United Nations Academic Impact and United Colors of Benetton: destination future with young university students and faculty from around the world
Ponzano, June 25, 2015. Submissions ranged from “Education for Employment: Tribal Girls in India” to “Access to Water and Integration in Burundi”, from “Education for Religious Understanding in Pakistan” to “Workplace Opportunities for Muslim Women in Germany”. Creating a better world, one practical project at a time, in the eyes of young people, is clearly possible and this is the first step towards really making it happen.
Young people the world over have been focused on this, taking part in the Diversity Contest, an initiative aimed at universities, young teachers and students around the world sponsored by United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) and Benetton Group’s UNHATE Foundation. They presented concrete projects that have in common social commitment and an active desire to tackle the world’s problems and make it a better place.
The 10 winning Diversity Contest projects will be announced on Friday, June 26, in New York at the United Nations, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter.
The winning projects will be fully funded (to the sum of 20,000 euros each) by the UNHATE Foundation.
The projects will be previewed via a video in which young university students will present their ideas. Thanks to the UNHATE Foundation, these ideas will become realities.
The Diversity Contest is part of a broader, two-phase project, which involved young people from all over the world who tell positive stories about our society through the unhatenews.com website. Developed with the help of creative talents from Fabrica, Benetton Group’s communications research centre, under the direction of Erik Ravelo, the project allowed for the creation of a broad and varied “mapping” of how the new generations want to build their world.
In the first phase of the project, which began in November 2014, United Colors of Benetton – in collaboration with the United Nations Academic Impact and through its own UNHATE Foundation – invited young people around the world to post on unhatenews.com “news” stories that they would like to see become reality. For starters, the focus was to be on contemporary issues of global importance and on themes central to United Nations priorities (the “Millennium Development Goals and post-2015 Development Agenda”), including development and the environment, the war on terror and the building of democracy and human rights with a special focus on women’s rights.
Among the 100 most clicked “news” items, 10 were chosen by UNHATE Foundation – in line with United Colors of Benetton’s social philosophy – and contest entrants were invited to turn them into sustainable projects, to be implemented in 2015. Five stories were selected from those dealing with issues related to diversity, human rights and development while the other five were specifically on women’s rights.
In the second phase of the project, UNAI launched the Diversity Contest. This international competition invited universities, teachers and students aged 18-30 to develop and present projects – based on the stories selected in the first phase – addressing local communities and promoting the idea of tolerance, harmony and respect for diversities. The 10 winning projects were selected by a panel of experts including Robert Bullock, Director of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government (State University of New York, Albany); Irene Da Costa, film director and critic; Tunay Firat, Partnerships Specialist at UN Women; La Niece Collins, Information Officer, UNAI; Mariarosa Cutillo, manager of corporate social responsibility for the Benetton Group and CEO of UNHATE Foundation. The winning projects will be published on the UNHATE Foundation website (unhate.benetton.com) and on its social channels, as well as on the UNAI website (academicimpact.un.org).
Further information about the winners of the Diversity Contest is available at the Projects section.