CEO Muhtar Kent Highlights Young Leaders at Davos 2013

If there’s one group of global young leaders that should not go unnoticed at this year’s Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland (Davos 2013), it’s the Global Shapers Community.  Making their second appearance in Davos, the Global Shapers are a group of young leaders from around the world who represent the best and brightest from all walks of professional pursuit from academia to small business to non-governmental organizations to multinational corporations.   They aren’t just accomplished; they are people who are changing the world by changing their local communities.

Formed in Davos last year, this group of 20-30 year-olds is already finding solutions to significant problems.  In the Philippines, the local Global Shapers “hub” is working with the Filipino government, NGOs and publishing houses to establish 200 libraries by 2020, benefitting 2 million people.   In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Global Shapers aim to work with local education officials to provide career education to 20,000 to 50,000 youth within one year.  In Charlotte, North Carolina, Shapers are addressing youth unemployment through a business idea competition that matches young entrepreneurs with proven local business leaders to help incubate new ideas.  And with more than 200 hubs around the world, the list of meaningful projects is growing quickly.

All of us at Coca-Cola are cheering for the Global Shapers to take the inspiration from Davos back to their local hubs and drive solutions that will make their communities better.  That’s why this year we have launched a challenge among the Global Shapers to help accelerate their impact.  The most impactful local projects will be showcased in Davos in 2014.  One project will be granted $50,000 in seed money to expand its reach while five projects will be granted $10,000 to sustain and expand their efforts.

We’re doing this because we believe that a challenge to spark and expand innovative ideas from the world’s young leaders is exactly what our world needs today as we look to create much-needed growth in the global economy.  With more than half of the world’s population under age 27, it’s clear that solving current and future challenges is dependent upon involving the ideas and energy of the millennial generation.  Our support of the Global Shapers recognizes a belief that talent and leadership to create new growth and solve societal problems can come from anywhere.

Join us in giving these young men and women a round of applause for their energy to do more than talk, but take action.

Muhtar Kent is Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, which is a founding partner of the Global Shapers Community.  Mr. Kent also serves as a co-chair of the 2013 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.