United Nations Academic Impact and United Colors of Benetton

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.

June 25th, 2015.