What the Global Shapers Vancouver Hub did in 2019–2020

2019 and 2020 brought many learnings and challenges as we advocated and organized for climate action, hosted conversations on how young people in our city envision their future, and transitioned to operating as a remote hub during COVID while still carrying out our largest recruitment cycle yet. In the Vancouver Hub, we are 40 members strong, but we are in the company of 9,611 Shapers across 432 hubs in 148 countries globally.

Global Shapers Vancouver Hub
6 min readDec 9, 2020
A photo of Global Shapers pre-pandemic times!

As we recap our 2019–2020 year but also reflect on what 2020 in general has brought us, we are feeling immense gratitude to be part of a community that is connected and purpose-driven. Despite all the uncertainty and anxiety, the hub stepped up and worked to support each other while addressing growing inequities and creating solutions to help those that have been impacted the most. Here are some highlights from 2019/20 that we’re proud to share:

Pan-Canadian Climate Initiative

A national initiative to raise the profile of climate change, increase youth awareness and engagement ahead of the federal election, and create opportunities for storytelling and intergenerational learning to drive climate action across the country. Since February of 2019, Shapers across Canada, led in part by the Vancouver Hub have:

  • Created a nation-wide map of youth-climate initiatives to identify strategic project opportunities
  • Hosted an all-candidates debate in the Vancouver-Granville riding during the 2019 federal election, focused on youth and the environment
  • Partnered with the City of Vancouver to raise awareness of and seek feedback on the City’s climate emergency declaration through a youth focused social media campaign, and 2 facilitated digital engagement events .


The FutureProof2030 initiative aims to help bring forward an inclusive, equitable, sustainable future for the Greater Vancouver Area through youth-driven inquiry with other youth. FutureProof seeks to elevate the voices of youth in addressing key questions like “How will Vancouver look in ten years?”, “How can Vancouver continue thriving while addressing these major challenges?” “How might we take advantage of opportunities such as the changing demographics or the role of technology in shaping the future of our city”? Participants identified their own goals and FutureProof will work with them to create realistic plan to achieve those goals.

Details of the August 2019 session and final report can be found here.

Women of Colour Rising Event

To celebrate International Women’s Day, the Vancouver Hub and SFU Public Squareorganized a panel of Black, Indigenous and women of colour to commemorate the contributions women of colour often get looked over for.

The panel of powerful women included Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson; Canadian indigenous lawyer, activist and member of the Raven Clan from the Haida Nation, Amal Rana; Pushcart Prize nominated poet and Director of Cambium Arts & Education, and Prem Gill; Chief Executive Officer of Creative BC. Keeping within the theme of centering BIPOC experiences, they came together to discuss how to navigate, survive and thrive in the high-pressure environments of business, politics and not-for-profits.

Covid-19 Resource Kit

Following Public Health Guidelines is not the only way we can support health-care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Hub created this information booklet with 11 additional ways Vancouverites can support our city’s recovery and response post-COVID.

Anti-Oppression Toolkit

Following the widely-witnessed murder of George Floyd, global discussions have erupted about the lived experiences of Black people and police violence, racial justice, and anti-Black racism. As we strive to build effective solidarity with Black communities in Vancouver, we’ve curated this resource for white and non-Black people of colour, highlighting eight ways they can support the Black community during this time.

New Shapers in 2020

We’ve also kicked off our 2020/21 term with a cohort of 16 new shapers and many energizing conversations to drive impact in Vancouver. We are focused on restructuring and organizing our hub with Impact Leads and prioritizing a culture of collective care and wellbeing.

Youth Governance and Engagement in Climate Policy

Climate justice is a central topic discussed at the Vancouver Hub. In 2019 Global Shapers from across Canada came together to mobilize a series of debates and community events for climate action across the country. These events reached from coast to coast, including major cities such as Calgary, Halifax, Saskatoon, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver. This year we’ve continued this important national initiative to raise the profile of climate change and increase youth engagement to drive climate action across the country.

Locally, we wrote a letter to the City Council together with 9 other youth organizations in Vancouver voicing our full support for the Vancouver Climate Action Emergency Plan in November 2020.

Roundtable with Parliamentary Secretary Ehsassi

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many inequalities in our society, and the Vancouver Hub has had many discussions on how these inequalities affect youth, women, low-wage workers, immigrants, Indigenous communities, and racialized Canadians. In keeping with these conversations, we had the opportunity to sit down with Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry (ISED), Ali Ehsassi on September 15, 2020. Members of our hub sat with Secretary Ehsassi to discuss the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and youth-specific initiatives and policy recommendations for the recovery trajectory ahead. This discussion came after writing this letter to the government calling attention to the need for youth re-skilling as a recovery tool for the pandemic.

Interested in watching our conversation with the Parliamentary Secretary? You can access the recording here.

Shaping our Future: BC Election Debate on Youth Issues

In October 2020, we hosted Shaping Our Future: a BC Election Debate on Youth Issues, in partnership with Apathy is Boring, CityHive, and Generation Squeeze. This event brought together invited MLA candidates to discuss youth priorities during the 2020 provincial election. This debate was an opportunity for candidates to share the plans of their respective parties and address the various issues concerning young people across British Columbia.

An immense thank you to David Eby, BC NDP candidate and current Attorney General of British Columbia; Annemieke Holthuis, BC Green Party candidate, and Jas Johal, BC Liberal candidate for participating in the debate, and Neetu Garcha, Global BC Anchor, for moderating this illuminating discussion.

Shape the Conversation Podcast

In our latest episode of the Shape the Conversation podcast, Shapers talked to two youth candidates in #BCelxn2020, Harrison Johnson and Tesicca Truong. The podcast is the vocal hub for the Vancouver Shapers, amplifying new voices and exploring relevant issues concerning Vancouver. In our conversation we discussed why Harrison and Tesicca decided to run, their platforms, and their experience running young candidates.

You can listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor, and Radiopublic.

We’re excited to continue to move the dial in many areas including civic engagement through the Provincial Election, our climate advocacy work in collaboration with Canadian hubs, understanding and supporting youth in our city to build a future on their own terms through FutureProof, continuing our justice and equity work through Shaping Fashion and WeInclude and so much more! We can’t thank you enough for being part of our community and excited to share more updates in the months to come.

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.

Feel free to reach out through 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