While we value our connection to the World Economic Forum and the bonds we share with one another, we're laser-focused on getting things done. Each year, we align on impact projects that directly connect to improving the lives of Chicagoans. For instance, one of our impact projects entailed working with My Block, My Hood, My City to develop organizational capabilities, scale operations, and execute cross-neighborhood excursions for underserved Chicago students. Another had us partner with LeadersUp to develop training & curricula that empower youth interviewing for and navigating a new job. Find some of our other partners below.

  • Our Focus for 2018/19:

    Preparing for the Future of Work

    The City of Big Shoulders. The City That Works.


    In 2018-19, Chicago Global Shapers will focus a year of impact on Preparing for the Future of Work.


    In the context of the rapid, accelerated pace of technology, cognitive tasks once reserved for humans are increasingly being done by machines. In light of persistent intergenerational poverty, systemic racism, globalization, climate change, and geopolitical chaos, we have an opportunity to work with city stakeholders to proactively navigate towards a better future --

    • A future of work that balances human potential and technological advancement
    • A future of work that ensures economic opportunity and prosperity for everyone, regardless of race, class, gender, and place
    • A future of work that is inclusive, enabling creativity and entrepreneurship to thrive  


    We are currently exploring opportunities to (1) partner with local organizations working to advance aspects of this vision, from skills development to inclusive entrepreneurship; (2) amplify and attend local events and opportunities related to these issues; and (3) support young leaders to advance race equity and inclusion efforts in the workplace.


    What are your ideas about how we can work together to
    shape the future of work across Chicago?



    The 2017 US Presidential election centered race and religion as defining and dividing forces in American society. With that backdrop, our Hub used 2017 to develop the Chicago Dialogue Project, an initiative designed to create awareness, spark dialogue, and promote education about some of the most pertinent issues impacting Chicago youth. This yearlong series of facilitated discussions engaged Chicago teens on some of the most complex and divisive issues impacting their day-to-day, with conversations touching on community-police relations, immigration, and Islamophobia. Our goal was to empower young people to open up about how these issues impact them and eventually work alongside peers to develop actionable steps to address and remedy these issues.


    While hosting conversations was important, we believed that our work wouldn't be complete if we didn't equip and inspire young people to take immediate action. That's why we developed resource guides aimed at giving attendees a simple starting point. These resource guides were useful for students who:

    • Wanted to learn more about topics of discussion
    • Wanted to identify community members to connect with to drive change
    • Needed immediate help and/or assistance


    Check out our guides below:

      100 DREAMS, 100 STORIES


      “100 Dreams, 100 Stories” is an experience for young women who want to actualize their dreams starting with an idea and need a community to support them. Our focus for this 2-hour pop-up experience is igniting the ideas of the young women who are participating. We will highlight inspiring models of leadership in the community and also provide a hands-on experience for participants to understand and take the next steps they need to make their dreams more tangible. Participants will learn and apply a holistic design thinking process. Step-by-step, they will be able to identify the “who, what, when, where, how, and why” to ignite their idea. We will foster an environment where participants can brainstorm, let their hair down, and tangibly activate their potential as a collective.


      This pop-up experience is meant to catalyze a new movement that to turn dreams into stories that can be shared throughout the city with the help of Let’s Vibe and Chicago Global Shapers.




      The passport project focused on 1) preparing high schoolers for community engagement-focused international trips and

      2) supporting them in identifying meaningful career opportunities post-trip. The project connected internationally-minded young professionals with youth from across Chicago.

      Pythagorean Rhythms


      Pythagorean Rhythms takes a multi-faceted approach when addressing academic performance disparity in marginalized communities by 'stemming' music in children.


      It is scientifically proven that children who practice musical instruments and/or listen to music from a young age show significantly greater ability to recognize patterns and have heightened spatial-reasoning skills compared to children who don't. Pythagorean Rhythms targets the youth who don't. Youth whose race, ethnicity and gender are disproportionately less represented in S.T.E.M working fields in America. This targeted program will instill children (from age 4) with the classical techniques and training they need to explore their musical and artistic talents while exposing them to an array of instruments and genres, including classical, jazz and contemporary.


      This program also aims to make our 'disconnected' youth contributors in the music world by driving them to create and compose music, not just consume. Pythagorean Rhythms bridges the art divide by giving 'disconnected' youth an opportunity to express themselves and develop an alternative paradigm to heightening academic performance through music.


      Parent Education Initiative


      The goal of this impact project is to empower parents with knowledge which enables them to understand their child’s strengths and areas of growth, know the rights and support services to which their children are entitled, and communicate effectively with school staff.




      As Opportunity Youth (youth between the ages of 18-24 that are not in work or school) represent a diverse population of especially vulnerable groups (i.e. homeless, foster care, high school dropouts, and reentry), the LeadersUp program seeks to develop and integrate key resources for preparing youth for the workforce and supporting their transition through the process. Our on-boarding process includes a two day LeadersUp empowerment training followed by a 5-day power skills training, to help youth 1) recognize their own agency in transitioning to work 2) prepare for interviews with employers and 3) develop a cohort of peer accountability to assist in transition. CGS would be involved in helping youth to build positive coping skills, resiliency, and coaching for sustained success in employment pathways. We envision a short-term project that consists of:

      • Skill Development Workshops for 3 training cohorts
      • Ongoing mentorship for up to 45 LeadersUp Hires
      • Participation in post placement professional development lunches



      For our inaugural impact project, the Chicago Global Shapers (CGS) selected a project that immersed our hub in Chicago’s rich and diverse communities. We wanted to learn about Chicago and understand why the city is so segregated, and then use this understanding to connect Chicagoans and help residents see our city as the sum of its rich neighborhoods.

      Over the past 18 months, CGS collaborated with Chicago community activist Jahmal Cole’s My Block My Hood My City (MBMHMC), an organization focused on getting young people into differentneighborhoods across the city.

      Primarily, Chicago Global Shapers and My Block My Hood My City revised
      and expanded the “Explorers Club”, which brings ten different teenagers to
      a new
      neighborhood every month. Explorations include visiting local
      businesses, museums/cultural hubs, and restaurants that capture the
      essence of the

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