Global Shapers Norfolk forms partnership with HRIC

CHESAPEAKE, Va. –There’s a new partnership to invest in millennial leaders to bring positive, regional change to Hampton Roads. The Hampton Roads Innovation Collaborative (HRIC) is proud to announce their agreement to act as a program host to Global Shapers Norfolk, a new social start-up serving the Hampton Roads region.

Global Shapers Norfolk was established in 2015 by millennials ages 20-29 seeking to drive creative change in Hampton Roads.

On the relationship, HRIC President Dan Bell stated: “We promote innovation of all forms, including social entrepreneurialism, within our region while building regional economic strength.  We welcome and are honored to provide program hosting support for Global Shapers Norfolk.  This group of millennial leaders is a tremendous addition to our regional fabric.”

“We are honored to have HRIC as our sponsor. This new partnership will help Global Shapers Norfolk build a necessary financial infrastructure in support of our Mission to activate 757 millennials to drive creative change locally and share ideas globally. Attracting and retaining millennials in Hampton Roads requires innovative solutions, and we’re committed to sustaining an inclusive and diverse community for all generations,” said Global Shapers Norfolk Curator Bo Ram Yi.

“Regionalism is one of the biggest challenges facing Hampton Roads. We’re proud Global Shapers Norfolk is composed of millennial leaders from the Southside to the Peninsula. We believe in the potential of the region, and are excited to extend a larger platform to millennials to help shape that future,” Incoming Curator Claire Wulf Winiarek said.

Global Shapers Norfolk is part of an international community backed by the World Economic Forum, consisting of 453 city-based hubs led by young leaders ages 20-29. Each year, Global Shaper Hubs take on a local impact project that betters the state of theirs and the global community. Global Shapers Norfolk’s first local impact project, “Millennial Faces of Hampton Roads,” will kick off this summer. The social media campaign will focus on sharing the diverse perspectives and stories of 757 millennials.

One of those stories is attracting and retaining millennials in Hampton Roads. Norfolk Shaper Aazia Mickens-Dessaso knows the challenge firsthand. Mickens-Dessaso is an entrepreneur who co-founded Free Ping and was honored by the White House as an Emerging Global Entrepreneur. Now she’s ready to move onto the next venture but is finding opportunities in Hampton Roads more limited than those of larger metropolitan communities. Nevertheless, Mickens-Dessaso is committed to contributing to our region by sharing her experience and expertise.

It’s these type of millennial leaders who will drive change in Hampton Roads--regional change and social entrepreneurialism HRIC is excited to support.


About Hampton Roads Innovation Collaborative

HRIC is the new iteration of the Hampton Roads Technology Council, a 501(c)6 nonprofit established in 1997.  HRIC has expanded its mission beyond technology alone, promoting all forms of innovation, entrepreneurism and regional economic growth.

About Global Shapers Norfolk

Global Shapers Norfolk is the first Global Shapers Hub in Virginia, and we’re dedicated to serving the Hampton Roads region. We have a unique Hub that serves the region’s seven coastal cities and surrounding community. Our mission is to activate 757 Millennials to drive creative change locally and share ideas globally. We choose bold projects, and have fun doing it.

About Global Shapers

In 2011, with more than 50 percent of the world’s population under the age of 27, the World Economic Forum took an important step and established the Global Shapers Community. It is a dedicated foundation focused on ensuring young leaders play an active role in shaping the agenda globally, regionally and locally. Structured as a network of self-organizing city-based Hubs, the Community brings together young leaders—known as Global Shapers—in their twenties, united by a commitment to contribute to resolving challenges within their communities. The Global Shapers Community now numbers 453 Hubs worldwide.