By any measure, last year’s Grand Challenge was a success. Associates submitted nearly 180 concepts designed to drive our business forward in a contest that showcased the boundary-less thinking of Coca-Cola people. Now comes The 2018 Grand Challenge, which offers double the opportunities with two distinct challenge areas centered on critical focus areas for our U.S. business.

In one challenge, associates can brainstorm against our +1 Aspiration. People should share their thinking on how we drive growth across our U.S. business by inspiring North Americans to choose +1 more of our beverage brands every day and create more value for our consumers, customers and system.

For the other challenge, we want people to focus on doing more good. This challenge is an associate-focused version of the “Dear Future Communities” consumer challenge. Associates can submit their change-making “Dear Future Us” concepts about how we can come together to renew our local waterways and greenspaces to ensure they are trash-free.

The Grand Challenge is again sponsored by Chaly Jo Moyen, Senior Vice President, Strategy Decision Science & Insights, who shared her perspective on what makes it special.

“We’ve made The 2018 Grand Challenge even more compelling by asking associates to help advance two critical business priorities,” she said. “Who better than our own people to unearth innovative plans around our +1 Aspiration and to embody the spirit of the “Dear Future” campaign by suggesting ways to improve our local waterways and greenspaces?”

This year, The Grand Challenge will feature at least one winning +1 concept and three winning “Dear Future Us” concepts. The “Dear Future Us” change makers will receive up to $50,000 in grant funding – which will be awarded to our community partner, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) – and will have the opportunity to work side-by-side with NRPA to translate their vision into action. The +1 Aspiration idea will be backed by the resources and leadership engagement necessary to take it to the next level.

Last year’s winning proposal, iCoke, which provides a new way of thinking and working in the eSports space is paying dividends by helping shape opportunities and discussions with ecommerce partners. Through the passion and energy of Coca-Cola people, The 2018 Grand Challenge winners are destined to positively impact our business as well.

How The 2018 Grand Challenge Works

The Grand Challenge encourages associates to be iterative, curious, inclusive and empowered as they develop their pioneering ideas. It is open to all full-time and part-time U.S.-based CCNA or Corporate associates. Individuals or teams can submit ideas against either or both challenge areas from June 18 through July 16 via the CokeStarter platform. To submit an idea, create a profile on CokeStarter, if you haven’t already and check out the ‘Challenges’ tab to submit your idea!