Welcome to six new Oxford Shapers

2017 cohort of Global Shapers joins the Oxford Hub

Oxford, UK — It is a great pleasure to welcome our new cohort of Global Shapers to the Oxford Hub. These six inspirational individuals join our community as our Hub continues to grow and evolve, addressing some of the local and global challenges and developments in health, environment and technology.

The Oxford Hub of the Global Shapers Community is situated at the heart of Oxford University, a world-leading centre of learning, teaching and research, and the oldest university in the English-speaking world. Blending century-old traditions with digital innovations, we are a vibrant and multicultural group of 35+ young people working on transformative innovations to improve the state of the world.

The Oxford Hub already includes students, leaders in the effective altruism movement, decision-makers in publishing houses, and heads of NGOs. Being surrounded by thought leaders conducting cutting edge research, our goal is to use empirical data to drive real change around the world. We do this by actively developing talent and emerging leadership, fostering a cross-Hub network of researchers to disseminate knowledge, and catalysing deep exchanges with our global community of innovators.

In the spirit of the WEF Global Shapers Community, we strive to combine fresh ideas and an optimistic outlook with the energy, competence and passion to bring these ideas to life.

We are looking forward to working with you all this coming academic year!

Vyacheslav Polonski

Curator, Global Shapers Oxford Hub


Allegra Day, Social Impact Advisor

Allegra is a social investment adviser, lawyer and systems-thinker who believes in supporting the flow of capital and other resources to solve pressing social challenges. Allegra is an MBA student at Oxford University where she is Co-Chair of the Social Impact Oxford Business Network and a Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship Leading for Impact Fellow. Prior to the MBA, Allegra was a Consultant with Social Ventures Australia where she focused on improving the education, employment and health outcomes of people in need through effective strategy, collaboration and empowerment. Allegra holds degrees in Economics and Law from the University of Sydney.

Cecilia Värendh Månsson, Academic Entrepreneur

Cecilia is a PhD student at Said Business School, Oxford University. She holds a B.A. degree in Economics and Mathematics (Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude) from Columbia University and an MBA (Distinction) from the University of Oxford. Her PhD focuses on multinational companies in Nigeria, Rwanda, and Kenya. Cecilia has also founded TalentUp Africa, an innovative startup based in Nigeria that works towards helping youth increase their chances of finding work. She is passionate about how inclusive growth can improve development in Africa.

Huw Thomas, Sustainability Activist

Huw​ ​is​ an​ ​MBA candidate and entrepreneur,​ ​primarily​ ​focused​ ​on​ ​sustainable​ ​energy​ ​(spanning​ ​food​ ​to electricity),​ ​and​ ​has​ ​spent​ ​most​ ​of​ ​his​ ​time​ ​in​ ​the​ ​last​ ​five​ ​years​ ​working​ ​in​ ​project management,​ ​analysis​ ​and​ ​strategy​ ​roles​ ​at​ ​National​ ​Grid​ ​plc.​ ​A​ ​long-term​ ​resident​ ​of Oxford,​ ​Huw​ ​has​ ​been​ ​involved​ ​in​ ​many​ ​community​ ​projects,​ ​most​ ​notably​ ​as​ ​Director​ ​of Oxford​ ​People’s​ ​Supermarket​ ​and​ ​as​ ​co-organiser​ ​of​ ​Europe’s​ ​largest​ ​conference​ ​on Effective​ ​Altruism.​ ​During​ ​his​ ​time​ ​here,​ ​he​ ​also​ ​co-founded​ ​and​ ​was​ ​CEO​ ​of​ ​sports​ ​nutrition startup​ ​fuelit.co.uk.​ ​Huw​ ​was​ ​invited​ ​to​ ​take​ ​part​ ​in​ ​the​ ​German​ ​Marshall​ ​Fund​ ​Atlantic​ ​Dialogues​ ​programme​ ​as an​ ​Emerging​ ​Leader​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Asia-Europe​ ​Foundation​ ​ASEFSU20​ ​Summer​ ​University programme. In​ ​his​ ​free​ ​time,​ ​Huw​ ​is​ ​a​ ​keen​ ​cyclist​ ​and​ ​tango​ ​dancer,​ ​and​ ​enjoys​ ​reading​ ​on​ ​a​ ​broad range​ ​of​ ​topics​ ​from​ ​philosophy​ ​to​ ​the​ ​future​ ​of​ ​humanity​ ​and​ ​AI.

Jian Hong Lim, Disruptive Developer

Jian studies Engineering at the University of Oxford under the Jardine Foundation Scholarship. Jian is inspired by the potential of technology and artificial intelligence to positively impact people’s lives regardless of background. He is frequently seen at the intersection of technology and business; he is a Director at Oxford Strategy Group and is establishing Oxford’s first digital consultancy arm. Previously, Jian was working with Bo-Erik Abrahamsson, a fellow Global Shaper in the Oxford Hub, on a venture-backed start-up. Jian also interned as an Investment Analyst at Khazanah London under Javier Santiso, a WEF Young Global Leader. In his free time, Jian frequents hackathons in different countries.

Filip Perkon, Cultural Producer

Filip is a successful serial entrepreneur, having founded the marketing technology companies LaunchingSocial and TweetSquad, and the AI company Awesome. Previously, he was a junior partner at Synergy Innovations Venture Fund and worked in investment banking. He is a keen event organiser, having produced more than 10 international business forums and two concerts at the Hammersmith Apollo and Royal Albert Hall, becoming one of the youngest large scale concert producers in UK. He graduated with an MSc Comparative Politics and BSc Economics from the the London School of Economics.

Vanessa Picker, Policy Innovator

Vanessa is a Rotary Global Grant Scholar and MSc Candidate in Evidence-Based Social Intervention & Policy Evaluation (University of Oxford). She previously completed a Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, along with a Master of Politics and Public Policy. Vanessa worked as a Policy Officer for the Department of Premier and Cabinet (NSW), specialising in social impact investment. Prior to that, she was a Policy Officer at the Department of Social Services (Australian Government). She contributed to the implementation of the $20.7 million Investment Approach to Welfare. She is particularly passionate about data-driven decision making and outcomes measurement.


Here’s how our new cohort of Global Shapers reacted to the news:

I’m extremely happy and excited to have been accepted into the Shapers community, and I’m really looking forward to meeting and working with many of you. This is going to add tremendous value to my mission to boost sustainable rural electrification in the poorest parts of the world.” — Huw Thomas

Very excited to be finally joining this amazing community after meeting so many ambitious Shapers at different Hubs! I’ll end with my favourite quote: ‘never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’” — Jian Hong Lim

I am delighted to join the Oxford Global Shapers Hub. More than ever, I am keenly aware of the need for dialogue with diverse people, real human interaction and cross-sector collaboration to solve pressing social challenges. I look forward to contributing to my local community and the rest of the network!” — Allegra Day


You can find out more about our 2016 Global Shapers cohort here.

If you want to apply to become a Global Shaper, please follow the Oxford Hub on Twitter @OxfordShapers to stay updated or get in touch with our Oxford Shapers directly.