January 21, 2014 11:17 am
Updated: January 21, 2014 12:03 pm

Coffee with Chris Hadfield: ‘Ten Thousand Coffees’ connects experts, young professionals

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WATCH ABOVE: Ten Thousand Coffees

TORONTO – Want to go for coffee with Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, gold medal Olympian Mark Tewksbury or Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau?

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Launched on Tuesday, Ten Thousand Coffees aims to bridge the gap between industry leaders and the next generation of professionals with a chat over a cup of joe.

“We know that today’s youth have the solutions to our most important challenges, but lack the opportunity because they don’t have access to the right networks,” said founder Dave Wilkin. “All they need is a chance to connect with the leaders of today.”

Experts come from various industries and fields, including engineering, travel, fashion and science.  More than 300 leaders have already agreed to be part of the program, including Twitter Canada boss Kirstine Stewart, editor-in-chief of Elle Canada magazine Noreen Flanagan and retired astronaut Chris Hadfield.

The organization says Ten Thousand Coffees is the world’s first youth movement that unlocks opportunities and benefits both novices by giving them the unique opportunity to ask questions, get career advice and gain insights into their field while experts have the opportunity to share their own stories,  pass along their experience and advice to young people who want to meet them.

“It’s a new way for young people to unlock opportunities and share their ideas and for industry leaders to share their experience,” says the group. “We’re connecting students, recent grads, and young professionals with leaders and industry professionals to share insights and spark ideas that will plant the seeds of future opportunities over a cup of coffee.”

A survey from Intuit Canada in October found that by 2028, seventy-five per cent of the workforce will be made up of millennials.

The program is free for all participants. To join, students or young professionals create a profile and browse expert profiles they would like to connect with. Experts are invited to set up a time to talk either in person, over video chat or via email or phone.

“Creating connections between people of all ages is at the core of the McDonald’s brand,” said John Betts, president and CEO of McDonald’s Canada. “We’re excited to support Ten Thousand Coffees and encourage young Canadians and experienced professionals to learn from each other and spark new ideas.”

© 2014 Shaw Media

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