Global Shapers Response to COVID-19 This page is updated as new projects are shared. Last Update: 11 May 2020

The dramatic spread of COVID-19 has disrupted lives, livelihoods, communities and businesses worldwide. All stakeholders, especially young people, must urgently come together to minimize its impact on public health and limit its potential for further socioeconomic disruptions. Global Shapers are taking action by informing themselves and helping others.

Our response to coronavirus focuses on three objectives:

  1. Build knowledge of community members on COVID-19 and the latest scientific findings, through virtual sessions and online learning by the World Health Organization (WHO)
  2. Amplify trusted information and debunk myths in communities around the world through direct outreach, social media campaigns and thought-leadership on the Agenda
  3. Increase collective action to support public health systems, protect livelihoods and help build more inclusive community responses through hub projects and global initiatives

We will also establish a COVID Committee to mobilize Global Shapers, inform HQ and to represent the community within the World Economic Forum’s COVID Action Platform.

1. Capacity Building and Knowledge

As fear spreads faster than facts, Global Shapers are taking steps to inform themselves and others about the virus, and its effects on global health, trade, travel, society and the economy. As a first step, one member per hub is encouraged to enroll in the WHO’s open course on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), which describes the current epidemiological context, and what strategies communities should use to detect, prevent and respond to COVID-19.

The Global Shapers Community also launched a new virtual series: GSC 360°. Global Shapers go beyond the headlines in weekly sessions to explore pressing issues, including COVID-19, from diverse points of view with community experts. By exchanging personal stories, responses and facts, Global Shapers make up their own minds on important topics.

2. Sharing Trusted Information

Our community is a scalable solution for organizing and mobilizing the full potential of young people. To our 10,000+ members in more than 420 city-based hubs, our ask is simple: help us to amplify trusted information about COVID-19 in your community and the world. Based on our knowledge, we work together to debunk myths and prevent fake news from taking hold.

How have our members responded to this challenge? Hubs are launching social media campaigns, developing guidelines and translations of essential information, hosting webinars and virtual talks, and building platforms for sharing trusted information. See below for examples.

Guidelines and Translations

  • Abuja Hub created videos in Igbo, Pidgin English, Hausa, and Yoruba to promote preventive measures.
  • New Delhi Hub translated WHO resources into Hindi and compiled them for local distribution.
  • Patna Hub created a database of WHO resources translated into vernacular Indian languages.
  • South African Hubs (Johannesburg, Soweto, Durban, Stellenbosch, Cape Town and Tshwane) have come together to translate essential information and resources into various South African languages.
  • Faisalabad Hub translated WHO visual resources into Urdu and is sharing the information social media. Shapers also produced a series of COVID-19 awareness videos in Punjabi with WHO content.
  • Gurugram Hub designed a deck of 25 visual cards to help parents quickly change children's hygiene behavior.
  • Lviv Hub translated WHO graphics into Ukrainian to promote physical distancing locally.

Platforms for Information

  • Rawalpindi Hub co-founded Firebolt, a digital platform for connecting doctors, patients and clinics, to broadcast authentic and verified information related to COVID-19.
  • Copenhagen Hub developed a self-reporting tool where users can identify if they've contracted COVID-19 to help track the total number of cases in Denmark.
  • Guatemala City Hub developed a platform to support local efforts, inform the public , facilitate connections under physical distancing, and promote empathy amidst COVID-19.
  • Prague Hub posts verified daily updates in order to combat panic in the Czech Republic.
  • Guayaquil Hub created a video platform to amplify important information about the virus.
  • Manila Hub developed BantayCOVID, a platform to share government initiatives during the pandemic to uphold transparency and accountability.

Social Media Campaigns

  • Global Shapers joined the WHO’s cross-platform campaigns #BeReady and #SafeHands. They’re using the hashtags #BeReady, #SafeHands, #PreventionOverPanic and #ShapingHealth.
  • Shanghai II Hub launched the #CoronavirusNotChinavirus campaign that mobilized hundreds of Global Shapers in a global display of solidarity on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Medellin Hub launched #DisfrutaEnCasa to provide ideas on how to spend quality time at home while working and taking care of physical, mental and emotional health.
  • Sacramento Hub is using American campaign and advertising icon, Smokey the Bear, to create light, impactful, and easily replicable images of preventative actions. These images can be stenciled and printed to promote hand washing and staying home.
  • Tashkent Hub led a video challenge to see how Global Shapers are spending time in isolation.
  • Mazar-e-Sharif Hub is distributing brochures, advertising on billboards, recording videos, and posting on social media to share information about COVID-19 in Afghanistan.
  • Melbourne Hub produced the COVID-19: Global Video to showcase diverse experiences of Global Shapers during the pandemic.
  • Gaza Hub is holding a campaign, in cooperation with the Gaza municipality and other youth organizations, to educate the community about essential safety precautions.
  • Fortaleza Hub launched #DendiCasa (#AtHome) to encourage youth to build healthy habits at home.

Knowledge Sessions

  • Faisalabad Hub & Beijing II Hub co-hosted a Facebook Live session on 7 March on the context, future scenarios and impact of COVID-19 on individuals and communities.
  • Abuja Hub held a virtual dialogue on 18 March titled ‘A Spotlight on COVID-19’. Panelists included four of Nigeria’s foremost leaders on COVID-19 response.
  • Washington DC Hub hosted a webinar on 20 March with experts on the COVID-19 pandemic, its impact on society, and actions Shapers can take to mitigate the outbreak.
  • Toronto Hub held a virtual discussion on 30 March on the transformational impact of empathy in times of uncertainty.
  • Ahmedabad Hub held a Tweet Chat Campaign with medical experts and influencers to engage communities and share concrete dos and don'ts in this time of crisis.
  • New Delhi Hub hosted a series of virtual community huddles with experts on mental health and India's COVID-19 response in collaboration with the organization Young Indians.
  • Lagos Hub held a virtual talk series with experts involved in managing and responding to the pandemic in Nigeria, to help educate the community and dispel myths.
  • Copenhagen Hub held 4 virtual sessions with the WHO Europe COVID-19 Response team and 325+ Global Shapers to share knowledge on and dispel myths about the pandemic in European communities.
  • Karachi Hub, New Delhi Hub, Islamabad Hub and Bangalore Hub host COVID-19 in South Asia, a bi-weekly virtual session connecting Global Shapers in India and Pakistan. Participants imagine the post-COVID-19 world and make valuable connections.
  • Chisinau Hub hosts a virtual series with experts on COVID-19 and its impact in Moldova.
  • New York Hub & Beijing Hub lead the Shapers Connect Project, a virtual series showcasing experiences and projects of Global Shapers responding to COVID-19 globally.
  • Lviv Hub showcases a wide range of expertise and experiences with COVID-19 lockdown, isolation, and remote work through the podcast series Impact Voices.
  • Peshawar Hub held a virtual session on "How to be Mindful in Lock-down" with local clinical psychologists. The session, live on Zoom and Facebook, reached 3,000 viewers.

Global Shapers are also sharing their thought-leadership on the World Economic Forum’s Agenda (which is viewed by more than 5 million people per month) to debunk myths, fight misinformation and promote inclusive responses. Articles thus far include:

3. Increasing Collective Action

Global Shapers are a community of doers. We are taking action to ensure continuing education, increase access to medical and health supplies, protect mental health, provide localized resource to ease quarantine, support local businesses and build inclusive responses that target vulnerable populations for support. Here are examples of ongoing hub projects and collaborative initiatives focused on COVID-19:

Accelerating Solutions

  • Córdoba Hub facilitated a virtual laboratory, #HackCovid19, organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Province of Córdoba and coordinated by the School of Innovation.
  • San Francisco Hub and Beijing II Hub launched BlockCOVID, a virtual innovation camp to activate COVID-19 solutions driven by blockchain. By providing a collaboration platform and technical support, the hubs aim to inspire and catalyze implementable products to address the challenges of COVID-19.
  • Stockholm Hub built actionagainstcorona.org, a platform to connect innovative solutions with grants, investments, partners, volunteers and exposure to help COVID-19 and it's implications.
  • Vancouver Hub and Austin Hub launched the Re-imagining the Future of Society Initiative on 24 April, to identify opportunities created by the pandemic for positive, systemic change led by Shapers.
  • Santa Cruz de la Sierra Hub is hosting its Virtual Hackathon COVID-19 to accelerate solutions that spread trusted information and prevent the transmission of COVID-19. The project is co-organized with the local Chamber of Commerce, The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Trade.
  • Nagpur Hub is supporting Global Shapers responding to COVID-19 by launching an accelerator to support startups, innovators and makers developing solutions to the new challenges brought by the outbreak.

Continuing Education

  • Medellin Hub launched La Educación No Para, a project to equip schools and parents with the tools and methodologies needed to continue classes at home.
  • Madrid Hub developed University Students Against the Pandemic to meet the educational needs of primary and secondary school children in the face of COVID-19. The platform hosts online classes, reinforcement materials and exercises free of charge. There are 200+ volunteers behind this effort.
  • Paris Hub is taking their hub project, Konexio, online to continue coaching individuals from vulnerable communities in the skills necessary to participate in today's workforce even amidst the pandemic.

Increasing Access to Medical Supplies

  • Milan Hub launched the Intensive Care PODS project to amplify ICU capacity for patients with severe symptoms. Milan Hub is promoting prefabricated, pre-finished ICU PODs that are easy to deploy.
  • Indore Hub is distributing face masks and teaching citizens how to make hand sanitizer at home to build resilience and educate the public about needed precautions to stay safe during the pandemic.
  • Iloilo Hub is fundraising for frontline healthcare workers. Funds raised will provide nurses, doctors and other personnel the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needed to safely respond to this pandemic.
  • Sacramento Hub sourced portable hand-washing stations and partnered with the Ford Fund, Raley's Grocery Stores, and Balanced Body to place stations in grocery stores. They also created a Facebook group to source and allocate volunteers to COVID-19, with the goal of mobilizing 2,000 individuals.
  • Faisalabad Hub is manufacturing hand sanitizer using the WHO-prescribed formula. Global Shapers will produce 10,000 100ml bottles to address the shortage in Faisalabad.
  • Durban Hub, in partnership with The Domino Foundation, will provide 100,000 hampers of sanitizer, soap, tissue, toilet paper, bleach and basic groceries to households predicted to be hit by the virus.
  • Madrid Hub is using 3D Printers to create facial shields, respiratory filters using snorkeling masks, and automatic respirators for hospitals. To highlight and amplify this work, Madrid Hub joined the Spanish initiative Coronavirus Makers (a community fighting against the shortage of life-saving equipment).
  • Davao Hub built an online database to track community needs during the pandemic. Using this tool, donors can identify community groups. local non-profits and families in need of their support.
  • Barcelona Hub developed The Open Ventilator to increase access to essential medical treatment for patients with severe symptoms. It is built from certified parts, reliable, open-source and replicable.
  • Boston Hub and Gaza Hub have partnered to fundraise and commission face shields and ventilator parts from local 3D printer operators. Medical supplies will benefit Gaza hospitals and medical centers.
  • Dhaka Hub, in partnership with DBL Pharmaceuticals, launched a free transport service for caregivers, including doctors and nurses. Over 250 doctors and caregivers have so far registered for the service.
  • Vientiane Hub is fundraising to provide PPE to hospital facilities and border zones. Donors receive access to a series of virtual sessions valuable to anyone in quarantine during the pandemic.
  • Bangalore Hub launched The MASK (Make and Sew Kindness) Project, to teaches participants how to sew and responsibly wear, clean and store cotton masks to mitigate the environmental impact of single-use ones and redirect existing resources (which are in acute shortage) to front-line medical staff.
  • Manila Hub partnered with Wear Forward for #WearTogether, a campaign to mobilize makers in the fashion industry to produce PPE while simultaneously fundraising to procure PPE for front-line staff.
  • Islamabad Hub connected 500 donors and 100 volunteers from across the textile industry to produce garments, masks, gloves and face shields to first-responders in 60 hospitals in 20 cities across Pakistan.

Protecting Mental Health

  • Cambridge Hub set up COVID-19 Peer Support, a digital tool to help young people connect during distancing. The platform enables users to share their experiences of isolation and check-in regularly.
  • Guadalajara Hub developed 'Your Quarantine Buddy' to generate pairs of Global Shapers that will check in on one another's well-being every three days and serve as listeners during the pandemic.
  • Shanghaii II Hub created a well-being survey for hubs to understand how members are feeling and what support they can collectively provide to Global Shapers to support one another through the crisis.
  • Rabat Hub launched a campaign for mental health during the crisis, sharing one helpful tip per day.
  • Maputo Hub developed a platform where Global Shapers can sign up to be matched with another member or alumni for a video call to maintain social connections while in physical isolation.
  • Philadelphia Hub began a collective diary to share perspectives during the pandemic. The diary allows Global Shapers to create a community through shared experiences around the world.
  • Hong Kong Hub convened a round table of youth and experts on well-being and mental health.
  • Lugano Hub launched SwissConverge, an online space offering support to anyone experiencing emotional difficulty during the pandemic. SwissConverge hosts volunteer psychologists, writers, trainers, and more who contribute to its blog, Chat&Talk service, online events and appointments.
  • Rosario Hub, Manizales Hub, Medellín Hub, Barcelona Hub, ​​Guayaquil Hub, Pereira Hub and Guadalajara Hub joined together to provide professional mental health care recommendations for the Spanish-speaking community during physical isolation and to promote relevant virtual content.
  • San Salvador Hub hosts a directory of medical doctors and psychologists offering free virtual consultations to ensure community members stay well and avoid overwhelming local health systems.
  • Abuja Hub partnered with She Writes Woman to build a 'Safe Place Online' and is collaborating with the Anti-Suicide and Depression Squad to provide free therapy and counselling during the pandemic.

Easing Quarantining

  • Milan Hub developed a ‘Practical Guide to Life (Staying) at Home,' offering Italian resources on working from home, distance learning, managing kids and more under COVID-19.
  • Frankfurt Hub hosts a live document with a list of vetted resources to help the local community stay safe and provide people access to an emergency 'Info Bank'.
  • Amsterdam Hub hosts a live document where individuals in Amsterdam and The Netherlands can find information and resources on health services, volunteering opportunities, ways to support local businesses and ideas on how to live out quarantine.
  • Oslo Hub launched ShapeNorway to consolidate resources and information about the pandemic and help Norwegians through quarantine and isolation. ShapeNorway provides an overview of resources, tools and initiatives that provide support. The site has has been shared as a key resource by UNDP Norway.
  • Bilbao Hub built a digital escape room - an elaborate leisure activity for individuals unsure of how to spend their days in isolation. The experience reveals is an underlying plot that allows us to reflect on areas of our lives that have been impacted by COVID-19.
  • Amsterdam Hub has compiled initiatives in the Netherlands, from platforms to volunteer virtually to free movies, to help those in quarantine use their time meaningfully.
  • Paris Hub developed Coconfinés, a collaborative platform to provide trusted information and resources to French communities in quarantine.

Supporting Local Business

  • Rome Hub launched Save One Seat to support local businesses, including restaurants and bars, that are closed. Citizens can buy vouchers today, sending money directly to small businesses, which can be used once reopened in the future.
  • Bogotá Hub developed Lo Uso Después, an e-commerce platform that allows small businesses to sell their products or services online. The Hub will continue to support these small businesses in making the technological leap and developing their online presence.
  • Global Shapers worldwide are encouraging their companies and organisations to take precautions. Whether CEOs or entry-level staff, community members are ensuring their offices are clean and hygienic, practicing regular hand-washing, testing remote working and communicating clearly on the crisis to their employees.

Supporting Vulnerable Populations

  • Los Angeles Hub launched Shaper Hands, a free delivery service in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Atlanta. The service is powered by a network of volunteers to support individuals that need help with sourcing groceries and medical supplies.
  • Rome Hub shared virtual resources for psychological and legal counsel for victims of domestic violence, who are at particular risk during quarantine.
  • Ahmedabad Hub is co-hosting a fundraiser for daily wage labourers, old age homes and shelter homes. The funds will be used to buy grocery materials and basic necessities.
  • Navi Mumbai Hub is fundraising and distributing prevention kits to cab drivers, slum dwellers, and people from low-income communities. Kits contain face masks, hand sanitizer, immunity-boosting tablets, and guidance on essential precautionary measures they and their families should take.
  • Tashkent Hub will provide packages of 15 essential food and hygiene products to families that have lost jobs in the crisis, in partnership with Bright Future Charity.
  • Luxembourg City Hub designed multilingual templates in Luxembourgish, German, French, English and Portuguese for volunteers who want to offer their help with groceries, dog walking, and more in their neighbourhood.
  • Port Harcourt Hub spoke to traders and buyers at a busy market about the virus to dispel myths, raise awareness and share safety procedures. The hub decorated the market with COVID-19 safety stickers and distributed free hand sanitizer.
  • Gaza Hub is fostering a charitable movement and providing food baskets for poor families in Gaza who cannot obtain food in the quarantine.
  • Dhaka Hub is spreading awareness among the rural population with audio clips and posters carrying prevention measures. Dhaka Hub is also disinfecting public places for those who cannot stay at home.
  • Quito Hub launched a crowdfunding campaign for the largest homeless shelter in Quito to be able to accommodate and protect the city's homeless population during this crisis.
  • Quebec City Hub launched a Community Cooperation Challenge to encourage residents to take three actions for the community: promote ‘buy local’ infrastructure, contribute time or money to local nonprofits, and donating meals to Quebec City's community fridges.
  • Karachi Hub formed Balochistan Youth Against Corona to serve monthly rations to over 200 families and personal protective equipment to doctors in remote areas of Pakistan.
  • Kolkata Hub is working to understand how Global Shapers and their communities are experiencing issues surrounding menstruation in the face of isolation and uncertainty. The Hub will use responses to address the issue of menstrual health during crises.
  • Des Moines Hub is raising awareness and funds for the Des Moines COVID-19 Disaster Recovery Fund. They will take their campaign to social meeting and "light up" the city on the night of 16 April with custom LED luminaries in recognition of essential workers.
  • Rosario Hub volunteered at Food Bank of Rosario. The Hub contributed to the goal of providing food to over 600 organizations working with children during the pandemic.
  • Yerevan Hub co-developed FOLU Quindio: cuida a Quindio, an initiative to address food insecurity under COVID-19. The platform connects stakeholders along the food production chain to ensure that food reaches the population and prioritizes the most vulnerable.
  • Paris Hub leads a crowdfunding effort for Colombians living in precarious conditions during the COVID-19 health crisis. Paris Hub also initiated a program encouraging able individuals to volunteer to serve their neighbors during the pandemic.
  • Dakar Hub collaborated with the US Embassy in Dakar provide foodstuffs to four suburban communities and to spread best practices on COVID-19 prevention.
  • Manila Hub works with LGUs, INGOs and donor groups to address food insecurity during quarantine. The Hub has to-date provided 5,000 families with 14,000 kilos of produce.
  • Islamabad Hub partnered with Pakistan's government to deliver awareness sessions and food supplies to daily wage-laborers and families in need. The Hub has provided food packs to over 5,000 families and educated each recipient on basic COVID-19 prevention.
  • Merida Hub is working to address loss of income for vulnerable communities due to COVID-19. The Hub is linking manufacturing companies to individuals that can work from home to produce masks. Already, two manufacturing companies employ 70 workers across 10 communities.
  • Belo Horizonte Hub is streamlining community efforts to assist vulnerable populations. The Hub coordinates donors, communities, enterprises and institutions to identify the needs of vulnerable groups and to ensure equal distribution of aid.
  • Curitiba Hub launched Plan-C, a virtual platform which connects donors to projects providing relief to vulnerable communities and customers to local business owners online.
  • Porto Alegre Hub launched a tutorial video on how to make zero-waste face masks using bandanas and rubber bands. The Hub is seeking opportunities to mass-produce face masks and distribute them in vulnerable communities of Porto Alegre.

Finally, Global Shapers worldwide are sharing their strategies and best practices to encourage action from other hubs. See the 10-Point Action Plan from Washington DC Hub or the COVID-19 Hub Strategy from New York City Hub for examples.

Share Your Actions

This is just the tip of the iceberg! Share your responses in this two-minute survey. By doing so, you provide us valuable information to help tell our story and demonstrate the power of young people in the fight against COVID-19. In the survey, you can also volunteer to join our COVID Committee and represent us in the World Economic Forum’s COVID Action Platform.