[Five lessons from the ACM] Lesson 2: Roadmap to building a stronger hub

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The Annual Curators Meeting 2016 (“ACM”) provided many useful lessons for effective contribution to the Global Shapers Community. I was privileged to represent the Hong Kong Hub as its Deputy Curator. Here is the second of the five lessons I learnt.

The World Economic Forum (“Forum”) held 16 sets of workshops to help Shapers enhance the operation of their hubs in four areas, namely, values, governance, engagement, and impact. In this order, these areas form a strategic framework to develop and effect organizational goals.

For example, a hub recognizes that inclusiveness is a core value. This value could be embedded into hub governance with decision-making procedures that emphasize multi-stakeholder consultation, something the Forum preaches religiously. Such procedures could be implemented in the hub by enhancing intra-hub diversity and communication that drives Shaper engagement. The decisional outcome should incorporate the views of the relevant stakeholders, and thus carry a high degree of credibility and legitimacy.

The 16 workshop topics were as follows:

  1. Values: Conflict management
  2. Values: Instilling values
  3. Values: Code of conduct
  4. Values: Upholding morals and ethics
  5. Governance: Communication
  6. Governance: Branding
  7. Governance: Selection and exclusion (i.e. recruitment and dismissal)
  8. Governance: Curator transitions
  9. Engagement: Hub morale
  10. Engagement: Local charter guidelines
  11. Engagement: Deepening bonds
  12. Engagement: Building credibility as a curator
  13. Impact: Selecting a project
  14. Impact: Metrics
  15. Impact: Managing hub projects
  16. Impact: Fundraising

These topics could serve as a checklist for hubs to periodically audit their effectiveness in a systematic way.

Take-aways from the “Selecting a Project” workshop:

  • The Brunei Darussalam Hub curator suggested that hubs should select and engage in a variety of projects for “quick wins” to build morale and reputation as well as for long-term impact.
  • We were encouraged to maximize our impact and consider tackling issues that mattered most to our local communities, and to contact other hubs, YGLs, members of the Schwab Foundation, and other networks of the Forum to brainstorm ideas.
  • We learnt that the Philadelphia hub even started a “meta project” by assigning each of its Shapers to volunteer at one local charity or NGO per week for a couple of weeks to research the local problems that the hub could help solve.
  • In brainstorming project ideas, we were asked to find ways to disrupt our own thinking (some hubs were using design thinking tools to do this).

Image 1: Notes of best practices on selecting projects (part 1).

Image 2: Notes of best practices on selecting projects (part 2).

Image 3: Andrew, Taipei Hub curator, on deepening bonds among Shapers to strengthen hub engagement.