You may call them millenials or “digital natives” but among them we also have “sustainability advocates,” social entrepreneurs, and new farmers. I have been meeting many of them especially in Davao City.
Either I am getting old or they are just starting younger, these young advocates and social entrepreneurs already know their mission and purpose. And it is not about money. It is a cause and a life mission.
Over the weekend, I met Marco Dizon, scion of the famous Crocodile man Sonny and beauteous mountain trekker Jackie Garcia-Dizon. Marco now handles their coffee farm resort and their roasting facility. He can talk coffee with anyone and is such an important addition to the growing coffee community in the south. Marco is only 25.
Then there is Elaine Lim of Cacao de Davao. A bone cancer survivor, she does not show a hint of pain in her actions or in her features. She lovingly embraced the cacao business her father asked her to handle. She now retails all the parts of the cacao bean, from cacao nibs to Callets (tableya).
There is Sarah Claudio, young, pretty and enterprising lady who has founded a Print shop, got a chicken franchise and now ECHOstore in Davao. She and sister-in-law Elle, also a young wife to a lawyer musician (indie music at that!) manage the everyday operations of the ECHOstore-ECHOmarket and ECHOcafe in Davao City.
Over here in Manila, we have new young coffee additions, too. Eunice “Nicee” Matti, heiress of the Matti clan in Bacolod. She worked in a museum for a bit and finally decided that her true love is coffee, having been exposed to coffee from birth. Nicee’s father Nicky has had over 30 years of experience in coffee and takes his children along to coffee lands and mountains. So they get exposed to coffee early in life.
Ros Juan, who just drank coffee and did Communications work from ten years ago way before social media became the norm. She has lived in Shanghai, lived on her own, and has made her network in what we now call Social media… and coffee. So she started her own local café, serving only Philippine coffee, as she has always did and will continue to do.
Ros and Nicee are now traveling to different local coffee sources, and with Kat Mulingtapang, an expert coffee cupper..These three will change the face of Philippine coffee to the world. You can call them social entrepreneurs or coffee revolutionaries. For London, we met Jena Krause, a Filipina who will introduce Philippine coffee to the British market.
All of the people mentioned are just in their 30s. Early thirties to be exact. Imagine what you did when you were thirty? Were you decided to come out and change the world? These people have decided. They are out on a mission and they are happily influencing their peers.
I have much faith that the next generation will correct the sins of the past. I have a lot of faith that all these social phenomena are just one of the ways they connect to a fast-changing world. These youngsters are now out to change what they found in this harasses stressed out society.
From coffee to cacao.From mere networking among peers to using social media to connect to the whole world. These young ones will change the way things can be while making some things remain the same. Just like coffee. It will be the same coffee albeit served in a more socially-responsible way. It will be the same coffee but tasting better because of its social dimension or mission. The same coffee, but prepared with the story of its origins.
The world can be the same, yet better. Let’s entrust it to the next generation.
Chit Juan is a founder and owner of ECHOStore sustainable lifestyle, ECHOmarket sustainable farms and ECHOcafe in Serendra , PodiumCentris QC malls and now Davao City. She also is President of the Women’s Business Council of the Philippines and President of the Philippine Coffee Board Inc., two non-profits close to her heart. She often speaks to corporates, youth and NGOs on social entrepreneurship, women empowerment, and coffee. You can follow her on twitter.com/chitjuan or find her on facebook:Pacita “Chit” Juan. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org