“107 of us now stood there as friends”

I saw Global Shapers as a life changing opportunity to expand my knowledge and collaborate with people from all corners of the world. I was lucky enough to be a part of Generation 2016 in Qatar.


As the theme was Client Focus, one of our biggest clients in the Middle East, Ashghal, played a big role in Global Shapers: Generation 2016. During the virtual phase we began working in teams with one another. There were three virtual challenges, which led towards developing tools for Ashghal and Arcadis during the face-to-face program.


On our first day of the face-to-face program, we all gathered in a circle. 107 strangers, 6 continents, 14 languages and countless personality types. We would soon be sharing ideas and working side-by-side on a global scale to develop the Client Passport, Horizons Mentor Program and Social Media Success Stories – 3 tools that are focused on client development.


When I joined Arcadis, there were many things that other people taught me, and without them I would probably not be where I am now. I know how important it is to have someone you can learn from, and take advice from. That being said, the Mentor Program caught my eye. It is a program where Ashghal and Arcadis will be able to share knowledge, as a mentor or a mentee.


The law of two feet (“If at any time during our time together you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing, use your two feet, go someplace else.”) allowed me to move around at any time to where I felt comfortable, but I always found myself back at the Mentor Program. It was my home and they were my family. We all worked very hard together. Sometimes until 2.00-3.00am, which made it not so easy being ready for sport at 7.00am sharp. The highlight for me was working until 3.00am. The later it got, the more it brought us together and united us as a team that was in it together until the end.


However, as hard as we worked, we had just as much fun. We went on a desert safari, where we spent a few hours at the beach. It was a fun night, full of table-tennis, volleyball, swimming and jellyfish stings! The next day we engaged in a session with the Executive Board of Arcadis, where we were able to gain insights on their broad knowledge. Afterwards, we went on a Dhow boat tour where we could have a conversation with the Executive Board members in a casual environment.


After presenting our hard work to Ashghal and Arcadis during the Grand Final, we spent our final evening together and gathered for the final closing the next morning. 107 of us who were once strangers, now stood there as friends. I met some incredible people along the way, and will keep some of these friendships forever. We parted ways; not by saying goodbye, but by saying until next time.


I have learnt how valuable knowledge sharing and collaboration is to ourselves, as well as to Arcadis. Going forward I am going to try spread this message, and I would also like to be further involved in the implementation of the Mentor Program. Global Shapers is a once in a life time experience that connects you with the world, and I would recommend it to anyone.


Wesley Caddick

Global Shaper: Generation 2016

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