Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 22 January 2013 — The Coca-Cola Company today announced US$ 100,000 of funding for a major World Economic Forum initiative aimed at helping exceptional young people take action on issues they care about in more than 200 cities worldwide.
The funding is offered in a competition aimed at more than 1,700 entrepreneurs, social activists and "positive disruptors" who make up the Global Shapers Community. It will provide seed financing for Shapers' projects that address some of the most pressing problems in their communities.
To win, Shapers must demonstrate the benefits of their initiatives over the next 12 months. The winning project will be granted US$ 50,000 to expand its reach, while five additional projects will each be granted US$ 10,000 to sustain and expand their efforts.
A panel representing the Global Shapers, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, The Coca-Cola Company, governments and members of civil society will select the most impactful projects. The criteria include:
The importance of the issue addressed The number of lives impacted Overall return on investment The ability of the project to be scaled or replicated The winners will be announced at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2014.
"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 new growth in the global economy," said Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company. "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, not just from governments or businesses."
Added Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, the World Economic Forum: "Young people are a tremendous source of ideas to help restore economic growth, address social injustice and create sustainable change.
The Coca-Cola Company recognizes this, and we appreciate its role in helping to bring our Global Shapers' ideas to a bigger stage to positively impact the lives of more people around the globe. The growth of the Global Shapers Community - now with more than 200 community Hubs worldwide - is an exciting and positive development for the World Economic Forum and our work to find and implement solutions to the world's biggest problems."
The Global Shapers Community was set up by the World Economic Forum in September 2011 with the aim of engaging young people as active agents of change. Youth are greatly underrepresented in global affairs, despite being 50% of the world's population. As innovators, digital natives and the ones most impacted by today's policy decisions, they deserve a seat at the table.
Global Shapers are 20 to 30 years of age, with exceptional potential for future leadership roles in all sectors of society. The World Economic Forum, through the support of key Partners such as The Coca-Cola Company, is helping them to give back locally, take action on issues they care about, and positively disrupt global policy discussions.
Organized into more than 200 Hubs in cities worldwide, the Shapers embody the "community of the future" - bringing together empowered youth in a community that is diverse, decentralized and digitally hyperconnected. Each Hub is required to undertake a project that positively impacts the local community.
The Global Shapers Community is supported by The Coca-Cola Company, DST Global Advisors and Reliance Industries.