Mercedes-Benz is funding a global fellowship that will provide training and scholarships to thousands of young people from around the world to implement their projects in the areas of environmental sustainability and decarbonization. To provide the seed money for the fellowship, Mercedes-Benz auctioned the world’s most valuable car, a 1955 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé, for a record price of €135 million.
Renata Jungo Brüngger, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG for Integrity and Legal Affairs: “As a global company and luxury brand, our responsibility does not end at our factory gates. Donating proceeds from the auction of the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé – the most valuable car in history – gives us the opportunity to support something even more valuable: sustainable change. beVisioneers aims to create a relevant impact, one that benefits its young participants, their local communities and the environment. We are very proud to fund this unique initiative, which empowers a new and diverse generation of innovators. We wish all fellows every success as they make their visions a reality,”
About the Fellowship
Mercedes-Benz will fund the programme on a yearly basis by way of donations and additionally act as the title sponsor. The DO School Fellowships, a German non-profit organization, developed the concept for beVisioneers and is now implementing it. Following a first call for fellow applications in January 2023, beVisioneers will be launched in June 2023 with an initial cohort of fellows from three regions: India, South Africa and some European countries (Germany, Poland, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, UK).
In the coming years, beVisioneers will scale up to support up to 1,000 young people per year. beVisioneers fellows will be 16 to 28-year-old innovators who have promising ideas for sustainability projects. They will come from diverse backgrounds and be selected by The DO School. To be selected for the programme, applicants will have to present a viable project idea with the potential to make a measurable positive impact on the environment and, ideally, on the applicant’s local community.
The fellowship includes access to project funding and a financial stipend, if required. Above that, The DO School experts will provide the fellows with a comprehensive 12-month intensive training and skills development program focused on leadership, entrepreneurship and sustainability. During this 12-month hybrid-learning period, the fellows will also be matched with a personal mentor, while experts selected by The DO School will contribute their knowledge and skills in one-to-one or group meetings.
Mentoring and expert support will continue after the first year as part of the fellows’ ongoing project and leadership development. The long-term goal of beVisioneers is to build an inclusive and effective global community of fellows, mentors and experts, working together at eye level to achieve positive environmental change.
Mercedes-Benz Corporate Citizenship Strategy
As a corporate citizen, Mercedes-Benz wants to make tangible contributions to society worldwide. In 2022, Mercedes-Benz refined its corporate citizenship strategy and developed a holistic approach based on the company’s principles. The beVisioneers fellowship programme will promote sustainability and social cohesion through education – and thus reflect important elements of the Mercedes-Benz corporate citizenship strategy.
Seed capital from auction of 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé
In May 2022, Mercedes-Benz auctioned one of two ultra-rare 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupés from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Collection to a private collector for €135 million. The decision to sell the sports car was taken with very sound reasoning – to benefit a good cause. Named after its creator and chief engineer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé is considered by automotive experts and enthusiasts worldwide to be one of the most outstanding examples of automotive construction and design.
> Mercedes-Benz donates proceeds from the auction of a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé to fund beVisioneers: The Mercedes-Benz Fellowship > Global fellowship programme to scale up to support up to 1,000 young people per year to develop and launch projects offering measurable benefits to the environment and society > Initial phase of the fellowship to be rolled out in three regions – India, South Africa and several European countries; applications from young people from these countries now possible > Independent German non-profit organization The DO School Fellowships developed and is implementing the programme