So what is a Global Shaper?

August 2025. It’s been 10 years since the 2015 Annual Curators Meeting happened. I remember it as if it was yesterday. 450 Curators of the largest community the World Economic Forum created gathered to meet and transform their ideas into action and their action into change. Global change.

There were times in these 10 years where many of us felt like our impact is smaller than we can; many times when our voice was silenced by the ones that should shut up; many times when we just stayed low and forgot who we are. But something made us stand up and shape our world. The stories Mark Pollock told us, the inspiring words of Prof. Schwab and the conversations we had with each other in and after the ACM helped us connect our work, cities and countries. And this was the key of ACM, each year. To connect us in sharing cultures and dreams and to make us support each other.

Someone asked then what does it mean to be a Global Shaper. I realize, every day, that it is what we do that makes us who we are, not definitions. It is in our DNA to fight, build, connect and inspire. I’ve seen cities rebuilt, countries breathing the air of freedom and improbable technological innovation created by Shapers. I’ve seen us in political, business and civic leadership positions that shook the very foundations of the world. We are shaping the world like nobody believed we could at the beginning of this story. We are leaders, friends, mothers, fathers, presidents, prime-ministers and citizens. We are, alongside our peers, the ones that shape the world. And we have the duty to continue.


*This is an essay by Ciprian Stanescu, Curator, Global Shapers Bucharest Hub

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