Strategy review commission

At the end of its strategic phase in 2013, Stiftung Mercator had its strategic orientation and the impact and methodology of its work reviewed. In view of the considerable dynamism of the 2008 to 2013 strategic phase, it seemed appropriate to obtain evaluation, advice and feedback; this was also in line with our desire as a learning organization to regularly undertake a critical examination of our work.

An independent commission commenced its work at the end of January 2013 and submitted its report to the foundation in the spring of 2014. The international commission was chaired by Otfried Jarren, vice-president of the University of Zurich, while its deputy chairman was Wolf Schmidt of PhiPolisConsult; it was also made up of the following high-level experts: Paul Brest, Stanford University, former president of the Hewlett Foundation (USA); Ute Frevert, director of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin; Jürgen Kocka, former president of the Social Science Research Center Berlin; Ratna Omidvar, president of the Maytree Foundation, Toronto (Canada); Andreas Pinkwart, dean of the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management; André Schmitz, permanent secretary for cultural affairs, Senate Chancellery Berlin, and Burkhardt Schwenker, supervisory board chairman at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, Munich.

The commission’s work did not focus on the achievement of the foundation’s individual objectives. Instead, the foundation wished to obtain an assessment of the strategy as a whole – of its “operating system”. We would like to thank the commission for the analyses, evaluations, remarks, recommendations, questions and objectives contained in its report. The Advisory Board and the management team regard the report as very encouraging. We drew on its findings when further developing our foundation strategy “Mercator 2020 – Generating Prospects, Creating Opportunities”. The commission’s analyses are also of value and interest beyond their immediate relevance to Stiftung Mercator, however, as they critically engage with questions of the legitimation, transparency and impact of foundation activities in general. The report’s publication in the form approved by the commission is thus not only imperative in the interests of transparency; it is also our way of offering other actors in foundations, academia, education and politics the chance to take advantage of the recommendations.

You can read the commission’s report (in German only) with recommendations for the further development of Stiftung Mercator’s strategy here.