In Burundi, a team of Millennial entrepreneurs is working to get kids off the streets and into the classroom. More than 2,000 miles away, in Ghana, a creative upcycling initiative aims to turn plastic waste into desirable goods.

Meanwhile, a group of young adults in Spain is encouraging peers to pursue careers that align with their passions. And in Puerto Rico, an ecological sanitation initiative is simultaneously addressing local farmers’ needs and providing solutions to global environmental and public health concerns.

These projects are among 12 semifinalists in the 2014 Coca-Cola Shaping a Better Future Grant Challenge. Now in its second year, the challenge is open exclusively to World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Shapers – a growing community of 4,000 plus young leaders between the ages of 20 and 30 organized in more than 350 city-based hubs. The program empowers these leaders to turn innovative ideas into actionable solutions to society’s most pressing challenges – from food security to youth unemployment – with the opportunity to win seed money to sustain and expand their work. Learn more about the semifinalists. 

what do you want to do with your life shapers 604
'What Do You Want to Do With Your Life?' is one of 12 semifinalist projects in the 2014 Coca-Cola Shaping a Better Future Grant Challenge. The Madrid-based initiative encourages young adults to pursue careers that coincide with their passions and interests.

“The systemic challenges these Shapers are tackling are not for the faint of heart,” said Elaine Bowers Coventry, program sponsor and leader of Coca-Cola’s partnership with the Global Shapers. “They require creativity and ingenuity to drive social change at the local and global level.”

Influential leaders who share the same spirit and drive as the Global Shapers were invited to judge a shortlist of finalists, which will be announced in the coming weeks. The distinguished panel includes: Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO, Coca-Cola; Bea Perez, chief sustainability officer, Coca-Cola; Lisa Borders, chair, The Coca-Cola Foundation; José Antonio Fernández Carbajal, chairman, FEMSA; Yolanda Kakabadse, president, WWF International; Ma Jun, founding director, Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs; H.R.H. Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway; Tuncay Ozilhan, chairman, Anadolu Group; Sarita Nayyar, managing director, consumer industries, World Economic Forum; and Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State.

Projects will be scored based on the issue addressed, number of lives positively impacted, efficiency, and scalability.

One project will receive $50,000 in seed money, and five runners-up will be granted $10,000. Winners will be announced in early December and profiled at the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Learn more at www.coca-colashapingabetterfuture.com.