As an Impact Partner of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community, The Coca-Cola Company believes young people have an indispensable role in shaping their local communities, countries and world.

This exclusive series highlights the semifinalist Global Shaper projects who are competing to win five $10,000 prizes as part of the 2016 Coca-Cola Shaping a Better Future Grant Challenge for the Global Shapers Community. Here we highlight the work of the Venice, Italy Hub.

Migration has always been recognized as a multifaceted phenomenon which has catalyzed European public opinion for years. In 2015, the number of migrants reached the highest peak recorded since the end of World War II, with more than 244 million people, mainly women and children, migrating to Europe.

Italy has been deeply affected by these trends. Only last year, almost 100,000 people reached our coasts. Unfortunately, the extreme complexity of the problem and the high politicization of the phenomenon make tackling the issue through comprehensive legislation extremely difficult. Funds allocated to support integration processes for migrants are critical, but often these funds are not distributed and leveraged in an efficient manner. We believe the lack of structured migration data is one reason for this struggle to better allocate financial resources.

The Global Shapers Venice Hub believes migration can be addressed through sustainable, policy-driven solutions, and should not a perpetual humanitarian emergency. Europe is trying to understand its own future, and how to capitalize on the opportunities associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and the Global Shapers Venice Hub wants to help foster Italy’s ability to make a positive impact on the migration crisis. 

European Migrant Crisis 2015

Eurostat

Our project refugIT is focused on human integration, collaboration and technology. The Venice Global Shapers Hub is working with other Global Shapers across Italy to help secure accommodation for 15 refugees. As part of this program, we provide a tutoring curriculum the refugees for their first two years in Italy, helping them to better integrate into Italy. With time, we think there is great potential to scale this program across Europe, leveraging the network of the European Global Shapers Community to secure housing and tutoring for many more refugees.

The Venice Hub is committed to working with a broad array of stakeholders and subject matter experts to gather best practice methods for better welcoming and assisting refugees with assimilating into Italian life. We also believe there is a major gap around gathering and sharing migrant data, which we think is the first and most important step in creating sustainable migration solutions. Therefore, we are creating a technology platform that will host both best practice information and migrant data.

Our vision is to help fill the gap of the humanitarian migrant crisis in Europe with social innovation. We have a unique opportunity as Global Shapers to effect change in our communities, and that together, we can cultivate innovative, technology driven-solutions to shape a better future for migrants in Italy.

Matteo Beltramin is curator of Global Shapers Venice Hub and Coordinator of refugIT. He is a project manager officer for the North West Region at Unicredit. Before Unicredit, Matteo worked in different startups across Europe and the U.S., founding one of the first co-working spaces in Italy. He holds a double degree in management and marketing from ESCP Europe and Ca' Foscari University of Venice.

Efrem Garlando is a master's student and young professional passionate about technology, social innovation and humanitarian innovation. Efrem is passionate about public-private partnerships and corporate social responsibility, and is enthusiastic about all-inclusive and transformative approach to development. To this end, Efrem collaborated with the Secretariat of the Nobel Peace Laureates and the Human Foundation to create the Italian Taskforce on the Social Impact Investments. Currently, Efram is promoting TEDxLUISS and advocacy campaigns on the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean Sea.