Opinion Society, 30/12/2018

Global Shapers Hub Launches Projects in Kharkiv

Serhii PROKOPENKO, Chief Innovation Officer, Global Shapers Kharkiv Hub

The Global Shapers Community, an initiative backed by the World Economic Forum, is a network of 7,000 participants in 156 countries, consisting of 376 city hubs, primarily targeting younger citizens between the ages of 20 and 30, who are exceptional in their drive and potential to make a difference in their communities.

Local hubs sync between remote and ongoing events to discuss global challenges while maintaining a targeted approach to their communities specific needs. Recently, 60 shapers from different hubs met for the first time to lead a panel at the 2018 WTO Public Forum.

Kharkiv is home to one of these hubs. Currently, this local hub is focusing on expanding and launching new projects. These exciting new initiatives include The MoreInfo Project, which is working towards catalyzing urban mobility and local tourism, The VR Marathon, which is utilizing innovative media technologies to promote the modernization of product variations, and several initiatives focusing on topics including developing the entrepreneurial spirit of youth, ecological issues, human rights, equality and accessibility and finally the creation and support of cultural bridges for artists between cities.

Being a part of the WEF community has many advantages. Each year, a variety of offline events are taking place within the World Economic Forum framework. Having access to the Young Global Leaders and WEF community, along with a better understanding of how to discuss global challenges we are able to help shape local businesses, public policy, media, and cultural activities in order to compete on a global scale.

Specifically, we hope to create shared value together with local stakeholders, delivering unique strategic insights in exchange for the continuing growth of our expertise center of the 4th Industrial Revolution.  We can use state of the art knowledge and interaction tools, among which are transformation maps analytical datasets of World Economic Forum, as well as its local governance protocols.

By inviting other Shapers to Ukraine, promoting regional events, international forums and continuing to create connections we hope to further public diplomacy. We try to think positively. However, we are occasionally faced with failures, caused by a weak local understanding of global context. One of them was our idea to invite Shapers all over the world to Kharkiv for an international forum to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the first skyscraper complex in Europe, Derzhprom, to promote the region. This did not happen as, unfortunately, our biggest hurdles at this time continue to be the lack of support and understanding of these initiatives by city administration officials. We hope this will change soon.

The hub’s most recent plans include organizing a series of live stream World Economic Forum events, focusing on crowd-design and research on city readiness to undergo the 4th Industrial Revolution, nurturing Shapers’ projects and searching for new members.

At this stage of hub development, we are interested in collaboration with international organizations and the local community to accelerate hub projects and, correspondingly, help clusters, associations and regional representatives gain more visibility in the Global Shapers network and on the World Economic Forum scene.

As further insights into the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution and its effects on individuals are desperately needed, the Kharkiv Hub has the potential and opportunity to be at the forefront of the search for this information.

We invite all stakeholders to discuss future opportunities and possibilities with us!