Press Release

Press Release | Gütersloh, 09/23/2019

Bertelsmann Advocates for Europe’s Digital Future

Thomas Rabe, Bertelsmann Chairman & CEO
Sebastian Thrun, Udacity founder
Laura Weil, Udacity graduate

  • Campaign highlights opportunities of digital change and importance of tech skills
  • TV commercials, print and online ads, social media, and websites
  • Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe, Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun and startup entrepreneur Laura Weil as protagonists
  • Applications phase for scholarship program runs until 6 November
  • Hashtag #50000chances

Starting today, Bertelsmann is running an extensive image campaign to highlight the opportunities offered by digital change and the increasing importance of technological expertise. In TV commercials, print and online advertisements, social media and on its own landing page, the international media, service and education company will highlight the importance of digital knowledge for individuals and an increasingly digital society as a whole. The background is an extensive scholarship program that Bertelsmann launched earlier this month: In cooperation with the online learning platform Udacity, the company will be giving away nearly 50,000 tech scholarships over the next three years for courses in Cloud, Data and Artificial Intelligence.

The campaign centers around Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe, Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun, and the startup entrepreneur and Udacity graduate Laura Weil. They advocate for seeing the transformation to digital as an opportunity, and for improving one‘s own qualifications for the digital future.

Bertelsmann Chairman & CEO Thomas Rabe emphasizes: “Digitalization offers exciting change – and we want to be the ones to actively shape it. At the same time, it is our responsibility to empower as many people as possible to be successful in the digital world, and to support policymakers in this.”

Karin Schlautmann, Executive Vice President Corporate Communications of Bertelsmann, says: “Our campaign in a modern look is designed to draw attention to how greatly our working world is influenced by new technologies, and how skills in these emerging areas are essential for every individual. Through their personal involvement and participation in the campaign, Thomas Rabe, Sebastian Thrun, and Laura Weil underline the high relevance of digital learning for companies, and for society as a whole.”

Developed by the Bertelsmann subsidiary Territory, the campaign will run in German and English. Its centerpiece consists of two video spots, mainly in black-and-white. A special landing page for the campaign provides further information. On Bertelsmann’s social media channels, the campaign will run under the hashtag #50000chances.

In recent years, Bertelsmann had already awarded several thousand Udacity scholarships as part of a cooperation with Google. The EU Commission honored the joint training program with the EU Digital Skills Award. The applications phase for the latest and to date biggest round of the scholarship program has been ongoing from the beginning of September and runs until November 6.

Udacity, headquartered in Mountain View, California, is an online learning platform that develops practical online courses in collaboration with leading tech companies. Bertelsmann is one of the company’s largest shareholders.

Further information:  or hashtag #50000chances

About Bertelsmann
Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company that operates in about 50 countries around the world. It includes the broadcaster RTL Group, the trade book publisher Penguin Random House, the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr, the music company BMG, the service provider Arvato, the Bertelsmann Printing Group, the Bertelsmann Education Group and Bertelsmann Investments, an international network of funds. The company has 117,000 employees and generated revenues of €17.7 billion in the 2018 financial year. Bertelsmann stands for creativity and entrepreneurship. This combination promotes first-class media content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world.