UNAOC Illumination
Sustainability 26.10.2021 4 Min.
BMW Group in dialogue for diversity.

The BMW Group and the Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) continue their ten-year cooperation. Both partners are committed to intercultural understanding and strong civil societies worldwide.

The BMW Group has long been committed to cultural understanding and open dialogue, being a global company with a multinational workforce. The BMW Group has been contributing to social progress through various initiatives since the 1970s: the company promotes cultural and educational projects and establishes long-standing partnerships with civil society organisations around the world. The aspiration to help shape society is an essential part of the BMW Group’s sustainability strategy.

10 years of partnership with UNAOC – 10 years of promoting diversity and inclusion.

An excellent example of this commitment is the award for initiatives that promote intercultural understanding. In 2011, the BMW Group entered into a unique partnership with the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC). The Alliance of Civilizations was founded in 2005 by the then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and supported by the governments of Spain and Turkey. It sets out to overcome polarisation between societies and cultures. It achieves this through a variety of awareness-raising and educational projects that fight against stereotypes and extremism across national borders and work for gender equality and inclusion.

The BMW Group and UNAOC honour outstanding projects with the Intercultural Innovation Award. Since 2011, it has regularly been awarded to people around the world who contribute to a diverse, inclusive society. The two partners have now announced that they will continue their cooperation. “We are proud of our decade of partnership with UNAOC and the contribution we are making through educational initiatives and intercultural dialogue worldwide. That is why we are delighted to continue this extremely successful partnership,” says Ilka Horstmeier, Member of the Board of Management of the BMW Group responsible for Human Resources.

World Exposition EXPO2020 becomes the stage for the Intercultural Innovation Award.

This year’s Intercultural Innovation Award will be presented at Expo 2020 in Dubai. The event had to be postponed from 2020 due to the pandemic and will now run between October 2021 and March 2022. More than 190 nations will be present and have exhibits in country-based pavilions on the topics of mobility, sustainability and future opportunities, among others.

A five-member jury will select the winners of the Intercultural Innovation Award, who will receive their accolade on 18 November in Dubai. “The award ceremony is a special moment: the organisations will be able to put their ideas into practice and receive professional support from our project partners. We are delighted that so many impressive projects applied again this year. This shows how much creativity and innovative power there is in cultural diversity,” says Ilka Horstmeier, patron of the Intercultural Innovation Award. Applications this year come from 1,100 organisations representing 120 countries.

More than an award – lasting commitment.

The Intercultural Innovation Award was most recently presented to the German “180 Grad Wende” organisation, among other worthy winners. Around 200 volunteers work there to prevent radicalisation, extremism and crime among young people. In addition to prize money of USD 200,000, which is divided equally among the winning organisations, the award winners receive support from the BMW Group, UNAOC and the management consultancy Accenture. They receive training in business and strategic planning, as well as some media training and individual advice tailored to their project. They are also welcomed into the “Intercultural Leaders” network, which connects professionals and managers worldwide. Since the founding of the Intercultural Innovation Award, the 61 award winners have reached more than five million people worldwide with their projects.


UNAOC Nominees Gruppenbild

*All COVID hygienic measures were followed.

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