Pacific Islands Global Shapers Hub announced

ICDP is proud to announce that Pacific Connect Community member from Samoa, Olisana Mariner, has been appointed the founding curator of the first Pacific Islands’ World Economic Forum Global Shapers’ Hub. Born out of the World Economic Forum, the Global Shapers Community is a network of inspiring young people under the age of 30 working tougher to address local, regional and global challenges. With more than 7,000 members, the Global Shapers Community spans 369 city-based hubs in 171 countries.

It is fantastic that the Pacific youth now have representation and access to a global organisation with members that are diverse in expertise, education, income and race, but united by their desire to bring about change. The Hubs, which are a community of young leaders in a city, create projects that address the needs of their community. These projects can range from disaster response and fighting climate change to improving local educational services and inclusive communities.

The idea of setting up the first Pacific Islands Global Shapers Hub, which will be in Apia, Samoa, came out of the Pacific Connect Network Dialogue held in Honiara from 22-23 November 2019. The project has been refined and developed with input from the Pacific Connect Community and Pacific Connect Community members Philip Chan and James Fraser, who are also members of the Sydney Global Shapers Hub. The Global Shapers Hub project is one of many Pacific Connect initiatives underway that seeks to connect Pacific Island and Australian emerging leaders with opportunities to broaden networks and provide avenues for project collaboration and professional development.

Olisana Mariner is a young Samoan entrepreneur with a passion for digital technology. In 2018, she co-founded a tech start-up, ‘The Hub’, with her father.  They seek to help others thrive by designing innovative solutions for education and building shared spaces for business professionals, start-ups and creatives. Olisana graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Marketing and International Business. She has been involved with Pacific Connect since her Second Place prize at Samoa’s first UNDP Youth Co:Lab in June 2018. Olisana participated in the inaugural Pacific Connect Forum in Sydney in September 2018 and the Pacific Women in Business and Digital Delivery Dialogue held in Brisbane. She will be attending the upcoming Pacific Connect Network Dialogue on Creative Industries in Samoa. This Dialogue will consider how emerging technologies could enable a greater choice of commercial and employment opportunities for creative people in Samoa and the broader Pacific region.

When asked to comment on the announcement as the founding curator of the first Pacific Island hub, Olisana noted: “If not for ICDP’s continued engagement, encouragement, networking and financial support on my entrepreneurial journey, I would not have had this chance to learn, grow and connect with the Global Shapers’ Community. Fa’afetai tele lava (thank you so much!) I’m now on my way to building THE HUB I’ve always desired for my local people.”

Olisana will represent the Pacific at the upcoming Australia-New Zealand Global Shapers Meeting in Melbourne and has the opportunity to attend the future Global Shapers Annual Summit in Geneva in September. Congratulations Olisana, we look forward to hearing more about the progress of Global Shapers in the Pacific!