Stiftung Mercator introduced a new strategy in 2008. Going by the name of "Mercator 2013 – Inspiring Ideas. Achieving Objectives" the strategy answers the following questions:
Where are we going?
We want to be a foundation which sets objectives that reflect its competences and are related to its defined action fields and which achieves these objectives in very different ways. We focus on areas in which we can make a difference using our specific strengths and resources as a private foundation. We believe that foundations can make a very positive impact if they pursue long-term objectives relating to social change and assume the function of socio-political agents. Not only do we provide funding to our beneficiaries, we also make our network, knowledge and reputation available. We also view our activities as a long-term investment in social reform processes.
How do we intend to get there?
We intend to pursue clearly defined reformist objectives by combining socio-political advocacy with practical work. Stiftung Mercator never makes public statements on issues unless it has the relevant competence to do so. Transparency and communication are also indispensable to the achievement of our objectives.
We adopt an entrepreneurial, professional and international approach to our work. In other words, we initiate and support entrepreneurial solutions to socio-political challenges, build sustainable organizational structures (capacity building) and we orient ourselves on international benchmarks. As a private institution, our foundation is able to test out new methods and take risks in its support of non-profit ideas.
In what areas do we want to achieve things?
Our foundation is structured around our three centres of science and humanities, education and international affairs. The issues that we address are also allocated to three central themes. We have defined the following thematic clusters for all three of our centres: integration (which we understand as learning and living within a framework of diversity), climate change and arts education.
The Ruhr Region, a region where social change processes are highly advanced, is the "laboratory" where we test out new concepts for the future.