Courtesy of BMW
Since 2011, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the BMW Group have engaged in a historic partnership geared towards creating a new model for collaboration between the private sector and the UN system. To that end, the two organizations have established The Intercultural Innovation Award, whose mandate is to select highly innovative grassroots projects that promote dialogue and intercultural understanding and make vital contributions to prosperity and peace in global societies. The most outstanding projects receive award money as well as consulting services from the BMW Group and the UNAOC. Ten finalists will present their projects at the Viennese Volkstheatre on Tuesday, February 26th, 2013. President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Incoming United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, and Mr. Bill McAndrews, Vice President Communications Strategy, Corporate and Market Communications, BMW Group, will chair the ceremony, in the presence of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. High-level representatives of the UNAOC and the BMW Group will give the award to the five top organizations.
“The Alliance is more than a platform for dialogue; it is also a tool at the service of the international community to prevent conflicts, especially those that are identity based. The Intercultural Innovation Award is a unique example of this mandate.” stated Al-Nasser.
In addition to offering a monetary prize, the UNAOC and the BMW Group are committed to helping these projects expand and replicate in other settings where they may be useful. Winners will become members of the World Intercultural Facility for Innovation (WIFI). WIFI is a platform for winners to connect with potential donors and mentors and to enter into a dialogue with other awardees. Under the coordination of the WIFI team, the winners of the Award will:
- Participate in conferences, trainings and workshops;
- Be connected to policy-makers and funders;
- Become active members of the WIFI community of practitioners and experts who help each other in achieving their particular goals;
- Receive customized project support based on the individual and specific needs;
Bill McAndrews from the BMW Group said: “As a company with associates from around the globe, intercultural understanding is an essential part of our daily work at the BMW Group. It is because of this that we are so proud of our strong partnership with the UNAOC. This collaboration and the Intercultural Innovation Award enable us to highlight some of the wonderful cross-cultural work being done worldwide. BMW Group’s commitment to the awardees extends beyond financial support to include every relevant resource we can offer. This can make the crucial difference in turning an idea into a practice that enriches peoples’ lives.“
This year’s finalists include:
Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group – Recycling as Bridge and Binder (India)
Through recycling, Chintan’s project promotes understanding between poor migrants and the middle class and wealthy residents of New Delhi.
Cultural Infusion – Sound Infusion (Australia)
Cultural Infusion is an innovative digital learning platform which utilizes music from all over the world to build intercultural understanding.
FilmAid – Filmmaker Training and Screening Program for Refugees and Host Communities (Kenya)
FilmAid is screening series and filmmaker training project creates opportunities for refugees and their host communities in refugee camps and urban areas across Kenya to share their stories. (see photo, Cuba Gooding Jr. supporting FilmAid)
IDResearch Kft. – Immigropoly (Hungary)
Immigropoly is a unique Internet-based character-game to increase the understanding of migration and integration in our global world, and targeted towards youth communities.
Kapamagogopa Inc. (KI) Volunteers – Muslim Youth Volunteering for interfaith dialogue and understanding (Philippines)
Local young Muslims are mobilized to work as volunteers in non-Muslim organizations to promote dialogue, understanding and development to non-Muslim and Muslim communities in Mindanao.
Plain Ink – When change reads like a book (Italy)
Plain Ink is a pioneering, non-profit social venture harnessing the power of stories, comics and children’s books to help children and communities overcome the stumbling blocks of poverty and social exclusion.
Puerta Joven – Languages of Youth (Mexico)
Lenguas Jóvenes is a project that fosters indigenous migrant youth cultural expressions through mobile phones for intercultural dialogue. Puerta Joven, a youth-led organization teaches the use of arts and new technologies as a way to promote cultural interaction and appreciation of cultural diversity.
Search for Common Ground Morocco – Multimedia & Intercultural relations in Morocco
SFCG–Morocco brings together young Moroccans and sub-Saharan migrants in Rabat and Casablanca to learn about video & multimedia and break down cultural stereotypes and prejudices.
TakingITGlobal – TakingITGlobal Online Community (Canada)
TakingITGlobal works to empower youth to understand and act on the world’s greatest challenges. It serves youth worldwide through a multilingual online learning community and innovative education programs geared towards fostering active global citizenship.
The Parents Circle – Crack in the Wall (Israel/Palestine)
The Crack in the Wall is a neutral social network platform on Facebook with more than 10,000 active users. CITW allows Palestinians and Israelis to communicate with one another and express themselves on various topics through video, pictures, and posts with provided translation to the other language.