The BWM Group Award for Intercultural Innovation in support of the Alliance of Civilizations, under the auspices of the United Nations (The UNAOC-BMW Group Award for Intercultural Innovation) aims to identify the most innovative grassroots projects that encourage intercultural exchange around the world. This highly competitive selection process has been set in place to guarantee that selected projects are rewarded for outstanding achievement in creativity, excellence and proven positive impact.

Intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation is a process whereby people from different cultural backgrounds and systems of beliefs interact, communicate, negotiate and enrich themselves. In this process, individuals exchange concepts and perceptions and build a shared vision of society and the world. Beyond just peaceful coexistence, interculturality is a dynamic process that helps individuals and communities to learn about and understand other cultures. Furthermore, it enables individuals to move away from isolationist and mistrustful attitudes and it encourages them to embrace diversity as a core value of peaceful and sustainable societies.

In the past decades, numerous projects and programs around the world have addressed issues related to cultures in contact with each other. However, in this fast changing world, where social media and the Internet are continuously shaping our perceptions and scientific developments are allowing faster travel and communication, innovation in the field of intercultural exchanges appears to be essential.

Both the UNAOC and the BMW Group are strongly committed to creativity and innovation. Indeed, the Dialogue Café initiative or the Rapid Response Media Mechanism are only two examples of the UNAOC’s commitment in increasing intercultural understanding through novel methods. Correspondingly, the BMW Group is a leading innovative company in the use of new approaches to corporate responsibility.

For that reason, the Award will acknowledge brave initiatives that dare to think outside the box, rethinking intercultural work and making an important use of new methods to promote intercultural understanding and cooperation. The Award represents a unique platform for civil society organizations committed to the promotion of cultural diversity and understanding.

The Award

A total amount of 50,000 USD will be split among the ten winners of the Award at the occasion of the Awards ceremony in Doha in December 2011.

Based on a case to case needs assessment, winners will receive during one year active guidance and support from the WIFI team in order to replicate and scale up their projects. They will also benefit from partner organizations that will sponsor Awardees in collaboration with the UNAOC and the BMW Group. This support may vary depending on the nature of the project and may include IT support, legal advice, increasing visibility, etc.

Application documents are now available. Download the 2011 Application Guidelines here.

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