Shaping our Future: Global Shapers Annual Curators Meeting 2014 #ShapersACM

What happens when you put 356 passionate, remarkable, loud, very special and stellar people; from 356 different cities spanning over 150 countries together for 4 days in the beautiful city of Geneva?

The experience of a lifetime (please forgive the cliche).

Who are the Global Shapers and the Global Shaper Community (GSC), you may ask? You can explore the various Hubs, Shapers, Projects etc here but simply put - The Global Shapers Community is an initiative of the World Economic Forum (WEF). We are a network of city-based hubs developed and led by young people who are exceptional in their potential, their achievements and their drive to make a contribution to their communities.

The Annual Curators Meeting brings together the Shapers who will lead their respective Hub's for the year and immerses them fully into what it means to be a part of this global community.

This year I have the privilege to serve the Colombo Global Shapers Hub as Deputy Curator and traveled to attend the ACM.

The lessons I learned would fill a book - the people I met were incredible beyond words, they made me fall in love and now I feel like I have a home in 365 different cities! But I picked 5 of the most profound lessons with great difficulty - so here we go:

1. You decide what is 'appropriate' and acceptable for your life: Life had always given me the impression that once marriage and children and a 'real' job came along I would lose the taste for the life I currently lead (not that I ever really subscribed to that impression). I met amazing Shapers who were parents, partners, who had 'real' jobs, lives and still subscribed to the madness that we can make our future better for everyone else. It was amazingly inspiring, uplifting and made me surer than ever about the path I have chosen.

2. What surround yourself is what you get: Over a million conversations with other Shapers about their daily lives, routines etc one commonality stood startlingly out to me. Almost everyone in one form or another cited the people they kept in their life supporting and cheering them on as a huge part of their success. Be it friends, other halves, family, colleagues  - this played a huge part in their daily lives.

3. The world is changing - and in what direction depends on us: The collective energy and determination that the 4 days had was mind-blowing. Every person I met acknowledged that the journey to change wouldn't be and isn't an easy one, but its one that they were willing to take anyway. It was heartening to know that this was my generation, that we wouldn't allow anyone else to dictate our destiny - that this time we would Shape our own future.

4. If you are honest, open and vulnerable - there is no limit: When I said that I made very real connections and friendships with people in just 4 days, I can sense the disbelief - but it is true. The very first day we were told by David (MD of the GSC) to be open, honest and vulnerable and this advice was practiced. As a result we were able to connect, share those real parts of ourselves and go beyond the superficial connection.

5. Life is meant to be lived with all the enthusiasm and energy that you have been blessed with: I am someone who has far more energy than most people can handle, and I had gotten into the habit of apologizing for this. Then the ACM happened and I realized that I don't need to be apologetic, I have a quality to be admired!! (thanks for that Shapers). Get excited about everything, crave experiences, hunt down excitement, laugh loud and live big. Your life will never be the same after that!

The ACM changed my life, the people I met touched and Shaped me. I am so excited about some of the collabs that are upcoming and the many that are in the future.

To keep an eye on what the Colombo Global Shapers will be up to  - follow us on Twitter @ColomboShapers

Global Shapers by day, Shakers by night ;) (Credit to Anishah Aujayeb!) I love you all. You gave me an experience I will spend my whole life drawing from.


Winston said…
Thanks for inspiring me once again!

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