Swarovski Foundation launches sustainability grant for young creatives with UN



  • Swarovski Foundation Institute: Creatives for Our Future is an international program with the UN Office for Partnerships to identify and accelerate the next generation of creative talent who demonstrate awareness, technologies and solutions for social and sustainable development
  • Global grant program launches with four-week open call for submissions from diverse, young talent (18-25) across creative disciplines including fashion, art, design, architecture and engineering
  • Selected grantees will receive a bursary, personal mentorship, educational training and industry networking access in support of their developing practices, and will be invited to present in September 2021 – around the high-level segment of the UN General Assembly – with the program commencing in December 2021

The Swarovski Foundation announces the launch of Swarovski Foundation Institute: Creatives for Our Future, a new global grant program designed with advisor the United Nations Office for Partnerships to identify and accelerate the next generation of creative leaders in sustainability.

SFI: Creatives for Our Future commences with a four-week open call to all creatives worldwide aged 18 to 25 from disciplines including fashion, design, art, architecture, science, technology and engineering – with no limit to creative medium. Successful applicants will have a keen interest in, demonstration of, or exemplary potential to use the creative process to accelerate awareness, technologies or solutions for sustainable development. The Swarovski Foundation aims to draw in a diverse pool of applicants from across the globe and bring new voices and perspectives to the creative process.

Selected grantees will receive financial support to further their practice and design new pathways for a better world. The funding is paired with an educational program in collaboration with top international institutions, tailored mentorship and industry networking connections with guidance from the Swarovski Foundation. Each participating mentor, leaders in their field, will represent the broadest range of creative disciplines from fashion and art to technology and science. Throughout the program, grantees will be provided support to develop the innovations and practices outlined in their applications and drive progress toward the Decade of Action to Deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The grantees will be invited to present in September 2021 – around the high-level segment of the UN General Assembly – and 2021 was declared the International Year of the Creative Economy for Sustainable Development by the United Nations.

Nadja Swarovski comments: “We are incredibly proud to launch the Swarovski Foundation Institute: Creatives for Our Future program with the United Nations Office for Partnerships and as part of our ongoing mission to foster education, creativity and a sustainable future. This ground-breaking program will empower the next generation of creative talent to unlock innovative new approaches to our global sustainability challenges and drive progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Annemarie Hou, acting Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Partnerships highlights the importance of engaging the creative sector, explaining: “In 2021, the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, we must work together to amplify the creativity and talent of young leaders. The Creatives for Our Future programme by the Swarovski Foundation Institute is a trailblazing initiative that is keeping the promise of the SDGs.”

Further details on the program, application process and grants can be found on www.sfcreatives.org. Worldwide applications will be accepted from March 9th to April 9th, 2021. Successful grantees and a complete list of mentors and master teachers will be announced on April 21st to coincide with UN World Creativity and Innovation Day.

KEY DATES: SFI: Creatives for Our Future

  • March 9th 2021 / Registration and applications open at sfcreatives.org
  • April 9th 2021 / Application deadline
  • April 21st 2021 / Selected grantees and mentor, and master teachers announced, UN World Creativity and Innovation Day
  • September 2021 / SFI: Creatives for Our Future grantees invited to present around the high-level segment of the UN General Assembly
  • December 2021 / Program commences, case studies and report of collective progress released.


Swarovski Foundation Institute: Creatives for Our Future builds on Swarovski’s rich heritage of expertise in engineering and design, and history of supporting talents such as Christian Dior, Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan, Zaha Hadid, Mary Katrantzou, Kevin Germanier and Jiminez Lai, as well as working closely with institutions and young creatives dedicated to sustainable practices. The Swarovski Foundation has further extended this DNA through cultural, education and advocacy collaborations addressing human rights, environmental issues, inequality and wellbeing.

The program leverages the Swarovski Foundation’s exceptional position to combine investment and education with a stakeholder network crossing borders and industries. It will harness the unique critical thinking and problem-solving abilities of young creatives in this pivotal era. Creative expression is a vehicle for evolution – not only for concepts and products, but also for changes in thinking and behavior.



The Swarovski Foundation was set up in 2013 by Nadja Swarovski to honor the philanthropic spirit of Daniel Swarovski, who founded the crystal business 125 years ago in the Tyrolean Alps. It reinforces the company’s commitment to philanthropy and charitable giving.

The Swarovski Foundation’s mission is to build on this heritage by supporting charitable initiatives and organizations working in three areas: fostering culture and creativity, promoting human empowerment and preserving the environment.

The Foundation funds educational charities and institutions working across fashion, jewelry and design, promotes gender equality by working with organizations that empower young people and address the challenges facing women around the world, supports organizations that promote the conservation, protection and improvement of wildlife and the natural world, and seeks to bring to philanthropic projects structure and good governance to ensure positive and long-lasting social impact.



The United Nations Office for Partnerships is your global gateway to connect and co-create partnerships to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals. UN Partnerships seeks to mobilize everyone, everywhere; demand ambition and accountability to act now to deliver the SDGs. UN Partnerships works globally, regionally and in countries—to transform the world through SDG partnerships—for people and for the planet.


The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.



  • The Swarovski Foundation was founded in 2013 by Swarovski Foundation Chairperson and Swarovski Executive Board Member Nadja Swarovski and works across three pillars:
    • Supporting Culture and Creativity (Education)
    • Promoting Human Empowerment
    • Preserving the Environment
  • Its purpose furthers Swarovski founder Daniel Swarovski’s belief that, “To achieve lasting change, you must think not only of yourself but also of others.”
  • The Foundation supports the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the blueprint for a better world set out by the United Nations in 2015, with particular focus on goals 4 (Quality Education), 5 (Gender Equality), 13 (Climate Action), 14 (Life Below Water), 15 (Life on Land) and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).
  • The Foundation has supported over 50 organizations and 500,000 people across 40 countries since 2013.
  • Partners include The Nature Conservancy, Waterkeeper Alliance, Conservation International, NEST, Women for Women International, the United Nations Population Fund, Design Museum London, Teach for Austria, Room to Read, Jane Goodall Institute, Central Saint Martins, and the Whitechapel Gallery.
  • The Swarovski Foundation has offices in London, New York, and Wattens, Austria. Swarovski Foundation Trustees include Chairperson and Swarovski Executive Board Member Nadja Swarovski, former US Ambassador to Austria Helene von Damm, UCLA Professor and Producer Teri Schwartz, founder of Natural State Jonathan Baillie, Creative Consultant Mimma Viglezio, founder of the Conduit Paul van Zyl, and Marisa Schiestl-Swarovski.

The Swarovski Waterschool is a community investment program with global digital learning materials and locations in the United States, Austria, Thailand, Brazil, China, India and Uganda that teaches children around the world about sustainable water use. It was founded in 2000 and has educated over 500,000 children: www.swarovskiwaterschool.com

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