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In January, the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Risks Report indicated the threat of a less cooperative, more inward-looking world. But progress is real only when everyone gets to participate in it.
Social inclusion is more than a buzzword - it’s the path to a sustainable world. But there are no quick fixes here. Social inclusion means breaking down barriers – of country, language, culture, age, gender, social standing, among many others. It means changing mindsets and lives, empowering each one of us to live to full potential.
At the heart of Allianz’s social inclusion strategy is access to education and employment for all. A deeper look at our efforts...
“We cannot always build a future for our youth, but we can always build a youth for the future” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Impressionable youngsters, including children, soak in messages quickly. Given that they are our future, it’s important to give them the right messages to carry forward. This is why, Allianz’s partnership with SOS Children’s Villages, a non-profit organization that provides care, education and health services to children and disadvantaged families in over 130 countries, deserves a special mention. Allianz CEO Oliver Baete says, “Together with the SOS Children's Villages, we are encouraging young people worldwide to shape the future in a sustainable manner.”
This year, Allianz launched a new program, ‘Encouraging Future Generations’, aimed at raising awareness around youth issues, encouraging dialog between stakeholders and catalyzing funding and resources for the development of youth globally. Among its initiatives is the soon-to-be-launched SOS-Emergency Management System that will help turn SOS Children’s Villages facilities into safe harbors for local communities in the event of a catastrophe.
Katharina Latif, Head of Corporate Responsibility, leading the ‘Encouraging Future Generations’ program, says, “As far as we see it, increasing social inclusion is one of the most important issues society must address. Leaving this challenge unsolved is a substantial risk, which many stakeholders, including Allianz, have recognized. For this reason, we have decided to focus on our strategy on promoting social inclusion around the world.”
Financial education, or lack thereof, influences the ability of a person to make the right financial choices. Uninformed decisions can lead to financial losses, which eventually compromises the quality of life.
Allianz is one of the founding members of My Finance Coach, a non-profit organization that teaches 10- to 16-year-olds how to manage their money responsibly.
Since its inception in 2010, My Finance Coach has reached over 1.1 million students in over 2,800 schools. Other than Germany, it is active in 18 countries. Among its tools are the ‘My Finance Coach Money Manager’ app. Allianz employees are also encouraged to volunteer as ‘Finance Coaches’, teaching financial concepts to youngsters and school children Investing in the financial education of youngsters helps improve the overall health of society.
As history has repeatedly shown, unemployment can lead to social unrest. Of the 202 million unemployed people globally, nearly 40 percent are young men and women.
This March, Allianz joined SOS Children’s Villages in launching the ‘YouthCan!’ program in South Africa, where the youth unemployment rate is close to 50 percent. Through ’YouthCan!’, youngsters can connect with mentors, experience a real working environment, and get entrepreneurship and skills training to build a better and more stable future.
Allianz encourages its entities to innovate on corporate responsibility projects.
The soon-to-be-launched ‘Social Innovation Fund’ is a new group-wide initiative to support entities in implementing their own corporate responsibility projects with long-term social impact.
These projects are aimed at directly contributing to the social inclusion of children and youth. A ‘Social Tech Seed Fund’ is also planned for 2018 to support young entrepreneurs in developing digital solutions that solve societal challenges.
In mid-2016, Allianz organized the Allianz World Run, where over 12,300 employees participated to raise 600,000 euros for SOS Children’s Villages projects across 12 countries. Last year also marked the tenth anniversary of our partnership with the International Paralympics committee.
In November 2016, we hosted the ‘Vision Summit on Social Inclusion’, where 500 stakeholders including academics, policymakers and even Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus came together to explore solutions to overcome the barriers to social inclusion.
As with all content published on this site, these statements are subject to our Forward Looking Statement disclaimer:
Dr. Saskia Juretzek
Phone: +49 89 3800 90593