Sharing the Story of Global Shapers 2018

The Global Shapers #ShareTheStory team interviewed a couple of the participants of Global Shapers 2018 about their experiences during the face-to-face program. This year, it took place in Boston, Massachusetts (USA) from 13 to 15 October. The theme was ‘Future Cities’.

Cécile Cluitmans, Board Member of The Lovinklaan Foundation: “Global Shapers is there for the early career professionals, they are the future of Arcadis. It’s really fun to see how much energy there is in the room when you bring so many great young inspiring people together.” Mary-Ann Hopkins, Group Executive of the Americas and CallisonRTKL: “Global Shapers is all about getting to meet young professionals at Arcadis. It’s nice where we can bring them all together in one place and find out how much we have in common.”

Let’s meet a couple of these young professionals! Below, they will tell you about their experiences with the different workflows of Global Shapers.


By 2030 we expect 8.5 billion people to be living on this earth, 70% of those will be living in cities, which means there will be new challenges that we all have to deal with involving mobility, congestion etc. Data will be collected in several ways, which can be used to come up with solutions for these challenges. This is where #SmartCities will come in.

Global Shaper Isra Sharief (Arcadis Middle East)

Tell us about your #SmartCities workflow.

“We, team #SmartCities, have thought of solutions to help citizens and developers to create business and live better. We have two different work streams we have been working on, and within that we have developed an idea of how we can make sure every citizen is going to enhance their quality of life by living in the right place and having all their priorities and needs at hand. Making sure that the developers are developing exactly what the market needs, trends are met and that the information we are gathering is available for them to produce the right kind of developments for #FutureCities to grow.”



The rapid growth of cities as well as environmental impact ask for an improvement of overall quality of life in the future. Issues like rising sea levels have influence on the quality of life for those who live close to water. Similar issues also need to be dealt with. The learnings of this workflow need to therefore be taken across the globe.

Global Shaper Will Readshow (Arcadis UK)

Tell us about your #RegenerativeCities workflow.

I’m working on the #RegenerativeCities workstream which is developing transit hubs following a MODEX assessment. And what we’ve seen is Dalston Junction and Dalston Kingsland are ideal for redevelopment in London. We’re looking to introduce a mixed-use development of residential, retail and integration with the new Crossrail to rail link. Eve mason and myself have been invited to the buildings board in the UK and we hope to share every single deliverable from every workstream with the board so that they can implement it in the UK’s plan going forward.


Water is a substantial thing, it connects risk and opportunity; that’s all coming together in #ResilientCities. Resilience is not just about water, it’s about the urban heat island, poverty and the whole urbanistic mix of challenges that can be advanced through resilience planning – if you do it right. So hopefully with all those challenges you try to find the common thread and brand the whole thing resilience and if you invest the right way, one plus one will be three.

Global Shaper Nicolas Soenens (Arcadis Europe)

Tell us about your #ResilientCities workflow.

“The resilient workflow’s assignment is to convert an area in Boston, Fort Point Channel, into a new neighborhood while keeping in mind the potential of the area and also taking into account resiliency to climate change. In Boston, in 100 years, the sea level will rise 7 feet and this area is very vulnerable. We are trying to figure out what are the stakeholders’ needs and what would our idea need to look like to please all of them. We are planning a feasible, cheap short-term solution, that we can implement now, and a broader long-term solution that would require more investment.”


#SustainableCities is a large platform, and all aspects of urbanization fit in a #SustainableCities theme – from a people social aspect to an economic profit aspect to an environment aspect. Even talking about mobility or resiliency, all of it fits into #SustainableCities.

Global Shaper Megan Klar (Arcadis North America)

How do you feel about working in a multi-cultural environment?

“Working in a multicultural environment has been really impactful because it’s great to see the different viewpoints of all the people around us. It’s been fun just to connect and talk about silly things like language and words that we all use.”




It’s one of the most important workflows, especially because it all happens on site. It’s all about collaboration and project management and having that helicopter view. Knowing what is happening all around you, keeping the external environment in mind, but them alignment with the other workflows. Time management, collaboration, budget all come together in this workflow.

Global Shaper Matthew Lawrence (GEC India)

How will you create a ripple effect after you get back?

“Becoming a Global Shaper Ambassador, to encourage the next generation to join is my ripple effect. I got here because someone guided me through the application phase and encouraged me, with “your idea is not silly.” That positive encouragement to become a Global Shaper is what pushed me, without that push I would not be here. I want to go back and give everyone that push, this is an amazing opportunity and I don’t want anyone to miss out on it because they didn’t know.”



The #ShareTheStory goal is to have a ripple effect during and after the Global Shapers Generation 2018 journey. Their task was to make sure that other Arcadians will catch a glimpse of the activities and work done in Boston. They created a legacy for Generation 2018; they created the toolkit which all Shapers will use to #ShareTheStory to their region and inspire other early career professionals. It’s about promoting all aspects of the GS2018 experience.

Global Shaper Annabelle Cenir (GEC Manilla)

What’s the one thing you want other people to know about Global Shapers?

“Being a Global Shaper means having a chance to make a change and be heard. It’s not just about work deliverables but the experience of working within a multi-cultural environment. But also, not forgetting to have fun and meet lots of friends.”






For more information on the Global Shapers program, check out the website.



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