Telefónica Think Big: some achievements and future plans ongoing

More news about the Telefónica initiative called “Think BIG”!

As already explained in a previous post, Telefónica Think Big is a collection of progressive programmes and investments that promote the power of ideas and technology to create a more entrepreneurial Europe, in this specific moment, as the company considers that this is key for the sector and the transformation we are experiencing.

Each Telefónica Think Big initiative encourages innovative thinking, entrepreneurialism and digital technology to stimulate young ideas, and new young business across the region.

As explained by our chairman, César Alierta, “Telefónica Think Big marries commercial logic with wider societal benefits by creating the stimulus for growth in what are tough times for many millions across Europe. We believe that through social action and innovation, we can accelerate the growth of the digital economy and empower young Europeans – a potential ‘lost generation’ – to help build a brighter future in a successful and entrepreneurial Europe.


Therefore, a newly Advisory Board has been formed, including international experts and leaders in their fields (such as youth opportunities, entrepreneurship, work skills, innovation and technology) to give Telefónica strategic guidance and set challenges that will help to accelerate the delivery of the Telefónica Think Big vision:  to build a better future for everyone. The members of the Advisory Board  are:  Ann Mettler, Executive Director of the Lisbon Council in Brussels; Heike Kahl, Executive Director German Children and Youth Foundation; Sam Conniff, social entrepreneur and founder of UK based Livity;  Judita Matyasova, journalist and researcher with leading Czech national newspaper Lidove Noviny; Declan Ryan, CEO of Irelandia Investments and founder of OneFoundation and Ryan Academy, headed by the Chairman Luis Solana.

Its Members represent all six Telefónica Europe geographical regions as well as the Telefonica Foundation.  Telefónica Board Members consist of: José María Álvarez-Pallete , Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Telefónica Europe; Luis Abril, Technical General Secretary to the Chairman at Telefonica SA; Javier Santiso, Director, Chairman & CEO's Office, Telefónica Europe; Javier Nadal, Executive Vice-Chairman of Fundación Telefónica; Alberto Andreu, Chief Reputation & Sustainability Officer, Telefónica SA; Sally Ashford, Group HR Director, Telefónica Europe; Richard Poston, Director of Corporate Affairs, Telefónica Europe; and Danuta Gray, non-executive Board Member of Telefónica Europe.


Here are some examples of the actions already ongoing:


  • More opportunities for young people: The Telefónica Think Big Youth programme is already active in the UK, Germany, Ireland, Slovakia and Czech Republic and will be also launched in Spain later this year. The programme is led by the Telefónica Foundation, accessing its world class expertise on social and cultural action and, in particular, youth social action. Telefónica Think Big Youth has already seen 3,500 projects launched by young social entrepreneurs to the benefit of more than 65,000 young people.
  • Support to entrepreneurship and innovation: through initiatives such as Wayra already present in 11 countries or also being a key partner for the Campus Party are some of the actions already very active. To date, Wayra academies across Latin America and Europe have received more than 13,000 applications and have funded 140 projects.
  • Improving ICT skills: Telefónica's Talentum initiative is one of the examples through which Telefónica offers to young people and university graduates jobs opportunities and digital learning, but not only that. We also offer programmes to teach younger children (4-12years) digital skills for the future. Talentum has formally launched in Spain, and will roll out across Telefónica’s other European regions in the coming months.

But we have already clear the objectives we wish to reach for each area of action:


  • By 2015 the Telefónica Think Big youth programme will back over 15,000 social projects led by young people with up to 1 million more young people benefitting from the programme.
  • Through its work with schools, the Think Big youth programme will also give an additional 50,000 young people the chance to develop their digital and entrepreneurial skills
  • Wayra aims to have provided funding and support to 350 start ups across Europe by 2015
  • With Campus Party, Telefónica will support the world’s biggest technology event to Europe, next month in Berlin, backing the potential of more than 10,000 young innovators in the same place, where they can use digital technology to test their ideas.
  • By 2015 we will have an additional 6,000 young people in our business through graduate programmes, internships and apprenticeships via Talentum.


And we won´t stop there!! Stay tuned!