Mercedes-benz is funding a global fellowship that will provide training and scholarships to thousands of young people from around the world to implement their projects in the areas of environmental sustainability and decarbonization. To provide the seed money for the fellowship, mercedes-benz auctioned the world’s most valuable car, a 1955 slr uhlenhaut coupé, for a record price of €135 million.
About the fellowship
Mercedes-Benz will fund the programme year for year by way of donations and additionally act as the title sponsor. The DO School Fellowships, a German non-profit organization, developed the concept for beVisioneers and is now implementing it.
Following a first call for fellow applications in January 2023, beVisioneers will be launched in June 2023 with an initial cohort of fellows from three regions: India, South Africa and some European countries (Germany, Poland, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, UK). Applications can be made via the website www.bevisioneers.world .
Development and implementation of sustainability projects
In the coming years, beVisioneers will scale up to support up to 1,000 young people per year. beVisioneers fellows will be 16- to 28-year-old innovators who have promising ideas for sustainability projects. They will come from diverse backgrounds and be selected by The DO School. To be selected for the programme, applicants will have to present a viable project idea with the potential to make a measurable positive impact on the environment and, ideally, on the applicant’s local community.
The DO School experts will provide the fellows with a comprehensive 12-month intensive training and skills development program focused on leadership, entrepreneurship and sustainability. During this 12-month hybrid-learning period, the fellows will also be matched with a personal mentor, while experts selected by The DO School will contribute their knowledge and skills in one-to-one or group meetings. The fellowship includes access to project funding and a financial stipend, if required.
Mentoring and expert support will continue after the first year as part of the fellows’ ongoing project and leadership development. The long-term goal of beVisioneers is to build an inclusive and effective global community of fellows, mentors and experts, working together at eye level to achieve positive environmental change.
Mercedes-Benz Corporate Citizenship Strategy
As a corporate citizen, Mercedes-Benz wants to make tangible contributions to society worldwide. In 2022, Mercedes-Benz refined its corporate citizenship strategy and developed a holistic approach based on the company’s principles. The beVisioneers fellowship programme will promote sustainability and social cohesion through education – and thus reflect elements of the Mercedes-Benz corporate citizenship strategy.
Seed capital from auction of 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé
In May 2022, Mercedes-Benz auctioned one of two ultra-rare 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupés from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Collection to a private collector for €135 million. The decision to sell the sports car was taken with very sound reasoning – to benefit a good cause. Named after its creator and chief engineer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé is considered by automotive experts and enthusiasts worldwide to be one of the most outstanding examples of automotive construction and design.
Have a Sustainability project or a strong idea for one?
Bring it to life with a beVisioneers fellowship!
Are you a planet-positive innovator?
Are you 16 to 28 years old?
Do you live in Denmark, Germany, Hungary, India, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden or the United Kingdom?
The people and projects we look for
beVisioneers fellows are young innovators with promising ideas for environmental projects. To be selected for the program, applicants must present a viable project idea with the potential to make a measurable positive impact on the environment and, ideally, on the applicant’s local community.
Age: fellows are between the ages of 16 and 28 at the time of applying. Only applicants who were born between January 10, 1994 and March 5, 2007 will be considered.
Why? beVisioneers is generally targeting and designed to support young people who are relatively early in the process of creating and implementing an idea. Also, we want to create consistency across the cohort to ensure maximum learning opportunities.
Country: reside in India, South Africa, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Spain, Sweden, Denmark or the United Kingdom, and plan to implement their project idea in one or several of those countries
How did you choose the three pilot regions? We selected the three pilots regions—India, South Africa and seven countries in Europe—according to several criteria. First, we sought to form a diverse cohort of fellows, the coordination of which would involve enough complexity to help us test assumptions and develop processes, but not so much that it would jeopardize the success of the pilot program. Second, we selected two large countries, India and South Africa, in order to reach populations that are already experiencing the climate crisis first-hand. Third, to foster connection and engagement between peers and potential mentors, we selected regions located in relatively close (less than 6 hours’ difference) time zones.
Why must applicants reside in the target countries? Fellows will meet in local hubs regularly. In order to reduce emissions and build strong local relationships, applicants must reside in the target countries. Don’t worry, we will expand the fellowship to more countries in the coming years!
Identification: uploaded as part of their application a scanned copy of their passport, identity card, or an alternative document explaining why they cannot do so at present.
Why? We use your ID to verify your identity and confirm that applicants are in the age group for eligible applicants.
English: have a good oral and written command of the English language
Why? The program will be conducted in English.
Dedication: show a strong dedication to positive environmental change
Grit: demonstrate entrepreneurial spirit, including persistence, resilience and determination
Influence: show their capacity to influence their communities
Why? We seek to support individuals who have the potential to create a deep and measurable impact on people and the planet.
Planet-positive: a planet-positive idea or project. Planet-positive means giving back to the planet more than what we take from it. Example: a device that significantly reduces waste, such as a water filter. What a planet-positive project is not: while a project might bring good to the world and benefit a community, if doesn’t have a positive impact on the environment around you, then that project is not suitable for selection to beVisioneers in 2023.
Impact: the project tackles a problem which will positively affect many people locally or globally. Example: a project that protects and regenerates the environment, our wilderness, or the animals that inhabit it.
Measurable: a project whose impact can be measured. Example: a brick made from industrial waste saves five tons of waste going into our landfills.
Maturity: have an early-stage project or project idea for positive environmental impact
Why? The fellowship program is designed for early-stage projects, support their development and help them have a deep impact. However, we will also consider more advanced projects.
Employment: may not work for, or have a parent or guardian who works for, Mercedes-Benz
Why? This is a legal requirement, since the fellowship is funded by Mercedes-Benz.
We are only asking you to upload a scanned copy of your passport or national identity (ID) card as part of your application process, including a picture of you on your ID and your date of birth.
This is because we want to confirm that you are indeed in the age group for eligible applicants to be selected for beVisioneers in 2023. Kindly note that only applicants who were born between January 10, 1994 and March 5, 2007 will be considered for this first cohort.
You will be invited to upload it in the “Documents” section of your application.
If you do not have a passport or national ID card, please upload an alternative ID document instead, or a letter signed by you and explaining why you cannot upload the scanned copy of an official proof of identity at the moment.
You can only upload files up to 10 MiB in size each from the following types: JPEG, GIF, PNG, PDF. Please make sure that the image is not blurry or distorted and has plenty of contrast. Remember that they should be legible when printed out. The documents must be upright (not upside down) and in portrait mode (taller than wider).
Other common office file formats (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) are supported as well.
You can apply for financial support to participate in the fellowship
beVisioneers is committed to ensuring an accessible and financially inclusive fellowship experience. Active engagement in the fellowship program requires reliable and consistent access to a computer and the internet, as well as sufficient time for learning and project development. For this reason, beVisioneers offers two types of financial support (see below) to help fellows with specific needs overcome logistical and/or financial barriers that may prevent their full participation. Both types are available only for the initial, 12-month intensive learning program, and every candidate invited for a fellowship interview is welcome to apply.
Option I: Monthly income replacement
For fellows whose current income would be compromised by the fellowship’s required time commitment, beVisioneers offers a basic monthly income to help replace lost earnings.
Option II: Technology and infrastructure
For fellows lacking an adequate technology set-up, beVisoneers offers one-time funds to purchase a laptop designated for fellowship purposes and/or financial support to cover the monthly costs of home-based internet.
If you are invited to an interview, you will have the opportunity to apply for financial support at that stage of your application process. Further documents will be required for you to upload if you decide to do so.
You can find more information about the fellowship and a Q&A for applicants on the beVisioneers website.