DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 20, 2015 – The Coca‑Cola Company today announced the 2014 winners of its “Shaping a Better Future Grant Challenge” – a competition 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 400 city-based hubs. For the competition, Global Shapers launch programs that address the world’s most challenging societal issues, with the opportunity to win seed money to sustain and expand their initiatives. Entries this year addressed pressing issues including protection of the environment, civic activism, community investment and youth entrepreneurship.
Global Shapers from Chandigarh, India received the $50,000 Grand Prize for their project, “Kalpa Vrishka,” or “The Tree of Wishes.” This innovative technology-driven project developed a network of mobile apps to match organizations and charities in most need with willing donors and philanthropists.
One of the winning apps, BloodDonor.me, matches blood donors to recipients. In India, due to low donation rates, there is only enough blood supply to meet 10 percent of transfusion requests. By socially encouraging individuals to donate blood, and matching them to patients in need, BloodDonor.me fills a critical gap in India. Already, the app has been downloaded by more than 500 people in the City of Chandigarh, impacting more than 2,000 people.
The second winning app, InKind, allows nonprofit organizations to post specific high-priority needs onto the app such as requests for books, clothing, funding or volunteers. Then, users can browse through this gallery of requests and select the exact need they would like to fulfill. The Global Shapers developed this app after their research showed that 60 percent of donations in Chandigarh were going toward low-need charitable endeavors.
The funding from the Coca‑Cola Shaping a Better Future Grant will accelerate the Chandigarh Global Shapers’ efforts to grow the reach of their project, expanding the Kalpa Vrishka platform across India and internationally.
Munish Jauhar, a Global Shaper from the Chandigarh Hub, said, “The bedrock principle that our team of young leaders established was respecting and leveraging the capabilities of all involved. We kept a common goal to serve the community and to work selflessly. It was a life-changing experience.”
Elaine Bowers Coventry, creator of the Coca‑Cola Shaping a Better Future Grant Challenge, said, “It is inspirational to see the relentless optimism of the Global Shapers Community. They are creating scalable solutions that address the world’s most pressing issues. At The Coca‑Cola Company, we believe in leading through action, and we are proud to sponsor a community that shares, and indeed, embodies this approach to bettering their communities and world.”
The Coca‑Cola Company also recognized five other Global Shaper hubs with $10,000 grants for the following projects:
- Madrid, Spain: Challenging youth to define their own roads in life by generating a movement that will increase their confidence to do what most inspires them. The Madrid Hub’s project, “What Do You Want to Do with Your Life?” is producing the first rigorous qualitative research and documentary of Spanish youth’s reality and aspirations for the future.
- Kumasi, Ghana: Substantially reducing plastic waste in the city of Kumasi, while creating employment opportunities for street youth and the physically challenged. The Kumasi Hub’s project, “Turning Trash to Treasures,” is rescuing plastic waste and converting it into beautiful, durable, affordable, cost effective and environmentally friendly products through upcycling as opposed to recycling.
- Florianópolis, Brazil: Providing high quality education on citizenship and politics, in a way that is understandable, inspiring and fun, filling a major gap in Brazilians educational base. The Florianópolis Hub’s project, “Politize!” is a web platform for education and debate on public policy, laws and civic matters, featuring interactive series with specialists on specific themes such as education, economics and the environment.
- Bujumbura, Burundi: Giving homeless children the opportunity to further develop their potential. The Bujumbura Hub’s project, “Feed a Child,” identifies street children and creates a profile for them with a cost estimate of what is required for each child to leave the street and go back to school, then matching them with mentors and sponsor families to fund their rehabilitation.
- San Juan, Puerto Rico: Re-shaping the public’s perception regarding composting toilets and their benefits, leading to an increase in availability and usage of toilets and homemade compost. The San Juan Hub’s project “I Give a Crap,” is a sustainable ecological sanitation project that addresses rural and urban farmer’s environmental, public health, and agricultural outputs through custom-designed on-site composting systems.
Adeyemi Babington-Ashaye, Head of the Global Shapers Community, World Economic Forum, said, “Through partnership with The Coca‑Cola Company, we are building a stronger tomorrow. The Shaping a Better Future Grant Competition supports dynamic young leaders to work together to shape a better world. Now, with more than 400 hubs and more than 4,500 Global Shapers, our grassroots model of global impact is stronger than ever. We look forward to continuing this exciting journey with The Coca‑Cola Company.”
As part of the challenge, Coca‑Cola encouraged Global Shapers to promote their projects within the community using social media. The Global Shapers used their vast social media networks to share and discuss their favorite projects, demonstrate the issues and impact of the projects to online viewers, and finally, select semifinalists. “We built the Grant Competition to highlight one of the key strengths of this generation – socially sharing. Through the Shaping a Better Future Grant Challenge platform, we were able to facilitate incredible knowledge transfer and the spirit of worldwide teamwork among the Global Shapers Community,” said Katherine Cherry of The Coca‑Cola Company.
The members of Global Shapers Community self-select the Shaping a Better Future Challenge winners, and final scoring is done by leading individuals representing The Coca‑Cola Company, the World Economic Forum, governments and other members of civil society. Judging criteria include 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 Coca‑Cola Shaping a Better Future Grant Challenge is now in its second year. Already, the 2013 Winners are making a measurable impact. The Grand Prize Winner, a joint project from the Rome and Nairobi Hubs, is supporting the diffusion of clean energy and innovative technologies as key enablers for education and access to culture. With its grant from Coca‑Cola, the “Powering Education” project has distributed approximately 300 solar lamps to 300 students in 12 schools located in rural off-grid communities in Kenya.
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 4,500 Global Shapers in over 400 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. (www.globalshapers.org).
The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is independent, impartial and not tied to any interests. It cooperates closely with all leading international organizations (www.weforum.org).
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 17 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.