Beirut, September 22nd 2017 – In a journey fostering connection and collaboration, 100 young and aspiring leaders, achievers, and entrepreneurs from the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, Asia, and Africa are gathering this week in Lebanon. SHAPE MENA 2017, is a 3-day conference, giving these young leaders the ability to think and collaborate on “Solutions beyond Borders”. As a support for similar initiatives led by youth, the conference is under the patronage of the President of the Council of Ministers H.E. Mr. Saad Hariri.
This conference is part of the yearly activities of the “Global Shapers Community”, an initiative of the World Economic Forum. The Global Shapers Lebanese Hubs in both Beirut and Tripoli are hosting the SHAPE MENA Conference for the first time in Lebanon under a theme they aspire to, “Solutions beyond borders”. The attendees are embarking on a journey spanning from Beirut to Tripoli, where they are taking part in different workshops and sessions mainly focusing on the importance of cross-borders collaboration and knowledge sharing. The young leaders are given the possibility to think collectively with like-minded people to find solutions to some of the most challenging issues faced in the region. It tackles, amongst many themes, topics relevant to the youth’s daily life namely education, youth unemployment and refugee issues.
The young agents of change were welcomed by the representatives of SHAPE MENA’s steering committee respectively in Beirut and Tripoli Mr. Ziad Mabsout and Mr. Omar Assaf who stated that “they have been waiting for this moment for 6 months”.
Ziad Mabsout said that they “want this experience over 3 days to allow the shapers to be inspired, to learn, and to develop their abilities to make a change in their respective regions”
“Since the Beirut and Tripoli Hubs were selected to organize this event, the team has been working very hard. It was a 6 months journey that taught us a lot”, added Omar Assaf who also stressed that “having this conference in Lebanon is the right choice because of the country’s openness to many cultures, civilizations, communities and societies”.
We are pleased, said Assaf, to see “more than 37 hubs gathering here today and more than 50 nationalities participating in this event”.
The conference was officially inaugurated by Mr. Khaled Nasser Abdallah Al-Roudan, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minister of State for Youth Affairs in Kuwait who welcomed the young leaders in Lebanon saying that “our world is experiencing a critical phase where the SMEs have a key role and in which those who succeed at attracting the youth will win”.
The Minister added that “in a widely open world as the one we live in today the successful are those who are passionate for growth and achievements”.
Al-Roudan concluded his speech acknowledging that “the real competition in today’s world is about real energy, and we are not talking about oil here, but about the human energy that will make real winners out of the countries that succeed at attracting it”.