“An exercise on collaboration”

18 juillet 2016

I was enjoying my supper when I received a call from Stephen Casimiro, an Global Shaper alumni of Generation 2014. At that time, he was turning over a project to me. Thinking that it was about work, I had an inclination of ignoring the call since it was already past office hours, but my conscience won over me. When I answered, Stephen eagerly brought in the news that I was to be part of Global Shapers 2015.

Getting in the program brought an influx of emotions, mostly of excitement and anxiety. Having been in Arcadis for almost two years, I knew what the program was about. I was excited for the sponsored trip and the fresh experiences I would encounter. At the same time, being a bit socially awkward, thoughts of working with strangers whose cultures and backgrounds are different from mine put me on the edge.

During our first virtual meeting, my heart was racing so much that I was having a hard time setting up my laptop. Fortunately, I was part of such an intense and passionate group composed of Suzanne Gray (UK), Lauren Lamp (US), Daniel Tabatabai (Hongkong) and Marc Poorterman (the Netherlands). From the virtual phase, I had a taste of the level of collaboration that will happen during the face-to-face program and it brought me a sense of comfort and control over my apprehensions.

I arrived in the Netherlands together with the other Filipino delegates – Richard, Madel and Carol. I made a promise to myself that I will not gravitate towards them and do my best to create new connections. When I was in the room with the rest of the delegates, I could feel the enthusiasm and energy; it was intoxicating.

That week was such a whirlwind! Each workflow was bursting with different creative ideas that sometimes it can be a bit counterproductive. At the end of the day, everyone just needed to find a common ground. In a group made up of people from across the world, there are surprisingly many things that we share.

Being a Global Shaper made me believe in the power of collaboration. I used to pride myself of getting things done on my own. When you are part of a big system, it’s so easy to feel isolated and focused on your own goals. I can relate this with where I work. Currently, I’m assigned to a satellite office where there are only less than thirty staff. Often we feel detached from the company as we only see action in our local area.

By taking part in the program, I guess I’ve made my colleagues see that we are indeed part of a company that has a global reach. I imagine us as a cell within a fully functioning body. Having this mindset builds inspiration, not only to provide quality work, but also to be involved and collaborative; not just satisfied with accomplishing tasks, but also suggesting ways on how to deliver them better.

In a way, Global Shapers is Arcadis’ way of touching and empowering its very basic units.


Jumar Calapre
Global Shaper Generation 2015