Bosch Alumni Network
Founded in 2017, the Bosch Alumni Network brings together about 8,500 former and current fellows, grantees and employees of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and its partners and supports them as agents of change in their communities. The network contributes to an open, just, and sustainable world by convening diverse perspectives, enabling knowledge sharing and mutual support, as well as empowering members to take collective action.
With a decentralized structure and communities based on topic and region, the network connects members with common interests and different backgrounds from around 140 countries, to foster cross-sectoral exchange and international collaborations.
Members meet and exchange, learn, collaborate and support each other on the online platform www.boschalumni.net. Both the network and the platform help members not only to maintain a strong connection with each other but also with the Robert Bosch Stiftung, allowing these relationships to continue to grow even after a program ends or a funding cycle comes to a close. In this way, the network serves as a living memory of the foundation’s work as well as a sustainable way to pursue its mission for years to come.
A system of mutual support
The network benefits from varied but highly complementary contributions from different actors:
- Members contribute their diverse skills and backgrounds, as well as a shared commitment to creating impact. They support each other, organize events and trainings, and act as conveners for regions, topics, or fields of expertise.
- The Robert Bosch Stiftung provides access to its curated pool of 10,000+ impact-oriented professionals, as well as its reputation and resources.
- Together with the network members, the iac Berlin designs, develops, and constantly improves the network’s infrastructure.
These assets are integrated into a diverse range of engaging online and offline activities that enjoy a high level of participation by network members and encourage the development of trusting relationships—both of which are at the heart of any successful network.
According to an evaluation of the Bosch Alumni Network conducted by the Vienna University of Economics and Business in 2020, interaction on the member-level is diverse and international, going far beyond the scope of typical alumni work: 75% of its members are in contact with one or more other members who are not alumni of their original program at the Robert Bosch Stiftung. Also, 66% of members have made new contacts through the network.
Through a variety of different activities, members:
- build knowledge and skills;
- access resources and opportunities;
- gain legitimacy;
- receive and provide social and emotional support.
The evaluation also revealed that interaction translates into social impact: 54% of members received support in developing a new project, venture or idea; 44% started a new project or organization with other members and attribute around 25% of their success and impact to the Bosch Alumni Network.
This provides convincing evidence that the Bosch Alumni Network fulfills its goals to:
- Support and encourage individuals, e.g., through trainings and mutual learning;
- Provide capacity building in the sectors and fields where members are working;
- Address societal challenges.
The beneficial effects of the network are positively reinforced at every level. Members are inspired to engage in the network and contribute ideas, time, and content. The iac Berlin and the Robert Bosch Stiftung benefit greatly from the experiences gained from the network and reincorporate the ideas, perspectives and lessons learned back into the design of training and collaboration opportunities, as well as all aspects of their work in fulfilling their social missions.
Success stories from the Bosch Alumni Network
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