DAVOS, Switzerland – The Coca‑Cola Company today announced the winners of Coca‑Cola’s Shaping A Better Future Grant Challenge – a grant challenge exclusively for members of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community. Global Shapers are young leaders between 20 and 30 years old who are organized into a network of more than 300 city-based hubs. The challenge, announced at the Forum’s 2013 Annual Meeting, empowered Global Shapers to launch programs that address the world’s most challenging societal issues including youth employment, education, community security as well as protecting the environment, with the opportunity to win seed money to sustain and expand their initiatives.
“Powering Education,” a joint project from Hubs in Rome and Nairobi, received the $50,000 grand prize. The funding will accelerate the Global Shapers’ efforts to bring safe, clean energy to school-age children living in rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa where the lack of electricity makes studying difficult after the sun sets. The program provides schools with solar lanterns that children can borrow, replacing more common and dangerous kerosene lamps. Students recharge the solar lanterns daily at school, and families can buy them over time by paying a small daily fee.
“These breakthrough initiatives all bring together innovation, scale and collaboration across what we call the ‘Golden Triangle’ of business, government and civil society. Indeed, one of the most powerful differentiators for the winning groups is the diversity of perspectives they brought to their projects,” said Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO, The Coca‑Cola Company. “Our support of the Global Shapers movement reflects our view that true leading begins with taking action. These young leaders understand and, indeed, exemplify that same approach.”
David Aikman, Managing Director, Head of New Champions and the Global Shapers Community, World Economic Forum, said: “Young people are an indispensable part of the solution to the challenges that communities face: economic growth, addressing social injustice and creating sustainable change. The Coca‑Cola Company clearly sees this and has embraced the disruptive power of the Community. We greatly appreciate its role in helping to bring the entrepreneurial drive of Global Shapers’ to positively impact the lives of more people. ‘We are very proud of the growth of the Shapers – now with more than 300 community Hubs worldwide and over 3,000 young people’.”
The Coca‑Cola Company has also awarded five $10,000 grants for the following projects:
- Cape Town, South Africa Hub: an online and mobile platform for matching organizations and volunteers, encouraging volunteerism among youth and offering them experience that will improve their employability;
- Kiev, Ukraine Hub: a non-profit youth program that provides mentorship opportunities with highly skilled, successful local leaders;
- Monterrey, Mexico Hub: a mobile application aimed at increasing local residents’ participation in their neighborhoods’ economic and social development;
- Port au Prince, Haiti Hub: development of the Botanical Eco-Technology Park to enhance the production of fruit, investing the profits from fruit exports to support the community with financing for 200 school cafeterias;
- Yerevan, Armenia Hub: a digital after-school enrichment program for children from socially vulnerable families and children with disabilities.
Mauro Ometto, a Global Shaper from Rome described the collaborative component of the challenge well, quoting an African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." Ometto added, “Coca‑Cola is funding the acceleration of community improvement projects while fueling the passion and determination of the next generation of leaders.” As part of the challenge, Coca‑Cola encouraged Global Shapers to promote their projects within the community using social media to select the prize semi-finalists. Short, socially-shared videos demonstrated the issues and impact of the Hubs’ programs to online viewers. “This process accelerated knowledge transfer amongst the community, with many Shapers sharing expertise and ideas globally, truly leveraging the collective wisdom of the group,” said Elaine Bowers Coventry of The Coca‑Cola Company who created the grant challenge. “It also helped us to support one of the missions that the World Economic Forum has for the community, which is creating positive social change and helping develop young leaders.”
The Global Shapers Community selected the Shaping a Better Future Challenge winners, and final scoring was done by leading individuals representing The Coca‑Cola Company, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, governments and other members of civil society. Judging criteria included the severity of issues addressed, the number of lives impacted, overall return on investment and the ability of the project to be scaled more broadly.
The Global Shapers Community is a network of Hubs developed and led by young people who are exceptional in their drive to make a contribution to their communities. Today, there are more than 3,000 Global Shapers in 270 Hubs in over 160 countries. The community is one of several multi-stakeholder initiatives at the World Economic Forum. Shapers develop projects to tackle some of the most pressing problems in their communities.
The Coca‑Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca‑Cola, one of the world's most valuable and recognizable brands, our Company's portfolio features 16 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca‑Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.9 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates. For more information, visit www.coca-colacompany.com, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CocaColaCo or find us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/the-coca-cola-company.