ANNUAL REPORT | Montreal Global Shapers| 2017–2018

Viva Dadwal (Curator 2017–2018)

The island we call “Montreal” is known as Tiotia:ke in Kanien’keháka, a place which has served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst indigenous nations, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg for more than 4000 years. The Montreal Hub of the Global Shapers Community started 4 years ago. From our humble beginnings, we have grown today to almost 20 exceptional young professionals who are emerging and accomplished leaders in the public, private, and civil society sectors. We are proud to say that our members and our projects, aim to reflect the diversity of the city we call Montreal, and that as impatient optimists we are working tirelessly to address local, regional and global challenges.

In particular, our hub is committed to three topics affecting the City of Montreal: (1) combatting discrimination, (2) refugee integration, and (3) women’s empowerment. These topics were selected by our hub members as being the top three issues affecting our city. As a result, our hub committed itself to working on these issues for the period 2016–2018.

In 2017, to keep up with change and recognize our city’s influence as a burgeoning global Artificial Intelligence hub, we decided to add another important pillar to our activities. As participants of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Shaping My City’s Future Challenge, we will now also champion the criterion of inclusivity to build cities of the future. This was a natural progression to our existing vision and programming. We recognize our ability to shape the inclusive and ethical development of our collective future, both in our community and globally. This places our city among the most influential in shaping the future being defined by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Reflecting Professor Klaus Schwab’s vision and mission for the WEF, we have sought to similarly drive our local membership through a process of bonding, binding and building, which transforms our community of shared interest, to a community of purpose and achievement that brings direct impact on the state of the world.

BONDING

  • Attendance at WEF events, including the 2017 Annual Curator’s Meeting (Geneva) and the SHAPE North America Summit 2017 (Ottawa/Toronto)
  • Active social programming for local and visiting hub members to connect and learn from each other on a monthly basis. We have welcomed members from over 25 cities and 15 countries to Montreal. From Paris to San Francisco, our members have similarly travelled far and wide to connect with other members of the Global Shapers Community. These efforts will help us strengthen bonds with other Global Shapers across our cities and countries

BINDING

  • Annual retreat to onboard 10 new members and decide on the hub’s collective ambitions for projects and programming
  • Established 6 new partnerships with Montreal non-for-profits to implement local projects and programming
  • Held 3 Montreal-wide events to bring diverse communities together, including to celebrate International Women’s Day
  • Cross-country collaborations with other hubs to make our cities more inclusive and our workforce more prepared for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  • Advanced thought-leadership on human rights in high-profile publications, including TIME and WEF Agenda, and speaking events including WE Day Montreal and TEDxMontrealWomen
  • Integrated communications streams amongst hub membership and beyond, through the use of mailing lists, social media, and other collaborative tools and platforms
  • Collected hub data through surveys to determine the gaps, weaknesses, and work ahead

BUILDING

  • Launched 5 grassroots projects under the thematics of women’s empowerment; refugee integration; and combatting discrimination and Islamophobia
  • Infrastructure building through strategic recruitment to attract the best and the brightest in Montreal
  • Launched a volunteer list to capitalize on the skills and talents of other Montreal youth who are interested in making a change in the community

In line with the strategic vision of past Montreal Curatorships, this year aimed at building critical hub infrastructure. We have continued to maintain a balanced approach to growth by emphasizing the importance of attracting and retaining the brightest that our city has to offer. Diversity and inclusivity initiatives will continue to drive our efforts moving forward and our hub’s inclusive culture, programming, and membership will set it apart from other cities around the world.

Credit is due to all the members of the hub, but especially Nirushaa Senthilnathan, who stepped into the shoes of the Curator as of July 1. She is assisted by Daniel Tarantino, who has assumed the duties of the Vice-Curator. Together, both of these members have played important roles in building this hub, and share in the leadership’s successes and guiding lessons for the future.