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"Diversity rocks!" Bavarian International School Celebrates 30th Anniversary

By Marko Mädge

The Bavarian International School turned its castle into a rainbow of colors to celebrate diversity and inclusion. (Photo credit: Sebastian Stiphou)

As the crowning finale of its anniversary event, the Bavarian International School (BIS) turned its castle into a rainbow of colors. With this symbol and the content of the program, BIS sent out a clear message of diversity and inclusion to the world. 2,000 guests from the internal BIS community (students, alumni, parents, teachers, and staff) and several guests of honor from politics and business attended the ten-hour, open-air event on the spacious Haimhausen campus.

The varied program ranged from an international flag parade by primary school students, demonstrations in Educational Technology - from coding to robot competitions - to live music by BIS students, football matches by alumni, art and eco-school exhibitions, street art workshops by Munich artist ELIOT or digital magic by world-famous iPad magician Simon Pierro.

"Believe. Inspire. Succeed."

"With our anniversary event, we made clear that we are a community that values diversity and inclusion. We also showed that we are a creative and innovative ‘school of the future,’ today. I am particularly pleased that our BIS community was finally able to come together again on this day and strengthen their bond," said Dr. Chrissie Sorenson, Head of School and Executive Board member of the Bavarian International School (around 1,150 students from 61 nations at two campuses in Haimhausen and Schwabing).

The day's keynote speech on innovation culture was given by the General Manager of Apple for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, Antoine Barre, who himself attended international schools. The French-born business leader emphasized that inclusion, understanding different cultures and ways of thinking, creativity, and diversity, are all essential factors for innovation and to shape and improve the world of tomorrow.scholarship is a very good example of the continuous development of our international school.

BIS also welcomed renowned experts to speak about diversity as a driving of innovation. Prof. Dr. Anna Svea Fischer (Munich University of Applied Sciences), Dr. Stefanie Nickel (Sandoz) and Heike Kammerer (IBM/Watson), as well as moderator Petra Winter (editor-in-chief of "Madame"), shared their thoughts and personal experiences. Some of the key messages shared by the women were: When origin, gender, cultural identity, age, or disability no longer play a role and an open, inclusive, and appreciative culture is lived, there is more positive tension, discourse and reflection, creativity, and new perspectives. New thinking creates innovation, which is essential in disruptive times of globalization and automation.

Goal for the future: A new center for innovation and creativity

The anniversary event also marked the start of the fundraising campaign for the planned Creativity & Innovation Centre (CIC). The new heart of the Haimhausen Campus will consist of three floors, more than 8,300 square meters, providing learning space for about 750 students, teachers, and guests. The building is designed to support the "STEAM" philosophy (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math). The total costs amount to 25 million euros. Around 1.5 million euros in sponsorship and donations will be needed to finance the project by the end of 2022. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2023, with the opening in 2026.

Late in the evening, the well-known Munich cover band Gerry and Gary provided the musical highlight, while the Haimhausen Castle shone impressively in rainbow colors.

More information and a link to the anniversary magazine available here


Marko Mädge is the Head of Communications and Public Affairs for the Bavarian International School.

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