The Global Shapers Colombo and Kandy Hubs have won the bid to host the regional gathering of Global Shapers in South Asia for 2019 titled ‘Shape South Asia’. As such during the second week of October 2019, 150 delegates from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan as well as a few from Europe, Australasia and other parts of the world will fly down to Sri Lanka for a 4 day immersive conference in the cities of Colombo & Kandy.
The Global Shapers Community is an initiative of the World Economic Forum and is a not-for-profit organization of inspiring young people under the age of 30 working together to address local, regional and global challenges. With more than 8,000 members, the Community spans 401 city-based hubs in 155 countries across the planet. The scale and significance of this community is evident in the role that they play in the activities of the World Economic Forum.
Sri Lanka has two Global Shaper Hubs – Colombo and Kandy which comprises young people from all walks of life, working towards shaping their cities. Both hubs have jointly won the bid to host the annual regional gathering of Global Shapers titled “Shape South Asia 2019” in October this year. Each year the community convenes Shape events regionally, in order to facilitate integration, dialogue, innovative approaches and reconciliation processes to find solutions to common problems that affect communities and regions.
Participants of Shape South Asia 2019 will be very prominent and influential young leaders from the region as well as around the world, who represent leaders from the corporate sector, public service, politics, start-ups, social entrepreneurship, civil society activists and other professionals. Shapers are thought leaders and opinion creators within their own communities and this will make this event even more significant due to the global reach and publicity it would receive outside of Sri Lanka.
Despite the Easter Sunday attacks, the Sri Lankan Shapers have decided to go ahead with the challenge of hosting this conference, as it will be an excellent show of resilience and a message of positivity to the rest of the world that despite recent events, Sri Lanka is once again ready to host high level MICE tourism events in the country.
As a show of support, the event will be attended by the Head of the Global Shapers Worldwide, the Regional Director and other high level representatives from the World Economic Forum. The Opening ceremony is expected to be graced by government leaders as well as private sector partners who are supporting the Global Shapers in Sri Lanka.
As this is a purely voluntary organization, the organizers are relying on the Sri Lankan public sector institutions and private sector companies to support them to successfully host the event.
Given the current context of Sri Lanka, this opportunity will enable young leaders across the globe to witness firsthand, as well as to reassure to the world, a true story of our nation’s resilience. Equally it will mark a significant milestone for the youth of our country, to expand their boundaries and engage with youth communities within as well as outside the South Asian region.