When a couple of months back I received the invitation to join the delegation of Global Shapers who had been selected to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa 2014, I was over the moon. It was going to be my first Forum Event and I knew it was going to be something spectacular. The theme of this year’s forum was: “Forging Inclusive Growth, Creating Jobs”. I was undoubtedly being given an opportunity of a lifetime and from Day 1, the questions at the back of my head were: how was I going to bring something back to Mauritius? How can Mauritius learn from my experience?
During the six days with an intensive and hectic schedule, I as Global Shaper, was given access to an incredible amount of opportunities to mingle with world leaders, CEOs, business leaders and inspirational people. But above all, we got an opportunity to mingle with other people from the same generation, with the same values but from different countries. And that is what made it all an even more exceptional. I even had the pleasure to participate in one of the panels, sharing what I believed to be bold solutions and key actions in the areas of entrepreneurship, education, agriculture and technology, under the attentive eye of Her Excellency Ms Amina Mohamed, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda.
I believe that our local leaders could have learned a lot from WEF Africa not only an industry basis but also on a personal basis.
It was an enlightening experience which could undoubtedly help a lot of our leaders! The idea of being ‘committed to improving the state of the world’ is something that is undeniably lacking in our political leaders. I believe that somewhere down the line, they did have it but unfortunately have lost this vision. I could go on writing about what we did and what sessions we attended, the leaders we got to meet, the industry insights we were given but I think that it would be easier summarize this incredible trip with a few pictures and with a few notable quotes gathered from members of the GSC, WEF and world leaders.
“Be bold- Be strategic- Be action-orientated- Let’s act together” – Adeyemi Babington-Ashaye, Director of the Global Shapers Community
“Learn from each other, strive for economic integration. We cannot co-orporate if we do not know about each other.”- Tony Elumelu,Chairman of Heirs Holdings
“Work with a common sense- Have a daring approach; Work on real issues and give real solutions”- Jean Francois Van Boxmear, Chairman & CEO of Heineken
“Do not lose sight of your vision. Know that you cannot do it all on your own. Build alliances, do not shut people out- Capitalise on what people bring to the table.”- Baroness Amos, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordination
“Collaborate; it is up to us to make a difference! Think Big!”- President Kagame, President of Rwanda
“Learn from your mistakes but know when you have made a mistake. Mistakes will happen if you are curious. Expand your horizons- this is what makes life more interesting”- Prof. K. Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum
“How do you measure yourself? Measure it by what you can still do- not what you have achieved.” – Prof. K. Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum
“What is important is the legacy that you will leave- Make it worthwhile”- Prof. K. Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum