BMW Group and UNAOC celebrate 10 years of partnership – and agree to extend their cooperation

  • BMW Group and UNAOC have been granting the Intercultural Innovation Award for 10 years
  • 61 award-winning organizations have reached five million people worldwide
  • This year’s award ceremony takes place at EXPO 2020 on 18 November

New York – The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the BMW Group are continuing their cooperation on promoting intercultural dialogue and strengthening civil societies, which started exactly ten years ago.

“We are proud of a decade of partnership with UNAOC and the contribution we are making through educational initiatives and intercultural dialogue worldwide. We are therefore delighted to be continuing this successful partnership,” said Ilka Horstmeier, member of the Board of Management of the BMW Group responsible for human resources.

“It is an honor to celebrate 10 years of partnership with the BMW Group, particularly given the important work we are doing towards social inclusion and diversity. We count on continuing this ever-growing collaboration between the United Nations and the private sector, which has shown to amplify and strengthen the work of social innovators around the world,” said Miguel Angel Moratinos, High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC).

10 years of advancing diversity and intercultural dialogue

The partnership between BMW Group and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) began in 2011, a time within which both partners presented the Intercultural Innovation Award for the first time. This award, which has been bestowed regularly since then, honors projects around the world that promote intercultural understanding and diverse, inclusive societies. To this day, 61 award winners have been able to reach more than five million people worldwide with their projects since the Intercultural Innovation Award’s inception.

Award ceremony at EXPO 2020 – the stage of cultural diversity

This year, the award ceremony will take place on 18 November as part of the themed week on tolerance and inclusivity at this year’s Expo 2020 in Dubai. The prize money totals 200,000 US dollars. Over 1,100 organizations from 120 countries applied to an open call for applications which this year focused particularly on targeting projects that promote gender equality and advocate for women’s rights, combat violent extremism, hatred and prejudice, and use art, culture and sport as enablers of social change.

The Intercultural Innovation Award: Commitment that lasts

Besides the financial support of 200,000 USD to be divided equally across the 10 selected projects, award winners will also benefit from professional project guidance from the BMW Group, UNAOC and the business consulting firm Accenture. Recipients will also receive managerial and strategic project support and become part of the “Intercultural Leaders” network, which connects professionals and managers across the globe. For more information about IIA, please visit