#IWD2018: Celebrating inspirational women and supporting local families suffering domestic abuse
For International Women’s Day 2018, Belfast Global Shapers marked the occasion by celebrating the women who inspire us, over coffee and breakfast treats.
Belfast Global Shapers is a group of volunteers, aged under 30, who commit their extra time to promoting the best of Belfast and working together to address some of the issues we currently face as millennials. In August this year, we are delighted to be bringing the international annual conference, Shape Europe, to Belfast for the very first time.
On Thursday 8 March, Belfast Shapers met in Ormeau Baths to highlight the importance of gender parity and to reflect on the progress has been made on equality to date. Despite how far we have come, there is still much to do – we do not have to look too far across the world, or across the street, to see the continued disrespect and oppression thrust upon many women and girls.
Our fantastic host Jess Caldwell opened the event, encouraging everyone to take to twitter and have their say about what matters to them most on #InternationalWomensDay. Jess is one of our best examples of empowering and enthusiastic young women in Belfast – supporting and promoting the innovative use of technology across NI as part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution Challenge (4IRC).
We were delighted to have Louise Kennedy from Women’s Aid Northern Ireland join us for breakfast and tell us about the struggles that many women and children face every day at the hands of their oppressors. Sadly, domestic abuse and violence is a very real issue in Northern Ireland, and we were very pleased to use Women’s Day as a platform to highlight this and to raise money for the important support and services Women’s Aid provide locally. For more information on the services provided by the charity, please visit https://www.womensaidni.org/
Gender parity, and broader inclusiveness and equality, are fundamental principles of our Shape Europe conference that we will host in the fantastic city of Belfast this summer. The Belfast Shapers were thrilled to win the bid to host the annual 3-day event in Northern Ireland this year, and we cannot wait to showcase all the amazing things we have to offer. Over the duration of the conference, Shapers aged under 30 from right across the world will be joining us to discuss and debate important issues relating to politics, democracy, economics, border, Brexit, activism and equality.
Keep up-to-date on news about #ShapeEurope18 on Twitter – Follow us at @ShapersBelfast
As a result of our short breakfast meeting, we are happy to have raised £300 for Women’s aid Northern Ireland. We hope our small contribution can go towards supporting those who need it most – and we look forward to supporting the charity in the future. If you would like to donate to this important cause, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/belfastshaperswomensaidni
Start Up World Cup 2018
Start Up World Cup 2018
Belfast startup company Modius has been announced as the winner of the Belfast heat of the Startup World Cup. The annual competition was brought to Northern Ireland for the first time by Belfast Global Shapers.
The winning company, who launched the ‘world’s first weight loss wearable’ in August last year, pitched alongside 11 other startups to make their case for why they should be given the opportunity to have a chance of winning $1 million investment in the May grand final of the global competition, held in San Francisco.
Following the announcement, Tony Wilcox from Modius said: “We are delighted to have won the Northern Ireland heat of the Startup World Cup. It is a fantastic opportunity and we look forward to representing Northern Ireland at the global final in May. We are very grateful to Fenox Venture Capital and to Belfast Global Shapers for giving us this opportunity, and we wish all of the other competitors the best of luck for the future.”
Reflecting on the success of the event, Belfast Shaper Orla McGreevy said: “Congratulations to Modius. The Belfast Shapers are thrilled to have been able to bring this exciting opportunity to Belfast for the first time. A huge thank you to our sponsors Ormeau Baths, Ulster University and Belfast City Council.
“Northern Ireland is a hotbed of innovation and creativity and the Shapers are trying to showcase the very best of what Belfast has to offer. Modius is a fantastic example of our homegrown talent and we wish them all the best in the competition in San Francisco.”
Shape Europe 2017
On 29 September to 1 October, the Milan Hub hosted #SHAPEEU17Sustainability: Ideas into Action. 180 Shapers convened to rethink their communities through collaboration, integration and action. Shapers explored sustainability in all its dimensions (people, planet and prosperity) and proposed new hub projects to transform their communities for the better.
Sean Cullen, Kain Craigs, Becca Hume, Peter Edgar, Declan Cole and Mark O'Donnell from the Belfast Hub attend with 150 other Global Shapers.
New Concept for Europe Initiative
Peter Edgar and Mark O'Donnell were invited to the World Economic Forum headquarters in Switzerland to contribute to the "New Concept For Europe" project, joining 30 other Global Shapers throughout Europe to design a new vision for Europe post-Brexit.
In Milan later that year they joined over 140 thought leaders from public and private sectors that are committed to reviving the prospects for Europe’s future. Beginning with an exchange of innovative ideas around key topics they worked together to create the #reneweurope report. The outcomes of the report were discussed at Davos 2018.
Shaping Davos began in 2015 and is a unique event to create, share and absorb dialogue around local solutions to address global issues. Shaping Davos is a live-streamed event over 4 days connecting 16 cities globally to discuss topics relating to the theme of the World Economic Forums Annual Meeting in Davos. Shaping Davos provides host cities unprecedented connectivity and exposure to insights from cities and issues in every region of the world.
Spotlight on Belfast at Davos
Local entrepreneurs speak at World Economic Forum Annual Summit
On 18th January, the spotlight was shone on Belfast’s young entrepreneurs at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 47th Annual Summit in Davos.
Belfast featured in the conference for the first time, participating in a 75-minute live streamed panel discussion on ‘Cities as Hubs of Innovation’. Led by a group of ambitious local entrepreneurs, The Global Shapers Community, Belfast was represented in the discussion by tech professional Sheree Atcheson, alongside Seattle, Vancouver and Quito.
Jamie Anderlini, the Financial Times regional editor, moderated the panel and praised Belfast for its high level input and iconic broadcasting base overlooking the Titanic slipway and the Game of Thrones studio.
Sheree, 25, was born in Sri Lanka but raised in Tyrone, and is an accomplished computer coder.
Speaking on the experience, Sheree said: “Participating in the Shaping Davos discussion was a pivotal opportunity to showcase the world-class digital and entrepreneurial talent in Belfast today and also to position Northern Ireland on the global stage as a place which is vibrant, forward-thinking and home to a new generation of leaders.”
Over 3,000 of the world’s most influential leaders from politics, business, and philanthropy, are currently at the WEF summit in Switzerland. To see the live stream of the Shaping Davos discussion visit https:// www.weforum.org/pages/shaping-davos-2017 and all other Davos debates can be viewed at https:// www.weforum.org/events/world-economic-forum-annual-meeting-2017
The dialogue direct with Davos on Wednesday followed a content creation Open Forum in the BBC Belfast Studio on Monday 16th January. Young entrepreneurs Peter Edgar and Kain Craigs of the Belfast Global Shapers Hub, who won the opportunity to participate in the discussion, will now progress further opportunities to host World Economic Forum events in Belfast this year and a major conference in September 2018.
Peter Edgar, who works for Catalyst Inc, said: "The global connections and shared knowledge generated from this series of events is priceless. Following such a positive event, I am visiting California next week to promote Northern Ireland's thriving technology startups and to develop collaborative partnerships to help advance NI’s Knowledge Economy.”
Kain Craigs, who founded Iconic Golf Group, added: “We owe a great deal of thanks to all of our supporters, sponsors and speakers for helping us secure and deliver Belfast’s first engagement with Davos – and driving home the message that Belfast is preparing for the next industrial revolution”.
Chairman of CBI NI, David Gavaghan, one of over 250 attendees at the Shaping Davos content creation forum on Monday 16th January said: "It is wonderful to see the imagination of the next generation lead the way and show that they want to connect across the globe from the heart of Belfast."
Sponsors of the Shaping Davos in Belfast project included Deloitte Digital and Belfast City Council, with support from Invest NI, Forde Campbell LLC, Tourism NI and Morrow Communications.
Blood Drive 2017
Global Shapers joined together to raise awareness for blood banks around the world. The Belfast Shapers rallied their friends and family to come and donate blood at the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service (NIBTS). For many, this was the first time they had donated blood. NIBTS welcomed the efforts as blood banks are often running low in the winter months.
Blood is universally recognised as the most precious element that sustains our life.
Voluntary blood donation is one of the highest form of humanitarian service where it is done without expectation of even knowing who it will help. Amazingly, one single blood donation actually helps many patients.
For more information please visit: http://www.nibts.org
Run in the Dark 2017
As darkness swept around the globe in November thousands pulled on their running shoes and red flashing armbands tp head for the door. In over 50 cities worldwide, they were part of a living light show flowing through the streets like lava. Those same people helped fast-track a cure for paralysis as part of the Run in the Dark. Belfast was one of the 5 official locations including Dublin, Cork, London and Manchester in addition to hundreds of pop-up events in cities worldwide.
Belfast Shapers Peter Edgar, Becca Hume, Paul Stewart, Joe Devlin and Kain Craigs all took part in the 2017 Belfast event to support the Young Global Leader Mark Pollock.
Unbroken by blindness in 1998, Mark Pollock suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury in 2010 that left him paralysed. As Mark strives to walk again, his most complex journey is ahead of him - to find a cure for paralysis for him and the millions of paralysed people around the world. The Run in the Dark plays a vital role in funding The Mark Pollock Trust's mission to find and connect people around the world to fast-track a cure for paralysis.
Columbia University Visit
27 architecture students were invited to assess how Belfast could regenerate parts of the city and stimulate growth and prosperity.
Annual Curators Meeting 2016
Nearly 350 Curators from 119 countries gathered in Geneva for the ACM 2016, to work with their peers to understand the Global Shapers Community, the World Economic Forum and their Hub’s role in improving the state of the world.
The Annual Curators Meeting of the Global Shapers Community took place on 19-22 August in Geneva, Switzerland in the Headquarters of the World Economic Forum. Furthermore, Curators from Hubs around the world attended Headquarters of the World Trade Organization and United Nations Office at Geneva.
The ACM program focused on the vision, values and culture of the Global Shapers Community and aimed to ensure the success and sustainability of each Hub and the greater network. Kain Craigs, the incoming Curator of the Belfast Hub, was privileged to attend this annual Global Shapers Community event.
After an engaging opening plenary that set the context through a Shapers panel to give contextual intelligence on global issues followed by a panel with social entrepreneurs on how to design scalable and sustainable solutions, Professor Klaus Schwab shared his ideas on the 4 shifts that are affecting the world today.
Curators also engaged in skills-based learning with peers and global experts in intimate tribes; showcased the impact projects of their Hubs; and gained core competencies and practical tips to take back to their Hubs. Each Curator continued building and refining their Hub Action Plan which will be delivered on in the next year.