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News | Fit for leadership

Up and coming Bosch executives support social projects

The measure of good leaders is not only whether they manage their teams efficiently. Ideally, they also embody values and serve as role models for their employees. In the Bosch management circle, up and coming executives are thoroughly prepared for their future roles as leaders. Members of the circle attend training sessions and seminars, and are required to volunteer for a charitable project.


The members of the management circle at the closing event on October 27.


One of them is Simon Vogelmann: the 32-year-old is in charge of strategic software purchasing at Bosch. In his free time, he cooperated with seven other members of the management circle to organize an anniversary celebration for Primavera e.V. Attended by around 1,100 guests, the event was held at Stuttgart’s Theaterhaus on October 9. The initiative, which was founded by Bosch associates 25 years ago, has since supported disadvantaged children in 15 different countries. Primavera e.V. currently counts 950 members.












Members of the management circle at the closing presentation of social projects 


From the outset, Simon Vogelmann knew that he wanted to support this project. “I was already a member of Primavera,” he says. His active participation made him want to support the initiative even more in the future. “We are extremely fortunate, but reality is different in many parts of the world. Helping an organization that does such valuable work feels good.” In addition to sending out invitations for around 300 VIP guests, the team was also in charge of finding sponsors for food and drink, as well as for putting together comprehensive information packages.

Seven other teams also participated in non-profit initiatives across the region, for instance with the town of Gerlingen and Atrio Leonberg, an inclusion project that supports people with special needs. Another group helped a nursing home establish processes that would make laundry management more efficient and cost-effective in the future.













A Swedish chess set, produced by the Atrio inclusion project in Leonberg. 


“With this project work, up and coming specialists and executives are making an important contribution to society,” says Mariana Peters of the Human Resource Development for Corporate Sectors and Headquarters team. “At the same time, they show personal initiative and responsibility, which reflects the spirit of our company founder.” What is more, the up and coming executives get to know colleagues from other parts of the company and can build new networks. This was very important for Simon Vogelmann, too. “Working as a team was an excellent learning experience for us. It brought many different personalities together, and each of them was able to contribute their strengths. We will certainly benefit from this experience in the future.”

More information about Primavera e.V. can be found here.

More information about the Bosch management circle can be found here.

News | Primavera e.V. celebrates its anniversary

For 25 years, Bosch associates have been volunteering their time for children in emerging countries 



The Primavera – Hilfe für Kinder in Not e.V. success story shows just how much volunteering can help. In 1990, ten associates launched the initiative with the aim of helping disadvantaged children improve their living conditions and gain opportunities for a better future. Today, the organization counts 800 members and collects more than 600,000 euros in donations each year for aid projects around the world.


The story of Primavera began in the summer of 1989. At the time, the former Bosch Zünder editor Marianne Waas-Frey visited the Bosch plant in Campinas, Brazil, and was shocked by the condition of the slums nearby. On the outskirts of the São Marco favela, she discovered the “Grupo Primavera”, a private initiative that prepared the community’s girls for secondary school or occupational training. The program had been initiated by a Bosch executive’s wife. At the time, the company donated several warm meals from the site’s cafeteria each week.


To support the initiative, Marianne Waas-Frey wrote about it in the Bosch-Zünder and quickly found additional volunteers. On March 5, 1990, ten Bosch associates founded the aid organization Primavera e.V.



“Primavera is an excellent example of our associates’ sense of social responsibility,” said Volkmar Denner, chairman of the Bosch board of management. “Initiatives like this one reflect Bosch values and the wishes of our company founder. In addition to social responsibility, we are also committed to protecting our environment and the well being of our associates. Sustainability is an important cornerstone of our corporate culture.”


Child poverty exists in almost all of the world’s regions. For this reason, Primavera is active across the global south, in the emerging and developing countries of South America, South-Africa, and Asia. The organization also recently launched activities in eastern Europe. Until now, the initiative has helped more than 30,000 children secure an independent future. The company is currently supporting 37 projects at Bosch locations in 12 different countries. These projects are being run by local Bosch volunteers. All donations made by members, friends, and sponsors, as well as funds raised at events or through private initiatives, go directly toward supporting the projects.


More information on Primavera – Hilfe für Kinder in Not e.V. aid projects can be found here


Visit Primavera e.V. on Facebook

News | "This Works" - job creation ideas

Bosch experts are helping social entrepreneurs come up with job creation concepts for southern Europe 
New developments at Robert Bosch Stiftung
Ana Bella Estévez founded a school in Spain that enables female victims of abuse to discover and nurture their inner fighter, and to successfully apply it in their working lives. This concept has proven to increase women’s chances of finding jobs, and could serve as a role model for other countries. Estévez was one of 15 social entrepreneurs who recently presented their innovative training concepts at the “GlobalizerX on Employment” conference. The event was hosted by Ashoka, a non-governmental organization. 
In cooperation with Robert Bosch Stiftung, Ashoka launched the “This Works!” project in 2014. The initiative aims to fight high youth unemployment in southern Europe. As Ashoka Fellows, social entrepreneurs from around the world are further developing ideas that have succeeded in their home countries, and they are receiving the support of experts along the way. Thomas Heinz and Dr. Alfred Odendahl are among them: the former Bosch executives held high-level positions in HR management and are now working for their former employer as Senior Experts. During the conference, they discussed the Ashoka Fellows’ ideas and provided detailed advice to several young entrepreneurs who were selected beforehand.
“Our common goal is to turn good ideas into business models and local pilot projects into concepts that can be implemented around the world. The aim is to come up with fast and effective job creation projects,” said Dr. Odendahl. “Youth Unemployment in Europe”, a study recently commissioned and published by Robert Bosch Stfitung, shows that there are serious gaps in occupational training schemes in Italy, Portugal, and Spain. These gaps could be closed if politics, business, and civil society cooperated to find solutions. 
In most cases, social enterprises need to be professionalized before they can grow. This includes establishing risk management measures and building relationships with large companies that can support innovative concepts. In this regard, discussions with the Senior Experts proved helpful for Sandra Schürmann and Lukas Harlan. The founders of the “Projektfabrik” initiative have developed an educational theater program that helps youth without occupational training find jobs or apprenticeships. Dr. Alfred Odendahl convinced the two social entrepreneurs that Bosch could also be a potential employer for these young adults.
More information on “This Works!” can be found here

News: UWC Robert Bosch College opens in Freiburg

Environmental topics are the focus of Germany's first United World College

New developments at Robert Bosch Stiftung


UWC Robert Bosch College opened on September 23 in Freiburg. Starting immediately, 200 talented upper-secondary level students from all over the world are completing their International Baccalaureate, a diploma that is recognized around the globe. In its inaugural year, 100 students from more than 70 countries will be graduating from the college.


The United World College (UWC) concept is unique in that students are selected by independent national committees purely on the basis of their suitability, personality, and talent. Moreover, full scholarships ensure that their parents’ income level is irrelevant. The opening of the 13th UWC was made possible by Robert Bosch GmbH and Robert Bosch Stiftung,  which provided funding for the college and is covering the lion’s share of operating costs.


Promoting education in the spirit of company founder Robert Bosch


“This concept makes United World Colleges unique around the world,” said Ingrid Hamm, the managing director of Robert Bosch Stiftung. “It perfectly reflects the wishes of Robert Bosch, who was committed to promoting education within his company and beyond.”


Environmental topics will be an integral part of the curriculum at UWC Robert Bosch College. In particular, teachers will be focusing on the ways in which technology can contribute to sustainable development and peace. “Until now, the technical progress of our civilization has had a negative impact on our surroundings,” said Christoph Bosch, the grandson of Robert Bosch and a doctor of forestry. “However, we need technology that is not only beneficial for humankind, but also for our environment. Otherwise, we will destroy our natural habitats.”


More information on UWC can be found here

Special: Education for life

The Education for All Global Monitoring Report points out that education helps people to free themselves from the poverty trap and lead independent lives.



However, providing equal access to education for children all over the world is still a long way off. Following this path requires commitment from business and society, as well as political action. Our new online special highlights the work of Bosch foundations in Germany, the United States, India, Brazil and China in order to support local education projects.


Click here to read our online-special in English