Conflict Resolution Last update: 30/03/2021

As Shapers, we have the fortune of participating in a community that many before us have worked hard to create and nurture. It is our responsibility to participate in the community in such a way that respects our common values, code of conduct and anti-harassment policy.

Together, we commit to:

  • Respectfully represent the hub and our community
  • Engage compassionately with the needs of others
  • Be accountable to ourselves and hub members
  • Proactively work with others to achieve common goals
  • Communicate clearly, honestly and respectfully
  • Value the opinions and potential of others
  • Be ethically responsible and demonstrate integrity

As Shapers, we apply these principles in all our actions to uphold the community’s mission and protect its reputation in ways that leaves it healthy and vibrant for future members.

Nevertheless, there may be incidents that arise which go against the spirit of our community and our common values. For these incidents, we have created the Global Shapers Community’s Conflict Resolution Committee overseen by the Governance and Accountability Advisory Council.

To ensure a fair and due process for concerns raised within the community, Global Shapers HQ and our Advisory Council members have agreed upon the following steps to address concerns in a fair, transparent and respectful way:

Local Resolution

As first instance, all hubs should develop unique procedures to prevent and manage conflicts locally. These procedures should follow our common values, code of conduct and anti-harassment policy.

It is encouraged to include examples of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors, explain the mediation process and the potential consequences of failing to meet these agreements. Potential outcomes can include external mediation, formal warnings, membership termination and reporting to local authorities.

All new members should be informed of these procedures and each year they should be reviewed and agreed upon hub members.

Global Mediation

If a conflict cannot be resolved at the hub level or by a Curatorship (Curator, Vice Curator or Outgoing Curator), Shapers are encouraged to bring concerns to the attention of any member of the Advisory Council by email (governance@globalshapers.org) or direct message on TopLink.

  • If the concern is initially shared with an Advisory Group member, they will notify the Head of the Global Shapers Community, Wadia Ait Hamza, and the Governance and Accountability Co-Chairs.
  • If the concern is raised directly to the Head of the Community directly or the Community Manager, they may choose to involve the Advisory Council members, if appropriate.

Open consultation

Depending on the concern raised, Advisory Council members may conduct an investigation. Investigations may be performed for the following types of cases:

  • Requests to terminate a Curator’s membership
  • Requests to terminate a Founding Curator’s membership
  • Appeals to membership terminations at the hub level
  • Conflicts that emerge between two or more hubs
  • Violations to our code of conduct at a World Economic Forum or Global Shapers Community events

Please note that concerns that emerge between hub members will not be investigated by the Advisory Council unless they relate to one or more of the above cases. For example, a hub member violates the code of conduct at a hub meeting – this case should be resolved at the hub level. The hub’s Curatorship or local Conflict Resolution Committee should respond with a fair, timely and transparent resolution.

Advisory Council members can provide hubs support to create dispute mechanisms to proactively address conflict at the hub level. Contact a Governance and Accountability Advisory Council member by email (governance@globalshapers.org) or on TopLink for support. We encourage hubs to follow the steps for terminating memberships and resolving conflict outlined in the Onboarding Guide. Conducting an investigation should be a last resort.

If an investigation is conducted:

  • Before consulting with community members, the Head of the Community will inform the individual(s) involved that an investigation will be undertaken and what steps are in place to ensure confidentially and due process.
  • The individual(s) will be given the opportunity to provide their perspectives to the Advisory Council via recorded video conference and/or written response.
  • A one-time taskforce of 3-5 Advisory Council members will be appointed by the Governance and Accountability Co-Chairs to conduct the investigation.


Once an investigation is complete, the Governance and Accountability Advisory Council members will provide the Head of the Community a recommendation to resolve the case. The Head of the Community will approve the recommendation and implement the final decision.

Possible resolutions may include:

  • Peer mentorship from an Advisory Council member
  • Peer discussion facilitated by the Advisory Council
  • Direct discussion with the Head of the Community
  • Suspension of community membership (this means members cannot attend community activities at the hub, regional or global level including Forum meetings)
  • Termination of community membership

In order to reach a resolution:

  • The investigating taskforce will present the case, investigation and recommendation to all Governance and Accountability members of the Advisory Council.
  • 60% of Governance and Accountability Advisory Council members must participate in the governance process and validate the recommendation before it is presented to the Head of the Community.
  • Advisory Council members will present the final recommendation to the Head of the Community in writing for approval and implementation.
  • An extraordinary call may be organised between Advisory Council members and the Head of the Community to discuss the recommendation if needed.
  • Advisory Council members will exclude themselves from participating and abstain from voting on any recommendation if they have a conflict of interest or bias with regards to the concern that has been raised.
  • The Head of the Community may refer the concern to the Managing Board of the World Economic Forum for a decision, if appropriate.


Following approval, a communication will be sent to the individual(s) involved outlining the resolution and next steps.

If appropriate, a separate communication may be sent to the community to share the concern raised, process followed, conclusion reached and lessons learned.

  • This communication will anonymize the individual(s), hub(s) and region(s) involved in the case.
  • The communication will only be shared if it helps to increase transparency for the processes undertaken and can support other community members and hubs experiencing similar challenges and/or conflicts.

Global Shapers Advisory Council members, Global Shapers HQ and Community Managers endeavour to follow these steps when any concerns are raised.

All Advisory Council members are required to sign a Non- Disclosure Agreement upon joining the council and breach of this agreement could result in expulsion from the council.

Advisory Council members, Global Shapers HQ and Community Managers reserve the right to act independently of this process should allegations become public knowledge, placing the institutional reputation of the Global Shapers Community or the World Economic Forum at risk.

Should you have questions or other inquiries about raising a concern, contact any member of the Advisory Council by email or direct message on TopLink.

The head of the Global Shapers Community reserves the right to terminate any community membership at their own discretion
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Global Shapers Community