Seven Young Charlotteans Join the World Economic Forum Community

Seven Young Charlotteans Join the World Economic Forum Community 

Inaugural Group to Tackle Youth Unemployment during its First Year

WEF Global Shapers LogoCHARLOTTE, N.C. (Apr. 17, 2012) – The World Economic Forum, an independent international organization famous for its annual summits in Davos, Switzerland, where heads of state and other leaders meet to address global issues, has announced the creation of an affiliated group of young Charlotte leaders dedicated to tacking problems on a local and international scale. With the announcement, Charlotte becomes one of fifteen “hubs” of the Global Shapers Community in the United States.

Six individuals from Charlotte between the ages of 20 and 30 have been selected to serve in the inaugural group: Carrie Cook, Meghann Gunderman, Chip Johnson, Donald Stader, Raquel Vélez, and Mary Sherrill Ware. In addition, David Callaway, one of the Global Shaper advisors, will also join the World Economic Forum community as a Young Global Leader.

The Charlotte Global Shapers will tackle the issue of youth unemployment in the Charlotte region during its first year. “The World Economic Forum has given us a relatively broad mandate to make a positive impact on a local level,” said Chip Johnson, who will serve as the group’s Chairman. “Youth unemployment resonates with us both because it strongly affects our generation and because it continues to be a major problem for our region. We are confident that the Charlotte community has the tools to challenge the issue of youth unemployment head-on.”

Rye Barcott, author of It Happened on the Way to War, co-founder of the non-profit organization Carolina for Kibera, and Advisor to Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, led the selection committee. Barcott, a member of the World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders, will serve as official Curator for the organization. Other advisors will include Lorraine Elliot and Dr. David Callaway. Callaway, an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Carolinas Medical Center, was recently honored by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader for his work in disaster and humanitarian response.

“Charlotte’s long history of innovation and civic engagement make it an ideal city to host this Global Shapers organization,” said Callaway. “It is an honor to work with, and learn from, this incredible group of young leaders who are not just preparing to assume positions in the board room, but are actually making significant social contributions to their community.”

For more information on the Charlotte Hub of the Global Shapers, visit

About the World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum, an independent international organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, is committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. For more information, visit

About the Global Shapers Community

The Global Shapers Community is a worldwide network of Hubs led by 20- to 30-year-olds who are exceptional in their potential, achievements and drive to make positive contributions to their communities. Solutions to global challenges must engage youth at all levels – locally, regionally, nationally and globally – as this generation has the passion, dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit to shape the future. Shapers are organized in a network of local hubs based in major cities around the world. The only official requirement of a Global Shapers hub is that it undertakes at least one local project. The mandate for individual hubs is broad, but the ultimate goal of the Global Shapers Community is to provide youth with a global platform to shape the future. For more information, visit

About the Forum of Young Global Leaders

The Forum of Young Global Leaders is a unique, multistakeholder community of more than 700 exceptional young leaders who share a commitment to shaping the global future. Nominated under 40, these young leaders are proposed through a qualified nomination process and assessed according to rigorous selection criteria that creates a diverse and truly representative body, while accepting only the very best leaders who have already demonstrated their commitment to serving society at large.


The views expressed are those of certain participants in the discussion and do not necessarily reflect the views of all participants or of the World Economic Forum.


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