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‘This program is generating a worldwide ripple effect’


How can we boost and capture the power of our new generation employees, enhance knowledge sharing and build a strong global network between our young professionals?


Arcadis is a leading, globally-operating design and consultancy firm with more than 27,000 employees worldwide. In response to continuous changes in the market, Arcadis asked us to assist them in developing a program to enhance knowledge sharing, improve global cooperation and make better use of the power of the new generation within their organization.


In 2012 Arcadis and Fresh Forces co-creatively designed and realized the innovative Global Shapers program, and have been running the program together annually since then. The Global Shapers Program offers 100 young professionals within Arcadis’ worldwide organization the opportunity to develop more international connections and share their knowledge—improving Arcadis in the process. Featuring both virtual and face-to-face phases, the program centres on working and learning together in international groups. During the virtual phase, employees selected to participate in this innovative program form teams to further develop their personal leadership skillsets, enhance their knowledge of the organization and expand their professional networks. The virtual phase is also when the Global Shapers prepare for the five-day face-to-face program, wherein they combine their specific, new generation talents to develop useful tools that will contribute to the future development of Arcadis and that of its clients.

Through the creation of international connections, the facilitation of and improvement of knowledge sharing and the fact that participants take the challenge “back home” with them, a ripple effect is created within the organization. By innovatively making their work environment more dynamic and challenging, the program also aims to improve Arcadis’ status as a highly desirable employer in the eyes of the world’s best young professionals.


Sharing the knowledge they have gained and the tools they developed during the face-to-face program with their teams and the larger organization, the Global Shapers become true change ambassadors upon completion of the program.

At present, six hundred employees have completed the program. Face-to-face programs have been held in Paris, Chicago, Hong Kong, Doha, Rotterdam and Kuala Lumpur. The result has been a worldwide ripple effect within the organization, as a result of the enhanced involvement with and commitment to the organization among its young employees – which is exactly what Arcadis was looking for!