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Bosch India supports education programs for underprivileged children
In cooperation with the Primavera children’s charity, the SRGVVK Trust School in Bengaluru, India aims to give children from a poor background access to education and a safe environment. More than 130 children of various ages have already enrolled and are receiving an education. Donations pay for teachers’ salaries, school uniforms, and educational material. For example, the SRGVVK Trust participates in the Bosch “Lab in a Box” project, which provides students with boxes of instructive material for math and science. The school also provides day care and one warm meal a day for small children.
Three pillars of social engagement
In India, Bosch helps people in need on three levels. Along with Primavera, the organization funded by Bosch associates, this includes the Bosch India Foundation, which supports rural development. In addition to this, the various divisions champion social causes directly in the adjacent communities. Here, Bosch focuses on issues of hygiene and health at state schools as well as neighborhood projects near Bosch locations. Initiatives for school drop-outs, such as the BRIDGE program (Bosch’s Response to India’s Development and Growth through Employability Enhancement), are another focus of the company’s community work. “We deeply care about vocational training for young people – especially for those that don’t finish school,” says Dr. O.P. Goel, General Manager Corporate Social Responsibility at Bosch India. “We try to make these young people fit for the labor market.” More than 10,000 young people have found employment with the help of BRIDGE since 2013.
Help for children in need
The Primavera charity, founded by Bosch associates in 1990, helps disadvantaged children break out of the cycle of poverty. About 1,000 children in need benefit drom Primavera's engagement in India through 11 different projects. Volunteers in 15 countries across the world guide more than 30,000 children on their path to an independent life.
More information about the charitable activities of Bosch and Primavera in India can be found here
Bosch establishes new division for digital mobility services
By 2025, there will be more than 470 million connected vehicles on the world’s roads. Bosch is driving this transition forward with the founding of its new Connected Mobility Solutions division. In the future, some 600 associates will develop digital mobility services and bring them to market. “Not only will connectivity fundamentally change the way we get from A to B, it will also help solve today’s traffic problems. With it, our vision of emission-free, stress-free, and accident-free mobility will become reality,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the Bosch board of management, at the recent Bosch ConnectedWorld 2018 IoT conference in Berlin.
Dr. Volkmar Denner, Chairman of the Board of Management of Robert Bosch GmbH, holding a keynote speech at the Bosch ConnectedWorld 2018
Ride sharing made easy
Among other things, the future division will focus on digital solutions that promote ride sharing. By 2022, the number of people using ride sharing services around the world is expected to increase by 60 percent, to 685 million. Until now, services have mainly been geared toward people who decide to travel in the same direction on short notice. Companies and commuters have not been the main focus. However, these are precisely the groups that Bosch is targeting with Splitting Fares Inc. (SPLT), a start-up it recently acquired. The SPLT team has developed a platform that allows companies to organize ride sharing. Within seconds, an algorithm matches drivers and passengers, calculates the fastest route, and handles coordination between participants. This saves time, reduces costs, and helps protect the environment.
Smart electric vehicles
After Berlin and Paris, the Bosch subsidiary COUP is launching its e-scooter sharing services in Madrid this year. As many as 3,500 electric scooters will thus soon be on the streets of three European capitals. What is more, an intelligent system comprising connected components and innovative service solutions will soon make e-mobility part of everyday life. With “system!e”, for instance, the electric car knows exactly when it will run out of power. To ensure a reliable range forecast, the application takes vehicle data such as battery status and energy consumption into account, and also analyzes driving style and information from the vehicle’s surroundings. Moreover, “system!e” can plan charging along the route ahead of time and handle payments accordingly.
More information on Bosch connected mobility services can be found here
Impressions of Bosch ConnectedWorld 2018 can be found here
Bosch is launching a bicycle leasing initiative for associates
Among other things, cycling is fast, eco-friendly, and healthy. These are some of the reasons why Bosch has decided to launch an e-bike leasing initiative that will allow associates to get bicycles and e-bikes directly through the company starting in February 2018. The new initiative is part of the works agreement that Bosch concluded with associate representatives. The mobility and well-being offer applies to more than 100,000 associates in Germany, who can now choose their bicycles or e-bikes from one of 4,000 specialist dealers. Bosch then handles the leasing contract details, and the bicycles can be used for personal or work-related purposes. “With this mobility offer, we want to contribute to improving urban air quality and promote the health of our associates,” says Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH.
More than ten million of Germany’s commuters travel less than ten kilometers to get to work. In such instances, the bicycle is the fastest – and cleanest – mode of transportation. Ten times more CO2 is produced with a ride on public transit that on a bicycle. Bicycle leasing thus contributes to improving air quality in cities. More than half of Germany’s population already considers the e-bike a good alternative to the car, and the German Federal government aims to increase the share of bicycles in road traffic to 15 percent by 2020, up from 12 percent today.
Cycling is healthy
People who ride their bicycles to work also keep fit. According to a British study, commuters who cycle to work reduce the risk of heart attack by 46 percent compared with people who drive their cars or take the train. The combination of physical activity and fresh air strengthens the immune system, improves concentration and responsiveness, and generally has a positive effect on brain activity. Moreover, endurance sports also stimulate the production of serotonin and endorphins, which are known to stimulate happiness, and this helps prevent mental illness.
More information on the topic of bicycle leasing at Bosch can be found here
Bosch relies on virtual networks of experts
In the connected world, an agile organization with active networks of experts is decisive for success. This is why Bosch is one of the first large companies in the world to use the “Working out Loud (WOL) program, which aims to connect associates with one another and further develop their skills. “The digital transformation is also a cultural transformation,“ says Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH. “With Working Out Loud, we are promoting digital cooperation, enhancing our learning and working culture, and thus also increasing our innovative strength.”
Working Out Loud aims to make work visible and promote knowledge sharing. It comprises a peer coaching program, within which “Circles” of four to five associates cooperate for twelve weeks on a task they have selected themselves. Over the course of the program, participants build their own personal networks of experts and use external social media channels as well as the internal Bosch Connect social business platform. “Building a network with Working Out Loud does not mean collecting random contacts,” says Katharina Krentz, an expert for digital cooperation at Bosch. “It means learning how to connect with experts in a targeted manner and building stable relationships that can help find answers to specific questions and drive things forward.”
From a network to a start-up incubator
Dennis Böcker, who oversees IT innovation at Bosch, is among the associates who have benefited from WOL. His task was to establish a co-creation space in the United States to seize the opportunities of the Internet of Things (IoT). “The challenge was huge. I didn’t have access to the authorities or to start-ups,” he says. To reach his goals, he thus cooperated with a group. “My Circle partners not only shared their knowledge with me. Thanks to them, I also gained access to the mayor of Chicago and the start-up scene.“ As a result of cooperation in the network, the initial idea of a co-creation space developed into the Chicago Connectory start-up incubator.
A prize-winning concept
Bosch contributed to WOL’s further development in cooperation with John Stepper, who invented the concept. In 2015, the company established its first Circle. Since then, more than 1,000 Bosch associates from over 40 countries have taken part in the program. In cooperation with other companies, Bosch also initiated the WOL Community of Practice. The aim was to develop the method further and make it accessible to as many companies as possible. In 2017, the work of Bosch and other members of WOL was honored with Germany’s HR Excellence Award in the “Employee Management and Collaboration” category.
An interview about WOL with Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH, can be found here.
Bosch talks about gender equality at a UN conference
Although women make up half of the world’s population, in many countries they are still denied equal access to education and qualified jobs. According to a United Nations study, women in most of the 67 countries examined occupy less than a third of management positions. What is more, they spend about three times more time on unpaid household labor than men. On the basis of Sustainable Development Goal number 5, the UN has shown that it is committed to gender equality and strengthening women’s rights.
From January 10 to 12, representatives from politics, business, and civil society discussed the issue of gender equality at the annual conference of the United Nations Academic Council in Vienna. Bosch was among the private sector participants.
Successful women are making progress
In her keynote speech, Amina J. Mohammed, the deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, spoke of the importance of equal opportunity: “A lack of opportunity affects us all – both men and women. We must thus work together to eliminate inequality and achieve a fairer, more peaceful, and more sustainable world for everyone”. Christine Muttonen, the former president of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly, encouraged women to fight for their rights on the political stage. Women are in the best position to say what they need and make sure that these needs are met.
Angelika Kiessling, Head of corporate communications at Bosch Austria
Angelika Kiessling, the head of corporate communications at Bosch Austria, took part in a panel discussion, where she talked about her own career path: “To have a successful career, women must seize opportunities and clearly say what they want. Excellent performance is also decisive.” Kiessling also emphasized the importance of respect and empathy in communication – especially in times like these where companies like Bosch are undergoing major change. The focus needs to be on collaboration across disciplines and hierarchies. “An open and continuous communication across all levels is one of the major success factors for companies - especially in times of digitalization and Social Media”, Kiessling says.
Diversity is an asset
Bosch promotes a culture of diversity and appreciation, regardless of a person’s sex. Among other things, the company aims to increase its share of women in management positions to 20 percent by 2020, up from the current figure of 15.4 percent. Bosch is committed to equal pay and offers special mentoring programs for women. Moreover, the company promotes a flexible and family-friendly working culture that emphasizes results rather than workplace presence.
More information on this year’s conference of the United Nations Academic Council can be found here.