Global Shapers are young leaders who want to develop their leadership potential towards serving society. They work together in teams to improve their communities. This special series highlights the winners of Coca-Cola’s Shaping a Better Future Grant Challenge for the Global Shapers Community. This challenge rewards taking action, leading positive change and using innovative approaches to tackle serious social issues.

The Coca-Cola Company is a founding partner of this World Economic Forum Community. We think the Shapers are pretty awesome and hope you enjoy seeing the change they are starting in their own backyards.

We were born during the 1980s and 1990s, and because it’s common to label generations, we we’re called Millennials.  Suddenly, we had a list of rules to follow and a bunch of clichés to become: the lost generation, the ME ME ME generation... clichés that have influenced us not only as a collective, but also as individuals.

That’s why we’ve decided to step forward, understand our generation’s reality and encourage them to define their own roads in life – resisting criticism and conformity. “Be a developer, a designer, a consultant...” Everybody tries to tell us who to be and what to do with our life, but what do we REALLY want? Check out this video exploring the question. 

Global Shapers Madrid

And here is the problem… we don’t have an answer. The education system, the government, the press… have ended up threaten our identity, our creativity, and our inspiration.

What Do You Want to Do with Your Life?” focuses on empowering youth to define their own road in life through self-construction rather than mass production. It will encourage youth to actively participate in a journey that will empower them to find what they love, what truly inspires them. For that, all Spanish youth will be invited to embark on a road trip around Spain, a life changing experience led by five young people with a dual goal.

First, deep dive in youth’s reality and identity, with no initial hypothesis about how great or lost they are, the team will interview more than 60 young individuals to identify their identity, needs and passions. This will lead to the first empirical and rigorous qualitative research, a report that aspires to kick-off a dialogue with our country’s key change makers (government, universities, companies...) and to drive our Hub’s long-term efforts to combat youth unemployment in Spain and beyond.

Second, the team will challenge and connect with communities all around the country. They will share their experiences and learn from key leaders who are relevant for youth and who have resisted conformity. This experience will be recorded and shared through social media and in a documentary. But more importantly, the experience is designed to build a community of youth willing to become “global shapers”, a community who will kick-off a “pay it forward” initiative through social coins with the aim of helping each other define their roads in life.

In the coming months, our team will work on recruiting and mentoring the team of young individuals who will lead the journey around the country together with those who will work on finalizing the design of the road trip experience. The kick-off date of the road trip will be April-May 2015, in Madrid. Meanwhile, stay tuned and follow us Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Global Shapers Madrid

What Do You Want to Do with Your Life?” is already impacting the lives of more than 600 youth, but has the potential to impact many more.  We are thus thrilled to receive this support from The Coca-Cola Company, which will be crucial for us to scale up the project in Spain.  We will be able to produce more written and audiovisual content of the road trip experience, allowing us to engage a broader and more diverse audience. 

This initiative exists to support individuals who are willing to design their own road in life, because we believe that the world needs people in tune with who they are and what they want.  In turn, we expect to build a better local, national and global community!

Thanks to the World Economic Forum, the Global Shapers Community and its global sponsors for putting together a community of outstanding individuals able to come up with extremely innovative and unique approaches to address our world’s top priorities. Thank you also to our main local sponsor, Fundación Universidad-Empresa, for supporting our dreams and efforts to turn Spain into a better place.

Milena Montesinos

Blog Author Milena Montesinos is an MBA Candidate at Stanford Graduate School of Business. She is passionate about growing her expertise on social entrepreneurship and technology. She previously studied Business Administration and Technical Computer Science at the University of Deusto in San Sebastian with an exchange in Boston College.

Natalia Pedrajas

Blog Author Natalia Pedrajas is the Founder and CEO of APEC (Apoyo Psicológico En Casa), an organization providing specialized psychological care and assistance in Madrid, Spain. Her vision is to combine business insight with social values, growing a new company that respond to the needs of its customers.

 Milena Montesinos (@milena1987) and Natalia Pedrajas (@predajasnatalia) as Founders & Project Leaders of What Do You Want To Do With Your Life? An initiative of Madrid Global Shapers (@ShapersMadrid)