Even more individual responsibility for young project makers:Think Big enters its fourth year

-27,000 Think Big participants have realized 1,300 ideas
-In 2013, 60 projects will receive an additional 1,000 euros in funding
-Peer Scout programme expanded: Experienced project makers coach other young people with their own budgets
MUNICH/GERMANY. Under the motto "Good ideas? Don't wait. Start.", Think Big is encouraging young people to realize their own ideas once again this year and to make them big by using digital media. The programme, which is run by Fundación Telefónica and the German Children and Youth Foundation in collaboration with O2, supports 14 to 25-year-olds by providing 400 euros and coaching. An important element of the fourth year of Think Big is that young people make a long-term commitment and take on more responsibility themselves.
There are stories like that of Berlin student Julius Korn, which show just what an idea can become when young people believe in themselves and consistently pursue their projects. Whenever the young football enthusiast wanted to go and kick a ball around, he found that the pitch was already taken or there were not enough other players to have a game. Julius wanted to change that. He applied to Think Big with his idea, built it up step by step and is now about to launch a nationwide online platform where interested individuals can get in touch with others and book pitches.
Julius's project is one of around 800 that were developed through Think Big in 2012. There were films about racism, dance mobs, tutoring for refugee children and apps, which help organize daily school life. Since the programme began in 2010, 27,000 young people have realised more than 1,300 projects. These figures prove that Think Big gets young people involved in social affairs and motivates those who have never committed to projects like these before. They make up 40 percent of the project makers.

Digitally networked through a map of Germany

In 2013, Think Big is offering even more chances to get involved for the long term. This means that 60 projects will receive an additional 1000 euros in funding - three times more projects than the previous year. Think Big is also expanding the "Peer Scout" offering, in which experienced project makers can train to become ambassadors and project coaches for the programme and are responsible for their own budgets in these roles. They offer ideas workshops, for example, or advise other young people as media scouts. After all, one of Think Big's aims is to help young people to make their ideas grow with the help of digital media. The website at www.think-big.org is thus both an application and an interaction tool. It now also offers a map of Germany that allows young people to find other projects in their area and to get in touch with one another. "Think Big shows clearly what young people can do. We believe in their creative potential and their ideas. What's more, we believe that innovative technologies can speed up positive change," says René Schuster, CEO of Telefónica Germany. "That's why we, as a telecommunications company, help young people to make use of opportunities the digitalisation offers and to realise their own projects. This promotes their innovative thinking, individual responsibility and entrepreneurial spirit." Dr. Heike Kahl, Managing Director of German Children and Youth Foundation (GCYF): "Everybody talks about the fact that no child, no young person should be left behind. With Think Big, we show how all young people can be reached and not only those who already get involved anyhow." Anyone with a good idea can upload it at www.think-big.org and start their project.
Think Big is a programme run by Fundación Telefónica and the German Children and Youth Foundation (GCYF) together with O2. It enables 14 - to 25-year olds, to realize their own charitable project ideas and promote them using digital media. They are supported with expert coaching and financial means. The ideas range from Internet platforms for leisure football players through tutoring for refugee children to films against racism and apps, which help organize daily school life. Think Big started in 2010 as a social European programme that is also present in other European countries in which Telefónica is active. Telefónica Deutschland Holding AG, listed at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in the Prime Standard, and its wholly-owned, operationally active subsidiary Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG belong to Telefónica Europe and are part of the Spanish telecommunication group Telefónica S.A. The company offers its German private and business customers post-paid and prepaid mobile telecom products as well as innovative mobile data services based on the GPRS, UMTS and LTE technologies with its product brand O2. In addition, the integrated communications provider also offers DSL fixed network telephony and high-speed internet. Telefónica Europe has more than 105 million mobile and fixed network customers in Spain, Great Britain, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany.