Curators’ Year in Review, 2017–18

Our focus this year was to strengthen the foundations of our Hub and to renew our emphasis on tangible impact.

As our leadership terms have come to a close for 2017–18, it is an opportune moment for us to reflect on the growth of our team over the past year, as well as our accomplishments and lessons learnt along the way.

We believe that there is a lot for our Hub to be proud of — both in terms of how we have evolved as an organization, as well as our impact on our community.

How our Hub has evolved in the past year

As a leadership team, we placed a major emphasis in building a strong culture of engagement and accumulating a powerful store of social capital. We wanted to build a community that our members were genuinely proud to be part of, and that they were willing to passionately commit their time and efforts towards. We believe that this is particularly important as a volunteer-based organization. Our primary resources are our members; and as our people go, so do we.

On this front, our Hub welcomed nine bright, happy faces this year. These nine individuals have all since endeared themselves to our team and have contributed enormously to our culture and our impact.

To successfully onboard our new members, we had hosted an overnight retreat at a cottage in rural Québec for a weekend of ideation and team-building. The retreat gave us a wonderful opportunity to pause, reflect, strategize, and recharge for the year ahead. We believe that there is no better way to build social bonds than to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city and hang out at a remote overnight retreat.

As part of our member enrichment efforts, we also held several engagement sessions with senior private and public sector leaders, including Mr. Peter Boehm, Deputy Minister for the G7 Summit and Personal Representative of the Prime Minister (Sherpa); Mr. John Hannaford, Foreign and Defence Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister; Ms. Ann Mei Chang, former Chief Innovation Officer at USAID and executive at Google; Dr. Jeff Turnbull, Medical Director of Ottawa Inner City Health and former Chief of Staff at the Ottawa Hospital.; and Mr. Jonathon Cini, Government Engagement Lead for North America at the World Economic Forum.

In addition, our members had access to incredible global leadership development opportunities through the Global Shapers Community this year. And we were more active than ever. For instance, several members of our Hub were invited to attend Climate Reality leadership training conferences in Mexico City, Berlin, and Los Angeles; the Shape North America 2018 summit in California; the Annual Shapers Summit in Geneva, Switzerland; Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco; and finally the upcoming Shape Asia Pacific 2018 summit to be hosted in Bangkok, Thailand.

And this year, we also officially incorporated as a non-profit organization, and formalized a leadership structure with an elected group of executives in functional capacities and with supplementary leads for projects and ad hoc initiatives.

Our impact in 2017–18

Our proudest accomplishments are related to our impact in the community. Most importantly, we feel that we’ve been able to provide a platform for the wider Ottawa youth community to engage in issues important to them, such as the future of education and the future of work; convening diverse groups of people together to find common ground; and shining a spotlight on some of our local change-makers. Here is a sample of our projects from this year:

Shape 7: On the occasion of Canada’s G7 Presidency, we were delighted to partner with hubs across the G7 to consult and convey the priorities of young people and principles for action on preparing for the jobs of the future — one of the core themes for Canada’s Presidency. This consultative process was initiated and led by the Ottawa Hub with the support of hubs across the G7. By invitation of the Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, the Ottawa Shapers presented the preliminary findings of these consultations at the G7 Ministerial on Preparing for Jobs of the Future in Montréal. We were then invited to present our final report at the Youth 7 (Y7) summit in Ottawa. You can find the final report of our consultations here.
Shaping the Future of STEM Education: At the invitation of Let’s Talk Science for its Canada 2067 initiative, Global Shaper hubs across Canada, including Ottawa, hosted a series of dialogue sessions in their cities. Embracing the notion that “hindsight is 20/20”, these dialogues brought together participants from the millennial demographic, to offer their unique perspectives on K-12 education within the context of a new vision for a pan-Canadian STEM learning framework.

Shapers Podcast: The Ottawa Hub hosts a fun, engaging 30-minute monthly podcast and newsletter focused on their work in the community. The Shapers are the hosts, interviewers and storytellers and in charge of production, sound editing, and distribution. You can listen to past episodes of the podcast here.

Annual Charity Parliamentary Basketball Tournament: Shapers from the Ottawa Hub partnered, for the first time, with local charity Christie Lake Kids to help organize the 2018 edition of this yearly event. Originally started by an Ottawa Shaper, this tournament brings together parliamentarians, political staff, and journalists together in friendly competition for a good cause. With Shaper participation, the event held its first ever pre-tournament reception on Parliament Hill to great success. In addition, this year’s tournament also raised a highest ever donation of nearly $30,000 to help under-privileged youth and children have access to sports, summer camp, and physical activity. Shapers have been asked to continue their involvement in the years ahead.

Please also look out for upcoming projects on civic engagement; financial literacy camps for Ottawa children; and initiatives around refugee and newcomer support.
Finally, we would be remiss to not express our most sincere appreciation to our many project leads and volunteers who have, and continue to, put countless hours into our community projects; all in their spare time and above full-time jobs, as well as other major commitments. You are the true leaders of our Hub — and we’re just so grateful for all the hard work you put towards making our community, country and world better, project by project. Your immense efforts do not go unnoticed. Thank you for the opportunity to serve and to come along for the ride this year.


Fred Ninh
Curator, 2017–18

Daniel Bezalel Richardson
Vice Curator, 2017–18

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Situated in the nation’s capital, the Ottawa Hub is comprised of emerging and accomplished young leaders in the public, private, non-profit sectors. The Hub includes representation from the public service, professional services firms, technology companies, major corporations, law offices, medical organizations, academia, and non-profits. We engage in projects that empower young people in Ottawa to be agents of positive change, promote pluralism, and foster respect for the dignity of others.