Mercedes-Benz hosts first Sustainability Dialogue in India, announces ‘beVisioneers’ fellowship for young innovators

First India edition of the Sustainability Dialogue focused on driving sustainability in the mobility ecosystem and fostering collaborations towards achieving India’s sustainable development goals;

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 20 Jan 2023 Views icon4602 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Mercedes-Benz hosted the first edition of its Sustainability Dialogue in India on January 19 in New Delhi. The 2023 edition of the dialogue focused on ‘Sustainable Mobility – Accelerating Towards a Green, Inclusive and Safe Future’ to emphasise the need for decarbonising energy, industry, and mobility, and accelerating the transition toward a more sustainable future.

The India edition of the Sustainability Dialogue focused on driving sustainability in the mobility ecosystem in India and fostering collaborations and partnerships towards achieving India’s sustainable development goals.

The event saw key stakeholders and changemakers from the public and private sector as well as academia, participating in a series of pertinent conversations on global trends and recent developments with Members of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, including Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, and Renata Jungo Brungger, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG for Integrity and Legal.

Following 15 successful editions in Germany, over 250 attendees took part in the first India edition of Mercedes-Benz Sustainability Dialogue, including government representatives, policy makers, academics, corporate leaders, emerging start-ups, and ecosystem enablers. The Dialogue sought to accelerate collective transition to CO₂-neutrality and focus on responsible usage of our planetary resources.

India now part of 'beVisioneers' programme

As part of the Sustainability Dialogue India 2023, Mercedes-Benz announced its support for ‘beVisioneers: The Mercedes-Benz Fellowship’, a global programme to provide thousands of young innovators with training, mentoring, expert support, scholarships, and funding to launch their projects in the areas of environmental sustainability, and decarbonisation.

The beVisioneers programme is an initiative designed and implemented by experts of a German non-profit organisation, The DO School Fellowships, aimed at enabling young participants to pursue project ideas that will make a measurable positive impact on the local communities and the environment. Mercedes-Benz will fund the programme on a yearly basis by way of donations.

The beVisioneers fellowship programme aims to make a positive and lasting impact on the environment by identifying promising young innovators from around the world, irrespective of background, and providing them with the training, mentoring, expert support and funding to realise their local projects for sustainable action.

The seed capital for the fellowship comes from the auction proceeds of the iconic 1955 Mercedes-Benz SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé. The car was auctioned in May 2022 at a record price of 135 million euros (Rs 1,186 crore) to a private collector.

Following a first call for fellow applications beginning in January of 2023, the beVisioneers fellowship will be launched in June 2023 with an initial cohort of fellows from three regions: India, South Africa and parts of Europe including Germany, Poland, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, and the UK. Applications can be made via the beVisioneers website at In the coming years, beVisioneers will scale up to support up to 1,000 young people per year.

L-R: Santosh Iyer, MD and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India; Manu Saale, MD and CEO, MBRDI ; Renata Jungo Brüngger, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group for Integrity and Legal Affairs, Katherin Kirschenmann; founder, DO School, and Ola Kallenius, Chairman, Mercedes-Benz Group.

Announcing the support for the global fellowship programme in India, Renata Jungo Brüngger, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG for Integrity and Legal Affairs,  said:  “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. We are very happy that India is among the first few regions to be included in the programme, which is implemented by an independent non-profit organisation. We see this as a testament to the extensive capabilities of the talent pool in India to build a smart and sustainable future. We are looking forward to recognizing the exemplary ideas that emerge from this programme and its impact on local communities. We wish all fellows every success as they make their vision a reality.”

Manu Saale, CEO and MD, Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India, said, “Sustainability is one of the core values for Mercedes-Benz and we strongly believe in creating value for all stakeholder groups: for customers, employees, and investors as well as for business partners and society as a whole. With the first Sustainability Dialogue hosted in India, Mercedes-Benz reinforces its commitment to India and partners in the journey towards achieving India’s sustainable development goals.”

“We are very happy to support beVisioneers which promotes young talent at the intersection of sustainability, leadership, and innovation. It is a proud moment for us as India is among the first few countries to be included in this programme,” added Manu Saale.

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