Young entrepreneurs win Davos award and bid to bring conference to Belfast

Pictured at City Hall are, from left, Kain Craigs, Belfast Global Shapers, Jackie Henry, Deloitte, Sheree Atcheson, Women who Code, Belfast Lord Mayor Brian Kingston and Suzanne Wylie, Belfast City Council CEO
Pictured at City Hall are, from left, Kain Craigs, Belfast Global Shapers, Jackie Henry, Deloitte, Sheree Atcheson, Women who Code, Belfast Lord Mayor Brian Kingston and Suzanne Wylie, Belfast City Council CEO

A group of ambitious local entrepreneurs, the Belfast Global Shapers, has been recognised by the World Economic Forum (WEF) for having delivered the best international session of the Shaping Davos Programme 2017 at its Annual Summit in January.

The Belfast Global Shapers won the opportunity to live stream a discussion into the WEF Annual Summit at Davos for 75 minutes, to share the views of millennials on the topic of “Cities as Hubs of Innovation”.

This was preceded by an event at BBC’s Blackstaff Studios, which brought together young people from the NI tech sector to discuss relevant economic issues, which were then brought to the live Davos debate.

Whilst celebrating the accolade at Belfast City Hall, the Belfast Global Shapers launched their next bid - to bring one of Europe’s most influential conferences, Shape Europe, to Belfast in August 2018.

Shape Europe would bring 300 international millennials to Northern Ireland for a four-day conference.

The Global Shapers Community (GSC) is a WEF initiative made up of a network of 435 city-based hubs in 172 countries. The GSC is led by young people aged 20 to 30 years old who are exceptional in their potential, achievements and contribution to their communities.

Belfast Lord Mayor, Alderman Brian Kingston, congratulated all involved in the win.

“It’s remarkable that the Belfast Global Shapers Hub won the right to connect Northern Ireland directly into the highly prestigious 43rd Annual Davos Conference, along with 15 other global cities.

“The outcomes of this event tie in closely with our exciting plans for the future. The success of the Belfast Global Shapers will allow ambition to climb and develop around our city. Belfast City Council will now get fully behind the bid to bring the highly influential ‘Shape Europe’ Conference to Belfast in August 2018,” he said.

Jackie Henry, Senior Partner of Deloitte Consulting NI, added:

“Deloitte was delighted to sponsor Belfast Global Shapers’ events at Davos this year. Impressively, the Belfast hub outshone their World Economic Forum counterparts in such well-established knowledge economy cities such as Seattle and Vancouver – a true testament to the talent of young entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland. This is a timely and uplifting piece of economic and societal news. It vindicates our decision to grow Deloitte employment in NI from 600 to 1000 over the next three years.”

Kain Craigs, Curator of the Belfast Global Shapers Hub said:

“Our contribution to the Davos programme was a great team effort, showing how the Belfast private and public sectors can work together for the benefit of the economy.