GSBTB wins top prize from UN and BMW at the Intercultural Innovation Award

Give Something Back to Berlin is proud to be chosen as the supreme winner of The Intercultural Innovation Award from the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and BMW group!

Last week in Baku, Azerbaijan, GSBTB founder Annamaria Olsson accepted the award on behalf of our community of volunteers during the Global Forum Baku 2016. Along with nine other finalists, GSBTB attended a UN conference there on the topic of “living together in inclusive societies – a challenge and goal”.

(Photo: Masayoshi Suga/UN News Centre)

Annamaria accepted the top prize from among 10 impressive finalists, making an acceptance speech to an audience including world leaders that was broadcast around the world. The rest of the GSBTB watched from the office back in Berlin (some may have cried… just a little bit).

The award organisers also produced a fantastic video of GSBTBers Annamaria and Lucy in our office.

While in Baku, team members Annamaria, Lucy and Nick were able to visit the family of GSBTBer Bachar. Bachar works with Multaka, the organisation which has got newly-arrived Arabic-speaking Berliners giving guided tours through their culture’s historical artefacts in museums like the Pergamon.

Bachar’s family greeted them so warmly with beautiful food and sweet drawings from his kids. It was fantastic to see our ideas come full circle – GSBTB has been a welcoming place for Bachar and now his family has reciprocated by welcoming us in Baku. An absolute highlight of the trip.

It is a huge honour to have our work recognised by the international community in this way. At GSBTB we are proud of all the hard work, the support and the pure passion of every member of our community which has made this moment possible. Our work continues to depend fully on voluntary contribution from individuals and organizations.

Prizes such as this one provide us with validation that our work is making an important difference in the lives of individuals as well as creating a larger community shift. It is for this very reason that we take this opportunity to recognize that we want to continue our work and find opportunities to have greater impact by scaling our projects and continuing to develop new ones.

Our greatest and most important challenge continues to be securing long-term, sustainable funding. If you are in a position to support us through monthly donations we invite you do to so – please email: melissa.probst@gsbtb.org.

During the next year we will take part in a capacity building program from the BMW Group and UNAOC to make us even harder, better, faster, stronger. We look forward to putting both this important prize and the vital donations from people like you to work!

 Here is some more official information about the award:

“During one year, the selected initiatives can enjoy invaluable expert know-how and resources from the BMW Group and UNAOC. In addition to receiving monetary support, the finalists will have the opportunity to participate in training activities and workshops covering diverse subjects such as strategy and planning, implementation analysis and media training, as well as to become a part of the exclusive “Intercultural Leaders” network.”

“By supporting sustainable and innovative, intercultural grassroots initiatives with the potential for expansion and replication, the Intercultural Innovation Award aims to contribute to peace and to building more inclusive societies. Launched in 2011, the Intercultural Innovation Award is the result of a unique public-private partnership between the UNAOC and the BMW Group. This model of collaboration between the United Nations and the private sector creates a deeper impact, as both partners provide their respective expertise to ensure the sustainable growth of each project.”

We are incredibly excited for the next part of the Give Something Back to Berlin journey!