BMW and Impact Hub work together on the future of a sustainable society

It may all sound pompous when one of the largest and most innovative car brands in the world calls this out, because there are only enough car manufacturers who claim something similar. Claiming that is almost always linked to the introduction of more sustainable vehicles. Hybrids and sometimes fully electric cars should make the difference, as well as future solutions that are described as ‘last mile’ vehicles, often aimed at logistics in urban environments.

BMW continues – urban locations

However, BMW ‘s translation goes much further and is certainly not just a vision of the future. For BMW, this has been a reality for a number of years and is part of its corporate strategy. A good example of this is the Urban-X program at A / D / O in Brooklyn. Here promising startups in a creative environment, founded by MINI , are assisted in areas such as product development, technical support and funding. These startups are not necessarily related to the automotive industry but contribute to the future of mostly urban locations.

Another highlight is the MINI Co-Living project in Shanghai. This innovative co-living concept was started to develop living concepts in overcrowded cities that should make life and living in the city more attractive. Not a promise, but reality. In Shanghai, MINI Living, in collaboration with a Chinese project developer, has started a community project in an abandoned industrial complex in the Jing’An district of Shanghai.

There is now a complete residential complex with apartments, workspaces and relaxation options in a cluster of six special buildings. It is a metamorphosis of how we can live together in a sustainable way today and especially in the future. They are not ambitions, but already a concrete fulfillment of the promise that is easy to pronounce, but it is so much more difficult to fulfill it.

BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt

New is the collaboration between the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt ( Herbert Quandt is the savior of the BMW factories in Munich in 1959 ) and Impact Hub. The BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt is an independent foundation with a strong focus on projects that focus on a sustainable future and are part of the mission and social responsibility of the BMW Group. The foundation also invests in initiatives and organizations that, among other things, want to tackle the social and ecological challenges of humanity.

It is certain that a large majority (68%) of the world’s population will live in an urban environment in the near future. The foundation is convinced that cities are therefore even more places where global challenges are concentrated. Successes already achieved show that these are achieved fastest at local level, by involving all stakeholders as much as possible. The BMW Foundation advocates for the development and diffusion of scalable solutions in what they call RISE cities. These cities are R esilient (resilient), I ntelligent (smart), S ustainable (durable) and E quit bootable (righteous.

The focus of the foundation in 2020 and 2021 is on forms of future mobility tailored to the total needs of the citizen. This also touches on other important challenges such as reducing environmental pollution and providing access to affordable housing ( MINI Living urban cabin ) for all.

Impact Hub Amsterdam

Impact Hub Amsterdam is part of a fast-growing network of entrepreneurs who focus on change (impact) and innovators. The global Impact Hub now has more than 16,000 members in more than 100 cities around the world. Since 2008, the Amsterdam organization has helped more than 1000 entrepreneurs start, grow and scale up their initiative. This means that Impact Hub is actively involved in the creation of resources and capital, organizing events and, as with A / D / O, provides a collaborative workspace for participating startups committed to a fairer and more sustainable world.

Welcome to the world of organizations that often operate in the background, but do contribute to the future of a sustainable society. Organizations and initiatives that want to make a difference.

Denkraum – Good Life & Sustainable

In recent weeks, Impact Hub Amsterdam, in the already existing collaboration with the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt, organized the first (online) event in the 2020 Denkraum series, organized in three European cities, Amsterdam, Madrid and Athens. The Denkraum format (Thinker’s Space) originated in Munich, where one-day workshops have taken place since 2016. This concept is now receiving a European follow-up in the above-mentioned cities.

Both organizations share the belief that working together always ensures positive change in the world. The Denkraum initiative now brings together 60 leaders from the private,public and social sectors together to explore how these cities can address this in terms of environmental, economic and social challenges.

Denkraum one-day think tank

In Amsterdam, themes were chosen that were linked to local stakeholders from various sectors, including urban governance, circular infrastructure and buildings, liveable cities, local food chains, energy and mobility. The challenges are unprecedented and the ‘Denkraum one-day think tank’ is only the kick-off of a movement that should bring about change. Cities are often seen as a problem, but at the same time they are also part of the solution. Maybe that’s why they are so important. After all, if you find solutions for cities, you will find solutions for everyone.

Part of the event were small group sessions at Impact Hub Amsterdam in which six groups went into depth with each other in the field of innovation and the challenges on various (holistic) topics. They were guided by experts from the above sectors (including circular infrastructure, local food chains, energy and mobility).

These group sessions were preceded by keynote speeches by Eva Gladek, founder of Metabolic, an agency that focuses on global sustainability challenges and the promotion of a circular economy. And Mercello Panazi, founder of Cities can B, an organization that mainly wants people to work together according to physical laws and regeneration. It is well worth checking out the website of this organization if you are interested in these topics.

A selection of contributions and ideas for solutions devised during Denkraum Amsterdam are now being elaborated and presented at a closing event in Munich in November 2020 and in a future digital publication. As soon as it is available we will add it to this article or through a new article when the information is ready for publication.