Visions and Values.

Young leaders and other up-and-coming talents at the BMW Group are called on to push ahead with ideas to solve pressing future issues. The One Young World Summit points out the perspectives that can develop from this.

It doesn’t happen every day that a board member rides a bicycle onto the stage at international conferences, particularly if the cyclist is representing the BMW Group. And it becomes even more extraordinary when the appearance is linked to the announcement that the automobile company intends to support the purchase of these bicycles with intelligent financial solutions. Initially, this will happen in a South African region, then perhaps later in additional locations where people can barely afford other forms of transport. A bicycle of their own can be the ideal means of transport to significantly expand the scope of activity of persons who would otherwise have to walk, whether to convey goods or to travel to their workplace.

The man on stage is Peter Schwarzenbauer, member of the board of the BMW AG. And the announcement is part of his opening speech at the One Young World Summit 2018 held in Den Haag. The aim of the congress is to bring together once a year leaders and talents from internationally operating companies to promote the networking and exchange of the most pressing global issues of the future. On this day in October of last year, the conference hall was jam-packed with 1,800 young delegates from commerce, science as well as many NGOs.

Also present were 36 young BMW Group executives from all over the world who are committed in a special way to development and rethinking in areas such as education, climate and environmental protection or social projects. These also included Florian März, Vittorio Guerrero Mercado and Kilian Kaiser. On this particular evening, they joined Peter Schwarzenbauer on stage to present their BMW “micromobility” project. The underlying idea is to establish a system of reliable partners at each location in developing countries to enable those to purchase their very own bicycle who usually still have to walk everywhere. These people are granted so-called microloans, i.e. very small loans that would not be approved at all by normal banks.   

Micromobility is organised with the help of the BMW Bank, where Florian, Vittorio and Kilian are employed. From there, they structure procedures and choose reliable partners at each location. On the other hand, the BMW Group guarantees the necessary start-up financing and also bears most of the default risk, should a person be unable to pay back the loan taken out for the purchase of a bicycle. An initial phase, in which the financing of 100 bicycles in total is to be made possible, will commence in 2019.

With the micromobility project and a multitude of further ideas and initiatives, the One Young World Summit is one of the most important international meetings of young talents and leaders who actively help to shape the future and wish to think in a new light. “With the One Young World Summit, we have an excellent platform to make young employees aware of ecological and social issues and to motivate them further,” says Schwarzenbauer. “The ideas and engagements of talented young people create added value not only for us as a company, but also for society.” For this reason, the BMW Group will join the City of Munich the year after next in holding the 2020 One Young Word Summit in the state capital.