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Karla Ruiz Cofiño

Vanguard Award, 2015

Karla thumbnail

Focus Areas

Social & Digital Media
STEM & Innovation

Karla is a digital strategist and social media specialist, entrepreneur, speaker, social activist and woman advocate. Worried to see the gap between the common use of social media and real world needs, Karla developed her own curriculum called the Digital Awareness Program with an innovative methodology on how to use digital media towards positive impact. She equips people with the digital skills and knowledge they need to become active contributors to online communities, teaching them how to behave as positive Digital Citizens harnessing the power of Social Media and Digital Strategies for bettering the world. For the last 15 years, Karla has studied the impact technology has on the evolution of human beings, how this has affected the way we relate with each other and our behavior as consumers. She has become an expert at leveraging digital technology to advance a company’ s brand, revenue and bottom line, but she thinks that having a digital presence is about much more than just business. She is dedicated to help leaders understand how to use technology to connect with the world and use their influence to improve it. She is on a mission to recruit, inspire and empower people to become Digitally Aware, creating a future of interconnected global citizens. She envisions a community of change makers connected through technology improving the world.

Karla is also the co-founder of the digital agency MILKnCOOKIES and is a social media consultant for the Global Ambassadors Program of Vital Voices and Bank of America. She is the founding curator of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Guatemala and founder of the Women Entrepreneurs Community – Women’ s Entrepreneurship Day Guatemala.

Because of her innovative work using social media for good, Karla has received numerous honors and awards including Woman of the Year 2018 by INTECAP; was chosen as one of the five women around the world to receive the Vital Voices Global Leadership Award in 2015; was recognized as one of the 10 Innovators in Latin America 2014 by the Inter-American Development Bank; was recognized as Visionary of the Year 2014 by the leading Guatemalan brand Saúl E. Mendez; was awarded as Outstanding Professor of the Year in 2014 by Universidad del Itsmo in Guatemala and was declared Woman of the Year 2013 by Look Magazine. Additionally, Karla was invited on behalf of President Obama and the White House to be a speaker at the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Stanford University; was invited by the Aspen Institute to be part of the Central America Leadership Initiative 2016 and was invited as a speaker for TEDx Guatemala and Costa Rica. Her company MILKnCOOKIES was declared one of the eight WSIS + 10 Global Champions by the World Summit Award in UNESCO and was awarded as one of the Top 5 leaders in E-Entertainment by the World Summit Award, both for “building knowledge societies for peace and sustainable development.” For Karla, her most important achievement is her relationship with her husband Alex with whom she has two beautiful boys.


Cofiño’ s business supports the following SDGs:

Goal 5: Gender Equality

Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


“The Digital Awareness Program aims to inspire people to harness Collective Intelligence to make informed, conscious and sustainable decisions to improve the state of our world. One of the objectives of my Program is to make people understand that a Good Digital Citizen is aware of the impact their actions have on the planet and their own future, and that as responsible consumers we have the power to change the future!”


Karla was selected as a 2019 WE Empower Awardee, a 2016 and 2018 VV100 Participant, a 2015 Global Leadership Awards Honoree, and a 2014 FORTUNE Program Participant.

Learn more about Karla’s work through her 2015 Global Leadership Awards Film.