Judging 31 projects, each worthy of attention, is no easy task. Internal and external experts in social innovation and impact sifted through the applications, intensely scrutinizing them on pre-defined criteria. “I was impressed by the quality and impact orientation of the proposals,” says Young-Jin Choi, an external expert from PHINEO, a Germany-based organization that offers consultancy for social investments.
Katharina Latif, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Allianz SE, believes that such competitions help a global company like Allianz to make an impact on the local level too. “Such local initiatives complement our global initiatives well and also involve our employees in the larger corporate strategy. They bring us together across geographies and cultures as a single corporate citizen,” she says.
Funds that aim to solve problems at the intersection between business and society are very important, says Joscha Lautner, a jury member and the founder of Impact Hub Munich – the Munich chapter of a global network of social impact innovation labs. Some participants lauded the flexibility that the competition gave them to choose their own projects, partners and engagement opportunities. They also welcomed the opportunity to foster collaboration across different parts of Allianz and to learn from each other.
Participant Laura Juergens, who is the Community Relations Manager at Allianz Life Insurance of North America, is looking forward to learning about the other projects that were submitted. “Maybe there are ideas we can share and collaborate on some initiatives,” she says. The winners will be awarded the grant at a ceremony in October. For us at Allianz, this is also a platform to share internal best practices.
Here's looking at the winners.