Press Release

500 participants from 70 countries attend BMW Foundation Forum in Munich


24 May 2016

The 5th World Responsible Leaders Forum focused on social innovation and on identifying and developing new ideas to address a wide variety of urgent problems: migration, educational injustice, climate change, widening rifts in the European Union.

To this end, more than 500 participants from 70 countries – representatives from business, civil society, government, administration, and academia – came together in Munich on May 19–22, 2016. To mark the 100th anniversary of the BMW Group, this gathering of young leaders from around the world for the first time took place in Germany. Previous World Responsible Leaders Forums had been held in China, Argentina, and India. Social engagement is the focus and glue of the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt’s networking activities.

"The network can be our power station recharging our batteries in our constant striving to make a difference and contribute to the common good. What we need are new alliances, transgressing the borders of public and private", said Michael Schaefer, Chairman of the Board of the Directors of the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt, during his opening speech. Through its wide variety of interactive formats, the World Responsible Leaders Forums aim to inspire global and cross-sector exchange, encouraging the participants to deepen and strengthen their social engagement.

In three Commitment Pitches, the nonprofit organizations Kiron Open Higher Education, Impact Hub, and Global Pro Bono Network explained what kind of support they needed most. They received more than 50 concrete commitments from the participants. For example, the Berlin-based initiative Kiron Open Higher Education, which offers refugees quick access to education, was promised computers, mentoring, and internships.

On 26 Innovation Tours to places and enterprises such as MakerSpace, a refugee project run by the Kammerspiele Theater, the Department of Social Services of the City of Munich, the Bayernkaserne refugee center, and Fraunhofer Ventures, the participants took inspiration from lighthouse projects, approaches and solutions made in Munich.

In more than 30 workshops with titles such as “Why Corporate Social Responsibility Is Going to Die,” “The European Union – A Failing Project?,” and “Learnings in Venture Philanthropy,” forum attendees discussed a wide variety of topics. Some 100 participants contributed to the program of the 5th World Responsible Leaders Forum by giving lectures, chairing discussions, or leading guided tours.

More, and continually updated, information on the 5th World Responsible Leaders Forum is available here:

An overview of the forum, the participants, and the most important speeches can be found on our website; for posts by forum participants, see our Responsible Leaders Blog. We have uploaded the best photos from the Forum to Flickr. Forum videos can be viewed on our Youtube channel.

If you have any further questions, please contact:

Barbara Müller
Senior Manager Communications and Media
+49 151 60303538
BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt
Reinhardtstraße 58 10117 Berlin