Empowering youth employability

Danial Norjidi

Global Shapers is an international community network of hubs developed and led by young people who are deemed exceptional in their potential, their achievements and their drive to contribute to their communities.

The initiative by the World Economic Forum (WEF) aims to empower young people in their city to produce positive social impact to the community.

Global Shapers Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB) Hub is a community of passionate individuals committed to shaping a better future for Brunei Darussalam’s youth. It currently has 23 active members from diverse backgrounds and fields from the creative industry to education, finance and entrepreneurship.

Together, they use their knowledge and skills to champion youth unemployment issues through capacity building and development at the grassroots level aimed at empowering young people to shape a brighter future for themselves.

Speaking to the Bulletin, Curator of Global Shapers BSB Hub Wan Afifi bin Wan Ali said that the Global Shapers community has supported youth led engagements in many key impact areas. “Ever since our establishment in 2015, our self-assigned hub mandate has always been to ‘Empower Youth Employability’, hence our projects have worked around this objective,” he shared.

Participants from the Skills for the Future Phase 3 workshop last December. PHOTO: GLOBAL SHAPERS BSB HUB

Their recent projects have tackled youth employment issues, particularly through exposure of future skills in workshops, doing surveys with the public and providing mentorship opportunities to schools.

These projects include Curhat di Bawah Payung 2.0 Kerjaya in 2019; three phases of Skills for the Future workshops in 2020, the first two of which were conducted virtually while Phase 3 took place at the Language Centre, Universiti Brunei Darussalam on December 27, 2020; and Curhat Di Bawah Payung bersama Mentor in Temburong District, also last year.

Future skills are those which the WEF has found to be trending for the future, Wan Afifi explained. For 2020, these included: complex problem solving; critical thinking; creativity; people management; coordinating with other; emotional intelligence; judgment and decision making; service orientation; negotiation; and cognitive flexibility.

The WEF recently announced in a press release that, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, a new circular approach is needed to transform the goods and services we have and the pipeline of innovations still to come. To support this effort, circular economy initiative Scale360° will launch a youth-led, grassroots pilot programme with the Global Shapers, a network of change-makers in cities around the world.

It was shared that innovators in four Global Shaper hubs (in Mexico City, Brussels, Turin and Bangkok) will design, organise, and deliver interventions that support circular economy solutions tailored to local needs.

WEF initiative Scale360° leverages innovation ‘hubs’ to bring together leaders in science, policy and business to trigger circular change. Leaders and collaborators in Global Shaper hub cities will utilise Scale360°’s unique, tested methodology – the Scale360° Circular Innovation Playbook – to fast-track Fourth Industrial Revolution impact. The pilot initiative will facilitate connections from across its networks of experts and leaders in civil society, government and industry – including the Platform for Accelerating Circular Economy (PACE), the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and others.

Wan Afifi said Scale360° appears to be such a large overarching initiative to make economies more circular. A more circular economy equals an economy being more capable to recirculate its materials, biomass and fossil fuel- the responsibility of both producers and consumers.

“The regional engagement is quite steadfast, but welcoming nonetheless, because they have their playbook to potentially involve all interested hubs.

“So our hub does see the opportunity to tag along with the movement, particularly first in identifying how circular our economy is, and identifying which sectors are most prone to circular innovation,” he said. “To marry it with our core hub objectives, I think we do need to raise its importance as it aligns with one of our nation’s aspiration to be dynamic and sustainable, and employment opportunities may even stem out of this movement,” he added.

Speaking on what’s next for Global Shapers BSB Hub, Wan Afifi said they will launch three projects by the middle of the year surrounding youth employment and equity issues, namely: ‘Skills for the Future Phase 4’; ‘The Dream Project’; and ‘Inspire. Connect. Empower Forum – Public Service Day Edition’.

He said they will also conduc their Instagram takeover via @globalshapers.bsb where they connect and share the lives of remarkable shapers from hubs all over the world.