Presentation of the BMW Group Award for Intercultural Commitment

By Bmw Group, PRNE
Thursday, November 18, 2010

300 Submissions, More Than 40 Different Nations, Three Prizewinners

MUNICH, November 19, 2010 - The international BMW Group Award for Intercultural Commitment was
presented for the first time on Thursday. The three winners were announced by
Harald Kruger, member of the BMW AG Board of Management and Award Chairman,
at a gala evening ceremony hosted by Susanne Kronzucker in the BMW Museum.

The three projects that managed to convince the jury of six experts in
the final round of judging that afternoon were the Brussels-based project
"BELIEFORAMA", the intercultural Gartenpolylog from Austria and Israeli
training program "Hand in Hand". The seven finalists who were still in the
running at that point had already competed successfully against some 300
other submissions from more than 40 different countries.

Organised by the BMW Group, this international competition supports
individuals and initiatives that are committed to enhancing relations between
people from different cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds. Winning
projects have been awarded prize monies totalling EUR25,000 and will receive
active support from the BMW Group for a period of one year.

Three winners - three original ideas

The winner of the first prize was "BELIEFORAMA", which convinced the jury
with its flexibility and its members' own willingness to learn. This training
program works at pan-European level to ease tensions in multicultural
communities and promote and maintain social cohesion. The jury panel was
particularly impressed by its proposal and implementation concept for a
"Religious Diversity and Anti-Discrimination" training program. BELIEFORAMA
provides effective support to educators wanting to establish a climate of
respect and tolerance between different cultures and religions in the
workplace. The concept has the potential to develop into a social enterprise
with a broad European perspective.

Second place went to the Gartenpolylog group from Vienna, who won the
favour of the jury because its concept can be transferred to a range of
different contexts. The "Gartenpolylog - Intercultural Community Gardens in
Austria" project encourages people from different cultures to mix by engaging
them in collaborative, hands-on activities. Anyone who is interested in
gardening and open to intercultural dialogue with people from all walks of
life can get involved. In the intercultural gardens, different backgrounds
are seen as a form of enrichment. What began on a minor scale in a public
park has grown into a successful franchise that has been since become
established in a number of Austria's federal states.

In third place came the initiators of the "Hand in Hand - Building
Tomorrow's Leaders" project from Israel. Initiated by the Israeli Center for
Jewish-Arab Education, the "Hand in Hand" project has a practical focus and
gives school leavers from different religious backgrounds the chance to
undertake solid vocational training. "Hand in Hand" won the special praise of
the jury for never having wavered from its conviction - even in a difficult
and sometimes even dangerous social and political environment - that Arabs
and Jews have a future together, provided they live in an integrated society
offering the younger generation equal opportunities in education and career

Partnership for stability and sustainability

"These awards are given to highly innovative projects, which can be
implemented in a range of contexts," said Awards Chairman Harald Kruger
during the ceremony. "I am delighted that the BMW Group will be providing
support and assistance to the plans of these project initiators as part of a
long-term partnership." With these words, Mr Kruger highlighted what makes
the BMW Group Award for Intercultural Commitment so special: as the next step
following the BMW Group Award for Intercultural Learning, which has been
presented since 1997, the Award for Intercultural Commitment offers its
winners startup support in the shape of prize money as well as technical and
practical assistance from BMW Group employees.

The importance of corporate intercultural commitment was highlighted in a
speech by guest speaker Jean-Christophe Bas, Senior Adviser to the UN
initiative Alliance of Civilisations. "The Corporate sector has become a
critical force in promoting cultural understanding, building bridges between
cultures and people. With its commitment the BMW Group demonstrates a
pioneering and visionary role and is situated at the forefront."

The Jury

The winning projects were selected by an international jury of six highly
qualified and renowned experts from a wide range of intercultural

    - Dr Barry van Driel, General Secretary of the International Association
      for Intercultural Education
    - Markus Hipp, Managing Director of the BMW Stiftung Herbert Quandt
    - Prof. Rajendra K. Jain, Professor of European Studies at Jawaharlal
      Nehru University, New Delhi
    - Nadim Sheiban, Project Manager, Jerusalem Foundation
    - Dr. Mark Terkessidis, Journalist, Author and Migration Researcher
    - Prof. Dr. Vernor Munoz Villalobos, UN Assuming Writes Commissioner for
      Education (until 8/2010), Prof of Law at the University of Costa Rica

Photo exhibition: Diversity as Enrichment

As part of the BMW Group Award for Intercultural Commitment, a photo
exhibition entitled Diversity as Enrichment was opened. It presents the work
of three young photographers who documented intercultural teamwork at the BMW
production site in Munich, where employees from 56 different nations work
together as a team. The exhibition will be on show at the BMW Museum in
Munich until spring 2011.

To find out more about the competition and its terms of entry, visit:

    If you have any questions, please contact:

    Konstanze Carreras
    Corporate and Governmental Affairs, Social Responsibility
    Tel.: +49-89-382-52894, Fax: +49-89-382-10881

If you have any questions, please contact: Konstanze Carreras, Corporate and Governmental Affairs, Social Responsibility, Tel.: +49-89-382-52894, Fax: +49-89-382-10881, Email: Konstanze.Carreras at

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