Portland Shaper Travels to Geneva

Portland Shaper Travels to Geneva





Photo: Portland’s Meghan McCormick with 350 young global leaders meet at the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland in August 2016
Photo Credit: World Economic Forum

Portland, ME (Monday, September 19. 2016) — Portland Global Shaper, Meghan McCormick, was invited to attend the Global Shapers Annual Curators Meeting along with 350 young global leaders representing 119 different countries on August 19-22, in Geneva, Switzerland. McCormick represented Maine at the four day conference hosted by the World Economic Forum. “During the opening session, I looked around in awe, observing how many significant cities and different countries were in the room and was impressed and honored that Portland, Maine had a seat at the table,” said McCormick.

The Global Shapers is an initiative of the World Economic Forum. It is a network of city-based hubs developed and led by young leaders generally under the age of 30. Each Hub identifies either one or more issues existing in their communities and designs projects that address them in part through public/private partnerships. The World Economic Forum approached Adam Burk, co-founder and director of the Treehouse Institute, in June 2015 to create a hub in Portland, Maine. Adam and Treehouse Institute were selected by the World Economic Forum because of achievements in community building, stakeholder engagement, established brand, and track record of success.

The Annual Curators Meeting 2016 brought elected leadership from each hub to the World Economic Forum to work with peers to understand the Global Shapers Community, the World Economic Forum and each Hub’s role in improving the state of the world. “We engaged in skills-based learning with peers and global experts in an intimate, innovative environment,” Meghan McCormick, Portland’s Vice Curator explained, “I collaborated with leaders from all corners of the world, from Nigeria, Romania, Columbia, Bangladesh and beyond. I shared some of the initiatives the Portland Hub is undertaking and was able to cross-pollinate ideas and solutions.” Throughout the conference, curators showcased the impact projects of their Hubs and McCormick gained core competencies and practical tips to take back to Portland. “It’s amazing how we were able to connect, share best practices and inspire each other to continue bettering our communities.”

Adam Burk, the Portland Hub’s founding curator offered his perspective that “Meghan’s experience at the Annual Curators Meeting strengthens Portland’s connection with the World Economic Forum global networks. It also strengthens our ability to lead here at home and in the world with access to best practices and more so an investment in Meghan as one of Maine’s up and coming global leaders.”

McCormick, 28, currently serves as the Program Director for Maine Campus Compact and is working with 18 campuses in Maine overseeing environmental stewardship programs, civic engagement efforts, and faculty/student professional development.


Photo: Meghan McCormick, Vice Curator, Portland Global Shapers
Photo Credit: Nathan Eldridge Photography

During the conference, McCormick attended plenaries at the World Trade Organization and the United Nations that set the context of current global issues followed by sessions on how to design scalable and sustainable solutions. Professor Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, shared his ideas on the shifts that are affecting the world today and how the Global Shapers Community is uniquely position as the first and foremost platform to bring youth’s voice to the global and public domain.

The Portland Global Shapers are currently working on four projects in Portland in order to cultivate an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient city whose residents are invested in the welfare of Portland. Those four projects include: Portland Participates, Resilient Portland, Girls Driving for Change and Hi, Neighbor. The Portland Hub is currently accepting applications through September 30. For more information visit www.thetreehouseinstitute.org/portland-global-shapers/

ABOUT Portland Global Shapers

The Portland Global Shapers Hub aims to cultivate an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient city whose residents are invested in the welfare of Portland.

The Hub will change the accepted narratives of everyday issues, invite all of Portland’s residents to participate in public processes, and improve transparency and permeability between decision makers and community stakeholders. We believe that to activate change we must foster a culture of empathy and practice action orientated strategies. The Hub will support efforts that share its guiding principles to be inclusive, change accepted narratives, and redefine community engagement; as we seek not to duplicate existing efforts but rather amplify what is already working. Our Hub will undertake projects that are desirable, viable, and feasible.

The Global Shapers are an initiative of the World Economic Forum, a nonprofit foundation headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation while remaining independent and not tied to special interests. The World Economic Forum purposefully engages young leaders to build solutions that shape the future.


Treehouse Institute is a nonprofit organization focused on social innovation. We are always trying new things and helping others to as well. We think creative confidence and new perspectives are what we need today and will make tomorrow awesome.

Treehouse was founded after looking into questions raised at TEDxDirigo – “what happens next?” “how do we do more of this?” “what is ‘this?’”

Treehouse continues to support the production of TEDxDirigo and helped start TEDxYouth@CEHS, TEDxYouth@Biddeford, and TEDxSMCC.

We help launch new initiatives that connect people, places, and ideas. These, in turn, foster more resilient and prosperous communities.

In addition to supporting TEDxDirigo, Treehouse is nurturing the new Portland Global Shapers Hub, and Represent

Adam Burk
Executive Director
Treehouse Institute
41 York Street
Portland, ME 04101

Meghan McCormick
Vice Curator
Portland Global Shapers
41 York Street
Portland, ME 04101
(978) 836-7075

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