The Intercultural Innovation Award is a partnership between the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the BMW Group that selects and supports the most innovative grassroots projects that encourage intercultural dialogue and work toward a more peaceful and socially inclusive world by building mutual respect among peoples of different cultural and religious identities, rejecting violent extremism and embracing diversity.
Eligible to apply for the Intercultural Innovation Award are not-for-profit organizations managing projects focused on promoting intercultural dialogue and understanding, and who are willing to expand their range of action. Examples include projects in the fields of combating xenophobia, education for global citizenship, interfaith dialogue, migration and integration, prevention of violent extremism, as well as initiatives addressing the needs of specific groups in promoting intercultural understanding (e.g. faith-based, youth, women, media, etc.)
Organizations that submit a project to the competition need to fulfill each and every one of the following criteria to be deemed eligible:
- Organizations must be registered as a not-for-profit organization, such as a non-governmental organization, charitable organization, research and educational institution, labor union, indigenous group, faith-based organization, professional association, foundation and local or municipal branches of government.
- Applying organizations must have been operational for a minimum of 2 years before April 2019; with funding base and project implementation (i.e. the organization must show registration as non-profit in their country of operation by April 2017 or earlier).
- Applying organizations must be managing a project focused on promoting intercultural dialogue and understanding. Examples include projects in the fields of combating xenophobia, education for global citizenship, interfaith dialogue, migration and integration, prevention of violent extremism, as well as initiatives addressing the needs of specific groups in promoting intercultural understanding (e.g. faith-based, youth, women, media, etc.)
- The applying organization must have the willingness to expand the range of action of the project with UNAOC, the BMW Group and other partners.
- Organizations that have previously received any UNAOC support are not eligible to apply to the Intercultural Innovation Award.
- Projects that have been submitted to previous editions of the Intercultural Innovation Award and were not selected, are eligible and encouraged to apply again. However, applying organizations cannot have been winners of previous editions of the UNAOC Marketplace of Ideas or BMW Group Awards.
The Intercultural Innovation Award is bestowed upon ten organizations. Awardees receive one year of support from UNAOC and the BMW Group, which will assist their projects to increase their effectiveness. Support will also be provided to successful projects so that they can be replicated in other contexts or settings where they might be relevant. The specific support received will depend on the individual needs of the projects.
A detailed needs assessment will be conducted in conjunction with each of the awardees. UNAOC and the BMW Group will then mobilize resources to help those projects achieve their goals. After one year, a comprehensive evaluation will be performed in order to assess the impact of the Award on successful projects.
The organizations of awardees will also become members of Intercultural Leaders, an exclusive skills and knowledge-sharing platform for civil society organizations and young leaders that work on addressing cross-cultural tensions. Through an innovative online system, Intercultural Leaders will harnesses the solidarity of its members to maximize the impact of their work and help them foster cross-cultural understanding and cooperation.