Carl Bertelsmann Prize
Award for creativity: The Carl Bertelsmann Prize
The Carl Bertelsmann Prize honors innovative ideas and exemplary solutions to pressing social issues. Named after the founder of Bertelsmann AG, the €150,000 prize is awarded annually. Its mandate is to "go beyond what we know" and learn from the best in the world, and exactly this international perspective is what sets it apart from other awards.
Timeline: History of the Carl Bertelsmann Prize
International studies show that in Germany, as almost nowhere else, educational success is related to social background. Almost half of all children from families whose incomes are in the top 25 percent nationwide attend top-level secondary schools, compared to only 10 percent of those from the lowest quartile. This is especially true of young people from immigrant families. Such educational dislocations are a waste of talent and cause of frustration. As a result, the 2008 Carl Bertelsmann Prize wants to highlight best practices making it possible to individually promote children of immigrant families.more
Winner: Citizenship Foundation, United Kingdom.
Special Prize: Topic-Oriented Project for Social Engagement (TOP SE), Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Civic engagement is a valuable resources for both individuals and society at large. Yet the opportunities for acquiring the know-how and values associated with it early in life are limited. Given social shifts, families are gradually losing their place as a learning venue, and childcare centers and schools do not have sufficient resources for imparting such knowledge. The goal of the 2007 Carl Bertelsmann Prize is therefore to identify international best practices that have significant potential for improving the overall structural and socioeconomic conditions for promoting civic engagement among Germany's children and young people.
Winner: Finland's National Program on Aging Workers, which brings together employers, unions, trade associations and academics to improve working conditions for older employees.
In using the 2006 Carl Bertelsmann Prize to highlight the topic “Active aging in economy and society,” the Bertelsmann Stiftung wants to help society achieve a clear paradigm shift and rewrite the standard career biography to include greater diversity over a longer period of active participation. We must change our course and attitudes on many levels: in policymaking, in unions and management, within businesses and in each individual.
Winner: Hauptschulmodell, Hamburg, Germany
Particularly as we transition into the information society of the 21st century, constantly developing and maintaining our employability will be more important than ever. It will require every individual to show a high degree of personal initiative and responsibility in planning his or her own life path. At the same time, helping young people to obtain the knowledge and skills to become employable will be one of the greatest challenges for the business community and society at large. This is especially true in areas where mentoring and the integration of young people into changing job markets cannot succeed on its own.