Portland Global Shapers Selected For World Economic Forum Initiative




Portland, ME. (Thursday, December 3, 2015)— Treehouse Institute announced that the World Economic Forum has chosen the organization to launch Maine’s first ever Global Shapers Hub in Portland.  Today, as part of the formation of the Portland hub, the Treehouse Institute selected the inaugural class of Global Shapers, a dynamic group of 20 young influencers under the age of 30, coming from a cross-section of industries, personal backgrounds, and countries. The World Economic Forum is an independent organization committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation. The Forum spearheads the Global Shapers initiative as part of a global network of hubs in major cities engaging young professionals to create groundbreaking community change.

Adam Burk, Treehouse Institute’s Executive Director and Curator of  Maine’s TEDxDirigo, will lead the Portland’s Global Shapers initiative as it’s Founding Curator.  “Establishing the Global Shapers Hub in Portland is a unique opportunity to showcase the talent, energy and rich diversity that Maine’s young professionals bring to the state — this group is a force” Burk said. “I’m thrilled and honored to be working with this dynamic group on tackling challenges in our community and having Maine assume a prominent seat in the global dialogue on how we engage the next generation of leaders on identifying solutions to today’s most pressing problems .”

Together, the Shapers will develop projects to address local issues in 2016, drawing insight from thought leaders, entrepreneurs, business and civic leaders, and educators across Maine — and inspiration from the efforts of their peer Hubs around the world: Global Shapers in Bamako, Mali set up public WiFi spots in disadvantaged neighborhoods; Atlanta’s Global Shapers developed a financial literacy program; Manila’s Shapers construct community libraries; and Shapers in Minneapolis cultivate community-owned solar powered gardens. Portland’s Shapers will share the progress and learning from their project with the community and peers all over the world.

The Portland Hub draws support from home and the international community.

Adrian Monck, the World Economic Forum’s head of public engagement, commented on the selection of Portland as a Global Shaper Hub saying, “If there’s one thing that Shapers can provide right now it’s passion, commitment and focus in the face of the daunting generational challenges the world is facing. With global connections you now have and community commitment the Portland Hub can make a real difference.”

Jennifer Hutchins, executive director of Creative Portland remarked, “Cultivating the creative, intellectual capital of Portland’s young leaders in service to the community and with a global connection is exactly what’s needed in our region to attract and retain talented people from all over who want to make a difference.”

In response to the announcement, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree commented, “I deeply admire the young Maine leaders who are working in all sectors to shape a bright future for our state.” “I’m very excited that they will now get the recognition they deserve as well as the support they need to continue growing and making a difference in our communities. This program will be a huge asset in retaining these leaders and recruiting new ones to Maine.”

The founding Global Shapers class comes from a broad range of experience, and they all share an intense entrepreneurial spirit, outstanding civic leadership and passion to improve Maine communities:

Muna Adan – Student, University of Southern Maine
Maria Anderson – Pastor, St. Ansgar Lutheran Church
Alyssa Bouthot – Associate Broker, The Swan Agency Sotheby’s International Realty
Brittany Charette – Creative Assistant, The VIA Agency
Edwige Charlot – Educator and Entrepreneur, Creative Approach co.
Nathan Davis – Consultant, The Beacon Group
Sean Douglas – Paralegal, Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project
Chanel Lewis – Student Success Advisor + Adjunct Faculty, Southern Maine Community College
Olivier Manirankunda – Co-founder, Burundi 3.0
Meghan Frances McCormick – Program Manager, Maine Campus Compact
Katherine McDonald – Administrator, IDEXX Laboratories
Brandy Mills – Senior Coordinator, LL Bean
Emelda Ogweta – Direct Care Worker, Spurwink Services
Elizabeth Quaglieri – Chief Operating Officer, Maine Media Collective
Charlotte Redmann – Digital Media Manager, Blaze Partners
Jana Richards – Public Health Program Coordinator, Opportunity Alliance
Thomas L. Tutor – Energy Advisor + Solar Design Specialist, ReVision Energy
Tyler Sawyer – Scientist – Associate, IDEXX Laboratories
Austin Sutherland – Director, Product + Market Development, Unum
Andrew Zarro – Outreach + Development Director, Growsmart Maine

To support Portland’s first Global Shapers, please visit https://thetreehouseinstitute.org/donate/ to make a donation. To learn how else you might be involved please contact Adam Burk at adam@thetreehouseinstitute.org.

Follow Hub happenings on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/globalshapersportlandmaine

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