United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the BMW Group Launch Search for Innovative Projects that Promote Intercultural Dialogue and Understanding


New York/Munich, 18 May 2015 – The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and BMW Group are pleased to announce the fourth edition of the Intercultural Innovation Award. Grassroots initiatives that are working to alleviate identity-based tensions and conflicts around the world using innovative methods are encouraged to apply online at interculturalinnovation.org. The deadline for applications is Wednesday, 30 September 2015 at 5:00pm in New York.

Ten organizations will receive the Intercultural Innovation Award following a rigorous selection process. Awardees will be given a financial contribution to help their project expand and replicate, with a first prize of USD 40 000. They will also take part in a one-year support program that includes training and capacity-building, increased visibility, access to a network of change makers working in intercultural dialogue and ongoing project-specific mentoring.

“Honoring grassroots organizations that are deeply committed to improving relations across communities and people lies at the core of the Alliance’s work. That we are doing in this partnership with the BMW Group is further evidence of the innovative approaches we pursue,” said H.E. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations. Added Mr. Bill McAndrews, Vice President Corporate Communications Strategy, Corporate and Market Communications at BMW Group, “Our 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 reality that improves peoples’ lives.”

Launched in 2011, the Intercultural Innovation Award is the result of a unique public-private partnership between the UNAOC and BMW Group. With the overarching aim of helping people to help themselves, the two partners jointly mobilize their resources, time, and networks to support awardees. This new model of collaboration between the UN and the private sector creates deeper impact, as both partners provide their respective expertise to ensure the sustainable growth of each project. The Award has benefited more than 600,000 individuals around the world since its establishment in 2011.

For the last edition of the Intercultural Innovation Award, more than 600 applications were received from over 100 different countries.



The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) is an initiative of the UN Secretary-General which aims to improve understanding and cooperative relations among nations and peoples across cultures and religions, and to help counter the forces that fuel polarization and extremism.

The Alliance was established in 2005, at the initiative of the Governments of Spain and Turkey, under the auspices of the United Nations. On 28 September 2012, H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser was designated UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The UNAOC is supported by the Group of Friends, a community of over 100 member countries and international organizations and bodies.

The BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 30 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.

For enquiries, please contact:

Milena Pighi, BMW Group, Corporate Communications, Spokesperson CSR
Telephone: +49-89-382-66563, Fax: +49-89-382-24418, Milena.PA.Pighi@bmw.de

Nihal Saad, Spokesperson for the UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations
Telephone: +1- 929-274-6205, Fax: +1-929-274-6233, saadn@un.org

Alessandro Girola, Project Management Specialist – Intercultural Innovation
Telephone: +1- 929-274-6217, Fax: +1-929-274-6233, alessandrog@unops.org

Internet: www.press.bmw.de
E-mail: presse@bmw.de