United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and BMW Gropu announce winners of Intercultural Innovation Award

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Placido Domingo in Attendance

Vienna, 27 February 2013 - The Viennese Volkstheatre was host to the UNAOC and the BMW Group last night in celebration of The Intercultural Innovation Award. The coveted international Award is part of an unprecedented partnership between the UNAOC and the BMW Group. Designed to contribute towards social stability and economic growth in multicultural societies, the Award is given to innovative grassroots projects promoting intercultural dialogue and understanding.

During last night's award ceremony UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced Mexico based Puerta Joven as the top winner of the 2012 Intercultural Innovation Award. President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Incoming United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, and Mr. Bill McAndrews, Vice President Communications Strategy, Corporate and Market Communications, BMW Group, presented the Award. UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Placido Domingo was also in attendance to congratulate all the winners.

"I commend the leadership shown by the BMW Group in supporting this Award and the projects that are being recognized" stated the Secretary-General. "The creative solutions being showcased tonight hold lessons for all communities and for organizations such as the United Nations."

The top five finalists of the Award receive financial support for their projects totalling USD 100,000. However, all awardees of The Intercultural Innovation Award become members of the World Intercultural Facility for Innovation (WIFI). Initiated by the UNAOC and the BMW Group, WIFI is a platform for all awardees to connect with potential donors, mentors and previous winners. Awardees benefit from customized expertise and resources of both the BMW Group and the UNAOC in the areas of public relations, fundraising, staff planning and marketing.

The Award ceremony took place in the eve of the 5th UNAOC Global Forum where delegations from 135 countries and international organizations, youth, civil society organizations and corporate sector have gathered in Vienna to address the importance of intercultural dialogue. "The Intercultural Innovation Award is the best example of the UN Alliance of Civilizations commitment to action. Both

the Alliance and the BMW Group are committed to helping these winners increase their impact and expand their range of action" stated Al-Nasser.

Bill McAndrews stated "On behalf of the BMW Group, I wish to congratulate all of the awardees. The BMW Group and UNAOC are committed to supporting initiatives through this Award which have a long-lasting effect and sustainable, positive impact. We look forward to supporting their projects; and helping turn their ideas into accomplishments in the months and years ahead."

1st Prize $50,000 USD: Puerta Joven - Languages of Youth (Mexico)

Puerta Joven brings together indigenous youth groups who are discriminated because of their cultural identity or language. Their program fosters youth cultural expressions through mobile phones. Professional filmmakers visit schools and community centers teaching young beneficiaries how to use creative tools found in mobile phones to develop short films.

2nd Prize $20,000 USD: Plain Ink - When Change Reads Like a Book (Italy)

Plain Ink is a pioneering, non-profit social venture harnessing the power of stories; comics and children's books to help children and communities overcome the stumbling blocks of poverty and social exclusion.

3rd Prize $15,000 USD: Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group - Recycling as Bridge and Binder (India)

Through recycling, Chintan's project promotes understanding between poor migrants and the middle class and wealthy residents of New Delhi. Recycling in urban India is undertaken by marginalized migrants.

4th Prize $10,000 USD: Kapamagogopa Inc. (KI) Volunteers - Muslim Youth Volunteering for Interfaith Dialogue and Understanding (Philippines)

Kapamagogopa (KI) is the first and only systematized Muslim volunteer sending program in the Philippines. Young Muslims are mobilized to work as volunteers in non-Muslim organizations to promote development to non-Muslim and Muslim communities in Mindanao.

5th Prize $5,000 USD: TakingITGlobal (TIG) - TakingITGlobal Online Community (Canada)

TakingITGlobal (TIG) works at the intersection of the growing youth demographic, globalization, and the rise of the information society to empower young people as active global citizens and agents of change.

Honorable mentions were given to the other finalists. Further information available on: www.bmwgroup.com/award

Photos of the Award ceremony can be downloaded on: https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/

For further questions please contact:

BMW Group Corporate and Governmental Affairs
Milena Pighi
Social Responsibility
tel: +49-89-382-66563
email: Milena.PA.Pighi@bmw.de

Mahdis Keshavarz
tel.: +1.425.591.8781
email: mahdis@themakeagency.com