The Global Shapers Community is a worldwide network of young individuals under 30 who are united in their efforts to address local, regional, and global challenges. The Economic Forum founded the Global Shapers to bridge the gap between policymakers and youth. Libya was one of the countries that joined the initiative when it was founded, and as a result, the Tripoli Hub was established in 2012. The Global Shapers Community is a collective of young individuals under 30 who have come together to address local, regional, and global challenges.
Spanning across 150 countries, the Global Shapers Community has over 14,000 members and 456 city-based hubs. The community is dedicated to creating positive change in their communities by tackling a range of issues. This article aims to shed light on Global Shapers Tripoli and Benghazi hubs through interviews with two Shapers, Amjad Badr and Abdullah Almiqasbi. Through their interviews, we will get an insight into their work, achievements, and aspirations. Seeing young individuals coming together to make a real difference in their communities and beyond is inspiring.
The Tripoli Hub was an active community from 2012 to 2014. Although its activity decreased slightly afterward, the Hub resumed its operations and restructured its work after COVID-19 hit in 2020. In June 2022, Abdullah Almiqasbi founded the Benghazi Hub, and this year, Libya received permission to start another Hub. Each Hub can have up to 20 members in stable countries, according to the Global Shapers charter. The Tripoli Hub had an average of 10 to 15 members when it was founded, but now it has almost 20 members, which is a great achievement and will have a positive impact.
Global shapers in Tripoli worked on civic engagement, active citizenship, and economic empowerment. For every Hub worldwide, the Hub is more oriented based on the pool of existing members. Upon reviving its activities, Tripoli hub focuses more on digital transformation and technology, as most members are more tech-oriented. In Tripoli Hub, they focus more on scaling for the future. For example, the Shape Libya Forum is one of the crucial deliverables. Nonetheless, the hubs wanted a cross-hub collaboration given the recent creation of the Hub in Benghazi. The forum aims to bring together junior and senior experts in various fields to discuss and share expertise. Amjad highlighted, ”It is the generational conversation to foster a conversation”.
Diverse Set of Activities
In Tripoli, they are working on a concept called Coffee with an Expert, which is monthly in-person sessions. They covered many topics, including identity in Libya, art, successful examples from the private sector, and other exciting topics. Many of their projects focus on fostering discussions to enhance the conversation stream and to connect different generations to create motivation to shift ideas and change the fixed narratives. Amjad hopes the Hubs will deliver its impact on the policy and governance levels.
This year, Global Shapers from worldwide had the annual Summit, bringing together the Curators of all hubs worldwide. The aim was to set the creators for the upcoming year. Amjad mentioned that it is a life-changing experience. One of the Summit’s highlights is the aspect of sharing challenges. For instance, Engagement, keeping an active hub, etc., are all global challenges.
The stability factor is helpful to have more impact from the hubs’ work and involvement from governmental bodies. The Summit shows the diversity in terms of impacts based on each city. It was an opportunity for Tripoli and Benghazi Hubs to share their active experience during the Summit. Now, they are working on the global shapers’ Mediternean Taskforce. They’re having bi-weekly meetings to build or create common challenges for the region.
Connecting Libya’s Hubs
From Benghazi Hub, Abdullah Almugasbi knew about Global Shapers first thing in 2017 while he was doing his master’s in Beijing. At that time, it was more on blockchain and emerging technologies, as he was interested in this domain. That inspired him to implement the same thing in his home city, Benghazi.
As Abdullah explained, the Global Shapers Community is not only about community service and building a positive impact but also about how the community grows together. In 2022, he decided to do it remotely since he relocated to Denmark. It ws indeed challenging, but through joint efforts with his network in the city, he managed to deliver and implement crucial activities. Abdullah stressed Amjad’s role in ensuring a line of communication between Tripoli and Benghazi Hubs.
It is important to note that the founding curators of Hub are not required to be within the specified age range. In March 2022, Abdullah started the incubation process after receiving the acceptance letter from Global Shapers in January of the same year. Additionally, the Benghazi Hub consisted of 26 members during this time. The curator period lasted for one year, from July to July of the following year. Abdullah served as a curator for one year only, after which the leadership was transferred to another person.
Among the projects they are developing is Job 101. This project aims to prepare students and fresh graduates for the 2023 job market by providing courses and training to help participants acquire the necessary skills and experience to increase their opportunities and benefit their careers. They are connecting experts from the city to provide those training for free. Moreover, they developed another project that concerns detecting hate speech online through existing models. Now, they are working on a podcast series for Shapers Talks. In addition, qodra (Ability) focuses on supporting youth with crafts to help develop skills that can support them. Abdullah mentioned they concentrate on specific angles: youth and employment for the future, leadership, youth involvement in policymaking, and mental health awareness.
The Hubs have been created for individuals between the ages of 18 and 27. However, individuals who turn 30 later move into the alum network after 2020. Currently, Amjad and two other leaders are working on the next curatorship for the Hubs. They understand the importance of building sustainable hubs that will facilitate a smooth leadership transition for years to come. To achieve this, they are concentrating on developing strategies that will allow the community to thrive and grow. They are also exploring methods of handing over leadership roles to new members as they come in, ensuring that the community remains active and lively.
The team’s ultimate goal is to create a community that will be a source of inspiration and support for young adults for many years. They are committed to building a community that fosters personal and professional development, promotes inclusivity, and encourages members to achieve their full potential.