Global influencers

Date: 27 November 2019

Local Influencers for Global Good.

In October 2019, World YMCA, in partnership with eLab invited young people from around the world to an international innovation camp in Switzerland to explore their own purpose, creating solutions to meet the needs of their local community and to empower them to train other people with the same focus.

With challenges such as; the digitisation and automation of jobs and the global ecological crisis, one can feel  there is a need for people to create local solutions for global good. YMCA have always had the focus to enable others, core part of being a global influencers is top pass on this knowledge of projects both big and small.

Story 1

As a worldwide organization we always look into the future and take responsibility in actively shaping it.

We were alarmed, when we heard that there will be around 1 billion “useless” people in future as a consequence of digitization and robotics. People without any qualifications or whose jobs are superfluous and taken over by machines. Together with external experts we discussed how we could prevent this from happening.

This resulted in an international innovation movement called Global Influencers, helping people explore their own purpose, creating solutions to meet the needs of their local community and to empower them to train other people with the same focus.

This movement started in October 2019 in Switzerland with 18 participants from 5 different continents and is now spreading all over the world. To give even more people access to this training, we are planning to use the trend of digitization to our advantage and publish the training online ( If you want to know about how this training has already impacted others you can read our Global Influencers Stories.

Carlos Sanvee
General Secretary, World YMCA

Story 2

Having recently founded a landscape gardening company, Joel Van Haaften came to the YMCA Global Influencers training with uncertainty and questions. He was in need of a strategy, innovation and inspiration. This workshop boosted him into a new stratosphere, giving him the opportunity to see the bigger picture. This gave Joel clarity on what the next steps would be. By now Joel has already more than doubled the expected revenue, estimated by his accountant and is still expanding his business.

 Joel Van Haaften – Perlgrün

 Story 3

 In 2019 Dr. Julia Henke and Christine Lanz were approached by a Nigerian monarch asking for help regarding the high unemployment rate amongst young adults in his community as well as all of Nigeria. They heard his requests but were unsure of how to approach the issue. Incidentally, a couple months later they were made aware of YMCA Global Influencers Innovation Camp and were encouraged to apply. They realized that this was the professional tool they were in need of, to help young people start their own businesses. YMCA Global Influencers Movement was exactly the right fit. Right after Julia and Christine received the YMCA Global Influencers training, they flew to Nigeria and started a movement for young entrepreneurs. There they passed on the workshop, tools and knowledge to 18 young locals. The training was very successful, with great ideas emerging from it. The workshop also laid a great foundation for existing businesses ranging from photographers and cake bakers, to plastic roof tiling and transforming plastic to fuel machines. Today the participants of the training and others form an active business community in Nigeria, taking on unemployment in the community step by step.

 Dr. Julia Henke & Christine Lanz
Rings of Hope

Story 4

I am passionate about helping others shape their daily lives to become more self-aware, self-disciplined and work towards building a more positive mindset. Hearing of the Global Influencers training I signed up straight away, hoping to expand my knowledge and learn more about solid business creation tools.

On the first day of the training I was instantly inspired by the different inputs, tools and people that were part of the training.

YMCA Global Influencers encouraged me to think outside of the box and showed me a new way of finding solutions for problems.

During the workshops I was able to transform my idea into a first prototype being a journal for young women with an emphasis on self-awareness and self accountability. It does this by monitoring your daily progress and a tool that brings daily inspiration. I was able to expand my business knowledge, gain access to great business tools but even more importantly shape my mindset and attitude towards business.

Egija Cinovska
Youth Ambassador for England & Wales
Young Careers Project Coordinator YMCA Swansea