Shape South Asia 2018, a four-day conference, organized by Dhaka Hub of Global Shapers Community- an initiative of the World Economic Forum, began yesterday.
Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, MP, Honorable Speaker of the Parliament, inaugurated the conference at Lakeshore Hotel in the capital.
The conference brought together 100 young leaders, known as Global Shapers, from 6 continents, 30 countries and 50 cities reiterating commitments to foster regional collaboration.
With the theme of “Shaping Inclusive Societies”, the event will cover many of the opportunities and challenges of the South Asia region, with a focus on Bangladesh. Rohingya response, manufacturing, finance, healthcare, climate change, sustainability, innovations in public and private sectors are in focus alongside Bangladesh’s prospects and challenges in embracing the 4th Industrial Revolution.
On the event, Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, MP, Honorable Speaker of the Parliament said, “It is very interesting to learn how the young people all around the globe are working as shapers to build an inclusive world. Global shapers engaged in a process of shaping South Asia will have to take account of a range of critical issues and emerging challenges which confront South Asia today. Transforming economic growth in Asia into sustainable growth is the challenge. There has to be inclusive growth, and for growth to be inclusive, widening inequality and disparities have to be addressed.”
“Through this event, we aim to showcase the immense possibilities and opportunities Bangladesh offers to some of the brightest young minds from around the world,” said Sohara Mehroze Shachi, curator of the Dhaka hub of Global Shapers Community.
Over 25 experts including policymakers, leaders in business and development, and social entrepreneurs will talk about inclusive development, inclusive healthcare, financial inclusion and sustainable manufacturing, with a focus on showcasing homegrown innovations. The shapers will interact with the experts through “meet the leaders” session and “rapid talks”. Their four-day exploration, collaboration, and discussion will end on Pahela Baishakh where the shapers will come across Bangladeshi culture in its finest hues.
The Global Shapers are a community of young leaders and changemakers, between the ages of 20-30 years, curated by the World Economic Forum into city-based Hubs across the world. The Dhaka Hub was founded in 2014 and currently has 24 active Shapers. The Hub runs a variety of projects in Dhaka city. Project TaalGoal fosters social inclusion of underprivileged, marginalized children through sports; Invisibellas uses art to draw attention to gender discrimination and Treelionaire is running tree plantation projects across multiple cities in South Asia. Treelionaire was selected as a regional project with Hubs from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan taking part to green their cities alongside the Dhaka Hub.
Shape South Asia 2018 is supported by United Group, Summit Power, Ha-Meem Group, IDLC Finance Limited, bKash, Mohammadi Group, Bitopi Group, Masco Group, Dmoney, Microsoft, WE and Pathao.