The aim of the prize is to provide start-up funding for sustainable ideas and social projects. At the same time, students and alumni of the Brandt School can show with their initiatives what they have learned in the Master's programme. What is new this time is that people without a direct connection to the Brandt School can also apply, provided they find a "Brandt School Partner" (students or alumni) who will join the project.
Willy Brandt himself was a driver of social change, which is clearly reflected in his social and political reforms. He was convinced that politics serves no purpose if politicians do not have a clear goal in mind when they make policy.
The multicultural, diversity-oriented environment of the Brandt School offers students the opportunity to develop new social projects as part of the Commitment Award - in Erfurt and worldwide. Since 2014, not only current students but also alumni can apply for the Commitment Award.
Every year, a jury of experts selects three winners after closely evaluating the projects and is guided by the following key questions: How charitable is the project? How much potential and sustainability does the project have? Is the prize money used responsibly and effectively? Is the project likely to be implemented?
In the past nine years, 21 projects have received prize money of 1000 and 2500 euros. For example, the project of Julia Oestreich, whose idea "Weaving for Independence" empowers women in Sri Lanka to produce and sell their own textiles through workshops. Or Marufa Akater's "Open Sky School", which gives homeless children in Bangladesh's capital Dakha free access to education. Matenjay Sherrif, winner of the Commitment Award 2017, promotes Liberian youth through sport with her project "The Ballon Dieu Youth Football Club". And "Sharing Living" advocates intergenerational exchange through shared housing.
Interested parties can still register their idea for the Commitment Award 2021 until 11 April. The best three projects will again be awarded 1000 euros each, which will be used for the further development and implementation of the project idea.
This year's award ceremony will take place on 17 June 2021.