Aug 24, 2015

Intercultural Innovation Award

Katarsis Ventures is an international change company for change makers.  

One of our strategic objectives is to demonstrate to others that it is possible to lead innovation, grow great enterprises and invest successfully in hard places.  To do this we work strategically with well-connected organisations to reach grassroots talent.  One such partnership has been with the UNAOC, where we have supported a number of programmes as a specialist adviser on strategic social entrepreneurship.  

We have been astounded by the scope and depth of innovation and reach that you can find if you scout differently.  I have been privileged to mentor, advise and educate teams which have used this fund, as part of their wider growth strategy.  This has included in some case business models 90% based on trading which grew from nothing to several million dollars in sectors like the arts where this remains unexpected.  In other key sectors such as education I have seen enterprises grow to deliver systematic impact able to deliver change way beyond a single organisation.  In others collaborative and lean models reaching literally thousands of beneficiaries in some very complicated parts of the world.  This fund, in association with BMW Group is a great global platform if you are focused on impact whether you are in the mountains of Nepal, the bright lights of a world city, or able to reach people across the vast waters of south Asia.  

What we love about this programme is that it focuses on innovation.  Then it tailors the capacity building and networking to that cohort of Awardees, including the level of funding.  There is a useful lack of competition in traditional areas, as part of a shift towards impact, collaboration, creativity and scalability.  This approach puts a premium on ideas and a focus on scale, where otherwise there might be unfair advantages and a lack of sustainability. 

The 2015 edition of the Intercultural Innovation Award, a partnership between the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the BMW Group is searching for grassroots projects around the world that encourage intercultural dialogue and cooperation around the world using innovative and creative methods.

Ten organizations with projects that have potential for expansion and replication will be awarded funding and strategic support by the BMW Group and the UNAOC. To be considered, organizations must apply online by Wednesday, 30 September 2015 at 5:00 pm New York City time.

The top ten finalists will be invited and awarded at the 7th UNAOC Global Forum.

 A total of 100,500 USD is offered to the awardees, of which 40,000 USD goes to the first placed project.

 For more details, you can check the applications guidelines at

 The guidelines are also available in ArabicChineseFrenchRussian and Spanish. However, please note that applications are only accepted in English.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the IIA team at