Responsible Leaders


Responsible Leadership is the element that links the various activities of the BMW Foundation. According to our understanding a Responsible Leader is a person who considers society as a whole and contributes to a solidary, sustainable and future-oriented world by putting his/her influence and experience to work. We are convinced that you can best understand and live this responsibility in exchange and together with people from different cultures, sectors, and walks of life. 

The Responsible Leaders Network

Persons known as BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders are people who participated in one of our core programmes and want to utilise their experience in a global network to advocate societal change. For example, as an intrapreneur by pushing for a more social and environmentally-friendly approach within their organisation, or as a mentor by sharing their experience with students or the advisory board of a non-profit organisation, or as a full-time social entrepreneur by striving to find new solutions to societal challenges.

The Responsible Leaders within our network support each other and work together on sustainable social or ecological projects, often across professional or sectoral boundaries. More or less on the side they also learn about new patterns of thinking and acting and expand their professional horizon and portfolio of leadership skills.

The Young Leaders Forums enabled me for two reasons. They gave me the tools to run my social enterprise more efficiently, and they gave me the confidence that comes with a global network.

Clare Pearson, CSR Manager Asia, DLA Piper

Our approaches and instruments

The Young Leader forums form the nucleus of our network. Since the mid-1990s they have served to reach out to leaders aged 30 to 45. The most prominent feature of these forums held in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa is that by touring social institutions, administrations and companies, participants catch a glimpse of the real life of local actors who want to change society. They also see and experience various forms of social commitment.

The forums have sprouted both the biannual World Responsible Leaders Forum as the largest event hosted by the BMW Foundation as well as the Responsible Leaders Awards given to outstanding personalities within the network. Our smaller, highly efficient formats such as the Impact Circles or Impact Sessions utilise the know-how of individual responsible leaders to help non-profit organisations with specific issues.

By setting up regional chapters we intend to expand opportunities for personal meetings and action and hope to tighten ties between Responsible Leaders. At present there are four chapters initiated and organised by our alumni: in the U.S. (Chris Fowler), in Canada (Rajah Lehal), in Great Britain (Gunther Jancke), in France/Benelux (Osama Abdelmoghni), in India (Rahul Chawla), and in Brazil (Luiza Serpa and Denise Chaer). 


  • Chris Fowler

    Chris Fowler

    Chapter Head U.S.

    Vice President, Creative Science Labs, Washington, D.C. 



  • Rajah Lehal

    Rajah Lehal

    Chapter Head Canada

    Lawyer and manager of Operations, Cobalt; co-founder, Multiplicity; investor, ClauseHound, Toronto



  • Gunther Jancke

    Gunther Jancke

    Chapter Head Great Britain

    Freelance organizer, London



  • Osama Abdelmoghni

    Osama Abdelmoghni

    Chapter Head France/Benelux

    Innovation and Product Manager, les Comptoirs, Paris



  • Denise Chaer

    Denise Chaer

    Chapter Head Brazil

    Director, Novos Urbanos, São Paulo

  • Rahul Chawla

    Rahul Chawla

    Chapter Head India

    CEO and Founder, Signet, New Delhi

  • Luiza Serpa

    Luiza Serpa

    Chapter Head Brazil

    Director, Instituto Phi, Rio de Janeiro