With the help of many Clevelanders and local organizations, the Global Shapers Community Cleveland Hub has made an impact on climate and community building in the region over the last 10 years.
After reflecting on all that they’ve been able to accomplish, the group’s members thought it was appropriate to mark the 10-year anniversary with a celebration.
With that, last Thursday, Nov. 9, the Global Shapers Community hosted an event, the 4C: Climate and Community Champions Celebration at the Pivot Center for Art, Dance and Expression in Tremont to bring together those people who are passionate about making a difference—within Cleveland and beyond.
An initiative of the World Economic Forum, the Cleveland Hub of Global Shapers Community, founded in 2013, is one of 505 hubs across the globe.
Panalist for the event: Alethea Watson moderator and Global Shapers Impact Officer, Global Shapers Curator Luciana Salles , Moses Ngong, Global Shapers Vice Curator and David Wilson co-director of the Black Environmental Leaders (BEL) Association“We've been happy to carry out projects and collaborative efforts to accomplish the improbable and impossible,” said one Global Shapers member at the event.
About 30 guests enjoyed food and meaningful conversations while reflecting on the past and planning for the future.
Members of the Cleveland Hub of Global Shapers Community and strategic partner Black Environmental Leaders (BEL) came together for a panel discussion at the event to discuss the future of the Northeast Ohio region in regard to land, the environment, digital equity, and housing.
Alethea Watson, impact officer for the Cleveland Hub of Global Shapers Community, moderated the conversation. The role of partnerships became a central theme of the discussion.
Global Shaper Cleveland member and vice curator Moses Ngong explained how the Cleveland Hub of Global Shapers Community recently partnered with local restaurants to invite new diners into their spaces.
“We think it’s a great way to create a more integrated Cleveland,” said Ngong.
Meanwhile, BEL co-facilitator David Wilson explained how some of the environmental issues are generations old, and therefore need to be addressed with a multi-generational approach “Collaboration is what this work requires,” he said.
Everyone at the event agreed that the partnership between the Cleveland Hub of Global Shapers Community and BEL—and how the two organizations support one another—is a great model of this multi-generational approach.
Global Shapers 4C: Climate + Community Champions Celebration at the Piviot Center“The goal of Global Shapers is to partner with people who can help do the work faster,” said Luciana Salles, current curator of the Cleveland Hub of Global Shapers Community.
Wilson agreed that the partnership has been powerful. “It’s really about elevating and providing space for people of all backgrounds,” he said. “We need to be actively engaged with communities that have experienced the impacts of environmental injustice.”
Nicolas Barendt, who founded the Cleveland Hub of Global Shapers 10 years ago, asked the panelists where they see the organization 10 years from now.
Ngong responded that he thinks the 2020 Census will be the last one where we see a shrinking Cleveland.
Watson says he considers the turnout at last week’s celebration to be excellent, adding that he thought the Luck Circle— a goal and team-building activity during the event—brought people together. The Luck Circle, Global Shapers' signature event is described as "networking with a purpose."
Attendees gather in small groups and share a personal or professional ask, and others in the group offer advice, consultation, and resources. Groups are encouraged to mix up often to encourage maximum sharing and collaboration.
The Luck Circle is meant to move away from the traditional networking question of "what you do for a living" and move toward the practice of building community, providing mutual aid, collaboration, and giving, as well as showing up authentically.
Barendt and Wilson were recognized later that evening for their work in making Cleveland Hub so successful.
Barendt said he is pleased by the teamwork and camaraderie that has formed within both Global Shapers Cleveland and Black Environmental Leaders, adding he looks forward to future accomplishments.
“I’m proud that it’s still around and vibrant, particularly after the pandemic,” he said. “It’s one of the leading [hubs] in the world. It’s remarkable.”