- Munich. The German initiative “Give Something Back to Berlin” (GSBTB) had the honour of winning first place in the Intercultural Innovation Award 2016 this year. Ten social projects from all over the world were nominated for the award with which the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the BMW Group support innovative intercultural concepts.
- BMW Group
Munich. The German initiative “Give Something Back to Berlin” (GSBTB) had the honour of winning first place in the Intercultural Innovation Award 2016 this year. Ten social projects from all over the world were nominated for the award with which the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the BMW Group support innovative intercultural concepts. In the presence of H.E. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser (High Representative of UNAOC) and Bill McAndrews (Head of Corporate Communications Strategy, BMW Group Corporate and Market Communications), the prize was awarded yesterday evening on the occasion of the 7th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations in Baku, Azerbaijan. The Berlin initiative emerged as the winner amongst almost 1,000 applicants from 120 countries, convincing the six-member independent jury consisting of representatives from internationally renowned intercultural educational institutions.
German project wins the Intercultural Innovation Award 2016
On behalf of the large “Give Something Back to Berlin” community, founder Annamaria Olsson accepted the first prize, which is endowed with 40,000 US Dollar. In 2013, the Swedish journalist and New-Berliner had a spontaneous idea that developed into a project platform and network which mobilises and enables Berlin’s newcomers from all over the world to channel their time, energy and expertise in social projects and neighbourhood work. The goal is to create meeting points for communities that would normally not engage with each other. In practice GSBTB works on three levels: they send eager volunteers to local NGO´s all over the city, act as a catalyst where people come together to develop new ideas and they initiate own GSBTB projects. GSBTB supports and realises numerous projects with Berlin’s refugee communities, thereby making a significant contribution towards sustainable integration and intercultural understanding. Those who have fled their countries are not only beneficiaries, but also become an integral part of the Give Something Back to Berlin community.
“On behalf of GSBTB’s community, I would like to thank the BMW Group and UNAOC for this special award. Thanks to their multifaceted support we are able to sustainably professionalize our platform and projects. This prize is also recognition of our hard working volunteer’s untiring effort. Without them and many others ‘Give Something Back to Berlin’ would have not become such a crucial meeting place for so many people from all over the world,” says an enthusiastic Annamaria Olsson, founder of GSBTB.
Intercultural Innovation Award supports sustainability of social projects
Each year since 2011, the BMW Group and UNAOC have bestowed the Intercultural Innovation Award to ten innovative social projects that promote intercultural dialogue and understanding, thus making vital contributions to prosperity and peace in global societies. This unique cooperative model existing between the private sector and UNAOC has a far-reaching impact, as thanks to their competences, both partners are able to ensure the sustainability of their chosen projects.
For the period of one year, the team from “Give Something Back to Berlin” and the nine other finalists receive comprehensive consulting services from the BMW Group and UNAOC: In addition to a training and capacity building programme covering topics such as strategy or planning, they are accepted into the exclusive network of “intercultural leaders”, thereby profiting from the two global partners’ extensive networks.
“We are pleased that an initiative from Berlin will receive the first prize of the Intercultural Innovation Award this year. Together with UNAOC we will offer ‘Give Something Back to Berlin’ our specifically targeted support in the development of a business model. The cooperation with a future-oriented social start-up project is an honour for the BMW Group and we look forward to a mutual exchange of knowledge,” explains Bill McAndrews, Head of Communications Strategy, BMW Group Corporate and Market Communications.
This year’s finalists are (in alphabetical order):
The Blessing Basket Project – Artisan&You (USA)
The Coexist Initiative – Girls Education Equity Project (Kenya)
Give Something Back to Berlin e.V. – Give Something Back to Berlin (Germany)
International Council for Cultural Centers – Bread Houses Network (Bulgaria)
On Our Radar – From the Margins to the Front Page (UK)
Red Dot Foundation – Safecity (India)
Routes 2 Roots – Exchange for Change (India)
Shine a Light – CanalCanoa (Brazil/USA)
SINGA – SINGA Kiwanda (France)
Unistream – Educating Tomorrow Leaders Today (Israel)