We see the individual commitment of leaders as a unique lever for change. For people in positions of responsibility have a key impact on organizations and institutional structures.
This is why the Responsible Leaders Network is at the core of our work. It connects more than 1,700 Responsible Leaders across over 100 countries. Each member commits to playing an active role in shaping the network. This can include connecting with others, sharing knowledge or experiences, collaborating, and co-creating.
What characterizes the network?
We understand and envision the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Network as a community of purpose working jointly towards a more peaceful, just, and sustainable future. Members of the network are highly diverse in origin, profession, and background, yet they are united by a shared purpose to advance the goals of the UN 2030 Agenda. The network is characterized by a strong sense of belonging and trust, which is strengthened through shared experiences during our network activities. Our goal is to foster an atmosphere of friendship, mutual support, respect, and joy within the Responsible Leaders Network.
What happens within the network?
Overall, network activities include:
- Engaging in dialogue with other leaders and organizations, both locally and globally;
- Sharing knowledge, experiences, and practices;
- Co-creating and collaborating;
- Supporting other Responsible Leaders’ activities or initiatives, both financially and non-financially;
- Engaging and connecting with new approaches and movements such as social intrapreneurship/entrepreneurship, pro bono, impact investing, political innovation, etc.
Being part of the network provides its members with opportunities to connect to other global communities and movements that they can get involved in or that can help them generate change in their organizations or personal environment. For example, entrepreneurs seeking to elevate social responsibility within their company can connect with movements such as B Corporation, Sistema B, or the League of Intrapreneurs, which will support them using their own methods and tools.
These activities are facilitated by regular regional network meetings as well as other local dialogues. Every four years, the World Responsible Leaders Forum brings together large parts of the network with the goal of create new momentum in the global community.
Who can be a part of the network?
For us, a Responsible Leader is a leader who, beyond his or her professional and personal duties, works towards social change within and between societies – across communities, cultures, and countries. Before joining the network, each member of the Responsible Leaders Network has taken part in one of our immersive leadership programs that we regularly host all over the world. Participants are chosen from all walks of life: business, politics, civil society, academia, arts, media. For us, the most important thing is that they have shown the ability or strong potential to inspire others, to lead by example, to drive change and generate impact.
What is the role of the Foundation in the network?
Our role as an organization is to curate the network and facilitate the interactions and exchanges between and among the Responsible Leaders. We want to be a platform where connections can develop, grow, scale, and lead to impact. On the one hand, our input includes Foundation-driven activities, including staff and financial commitment. On the other hand, we also support activities that emerge from the regional networks (network-driven activities), based on local interests and in keeping with our mission.
We have set up a network governance featuring Network Organizers and Network Drivers for our regional networks. The Network Organizers are employees of the Foundation. They help build a regional community of Responsible Leaders and partners in line with the Foundation’s strategy. Each region also has two or more Network Drivers. They are Responsible Leaders working to help us understand and listen to the voices of other Responsible Leaders in the region. Currently, we have regional networks in Europe, the US, Canada, Brazil, India, and the MENA region.