San Francisco’s BC3 Director, Katherine Michonski Attends 2012 World Economic Forum


In January this year Katherine Michonski, director of San Francisco’s Business Council on Climate Change (BC3), was invited to attend the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, as part of the first youth contingent. This year, participants spent a week discussing the theme “The Great Transformation, Shaping New Models”—and creating a vision of what the future should look like.

A UN Global Compact Cities Programme ‘Innovating City’ San Francisco’s project has been the establishment of the Business Council on Climate Change (BC3) – a public-private partnership of 100+ San Francisco Bay Area business’s and local government that works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Bay area through dialogue, collaboration, and direct action.

As a part of the Forum Katherine was asked to address and facilitate discussions on ‘what is the single biggest challenge facing millennials in the U.S.?’ “Millennials” are identified as the American teens and twenty-somethings who are making the passage into adulthood at the start of a new millennium.

The World Economic Forum has an established history of engaging young leaders to positively and proactively impact the global agenda. In addition to its existing community of ‘Young Global Leaders’, who are in their mid to late 30s, this year the Forum is establishing a special community of young people in their 20s. This new community – the Global Shapers Community – will provide youth with a global platform to shape the future – integrating the personal, community and global dimension. Through the unparalleled convening power of the World Economic Forum, the Global Shapers Community is diverse in demographics, geographical areas and sectors.

Global Shapers will have an impact by catalysing and enhancing, individually and collectively, fresh ideas and entrepreneurial solutions to the worlds most pressing challenges. Shapers are organized in a network of local hubs based in each major city around the world. They undertake events and activities that generate a positive impact within their local community.

Upon her return to San Fransisco Katherine gave a debriefing on her trip to Davos and her participation in the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting.

“Over the course of 8 days, I attended panels, facilitated discussions, and interacted informally with some of the Forum’s 2,600 participants. This year’s attendees included Desmond Tutu, Muhammad Yunus, Angela Merkel, David Cameron, Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt, among others. Throughout the meeting, I found that Shapers were welcomed and appreciated for their fresh ideas, candidness, and provocative questions. ”

Katherine was nominated to lead the World Economic Forums Global Shapers hub in San Francisco for its inaugural year.