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August 23, 2011

Partnership between the Alliance of Civilizations and the BMW GROUP


In an unprecedented partnership with the private sector, the Alliance of Civilizations (AOC), an initiative of the UN Secretary-General, is joining hands with the BMW Group to launch an award for intercultural innovation. The name of the award is “BMW Group Award for Intercultural Innovation in support of the Alliance of Civilizations, under the auspices of the United Nations”.

The annual award will identify highly innovative initiatives that are advancing cross-cultural understanding between different communities and cultures. For future recipients of the award, alongside a monetary prize, winning will mean receiving support from the AOC and the BMW Group and its influential network of civil society, corporate, government, media and foundation partners. The specific assistance provided will depend on the individual needs of each project.


By providing support to emerging intercultural initiatives, the AOC and the BMW Group aim to encourage innovation in the field while helping winners expand their projects, make them more impactful, and replicate them in other settings where they might be useful.

Both BMW Group and the AOC come with a track-record of having supported intercultural projects around the world for many years. The new award builds on such previous efforts.

The ten most innovative initiatives in the area of intercultural understanding will be distinguished for the first time at an award ceremony that will take place during the Fourth Annual UNAOC Forum in Doha, Qatar in December 2011. Application forms can be downloaded from http://www.unaoc.org/unaoc-bmwgroup-award/ and must be submitted by October 16, 2011.

Intercultural understanding has a long tradition in the BMW Group
As an international company with a multinational workforce, the BMW Group has recognized the importance of mutual cooperation between different cultural groups for decades. Through the BMW Group Award for Intercultural Learning/Commitment the company has recognized innovative projects and personalities around the world for 14 years, for their support to sustainable and open relationships between international communities. Hundreds of projects and documents have been received in which people express their ideas for intercultural cooperation either within their own neighbourhoods or at trans-regional level. Over the long history of this award, more than 40 projects and academic papers have been awarded. Current awardees are supported for a whole year by employees of the company.

The Alliance of Civilizations (AOC) is an initiative of the UN Secretary-General which aims to improve understanding and cooperative relations among nations and peoples across cultures and religions. It also helps to counter the forces that fuel polarization and extremism. The AOC was established in 2005, at the initiative of Spain and Turkey, under the auspices of the United Nations and under the leadership of Jorge Sampaio, former President of Portugal, as High Representative for the AOC.

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