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BMW Welt hosts One Young World Summit

More than 2,000 young professionals from over 190 countries +++ High-profile guests from business, politics, society, sport and culture +++ Participants aim to take joint responsibility and find solutions

Human Resources

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Osama El-Sherif
BMW Group

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Munich, 27 July 2021 – More than 2,000 young professionals from over 190 countries came together over the weekend both physically and virtually at the One Young World (OYW) Summit to discuss global social challenges and opportunities for sustainable business, with the goal of working together to find solutions.

The theme of this year’s summit was “Innovation”, as applied to topics such as the climate crisis, freedom and civil rights, and education. A number of high-profile guests from the worlds of business, politics, society, sport and culture provided the young people with advice and inspiration, among them Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus, singer and activist Bob Geldof, and former footballer Hope Solo. More than 60 BMW Group delegates from locations around the world were selected to attend the OYW Summit in Munich.

“Working at the BMW Group means taking responsibility”

As a longstanding supporter of OYW, the BMW Group took advantage of its role as this year’s co-host to encourage participants to seek solutions and push for needed changes with their own ideas and projects. “Each and every one of us can play a part in making the economy more sustainable. And I have a good reason for being confident that we can achieve this enormous transformation: namely, our employees,” noted Ilka Horstmeier, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Human Resources and an OYW Counsellor, at the big closing ceremony on Sunday at BMW Welt. “The reason for my optimism is employees like Evelin Hartmann and Florian Kantop,” Horstmeier added. The two talented young people from the MINI design team and the seat development department set themselves the goal of finding a sustainable and recyclable alternative to leather seat covers. With the help of their colleagues, they developed a design concept for a 100 percent recyclable seat cover that produces over 99 percent less CO2 emissions than conventional leather covers. “Along with seats, our teams are also taking a closer look at vehicle components such as the floor trim, trunk and headliner. There is plenty of potential there!” promised the two when presenting their project on the OYW stage at BMW Welt.

The BMW Group’s other OYW delegates have likewise recognised this potential – and, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, are also helping to make the world a little better through their projects. They collect and recycle PVC scraps from manufacturing, make backpacks and toilet bags from old factory uniforms, and support schools in South Africa with solar energy storage units made from used high-voltage batteries.

“It’s up to us to take responsibility”

“It’s up to us to take responsibility,” says Ilka Horstmeier. Thinking hard about the future and actively shaping it today is thus not only the guiding principle of the OYW organisation but is also strongly anchored in the consciousness of the BMW Group. Far-sightedness and social responsibility can even be called hallmarks of the BMW Group. This also includes offering committed young professionals a platform for complex and constructive discussions about solutions for the future. “We must strive to develop a common image of our society – as a people-centred society that balances solutions to environmental and social problems with economic progress,” according to Horstmeier.

The four-day One Young World Summit is held in a different city each year. The host city in 2022 will be Tokyo.


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The following applies to consumption figures for vehicles with new type approval, September 2017 onward: The figures for fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and energy consumption are obtained in accordance with the specified measuring procedure (EC Regulation No. 715/2007), as issued and amended. The figures are for a basic-version vehicle in Germany. The bandwidths allow for differences in the choice of wheel and tire sizes and items of optional equipment and can be changed by the configuration.

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