By Dave Kelly
The tentacles of the World Economic Forum have reached our neck of the woods thanks to the Global Shapers Community, an organisation founded in 2011 by Klaus Schwab and his friends at Riyad Bank, the Carlyle Group, and China’s Sino Bopharmaceuticals.
The Auckland hub website (there are others in Wellington and Christchurch) states that the Global Shapers Community is a network of “inspiring young people under the age of 30 working together to address local, regional, and global challenges”.
The current focus of the Auckland hub is ”…lonliness [sic] and mental health, equity in the digital divide, and climate change migration pathways”. What I wonder is a climate change migration pathway and does it appear on the GPS of my 6 cylinder twin-turbo 4X4?
The site also states: “In each city, teams of Shapers self-organize to create projects that address the needs of their community. [that’s the homeless problem sorted then].
The happy-clappy site continues…”Projects are wide-ranging – from responding to disasters and combating poverty, to fighting climate change and building inclusive communities.
“Shapers are diverse in expertise, education, income, heritage and identity, but are united by their desire to bring about change.”
A member of the Auckland hub joined 60 Global Shapers at a Climate Reality Leaders conference in Minneapolis, and another flew to a WEF meeting in Davos. Later, Auckland members supported the School Strikes for Climate in NZ.
Shapers say they meet monthly to “develop ourselves, the projects of our hub, and to socialise” [they went on holiday to Motutapu Island 2020 – although they called it a ‘retreat’ on their Facebook page].
The global organisation claims to have more than 14,000 members in 456 cities across 150 countries.
It boasts of having the largest youth population in history (although the Hitler Youth had 8 million members at its height), and claims there is an “unprecedented opportunity for young people to take an active role in shaping the future”.
According to the Global Shapers’ 2020-2021 annual report, it has an annual budget of US$6.5 million. Fine detail of where the cash came from, and how and where it was spent, is not divulged in the report.
More annual reports listed here. Page 13 of the 2018-2019 report names Jacinda Ardern as a ‘Voice for the Planet’.
Auckland’s Global Shapers has a Facebook page started in 2016, but there are no new posts since May 2021.