2020 Award

Responding to the special circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 Commitment Award Ceremony was filmed at the Collegium Maius in Erfurt on July 8, 2020 with only applicants and hosts in attendance. Jury members and speakers who could not be there physically were included via video messages. The ceremony was then streamed via Facebook and Youtube for the rest of the Brandt School and Engagementpreis community as well as the broader public and can be watched here.

Sophia Saller, the new Commitment Award Ambassador, who is a German U23 triathlon World Champion and holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Oxford University, held a keynote speech encouraging the audience to not be afraid to do what hasn’t been done yet. A message especially relevant for the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy’s MPP 2018-20 graduating class as they embark into a world full of possibilities, “It takes brave, hardworking and inspiring individuals to change the world one step at a time. In the past, the Commitment Award prize winners have addressed topics as fundamental as ensuring a sustainable supply of drinking water and food for communities in countries less fortunate than Germany. These are such basic human needs that we often take them for granted, when in many parts of the world they certainly are not,” Sophia said. 

Another highlight of the event was the world premiere of the short movie “Christchild”, which has been produced by students of the Willy Brandt School together with award-winning director Ado Hasanovic. The film follows the story of Aya, a 16-year-old auditioning for the esteemed role of the Christchild in the weeks leading up to Christmas. What sets Aya apart from the others auditioning is that she does not look like girls who have historically auditioned for the role: Aya is black. The film engages an important conversation about identity, integration and culture in Germany.

And of course, most importantly, the Commitment Award 2020 winners were announced: Sarah Filippi-Field and Kyaw Si Thu won the 3rd prize for their project “Yangon Playmakers: A Community Hub by and for Dagon Seikkan Township Youth” which will be implemented in Myanmar. The 2nd prize went to Consuelo Fuentes for her “Women Force” in Chile. And finally, the winners of the 1st prize are Daniela Sota Valdivia and Adriana Gonzalez Carrion with their Peru based project “Yupayta Yachasunchis: Increasing Knowledge”.

Below you can find some impressions of the evening.