Coca-Cola announced its partnership with AIESEC 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 fulfillment of humankind’s potential by activating leadership qualities in youth through learning from practical experiences in challenging environments.
The YouthSpeak Forum, 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 eight and nine on ‘Decent Work and Economic Growth’ and ‘Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure’ respectively were considered the topmost priorities in Sri Lanka.
AIESEC Sri Lanka President Sohan Wijegunawardana 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 Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd Human Resources Country Manager Priyantha Ranasinghe on the theme ‘A Millennial’s Perspective on Decent Work’, linking to SDG eight ‘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.
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.