Being a Global Shaper for almost three years now has been one of the most life changing, inspirational, and beneficial journeys of my life till date. To be among the first Shapers to join the Amman Hub - one of the first established Hubs of the Global Shapers Community - is a privilege. And now, being the Curator of the Amman Hub is an honor and responsibility. Since I've attended the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in 2014, I'd love to share my Shaper experience with my fellow Shapers to assist in your preparation for an amazing journey!
1) Literally, get ready for the best experience in your life! As a Global Shaper, the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland is the most amazing, passionate, awe-inspiring, phenomenal, and influential event you'll ever attend in your life. Be "present" in both your mindset and heart while in Davos. Grasp every moment and "internalize" it. Take many "mental pictures". This meeting will remain with you forever, insha Allah (God willing).
2) Go through and read the whole agenda of the Official Program of the Annual Meeting before reaching Davos. Since there are many sessions happening at Davos, be selective in which sessions you attend. Be sure to write down where and when your sessions will take place; because things get a bit hectic at Davos. Don't overschedule your agenda; leave space for spontaneity. Sometimes, the coolest things happen in the least expected places during the most natural moments.
3) During the first two-day "community building and preparation" segment of the Global Shapers Private Program, be sure to spend a lot of time with your fellow Shapers; mainly for the below two reasons:
a) This is where the Shaper binding happens in which the bonding will last a life time – way after Davos and into the future.
b) The next few days of the Annual Meeting's Official Program is the opportunity of a lifetime to meet the world's most amazing people. Try not to spend all your time with fellow Shapers; you'll always have those opportunities. Rather, talk to random people; the caliber of Davos participants is unbelievably amazing. Build these connections – for they are important, strategic, and ever-lasting.
4) Be sure to attend both the Opening Session and Closing Session in the main Plenary Hall; it's great inspiration and an amazing way to start and end your journey!
5) Be yourself, be a Shaper, and show the world who you are. Yet, no need to boast and "prove" yourself; you're already in Davos, the same way everyone else is! Davos participants are interested to know 'you' for who you are. So once again, just be yourself and surely you'll impress!
6) Even though the parties at Davos are known to be very fun, try not to party too much; you need good sleep in order to be focused the next day.
7) Become friends with a complete stranger. Meet him/her more than once during the Annual Meeting. Even try attending a session or two together. This friendship will last way beyond the Annual Meeting and into the future. Trust me… this friendship is so amazing; simply because it was created during the Davos experience. Give it a try! =)
8) Create your personal playlist of music. Listen to it in the morning while getting dressed and before leaving your hotel. And listen to the playlist at night when you're back in your hotel room and about to sleep. You'll understand what I mean once the Annual Meeting is over and you're back in your hometown. But in a nutshell, listening to these songs afterwards will give you great recollections of your Davos experience. Your heart will smile!
9) Even though the weather is very cold in Davos, no need to overdress with thermals and many layers of clothes. A good jacket and some gloves will suffice. All the venues of the Annual Meeting are warm enough. Since reaching many venues could be done quicker when walking than taking the shuttle bus, let's talk about footgear. Two options are available:
a) Wear snow boots when walking around Davos while keeping your dress shoes in a bag. When you reach the venue, switch your shoes and leave your snowboats in the cloakroom.
b) Simply wear ice grips (ice cleats) on your dress shoes, and take the grips off once you reach the venue. But ladies, it's not recommended that you walk around Davos in heels.
10) Be sure to attend the ending party on the last day of the Annual Meeting. In 2014, the Soiree's "Jazz and Dance" was a lot of fun. Dancing with Professor Schwab, top officials, and dear friends in a casual environment was indeed unique. Have fun!
11) On the plane back home, be sure to organize your thoughts. Write down all the wonderful memories and inspirational conversations you had; it'll be great to read this from time to time. Write down your points of action on what you want to do in life, and be sure to implement them once you're back home. Lastly, when you arrive home, be sure to send follow up emails to the amazing people you met. And remain in contact on a regular basis.
I truly wish you an amazing experience to the best event that you attend in your life!