The 300 plus youth delegates with primarily AIESEC membership in attendance at the Coca-Cola Youth Speak Forum
Coca-Cola announced its partnership with AISEC in Sri Lanka at the Coca-Cola Youth Speak Forum on Saturday 14th October 2017. In fulfilling Coca-Cola’s “Sustainable Communities” approach in Sri Lanka, it is relevant the importance of empowering youth through capacity building, knowledge exchange and leadership. AIESEC is a global not-for-profit, youth-led organization, striving to achieve peace and fulfilment of humankind's potential by activating leadership qualities in youth through learning from practical experiences in challenging environments. Since AIESEC was founded, it has engaged and developed over 1,000,000 young people who have been through an AIESEC experience. The impact of AIESEC can be seen through its alumni who represent business, NGO and world leaders, including one Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Martti Atisaari of Finland.
The YouthSpeak Forum (is part of the Youth 4 Global Goals Campaign) an initiative powered by AIESEC aimed to activate the leadership potential of young people of the world by engaging and mobilizing them through offering purposeful and cross-cultural projects around the globe that are designed to impact and contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Coca-Cola Youth Speak Forum was based on the results of the Youth Survey conducted by AIESEC which found out of the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs 8 & 9 on ‘Decent Work and Economic Growth’ and ‘Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure’ respectively were considered the topmost priorities in Sri Lanka.
Sohan Wijegunawardana, President AIESEC Sri Lanka commented, “The partnership between Coca-Cola and AIESEC Sri Lanka is a good fit as we complement each other; we both recognise the importance of empowering Sri Lanka’s youth to be self-driven and socially impactful in a positive manner. We were thrilled by the engagement during the launch by Coca-Cola and look forward to the continued support in shaping the YouthSpeak Forums given Coca-Cola’s role to inspire thought leadership for the next generation.”
A keynote address at the Coca-Cola Youth Speak Forum 2017 event was delivered by Mr. Priyantha Ranasinghe, Country Human Resources Manager of Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd. on the theme ‘A Millennial’s Perspective on Decent Work’, linking to SDG 8 ‘Decent Work and Economic Growth’ wherein he focused on ‘an in-depth look at talent management, career development and managing individual performance’. He delivered a rousing motivational presentation to the young delegates on a comprehensive pathway to achieving a ‘decent career’ through ‘decent work’ and ‘decent performance’, without compromising on the fundamental tenets of freedom, equity, security, and human dignity. He also emphasised not to compromise integrity at any cost, and working in private sectors means strict adherence to a company’s Code of Conduct.
Mr. Priyantha Ranasinghe (Country Human Resources Manager Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd.) delivering his keynote address ‘A Millennial’s Perspective on Decent Work’
Coca-Cola’s partnership supports AIESEC in organizing regional, national and international summits to promote the discussion of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and provides a platform for young future leaders to engage and interact. It also facilitates AIESEC to organize a network of cross-cultural exchanges in the form of volunteering experiences and professional internships. Making a significant contribution, the partnership will bring together companies and youth in developing a roadmap for sustainable development.
Mr. Priyantha Ranasinghe, Country Human Resources Manager, Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd. commented: “Equipping youth in Sri Lanka to these far-reaching, complex challenges the nation faces and engaging them to find solutions creates resilient capacities and personalities, while driving opportunities for networking and creating employment opportunities. We jointly look forward to engaging with AIESEC members and youth to engage on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and what they can do to help achieve the SDGs in Sri Lanka. AIESEC plays a critical role in driving leadership amongst youth to be future change agents.”
The brand continues to refresh the people of Sri Lanka, forging a special connect with the nation’s youth through sports, music, festivals and social projects. Over the past five decades, The Coca-Cola Company has created a special place for its range of beverages, in the hearts of the youth of Sri Lanka. Today, the company leads the beverage market with a robust portfolio of international and local brands including Coca-Cola, Coke Light, Coke Zero, Sprite, Fanta Orange, Fanta Portello, Fanta Cream Soda, Lion Soda and Lion Ginger Beer.
The AIESEC youth delegates taking a ‘Coke break’ to celebrate the Coca-Cola YouthSpeak Forum
Ms. Shayani Weeresinghe (Assistant Manager Public Affairs & Communication Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd.) conducting a lively Coke pop trivia game with the 300 plus youth delegates and fellow Millennials
Professor Rangika Halwathura (Senior Lecturer Dept. of Civil Engineering University of Moratuwa) delivering the ‘Power Talk’ on Sustainability and Sustainable Development
Dr. Harsha Subasinghe (CEO of CodeGen Pvt Ltd.) delivering his keynote address on SDG 9 ‘Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure’