How we work

Our work is characterized by seven basic principles which support us in achieving impact for society through our activities.

1.) We act systemically.

Our activities aim to influence the structural and institutional relationships within which our themes are embedded. Because such systemic relationships are complex and shaped by many different factors, a straightforward cause/effect mechanism is simply not sufficient here. This is what we mean by systematic impact.

2.) We work professionally.

The skills and expertise of our staff in Science and Humanities, education and international relations, as well as in our four cluster themes, form the basis for the pursuit of our objectives. Our professionalism also influences the selection of our projects: We only commit ourselfs to a particular project if the necessary competencies and practical experience are available in-house or can be acquired.

3.) We strive for long-term impact.

We invest in long-term processes of social reform and design our working methods and choose our partners accordingly.

4.) We seek cooperation.

We work together with national and international networks and institutions in the pursuit of our objectives. These include parliaments, local authorities, ministries, other foundations in Germany and abroad, schools, universities, research institutes, NGOs and think tanks and partner organizations. Such cooperation can take a variety of forms.

5.) We act flexibly.

We develop own projects or fund projects in collaboration with others. If we are convinced by pro­jects already underway in other organizations which share our objectives and wish to cooperate with us, we support these projects or further advance them together. In addition, we establish partner organizations if this appears to be a more effective or efficient means of attaining our goals. We achieve this particular form of long-term commitment with various partners and in different structures.

6.) We practice integrated communication.

Communication is an integral part of all of our activities as a foundation. We strive to provoke open debate in society.

7.) We achieve impact through evaluation and exploration.

We use a variety of instruments – from individual projects and thematic portfolios to the the foundation’s strategy as a whole – to assess the impact of our work. We are open to change and embrace new ideas and themes.