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Ursula von der Leyen welcomes the launch of the Business Council for Democracy (#BC4D)

Dear *|F:NAME|*,

Today in Frankfurt, Germany, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has welcomed the new democracy-initiative Business Council for Democracy (BC4D), created by the non-profit Hertie Foundation, the Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, Germany gGmbH (ISD Germany). 

The BC4D links companies, trade unions and associations that want to make a substantial contribution to maintaining social peace in the digital age. For this purpose, the BC4D will create a free, low-threshold and cross-generational approach for adult employees in order to strengthen digital citizenship. This closes a significant gap in demand, as most programs for acquiring democracy-relevant media skills have so far been aimed either at young people or at multipliers, but not at a cross-section of the population.

The BC4D launches with its own office in Berlin that is affiliated with ISD, a leading international organisation in the field of research into and combating polarisation and extremism.

Ms. Ursula von der Leyen emphasizes the BC4D rationale in a welcome video message broadcast at this year's ZEIT Economic Forum: “Businesses benefit from social peace, not only in the company, but in society as a whole. So why shouldn't businesses play an important role in strengthening our democracy?"

The BC4D will be introduced for the first time at the ZEIT Economic Forum by the chairman of the board of the non-profit Hertie Foundation, Dr. Frank-Jürgen Weise, who will discuss the initiative with Huberta von Voss-Wittig, Managing Director of ISD Germany, in the panel "Fighting Extremism - What Business Can Do."

Against hatred and disinformation

The BC4D is committed to political neutrality. The aim is to promote knowledge and skills in the areas of online hate speech, disinformation and conspiracy theories in order to strengthen resilience against online harms and to enable more people to move independently, more safely and better informed through the digital information landscape.

The curriculum will be developed by the education experts at ISD, in cooperation with leading German experts. It will be tested in a pilot phase with companies in the coming spring with the aim of scaling the curriculum from summer 2021. This project is also supported by the Federal Association of German Employers' Associations (BDA). 
 

For more information, contact:

Mona Mann, Gemeinnützige Hertie-Stiftung, mannm@ghst.de, +49 69 660 756 157                   
Michael Herm, Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, presse@bosch-stiftung.de, +49 711 46084 290                    
Birte Siedenburg, ISD Germany gGmbH, bs@isdglobal.org

 

About the partners

Gemeinnützige Hertie Stiftung

The work of the Hertie Foundation focuses on two main themes: researching the brain and strengthening democracy. The foundation's projects set exemplary impulses within these two issues. The focus is always on the people and the concrete improvement of their living conditions. The non-profit Hertie Foundation was established in 1974 by the heirs of the department store owner Georg Karg, and is now one of the largest ideologically and entrepreneurially independent foundations in Germany.

Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH

The Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH is one of the large business-associated foundations in Europe. In its non-profit work, the foundation takes up on social issues at an early stage and develops exemplary solutions. To do this, the Robert Bosch Stiftung develops and carries out its own projects. It also supports third party initiatives that match its objectives. The Robert Bosch Stiftung operates in the fields of health, science, education, civil society as well as international understanding and cooperation. Since its foundation in 1964, the Robert Bosch Stiftung has spent around 1.8 billion euros on charitable work.

Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD)

ISD is a London-based, international "think & do" tank with a subsidiary in Berlin (ISD Germany). ISD analyzes the digital amplification of polarisation and extremism worldwide. For 15 years, the non-profit organization has advanced the implementation of evidence-based political and operational responses to these threats and developed sustainable soft-power strategies that oppose the propaganda machines of populist and extremist state and non-state actors. Based on innovative analysis, ISD develops projects that help politicians, companies, citizens and local influencers protect democracy, their communities or themselves from these threats.
 

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