UNAOC and BMW Group Announce the 10 Finalists of the Intercultural Innovation Award and Celebrate 10 Years of Partnership

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Nov. 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ten global grassroots initiatives have been named finalists of the prestigious Intercultural Innovation Award during an Awards Ceremony held last night at the German Pavilion of the Dubai EXPO 2020, within the margins of the thematic week on Tolerance and Inclusivity. A partnership between the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the BMW Group, and now with the support of Accenture, the Intercultural Innovation Award supports grassroots initiatives that promote intercultural dialogue and understanding and contribute to peace, cultural diversity, and more inclusive societies.

"As the Intercultural Innovation Award (IIA) celebrates its 10–year anniversary, UNAOC and the BMW Group continue to collaborate to promote a more inclusive global community by strengthening grassroots initiatives that are deeply committed to promoting intercultural dialogue and understanding. Through the Intercultural Innovation Award, we support projects that address diversity and inclusion in innovative ways." said Mr. Miguel Angel Moratinos, High Representative for UNAOC.

"The Intercultural Innovation Award honors people and projects that promote diversity, tolerance and inclusion in a particularly creative way. These are the values that move us forward as a society and as a company. We are convinced that progress requires cohesion "" that is what the BMW Group stands for. Together with UNAOC, we make a meaningful contribution to respectful dialogue," said Ms. Ilka Horstmeier, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Human Resources at BMW Group.

This year, the selection process was highly competitive, with over 1,100 applications received from 120 countries.

2021 awardees:

International Trustbuilding "" Initiatives of Change International (Switzerland)
Knitting a Better Future "" La Cana, Productos con Causa (Mexico)
Dialogue on the Human Fraternity Document "" Mediterranean Youth Foundation (Egypt)
MITTI Caf, Inclusion with Every Meal "" MITTI Social Initiative Foundation (India)
Arrival Advisor "" PeaceGeeks Society (Canada)
Emerging Leaders "" PLACE Network (France)
Politize! Ambassadors Program: Promoting Civic Empowerment for All "" Politize! Civic Education Institute (Brazil)
Always Remember, Never Forget "" Spielen in der Stadt (Germany)
Creative Youth Boot Camp: Art for Social Transformation "" Street Project Foundation (Nigeria)
SMART Advocates: For Effective Dialogue to Address the Grassroots Conflicts "" Strengthening Youth Leadership Collective (Sri Lanka)

Media Inquiries:
– Ms. Milena Pighi, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, BMW Group: Phone: +49–89–382–66563; Email: Milena.PA.Pighi@bmw.de
– Mr. Alessandro Girola, Programming Coordinator, UNAOC: Phone: +1 (929) 274–6217; Email: alessandrog@unops.org


Sri Lanka’s “SMART Advocates: For Effective Dialogue to Address the Grassroots Conflicts” Project Receives UNAOC-BMW Group Intercultural Innovation Award

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Nov. 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The "SMART Advocates" project of the Strengthening Youth Leadership Collective (SYLC) in Sri Lanka was selected as one of ten global grassroots initiatives to receive the prestigious Intercultural Innovation Award from the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the BMW Group, during an Awards Ceremony held last night at the German Pavilion of the Dubai EXPO 2020, within the margins of the thematic week on Tolerance and Inclusivity. The selection process was highly competitive, with over 1,100 applications received from 120 countries.

SMART Advocates is designed to train individuals who have the passion to engage in effective advocacy to address grassroots conflicts and build a better Sri Lanka. By facilitating peacebuilding through a digital platform and visual storytelling, SMART Advocates aims to tackle socio–economic and environmental challenges. The core objective is to bridge the gap between communities and local authorities to address these conflicts.

“Strengthening Youth Leadership Collective has been exploring mechanics that build trust, create innovation, and ensure sustainability to make lasting change. Young people are often considered as perpetrators of violence. To change this stereotypical perspective, our novel approach to address grassroots conflicts through digital platforms gives new insights about young people," said Kishoth Navaretnarajah, Co–Founder and Program Designer at SYLC.

The Intercultural Innovation Award supports grassroots initiatives that promote intercultural dialogue and understanding, thereby contributing to peace, cultural diversity, and more inclusive societies. This year, the Awards Ceremony was chaired by the High Representative for UNAOC and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain, H.E. Mr. Miguel ngel Moratinos, and Ms. Ilka Horstmeier, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Human Resources at BMW Group.

In addition to a financial grant, SYLC will receive capacity–building and mentorship support from UNAOC, the BMW Group and Accenture to help strengthen the "SMART Advocates" project and ensure its sustainable growth. This model of collaboration between the United Nations and the private sector creates a more profound impact, as partners provide their respective expertise to ensure the sustainable growth of each supported project.

Learn more about the project:
https://interculturalinnovation.org/smart–advocates–sylc/

Media inquiries:
– Ms. Milena Pighi, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, BMW Group: Phone: +49–89–382–66563; Email: Milena.PA.Pighi@bmw.de
– Mr. Alessandro Girola, Programming Coordinator, UNAOC: Phone: +1 (929) 274–6217; Email: alessandrog@unops.org