Youth Voices at Davos

On January 23-26, under the theme “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World”, the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) took place in Davos.

The meeting brought together leaders from business, government, international organizations and civil society in order to promote stronger multi-stakeholder collaboration and address the political, economic and societal challenges of our times.

50 Shapers - the #Davos50, the best young minds in the world - had the chance to bring their voices and ideas to Davos, as representatives of the Global Shapers Community. The Geneva Hub took part to some of the most amazing moments and initiatives of the Annual Meeting.

To start with, on January 19-21, the Hub went to Zurich to be part of the Pre-Davos Summit 2018. This event was hosted by the Zurich Hub with the goal of gathering together the #Davos50 and many Shapers from the Swiss Hubs. Shapers had the opportunity to actively engage in discussions on “How to use technology to create positive impact in our communities”.


For instance, they worked together in workshop sessions with the aim of creating and scaling local and global projects focused on Integration & Tolerance, Nutrition & Food Waste, Healthcare, Climate/Finance, Future Mobility, and the Future of Work.

After the Pre-Davos Summit, the actual WEF Annual Meeting started on January 23rd. This year Zineb El Ouazzani, Vice-President of the Geneva Hub, was selected as one of the #Davos50 to officially represent the voice of youth in Davos!

As a forward-looking female leader and entrepreneur, she has always put her passions and skills to good use by supporting organizations and projects focused on healthcare, education, e-waste and entrepreneurship at the local and global level. Various experiences brought her to be one of the 30 young talents for the Middle East and Africa’s MACH program (Microsoft Academy for College Hires). Recently, she moved to Geneva where she has undertaken a new amazing professional adventure. Indeed, Zineb has decided to apply her relentless can-do attitude to her start-up Rising Stars – a company whose purpose is to help millennials to thrive as they enter the workforce.


At Davos, she had the opportunity to share projects achieved by the Geneva Hub and bring forward her expertise in different topics related to the 4th industrial revolution and its impact on employability and on the transformation of workplaces. She met with Ellyn Shook (Chief Leadership & Human Resources Officer of Accenture), to talk about what being a Shaper means as well as about how to tackle challenges in local communities. If you lost it, you can re-watch the video of the discussion at the following link!


Furthermore, together with other fellow Global Shapers, Zineb had a great discussion with Jean-Philippe Courtois (Executive VP and President, Microsoft Global Sales) and Mary Snapp (Corporate VP and Lead for Microsoft Philanthropies) on how to leverage Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain to drive the digital conversation and shape the world for future generations.

Last but not least, she had the opportunity to meet and be inspired by Jack Ma (Alibaba Group) during the “Meet the Leader” session in Davos.

In this occasion, the Global Shapers had the chance to ask him questions about the impact and risks of Artificial Intelligence and new technologies and on the matter of gender equality. Jack Ma explained the possible risks deriving by the recent scientific and technological discoveries and underlined his optimism in thinking that it will be possible to fight and win against hunger, diseases, global warming and discrimination.


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