuz

Selin is a music lover who is passionate about social & environmental sustainability, education and youth empowerment. She holds an undergraduate degree from the Global Resource Systems program at University of British Columbia, and a minor in Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies from Wageningen University in the Netherlands. She believes deeply in the power of the youth to make systemic and long lasting changes in our society.

Markiel Simpson

Markiel is a high-level athlete turned community advocate, who is actively working towards having Canadian Black History taught in schools across BC. Markiel is an Executive on the BC NDP Young New Democrats as shares the role of Diversity Director. Markiel is also on the steering committee for the BC Community Alliance, a local non- for profit that is dedicated to breaking down systemic racism, especially that which affects BC’s Black community.

Markiel was born in Montreal, but raised in East Vancouver, he has been drawn to politics and creating systemic change his whole life and is always one to stand up, and speak out for those unable to speak for themselves. Markiel has represented Jamaica on the international stage as a member of the Beach Volleyball team and enjoys working as part of a team to accomplish shared goals and better the community around him.

Missy Johnson

Missy is Métis-Canadian, a feminist and multi-skilled journalist living in East Van. She grew up on Vancouver Island and moved to the mainland after she finished high school. She is a recent graduate of the Journalism program at Langara College where she was previously a Peace & Conflict Studies student. Currently an intern journalist for The Tyee, as part of the Journalists for Human Rights Emerging Indigenous Reporters Program, she gets to write about issues in B.C. that matter to her. She has spent the last few years volunteering in her community as a member of the Women’s Advisory Committee for the City of Vancouver. She speaks French fluently. Always looking for travel recommendations, she is a lover of political autobiography books & B.C. wine.

Keivan Hirji

Keivan is a first-generation Canadian, born and raised in North Vancouver by two immigrant parents from Africa who came to Canada in search of opportunity.

Carving out a career as an experienced public relations and global business professional, Hirji has worked in the private, non-profit, and public sectors. He has served as a Ministerial Advisor to the executive branch of the provincial government, in the Energy and Environment Division of the Canadian Embassy in Washington D.C., and in several other senior public service roles. He holds a Masters in Global Business in a joint program through the University of Victoria, University of Glasgow Adam Smith Business School, and Chulalongkorn University of Bangkok along with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science through the University of Victoria.

Outside of work, Hirji can be found exploring coastal trails or catching the first gondola up on a bluebird day during ski season.

Barbara Maria Szymczyk

Barbara is a public-sector consultant, working with non-profit as well as territorial, provincial, and municipal government level clients within the areas of program evaluation, feasibility assessment, stakeholder consultation, and program administration. Barbara’s interests in government and decision making processes have lead her to hold elected positions at the university senate and student government level as well as taking part in the British Columbia Legislative Internship Program, an intensive 6-month immersion into the legislative and executive branches of government. Within her day-to-day and volunteer work, Barbara is always driven by considering the impact her work has on communities and individuals. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Honours degree from Simon Fraser University. In her free time, Barbara enjoys reading about current events, hiking, and arranging flowers.

Laura Chen

Laura is a passionate climate justice advocate working at the UBC Climate Hub on their climate emergency process, connecting and empowering communities around bold action on climate change. She is also a recent UBC Bachelor of International Economics alumnus and was a youth delegate to COP25 for BCCIC representing British Columbian youth on the world stage.

Cameron Frayne

Cameron is a keen problem solver with a deep passion for financial inclusion and building inclusive systems more generally. Having been born in South Africa, and raised in multiple countries, Cameron has witnessed first-hand the impact that exclusionary institutions can have on individual and social outcomes.

To that end, he endeavours to use his professional expertise as a management consultant and FinTech worker to affect change both through his work but also within his workplace (professional and extra-curricular). He aspires to do so as a leader but also as an ally-advocate, using his known privilege to empower the strong capabilities and talents of others.

Outside of work, Cameron is an enthusiast for the outdoors and hopes to play a role in conserving what he enjoys today for generations to come.

Emmanuela Droko

Emmanuela arrived in her youth to the unceded territories of the Coast Salish people, from South Sudan. This fact informs everything she does and fuels the work she partakes in — namely through participating in work that prioritizes authentic community engagement. In her everyday work, Emmanuela provides training to communities across BC, examining social inclusion gaps and helping build a path towards a future that emphasizes digital inclusion. In her community work, she addresses the need for intersectional advocacy. Emmanuela dreams of vibrant Black futures. She continues to build, facilitate, and lead the conversations that will shape our futures.

The Global Shapers Vancouver Hub is a group of Vancouver-based changemakers between 20 and 30 years old who’ve been selected for their dedication and track record for community impact. 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. In the Vancouver Hub, we are 30 members strong, but we are in the company of 9,655 Shapers and 3,010 Alumni across 428 hubs in 148 countries globally.

Please feel free to reach out through our social media channels: Twitter , 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