DAVOS, SWITZERLAND—Global leaders united around a theme of change at this year’s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, discussing how rapid shifts in technology and generational viewpoints are impacting the future of the world.

Coca-Cola executives joined the conversation through a number of events, including several with the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community. Global Shapers, who form a network of young leaders between the ages of 20 and 30 in more than 400 cities, brought a Millennial perspective to an event historically dominated by older generations.

A group of 50 Shapers joined Coke’s Davos delegation for a special lunch where Ghana-based Shaper Yawa Hansen-Quao moderated a conversation with Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and Luis Alberto Moreno, president of the Inter-American Development Bank. They discussed how young people can make a sustainable difference in the world, one city at a time.

Kent told the Shapers that he has been coming to Davos since 1989 and the summit “got a lot better” four years ago with the addition of Global Shapers.

“I am inspired when I listen to you,” he said. “Whenever you are on a panel we learn something new. We all have to keep learning and keep growing, and that’s why it’s so important that we continue to listen to you.”

During the lunch, Chief Sustainability Officer Bea Perez announced this year’s winners of the Coca-Cola “Shaping a Better Future Challenge,” which provides seed money to innovative Global Shapers projects around the world. The Kathmandu, Nepal, hub won this year’s grand prize of $20,000 for its work to re-establish a functioning health post following a devastating 2015 earthquake. The money will be used in Kathmandu to install new medical equipment, train additional medical personnel, and implement clean water and sanitation community education programs in the region. Four $10,000 grants for projects in Colombia, India, Palestine and Switzerland were also awarded.

Coke leaders also spoke on key sustainability priorities including water stewardship, women’s empowerment and wellbeing.


World Economic Forum

During a panel discussion titled “The 21st Century Dream,” Kent said that his “21st Century dream” revolves around achieving the Company’s sustainability priorities to empower communities around the world. He said that he believes rapidly changing technology can help bridge the divide of social and economic inclusiveness, which is impacting the social fabric of communities around the world.

Perez, meanwhile, played an active role in discussions on women’s empowerment and the environment, while Coca-Cola President and COO James Quincey joined with The Global Fund to announce the expansion of Coke’s “Project Last Mile” into additional African countries and joined with the Rockefeller Foundation to promote “YieldWise,” a new initiative to eliminate global food waste, including in Coca-Cola’s supply chain.

Dispatches from Davos

Muhtar Kent and Bea Perez conducted several interviews with international media outlets during the WEF Annual Meeting:

·         Bloomberg Television

·         CNN

·         CNBC

·         Yahoo! Finance

·         CNBC Africa