Sonqoba ACM Update
Last year our very own curator, S’onqoba Maseko attended the Annual Curators Meeting (ACM) hosted in Geneva, Switzerland at the Palais des Nations. The ACM has been a tradition of the Global Shapers for the past 5 years since founding and it is an opportunity for the leaders of all the Hubs around the world to convene, engage and share on how each of their hubs are driving to make an impact in their cities and how Hubs can collaborate better to create even greater impact. This year’s meeting was attended by 350 Shapers from across 150 countries. Beyond interactions between Shapers from around the world, the agenda was supported by messages from global leaders such as Professor Klaus Schwab, the founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum as well as Michael Moeller, Director-General of the United Nations Office.
On sharing her experience meeting with the inspirational Shapers from across the world, S’onqoba felt that the biggest takeaway from the meeting was a reaffirmation in her belief of the important role that the Global Shapers play in giving young people a seat at the table. This view was particularly emphasised after hearing the founder of the Global Shapers, Professor Klaus Schwab advocate for the continued participation of young people throughout all the World Economic Forums meetings and all its communities.
A welcomed surprise of the ACM for S’onqoba was how it went beyond creating value for the older generation but how it also created the space for young people to learn best practices from one another. S’onqoba felt that, “As leaders, having the opportunity to share the unique challenges of running a Hub with other leaders in a similar position, created an opportunity to learn and grow in a safe space”. From those learning, S’onqoba said that after the ACM her personal mission would be to ensure more of the Johannesburg Hub shapers experience the Global element of the Shapers community and continue to learn from those beyond our Hub.
One a more personal note, the meeting impacted S’onqoba’s own work by expanding her expectations of herself and what was possible to achieve as young person. This sentiment was driven by seeing other young people doing their best and being the best in their respective fields- often overcoming major personal and social hurdles to do so. Being among “ the future leaders of the world and Nobel prize winners”,S’onqoba felt energized and focused to pursue her goal of being the best curator that she can be while focusing on making an honest impact in the country during tumultuous times.
Upon her return, the Johannesburg Hub has felt the S’onqoba’s new drive and have already begun to see the realisation of S’onqoba’s goal by sending two hub members abroad to participate in Global meetings (Khethi Ngwenya, Shape Africa 2016 and Thoba Grenville-Grey, WEF Annual Meeting 2017). As we proceed with the year the Johannesburg Hub continues to benefit from the shared learnings gained from other Shapers while looking forward to the upcoming year and how we continue to ensure that we have a voice and seat at the table.