Dear Young Leaders and Friends of the BMW Foundation,
We have a saying in Germany: April does what it wants. In keeping with this tradition, we will turn the April edition of our newsletter upside down and start with some news from the BMW Foundation Young Leaders Network.
Stefan Kornelius, foreign editor of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, has covered Angel Merkel for several years. His many interviews and inquiries have resulted in a book-length profile of the most powerful woman in Europe entitled Angela Merkel – Die Kanzlerin und ihre Welt (Angela Merkel – The Chancellor and Her World). Seyran Ateş depicts Germany from a different angle. A Turkish-born German lawyer, Seyran has been fighting for freedom and women’s rights for years. Wahlheimat – Warum ich Deutschland lieben möchte (Adopted Country – Why I Want to Love Germany) is the title of her new book.
There is also news from the political segment of our network. Jernej Pikalo has become Minister of Education, Science, and Sports of the Republic of Slovenia, while Clare G. Amador has been awarded as one of Manila 40 under 40 International Development Leaders. Congratulations!
In a collaborative effort, Blair Glenscore and Diego Osorio, both members of our network, have been developing an inter-generational leadership program to match young leaders from transitioning countries with former heads of state through the Club de Madrid. At the same time, Mohammed Ali has organized a leadership summit in Somalia, also drawing on support from our Young Leaders Network.
A Young Leader who particularly needs our solidarity and support is Tarek Alsaleh, who has just returned from the Syrian Refugee Camps in Lebanon. He reports of the desperate situation in these camps, which cut off from support by any UN organizations. Watch this video to find out more about the efforts of his organisation Bidna Capoeira together with Save the Children to help vulnerable children.
We would not be able to tell you these kinds of stories if it wasn’t for our Young Leaders Forums, which serve as platforms for cross-sector exchange and which make possible these and many other collaborations and projects. Our latest in the series, the Arab European Young Leaders Forum, took place in early March. Please visit our website to read the report on this emotional gathering in Tunis.
Your BMW Foundation Team
Our traditional understanding of innovation is a technical one: the use of steam power, the development of the automobile, the sending of the first e-mail. But in recent times, a different, new idea of innovation has come to the fore. All around the world, people are looking for new answers to social challenges such as urbanization, resource scarcity or access to education. In our Panel Discussion on Social Policy, taking place May 14, we will address the question of how innovation changes society, drawing on the experience and knowledge of, among others, Wolf Lotter, co-founder of the business magazine “brand eins,” and Dr. Hans Langer, founder and CEO of EOS, the global market leader in the field of 3D printing technology.
We aim to give more concrete content to these insights and findings during our 7th Lecture Series on Social Innovation. In the first event in the series, which will be held in Munich on April 16, we will look at some real-life examples of innovative business models and focus on their societal impact. The speaker will be Gunter Pauli, who has developed several new ways to implement social, ecological, and economic innovations.
Having an idea is one thing, but implementing it is something else entirely. That is why our event Social Business Meets Angel is all about finding and providing funding for creative ideas. Five social start-ups such as Novego, which develops web-based support programs to alleviate psychological health problems such as depression, burnout or anxiety disorders, will pitch their ideas with the hope of receiving support from experienced business angels.
The BMW Foundation Young Leaders Awards are given to those who have successfully taken their first steps towards realizing their ideas and visions. Three winners have been selected, each of whom will receive €10,000 to develop their project: Sayu Bhojwani (The New American Leaders Project), Clare Pearson (E3: Equal Education for Everyone), and Timothy Wade (Waste Enterprisers). An honorary award goes to Gaurav Mehta (Project Dharma), who will gain networking access to resources and partners.
For more information about one of the winning projects, read our interview with Timothy Wade about how he got involved in fecal sludge management in Ghana.
One of our main objectives is the cross-sector dialogue, so we are currently looking at Europe from a variety of different angles.
At the 72nd International Session of the European Youth Parliament, taking place April 5–14, more than 300 young Europeans, aged 16 to 20, from 36 European countries will gather in Munich to discuss current European topics. The focus will be on the importance of resources for Europe – an issue that dominates much of the current public debate and greatly impacts political and economic relations. With support from the BMW Foundation, experts from science, politics, and business will participate in the so-called “ResourceVillage,” where they will answer questions by the young delegates.
Economic issues will be at the forefront of the Munich Economic Summit, taking place May 16–17 under the title “Relaunching Europe.” Europe was supposed to have become the world’s most competitive economy by now, but instead it is grappling with the challenge of enhancing competitiveness and stabilizing the euro zone. Thus the question of how Europe can kick-start its sluggish economy will be at the heart of this year’s summit discussions.
As a warm-up to the Munich Economic Summit, watch our video of the related 5th Summit Lecture, which took place in March. There you will find lots of material on the question of “How Much Economic Policy Integration Does the EU Need?”
As a civil society organization convinced of the importance of the European Union, we are a member of the “Engagierte Europäer” (Committed Europeans) alliance. To mark the end of the “Ich will Europa” (I Want Europe) campaign, German Federal President Joachim Gauck has invited 100 civil representatives to Schloss Bellevue for a personal exchange later this month. The BMW Foundation will moderate a panel on “Dialogue and Culture in Europe.”