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 first of the five lessons I learnt.
The organization of the ACM program itself was a feat of management and logistics. The World Economic Forum (“Forum”) ensured that 350+ attendees met Shapers they would not otherwise meet and have meaningful interaction, although it was improbable for any Shaper to get to know more than 20-30% of the total attendees in any real meaningful way.
During the opening, each attendee was assigned to a “tribe” of five to six members. Each tribesman hailed from a different country, and each assigned to one of five thematic sessions, which showcase the “System Initiatives” of the Forum, namely:
- Future of economic growth and social inclusion
- Future of digital economy and society
- Future of education, gender, and work
- Future of environment and natural resource security
- Future of health and healthcare
On Day 1, the tribes huddled together to complete ice-breaking games and value exploration activities. Attendees then broke off to attend thematic sessions to deep dive into the five themes above. I attended the “Future of Education, Gender, and Work” session, where participants first listened to industry experts and then were divided into small groups to focus on specific discussion topics. I had a fascinating discussion on designing the core features of an education system for the future with several participants who were experts on the subject.
In my small group, one Shaper was building a high school in the US as part of its founding team and another was championing women rights in the Middle East. We were also joined by an executive in one of the most successful international corporate social responsibility programs of all time. I came from three generations of teachers, and I shared my views on recruiting for technologically skilled employees. The small group discussion brought to light different views and highlighted the power of multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary consultation. The session ended when each group reported on their discussions and answered questions posed by other groups.
Day 2 was dedicated to hub strategic training on values, governance, engagement, and impact. These were broken down into 16 sets of seminars (see Lesson 2), which were led by pre-selected Shapers and provided opportunities to share practices among different hubs. Each attendee could choose four of the 16 seminars to attend. The overall schedule was structured such that there were periodic huddle points for regrouping tribe members during tribe-based activities.
The overall idea was that, within each tribe, tribesmen could share learning from their different experiences in workshops and other sessions attended. This is an excellent way to maximize meaningful interaction in a large conference.