Bertelsmann AG


Follow this timeline to see how the Bertelsmann Stiftung has grown and changed.


The Bertelsmann Stiftung is founded

Donor and FounderReinhard Mohn with his wife Liz Mohn.

“In a democracy the state must be able to rely on its citizens’ initiative and willingness to work.” Based on this belief, Reinhard Mohn founds the nonprofit Bertelsmann Stiftung on February 8, 1977. The foundation is formally established on March 14 of that year. The foundation continues in an institutionalized form the sociopolitical, cultural, and social engagement of the proprietor families Bertelsmann and Mohn. The foundation is also meant to ensure continuity within the company, which is why Reinhard Mohn makes the nonprofit foundation the majority shareholder in Bertelsmann AG.

Initial projects focus on political and corporate leadership, the media, culture, education, and the social welfare and health sector. In 1978, the first Bertelsmann Stiftung book is published, a study entitled “Communication Styles and the Book.” Given its increasing number of activities, the Bertelsmann Stiftung establishes the position of executive director on January 1, 1979, a role held by Dr. Hans-Dieter Weger until September 30, 1990. His first office is located in a two-family residence at Carl Miele Strasse 198.

Baseline study: "Communication Styles and the Book"

The goal of this intermedial study is to examine the position and significance of the book as a communications tool in the context of all other media. This means obtaining the most objective possible data for the use of books in comparison to other media, as well as identifying the subjective uses of books as viewed by their readers/users. In addition, the study is not limited to the adult population; it also includes children and youth, in order to show the importance of books as schoolbooks, textbooks and reference books. To achieve these goals, a multistage procedure is chosen, which includes group discussions, development of a questionnaire, a survey of 2,015 adults and 821 children and young people, a written follow-up survey, typology analyses and evaluations. The study findings suggest conclusions related to media policy and social policy. They confirm that the book has long since developed from the medium of a small minority to a mass medium. When examined according to age group, the findings show that the book is a medium particularly relevant to younger people. They also confirm that electronic media and reading media are not at all competitors in the sense that watching television keeps people from reading books.

Activities in Israel

In 1979, Reinhard Mohn and the president of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem inaugurate the school’s “Quality of working life” program. This is not only the first of the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s many activities aimed at supporting Israel’s schools and universities. It is also important for strengthening German-Israeli relations and promoting German-Jewish dialogue, a central aim of the Bertelsmann Stiftung. In order to improve mutual understanding through open and constructive dialogue, in 1992 the Bertelsmann Stiftung begins regularly inviting leading personalities from the global Jewish community to informal discussions with German political, business and media leaders.

Study program "Quality of Working Life" at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem

1982 symposium on "Labor Force Policy and Unemployment Prevention" at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Left to right: Reinhard Mohn, Rivka Bar-Yosef, Israel Kessar and Naftali Blumenthal.

The overarching theme for the long-term cooperation between the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Bertelsmann Stiftung is "The Quality of Working Life."  A study program developed at the university addresses individual topics such as "Humanizing Work," "Corporate Structures for Today's World," "Work Design," "Social Security for Workers" and the fundamental "Relationships between Employees and Employers." The researchers responsible for this program particularly emphasize a strong focus on practical orientation.

Move to Bertelsmann AG headquarters

In autumn 1980, the Bertelsmann Stiftung – which at this time has a staff of three: founder Reinhard Mohn, executive director Dr. Hans-Dieter Weger and his assistant, Frau Mützlitz – moves from its offices in Carl-Miele Straße 198 to the Bertelsmann AG headquarters.

Case study on the social integration of non-Germans in Gütersloh

Little research has been carried out on the integration of non-Germans, especially those living in smaller cities and towns. To redress this situation, the Bertelsmann Stiftung begins funding a study in conjunction with the city of Gütersloh, which they publish in 1981 under the title of "Integrating foreigners – Illusion or realistic possibility?" Between 1980 and 1983, the foundation sets up and funds two reading clubs for young Germans and non-Germans in Gütersloh.


Media in Schools: A project at the Evangelisch Stiftisches Gymnasium in Gütersloh

Reinhard Mohn at the Evangelisch Stiftisches Gymnasium in Gütersloh, 1986.

The cooperative alliance gradually equips the school with media to improve classroom instruction and learning. The initial intent is to gain practical experience in the still much-discussed field of media education, with the goal of exploring the opportunities and limits of working with audiovisual media in schools. Pedagogical leadership and responsibility for designing and implementing the project lie with the school authorities and faculty. The concept is developed at the school – with participation by parents and students as well as the teachers – and then written up by mutual agreement as a contract that is endorsed by the North Rhine-Westphalia Ministry of Education. The project is planned in three phases, starting with the setup of work stations. The goal is to explore using individual media, raise awareness of their educational use, and practice organizational procedures within a limited scope. Then the existing building is renovated to suit the purposes of the project. Here, the goal is to provide a wide variety of media in all disciplines and gain broad experience in the course of daily teaching and learning. The last step is to build a new school building equipped with a school library and audiovisual work stations, language laboratories, a multimedia room and an information technology department.


Uveitis is an eye disease that can lead to blindness. The Bertelsmann Stiftung has been funding studies at the University of Kiel’s ophthalmic clinic since 1981 to improve both diagnosis of this acute or chronic inflammation of the uveal tract and therapy for patients affected by the disease. Uveitis is a problem area in ophthalmology, not only because of its high incidence but also because of the difficulty of determining its cause and identifying appropriate treatment. Chronic uveitis can occur at any age, but certain age groups are more vulnerable to certain types. In 1981, in a small group study to test the curative efficacy of spending time in a warm, sunny climate, four children with uveitis and their caregivers spent three weeks in Israel at the Dead Sea. Their disease activity was recorded. After a subsequent one-year observation phase, this was compared with their disease activity before the climatotherapy. To support and facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of uveitis, but also to document the retinal findings, a special camera was purchased. The camera makes it possible to study inflammation at the front and back of the uveal tract. Support from the foundation also underwrote a comprehensive analysis of the literature regarding uveitis, with a special focus on corticosteroids, climatic therapy and pediatric uveitis.


First annual report

First Bertelsmann Stiftung annual report, 1982.

The Bertelsmann Stiftung presents its first activities report at a press conference held at Düsseldorf's Industry Club on June 22, 1982. Following an initial two- to three-year publication cycle, the activities report begins appearing once a year in 1990, providing an overview of the foundation's increasing project work.

Study: "Youth and Media"

The study "Youth and Media" provides a multifaceted picture of how contemporary teenagers and young adults relate to mass media. The young generation exhibits a sophisticated and individualized response to television, radio, records and cassette tapes, books, newspapers and movies. The study not only provides information about the extent and structure of media use but also answers questions about the functions and images of various media. It confirms that media play a central role in the daily lives of the younger generation, particularly in their free time.

Bertelsmann Stiftung introduces Advisory Council

On January 13, 1983, the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Advisory Council convenes for the first time. Its members – Prof. Friedhelm Farthmann, Dr. Eberhard Witte, Dr. Kurt Biedenkopf and publisher Dr. Gerd Bucerius – work to ensure the quality of the foundation’s project work.

Symposium: Modern Management for Top Corporate Leaders

On September 15, 1983, the Bertelsmann Stiftung hosts a colloquium on this topic. Business leaders who serve on a company’s supervisory board or board of directors take part in the discussion. Presentations regarding leadership models in German and US companies inspire discussion on possible starting points for developing dual governance bodies in German business organizations.

The topic of this colloquium is addressed in a brochure entitled "Contemporary Leadership Models for Businesses – Ideas and Suggestions" published by the Bertelsmann Stiftung.


Gütersloh City Library opens its doors

The Stadtbibliothek Gütersloh, circa 1984.

On May 4, 1984, Stadtbibliothek Gütersloh GmbH, the city’s public library, opens its doors. Designed as a user-friendly facility in three parts, it includes a new library for children and young people, a media and art lending library, and a café and browsing area.Stadtbibliothek Gütersloh GmbH originated in a partnership agreement signed by the city of Gütersloh and Bertelsmann AG on June 25, 1979. The Bertelsmann Stiftung purchased the shares owned by Bertelsmann AG in 1982. The renovation of the library, located in the city center, began in the same year.

Vascular Surgery

Liz Mohn at a demonstration of the intracranial Doppler sonograph at the Düsseldorf University Neurology Clinic, 1984. Left to right: Liz Mohn, Michael Hennerici and Hans-Peter Hartung.

Cerebrovascular disease is the third leading cause of death in Germany, behind malignant tumors and heart attacks. Despite increasing diagnosis and pharmacological options, its incidence has declined very little. In the past, identifying cerebrovascular disease required complicated and often stressful tests that also pose a risk to the patient. To contribute to the early recognition of this life-threatening disease, in 1984 the Bertelsmann Stiftung began sponsoring three research projects.

International Library Colloquium

From October 29 to November 2, 1984, the Bertelsmann Stiftung hosts a colloquium in Gütersloh on the topic "Public Libraries Now and in the Future – New Approaches to Goal-setting and Management." The program was designed by a working group of expert librarians from Germany and abroad. Addressing questions about new media, the use of computers in libraries, the support of libraries from central offices, public relations, and alternative financing opportunities for libraries rounded out the program for the colloquium. Under the leadership of experienced directors of major German city libraries, 25 library experts from Germany and elsewhere engage in a lively exchange of information and experiences. Participants included library directors, library scientists, researchers and advisors from eight countries with a tradition of libraries and with cutting-edge concepts in various library-related fields:  Denmark, France, Great Britain, Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United States and Germany. The topics listed are thoroughly addressed and explored in presentations and discussions.


Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung established

The expansion of the foundation’s project work results in a steadily growing number of publications.The Bertelsmann Stiftung founds Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung, its own publishing house, in 1985 to document its project work and share it with interested parties and the public. In 2014 the catalogue contains around 150 print titles and 230 e-books, covering the areas of education, social affairs, economics, politics and medicine, with some 20 new titles appearing each year.

Bertelsmann Stiftung employs staff of five

As of the end of 1985, the Bertelsmann Stiftung employs a staff of five.

Conference on "Placing productive resources in employees' hands"

Conference on "Placing productive resources in employees' hands" on October 17, 1985 in Hannover (left to right): Helmut Schlesinger, Wolfgang Vogt, Birgit Breuel, Klaus Bernhardt, Helmut Geiger and Klaus-Joachim Kübler.

Together with the state government of Lower Saxony and AGP, an association for promoting worker-management relations, the Bertelsmann Stiftung organizes a conference on the subject on October 17, 1985. Leading representatives from politics, business and academia gather in Hannover to discuss past experiences and new approaches.

Bertelsmann Stiftung relocates

The foundation's first headquarters on the Moltkestraße in Gütersloh, 1991.

The foundation's broadening fields of activity and the accompanying intensive project work have increased employee numbers. Having moved from its first location at Carl-Miele-Straße 198 in 1980, the foundation now finds its offices at Bertelsmann AG headquarters too small as well. In May 1986, the Bertelsmann Stiftung moves to new headquarters in downtown Gütersloh.


Dr. Kurt Biedenkopf, former secretary-general of the CDU, tapped as chair of Advisory Council

To improve the quality of the foundation's work, Reinhard Mohn forms an Advisory Council in 1983, naming Dr. Kurt Biedenkopf as the Council's first chair.

Research project "The European cultural realm – Strategies and options for the future of Europe"

To cope with new challenges in Europe and around the world, Europeans must develop closer cooperation, more efficient politics and swifter evolution of social structures. The central problem of European politics lies in boosting Europe’s decision-making capacity, which in turn requires advances in European integration. Here it is important to preserve the concept of a free society that grew out of the European tradition as well as to respect the identity of the various national and regional cultures. With this basic understanding, the Bertelsmann Stiftung initiated the project "Strategies and Options for the Future of Europe." The project's goal is to develop practical, long-term solutions for problems with an impact on different policy areas and to create a strategic proposal for addressing the issue of integration in Europe. The main concern is to ask what is politically necessary, rather than focusing solely on what seems politically feasible. By identifying such possible solutions, we aim to encourage the process of European integration while highlighting the need to formulate an overall European strategy. Thus, the project is strictly problem-oriented and intended as an avenue for policy advising.

NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Contest begins; symposium on "Culturebetween the State and Commerce"

The first International Singing Contest, October 24, 1987, in the Gütersloh Stadthalle.

The prize winners with Reinhard Mohn and jury president August Everding. From left: August Everding, Tania Christova, Nathalie Stutzmann, Andrzej Dobber and Reinhard Mohn.The NEUE STIMMEN Singing Contest gives young European opera singers the opportunity to take the stage before an audience of experts while accompanied by an orchestra, a first for such contests. Later held once every two years starting in 1991, the competition is soon established as a key event on the worldwide opera calendar. The inaugural competition brings 29 opera singers from 13 countries to Gütersloh. Contralto Nathalie Stutzmann of France takes first place, winning DM10,000. Second place (DM5,000) goes to Tanja Christova, a lyric soprano from Bulgaria. Bass/baritone Andrzej Dobber of Poland comes in third, winning DM3,000.

The Bertelsmann Stiftung hosts a symposium in tandem with the NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Contest. In 1987, Dr. Klaus von Dohnanyi; Prof. Hilmar Hoffmann, head of the cultural affairs department in Frankfurt am Main; Prof. Alexander Kluge, a filmmaker, producer and writer; Hellmuth Matiasek, director of the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz in Munich; and Reinhard Mohn discuss the topic "Culture between State and Commerce." About 200 people from cultural, political, economic and media circles participate in the symposium, which is led by Prof. August Everding.

1988: The first Carl Bertelsmann Prize recognizes innovative collective bargaining

Inaugural Carl Bertelsmann Prize ceremony on April 15, 1988, at the Parkhotel Gütersloh. Reinhard Mohn with prize winners (from left): Werner Stumpfe, Franz Steinkühler, Paul Brochier, Klaus Hochheim, Reinhard Mohn, Konrad Carl, Hermann Rappe and Karl Molitor.

The Bertelsmann Stiftung introduces the Carl Bertelsmann Prize in 1988 to recognize innovative, exemplary initiatives and solutions to key social issues. Prize winners have made an important contribution to shaping the evolution of democratic societies, particularly the institutions and structures associated with the economy and communication. The awards ceremony is held at the Bertelsmann Stiftung in Gütersloh, accompanied by a symposium on the topic for that year’s prize. The prize is named after the company founder, Carl Bertelsmann, whose entrepreneurial actions and social commitment some 150 years ago were grounded in openness, concern for results, long-term thinking and respect for humanity. The prize, which carries a cash award of DM300,000, honors the tradition of the Bertelsmann and Mohn families. The inaugural prize in 1988 recognizes the management and unions in the construction, chemical and metalworking industries for their pioneering contributions to the development of the collective bargaining system.

By awarding the prize to the IG Bau-Steine-Erden, the Hauptverband der Deutschen Bauindustrie e.V. (the main trade association for the construction industry) and the Zentralverband des Baugewerbes e.V. (the central association of the German building trade), the jury honors their many concrete achievements in areas including employee social welfare funds and retirement benefits. By bestowing the prize to the Industriegewerkschaft Chemie-Papier-Keramik (Chemistry-Paper-Ceramics Industrial Union) and the Bundesverband Chemie e.V. (a federal association representing the chemical industry), the jury highlights the crucial breakthrough in dismantling the lingering social-welfare differences between hourly and salaried employees. The award of the prize to the Industriegewerkschaft Metall (Metalworkers Industrial Union) and the Gesamtverband der metallindustriellen Arbeitgeberverbände e.V. (National Association of Employers Federations in the Metalworking Industry) serves to recognize their many innovations in collective bargaining and particularly their effective measures to provide humane working conditions. In conjunction with the awards ceremony, a symposium is held on the topic "Between Conflict and Cooperation: How Unions and Management Contribute to Moving Society Forward." Discussions center on questions about labor autonomy and collective bargaining as a sociopolitical instrument, opportunities for conflict reduction and the challenges for collective bargaining in the years ahead. The discussion among leading representatives of unions and management, experts in labor and collective bargaining law and academics, led by Professor Ralf Dahrendorf, draws on experiences in Great Britain and Switzerland.

2nd NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Contest

Liz Mohn with August Everding (chairman of the Jury) at the finals of the NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition on October 22, 1988, in the Gütersloh Community Center.

A total of 31 young opera singers from Eastern and Western Europe and the United States participate in the second international singing competition. First prize is awarded to soprano Izabela Labuda from Poland. Second place goes to Heike Thea Terjung, a lyric mezzosoprano from Germany. Coloratura soprano Ingrid Kertesi of Hungary comes in third.A symposium entitled "What Influences Determine Work in the Cultural Sector?" focuses on aspects of leadership, motivation and cost effectiveness in the realm of art and culture. Led by Prof. August Everding, participants Prof. Justus Frantz, Dr. Volker Hassemer (a pianist and director of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival), Dr. Volker Hassemer (the Berlin senator responsible for cultural affairs) and Reinhard Mohn discuss the various perspectives on this topic.

Conference on "Employee Participation, Corporate Culture and Social Partnership"

Employee participation, corporate culture and social partnership, leadership and motivation are the cornerstones of a discussion about the development of society and the economy. For private businesses and for public administration, accomplishing future tasks will require employees to share responsibility and actively shape their workplace. The challenges of international competition and the EC internal market call for an increased effort to structure the world of work more humanely. In presentations and discussions attended by more than 300 people, issues regarding employee participation and social partnership as well as their consequences for labor autonomy are discussed by Dr. Ernst Albrecht (premier of Lower Saxony), DGB chairman Ernst Breit, Walter Hirche (Lower Saxony economics minister), DAG chairman Roland Issen, Reinhard Mohn, BDA president Dr. Klaus Murmann (BDA president), Dr. Hermann Solms (financial policy spokesman of the FDP), Prof. Dieter Weidemann (first chairman of the AGP), Prof. Volker Beuthien and Prof. Horst Siebert.

Fundació Biblioteca Can Torró Alcúdia, Majorca 

The Can Torró library in the town of Alcudia, Majorca.

The Gütersloh Public Library credits its success to being both user-friendly and cost-effective. With some adjustments to suit user needs in Spain, this management concept is introduced at the Can Torró library in Alcudia. First initiated in 1987, a dialogue between the Bertelsmann Stiftung and local authorities results in collaboration in the areas of library services and promoting literacy. With the signing of an agreement establishing a new foundation on December 29, 1988, the project partners call the Fundació Biblioteca d’Alcúdia to life. The new entity opens its doors on April 23, 1990, sponsored by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the community of Alcúdia. In 1997, the local partners take over management of the facility, with the Bertelsmann Stiftung continuing its consulting support until 2002 while simultaneously financing continuing education programs and individual projects.


1989 Carl Bertelsmann Prize: Corporate Culture of Partnership

The second Carl Bertelsmann Prize is awarded to Herman Miller Inc., an American furniture manufacturer, and Volvo, the Swedish auto manufacturer. With more than 700 representatives of business, politics, science and the media in attendance at the Gütersloh City Hall, certificates are given to the companies’ chairmen, Richard H. Ruch and Dr. Pehr G. Gyllenhammar. In his keynote speech, Reinhard Mohn cites Volvo’s and Herman Miller’s many years of successfully promoting a corporate culture based on the spirit of partnership. Fulfilling all the key requirements for this kind of corporate culture, they have set an excellent example for others to follow.

3rd NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Contest

The finale of the 3rd NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Contest on November 4, 1989, at the Gütersloh Stadthalle. The prize winners on stage (from left): Bernhard Lombardo, Vesselina Kasarova and René Pape.

The success of the NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Contest in 1989 demonstrates that the competition has become a recognized event in the world of international opera. More than 140 singers apply for the competition, with sopranos alone accounting for 80 of them. For the first time, a preliminary round is necessary for this voice category, which is held in Munich in September.

For the final competition, which now lasts three days, 64 young opera singers from 21 countries travel to Gütersloh to participate. The number of participating directors, agents and music critics has also steadily increased, corroborating the event's growing recognition among experts in the field. For the third time, first prize goes to a young woman, in this case Bulgarian mezzo-soprano Vesselina Kasarova. René Pape, bass, of the German Democratic Republic, takes second place, while tenor Bernard Lombardo of France receives the third prize.

As in previous years, the singing competition closes with a symposium. This year, the topic is "Opportunities for up-and-coming singers – How modern media and the developing European cultural sphere influence their careers." In the discussion, again led by Prof. August Everding, the sad state of training for opera singers in the Federal Republic of Germany comes to the fore. The panelists are Kammersängerin Lucia Popp, Günter Hensler (president of Bertelsmann Music Group Classics, New York), Dr. Gustav Kuhn (director of the Rome Opera House) and Gérard Mortier (director of the Royal Theater in Brussels).

Koteret Journalism School: Journalism training in Israel

In 1989, the Bertelsmann Stiftung declares its intent to support the construction and operation of a journalism school in Tel Aviv. In December, the Israeli Institute of Journalism and Communication is founded as the sponsor of such a school. The Koteret School of Journalism and Communications officially opens its doors in Tel Aviv on March 21, 1991, becoming the only professional school of its kind in Israel. The school offers two courses of study: an academic discipline in combination with field-specific journalism training, and journalism training after completion of a university degree.

Reinhard Mohn becomes chairman of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Advisory Council

After Prof. Kurt Biedenkopf retires as chairman of the Advisory Council, founder Reinhard Mohn takes that position.

1990 Carl Bertelsmann Prize – Evolution in Higher Education

The choice of topic for the 1990 Carl Bertelsmann Prize is meant to bring new momentum to higher-educational reform in Germany. The recognition of exemplary initiatives pinpoints opportunities to develop effective, progressive policies and work at the post-secondary level. In particular, western universities exhibit growing quantitative dimensions  in that regard. The increasing differentiation, complexity and interdisciplinary nature of the academic content to be taught and the requisite branches of knowledge place new and special demands on the higher education system.

These apply equally to the relationship among the state, society and the university, to the university as an institution and to the constitution and leadership of universities.

Based on extensive research, the 1990 Carl Bertelsmann Prize is awarded to the University of Warwick in Coventry, UK, in recognition of its exemplary implementation of fundamental educational principles at the university level. Also awarded the prize are Professor Arnfinn Graue and Magne Lerheim, both from the University of Bergen in Norway, for their exceptional efforts in shaping effective higher-education environments and policies.

Conference in Rome: "Europe's Future – A Continent's Culture and Constitution"

Conference on "Europe's Future – A Continent's Culture and Constitution" on October 17, 1990. Reception at the Quirinal Palace in Rome. Group photo with Liz and Reinhard Mohn and President Francesco Cossiga of Italy.

The conference's "European Constitution" working group drafts a proposal for Europe's future that includes normative and practical criteria for creating a constitution. Just before the European summit, more than 150 representatives from politics, business, academia and the media engage in discussions moderated by Prof. Werner Weidenfeld to consider the European Community's future prospects. Senate President Giovanni Spadolini, Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti and Foreign Minister Gianni De Michelis – the foremost figures of Italian politics – participate as speakers. Also speaking are the Catalan President Jordi Pujol, former Belgian prime minister Leo Tindemans and Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture. The second major topic for the conference is the future of European culture as the continent's unwritten constitution. Conference participants address the relationship between sociopolitical change and preserving cultural identity, the emergence of a "cultural European market" and the practical requirements for a European cultural policy. The Bertelsmann Stiftung has provided a basis for discussion for this issue as well by the professors Hermann Lübbe, Werner Maihofer and Joseph Rovan.

Media education project at Athens Academy in Georgia, USA

Signing the agreement with the Athens Academy on Oct. 11, 1990: Reinhard Mohn (left), Dr. Hans-Dieter Weger, John J. Wilkins and J. Robert Chambers, Jr. In order to promote media education in an international context, a second pilot project is initiated in cooperation with the Athens Academy in Athens, Georgia, USA. 

Within the setting of an American school, the project tests effective use of media in the classroom in order to help students develop the skills required for the information age. The schedule for the six-year project is divided into several phases. In phases 1 and 2, the concepts for the areas of promoting literacy, media didactics, media analysis and media education are developed. In addition, the project is integrated into the school's existing goals and faculty members attend continuing education seminars at the school and elsewhere to prepare for their new duties. As a result, a computer training room is set up in the middle school and a "smart classroom" is created in the upper school, with technology offering a wide variety of possibilities for trying out media-supported instruction. These spaces supplement the functions of a media library to be built starting in the summer of 1992. The centerpiece of this Media Library Center will be a generously equipped library of books. The attached workrooms will include a language lab, a computer department, a video studio, a production room for print media, a media analysis room and an auditorium that can be used for plays and for media presentations.

Horst Teltschik becomes CEO

Horst Teltschik at his desk in 1992, signing his book, 329 Days.

Horst Teltschik, a longtime advisor to German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, takes the helm of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board on January 1, 1991.

Our new home at Carl-Bertelsmann-Straße 256

Topping-out ceremony for Pavilions 1 and 2 of the Bertelsmann Stiftung in Gütersloh on November 8, 1990.

As project work expanded and the number of employees grew, the Bertelsmann Stiftung building soon outgrew its headquarters in downtown Gütersloh. In June 1991, the Bertelsmann Stiftung moves to a new building across from the Bertelsmann AG corporate headquarters.

4th NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Contest

Together with Prof. August Everding, president of the Deutscher Bühnenverein (the German Theater and Orchestra Association), the Bertelsmann Stiftung hosts the 4th NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Contest in October 1991. Now recognized worldwide, this event gives young opera and operetta singers the opportunity to launch their international careers. The organizers provide an excellent showcase for their talents: In addition to nearly all theater and orchestra directors across Germany, who hold their annual conference as a parallel event, NEUE STIMMEN also draws many directors of European opera houses, representatives from major agencies, and the media. Of the 220 applicants competing in the preliminary round in Munich, 70 singers from 19 countries qualify for the final round in Gütersloh.

Sonia Zlatkova, a coloratura soprano from Bulgaria, wins the first prize of DM10,000. Second place (DM 6,000) goes to German baritone Michael Volle, and Annette Seiltgen, a German lyric mezzosoprano, is awarded the third prize (DM3,000). The jury divides the special award of DM6,000 between mezzosoprano Hadar Halevi of Israel and tenor Youriy Zhur of Ukraine. Four other young singers each receive an award for fostering talent, in the form of a two-week master class.

The singing competition concludes with a symposium on the topic "Limits of Artistic Freedom." The discussion starts with the question of what art and the public expect of each other, and what they can ask of each other, in a free and pluralistic society. With Professor August Everding as moderator, the panel discusses the interrelationships between the development of society and art and aesthetic, ethical and legal standards. Panelists include publicist and author Dr. Hellmuth Karasek; Professor Paul Mikat (former culture minister of North Rhine-Westphalia), Reinhard Mohn as CEO of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, Professor Claus Roxin (a criminal lawyer from Munich) and Professor Rainer Volp (a theologian at the University of Mainz).

1991 Carl Bertelsmann Prize: Groundbreaking approaches to successful employment policy

The Carl Bertelsmann Prize of DM300,000 is awarded in September 1991 to Switzerland and the Saxon company Hoch-, Tief-, and Montagebau GmbH, Plauen.  
The award highlights groundbreaking approaches to employment policy. With more than 900 guests in attendance at the Gütersloh Stadthalle, Reinhard Mohn, chair of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, presents certificates to Swiss Economics Minister Jean-Pascal Delamuraz and to Gerd-Rainer Grundmann, CEO of the construction company in Saxony. The award is given annually for outstanding ideas and contributions to the structure and further development of democratic societies. With the prize, the Bertelsmann Stiftung intends to highlight innovative solutions to critical societal problems and give fresh impetus to public and political debate.

European Conference: "Europe's Response to the Mediterranean Challenge"

Conference on "Europe's Response to the Mediterranean Challenge" in Barcelona on October 7, 1991. From left: Pieter Dankert, Reda Shehata, Jordi Pujol, Horst Teltschik, Werner Weidenfeld, Francisco Villar y Ortiz de Urbina and Reinhard Mohn.

The core event of the project Strategien und Optionen für die Zukunft Europas (Strategies and Options for the Future of Europe) is the conference on "Europe's response to the Mediterranean challenge," which takes place at the invitation of and in collaboration with Catalonian Prime Minister Jordi Pujol i Soley on October 7 and 8 in Barcelona. The event brings together 120 participants from almost all of the European and non-European nations bordering the Mediterranean, as well as from other European countries, Russia and the United States. Speakers include Italian Foreign Minister Gianni De Michelis, State Secretary Pieter Dankert of the Dutch Foreign Ministry, former Turkish Foreign Minister Vahit Halefoglu, Prince Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan and theologian Hans Küng. German President Richard von Weizsäcker and His Majesty Juan Carlos I of Spain serve as patrons, highlighting the significance of the conference. The event’s three plenary sessions deal with the relationships between Europe and the non-European Mediterranean countries, prospects for cooperation in the Mediterranean region, and the conditions necessary for a peaceful dialogue across the various continents involved.
Corporate culture and employee relations

In light of changes in social values, people's attitudes in general and the expectations that both business leaders and employees have, corporate culture – one of the most multifaceted subjects in the area management and leadership – is increasingly dominating discussions of corporate success and in-house employee relations. It is also fundamentally changing how companies do business and whether they remain competitive. New potential is now seen for creating more people-oriented structures and other forms of corporate management and organization. In a project carried out jointly with the Hans Böckler Foundation, economic, technological and social changes are examined to see how they are impacting everyday business life and whether they could alter the way employees at all levels interact within companies. Led by Prof. Hans G. Nutzinger and based on case studies and surveys of business leaders, the project focuses on how corporate culture functions in light of the increasingly complex challenges arising in the areas of management and controlling. Other factors and their interdependencies are also examined, including socioeconomic changes; the technical and social aspects of how businesses are structured; and values, standards, behaviors and corporate success. The project also focuses on how corporate culture in its various guises affects productivity, employee motivation and job satisfaction, as well as how industrial relations are approached within companies in practice.

Bertelsmann Stiftung hosts Gorbachev

Mikhail Gorbachev in the foyer of the Bertelsmann Stiftung on March 10, 1992. From left: Mikhail Gorbachev, Reinhard and Liz Mohn.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev visits the Bertelsmann Stiftung in his first international trip since the collapse of the Soviet Union. In his role as president and founder of the political foundation bearing his name, Gorbachev comes to Gütersloh to discuss opportunities for partnership and support with the heads of many German foundations.

1992 Carl Bertelsmann Prize: Progressive immigration and integration policy

Migration and its consequences for individual states and societies have become a key issue in international politics. The fall of the Iron Curtain, the establishment of the single European market and the prosperity of Western Europe have made its countries a magnet for immigrants. Effective concepts for managing immigration and integrating non-native newcomers are few and far between. As a result, the jury for the 1992 Carl Bertelsmann Prize unanimously agrees at its January meeting to focus on forward-looking approaches to promoting social cohesion in multicultural societies. The jury awards the 1992 prize to Sweden for its exemplary laws and policy framework in this area.

1st International Bertelsmann Forum: "The Future of Europe: Alternatives – Strategies – Options"

1st International Bertelsmann Forum at Petersberg near Bonn in 1992.

The first International Bertelsmann Forum, held at Petersberg near Bonn on April 3-5, represents the outstanding event of 1992 in the field of international relations.  A top-class group of leaders, including ten current and former heads of state as well as the president of the EC Commission, discusses alternatives, strategies and options for Europe in the 1990s.

The International Bertelsmann Forum is intended to offer leaders from politics, business, academia, culture and the media an opportunity for informal dialogue, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday politics. In light of the fragile situation existing across Europe despite the end of the East-West conflict, a pan-European exchange of ideas seems more urgent than ever.

German-Jewish Dialogue launched

1st German-Jewish Dialogue in the Bertelsmann Stiftung conference space, 1992. From left: Liz  and Reinhard Mohn, Roman Herzog, Lord George Weidenfeld, Horst Teltschik and Herbert Schnoor.

The reunification of Germany and the collapse of the Soviet empire have also meant a revival in general awareness of European Judaism.

After more than half a century of separation, several million eastern Jews have reconnected with Jewish communities in the west. This gives European Jews the opportunity to join Jews living in Israel and the Americas as one of the three pillars of the Jewish people. European integration, the peace process unfolding in the Middle East, and the strengthening of Israel’s economic ties to the European Union have made future relations between European Jews, Israel and the new Europe an existential priority. Among the topics the Dialogue will address are education, cultural exchange, the role of the media and interfaith relations. During the very open discussions, the Jewish participants express their own opinions, rather than speaking in the name of organizations or governments to which they belong. They include: Sir Leon Brittan, Lord Rothschild, Lord Wolfson, Professor Peter Pulzer, Lord Justice Woolf and Lord Beioff (UK); Professor Ady Steg, Dominique Schnapper, Beatrice Rosenberg, Pierre Lellouche and Baron Eric de Rothschild (France); Arrigo Levi (Italy); Professor Victor Halberstadt (Netherlands); Prof. Paul Lendvai (Austria); Dr. Mikhail Chlenov (Russia); Mavric Wulfson (Latvia); Justice Foighel (Denmark); Ignatz Bubis and Professor Ernst Cramer (Germany), Lloyd Cutler, Professor Richard Pipes, Professor Joel Fleishman and Martin Peretz (USA); and David Kimche, Arnos Oz, Professor Ben-Ami and Aharon Dovrat (Israel).

Joint initiative on development and prospects for the social market economy

Renewing the social market economy is an ongoing theme in the German political debate

However, current fiscal pressures to reform in individual areas, the objectives of special interest groups and partisan obligations all too often obstruct our view of the need for essential reform. Bertelsmann Stiftung, the Heinz Nixdorf Foundation and the Ludwig-Erhard-Stiftung found the Social Market Economy Initiative in 1992 with the goal of drawing attention to the basic institutional framework for the social market economy within today’s reform dialogue. Projects of the initiative launched by the three foundations target academia, politics, business and the public with steady pressure to renew and modernize the social market economy.

Academy for Manual Medicine begins its work

The goal is to promote the integration of manual medicine into research, teaching and practice. In addition, by demonstrating the cost-benefit effect, the project aims to achieve greater understanding and acceptance of manual medicine among physicians in private practice, a prerequisite for broad availability of qualified manual medicine practitioners. A longer-term goal is to reduce the cost of treatment for diseases of the musculoskeletal system, which now tops the list of healthcare spending. With the Academy for Manual Medicine, the Bertelsmann Stiftung aims to promote the integration of manual medicine into research, teaching, and practice. This profession’s particular concern is to contribute to rapid recovery and prevent invasive intervention through the expert application of manual diagnostics and various conservative therapeutic procedures.

Stiftung Deutsche Schlaganfall-Hilfe (German Stroke Foundation) established 

The German Stroke Foundation's first "information mobile" in 1997. Among those pictured: Hamid Emminger and Liz and Reinhard Mohn.

As many as 200,000 people in Germany suffer a stroke each year, and only about 10 percent of them make a full recovery. More than half of stroke victims are of working age. Stroke survivors and their families can feel very isolated, and the level of nursing care required is often high as well. The socioeconomic impact of stroke is considerable. On the medical front, there are still serious deficiencies in regard to recognition, treatment, rehabilitation and social integration.  Early recognition of narrowing of the carotid arteries and proper treatment alone could save as many as 50,000 lives each year in Germany. Under the patronage of Liz Mohn, a 1992 Bertelsmann Stiftung project (Neurology) evolves into the German Stroke Foundation.

New governing body for the Bertelsmann Stiftung

The first executive board and management of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, 1993 (from left): Werner Weidenfeld, Liz and Reinhard Mohn, Frank Trümper, Ulrich Saxer and Wolfgang Koeckstadt.

On January 1, 1993, Reinhard Mohn institutes an executive board. Professor Ulrich Saxer, a Swiss expert in media and communication science, and Professor Werner Weidenfeld, a political scientist at the University of Mainz, are appointed as members. Reinhard Mohn remains the chairman.

Frank Trümper becomes executive director

On July 1, 1993, Frank Trümper becomes the new executive director of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, which now employs a staff of 47. On the same day, Wolfgang Koeckstadt becomes the foundation's deputy executive director and head of Administration and Human Resources.

Transfer of shares

On September 16, 1993, the Bertelsmann Stiftung receives those shares in Bertelsmann AG held by the Mohn family (68.8 percent). The resulting dividends increase the endowment of the Bertelsmann Stiftung and make it possible for the foundation to expand its project work.

First edition of the "FORUM" newsletter published

First edition of the "FORUM" newsletter

The quarterly newsletter, in German, reports on the Bertelsmann Stiftung's project work and key activities.

Jerusalem City Council bestows honorary title "Ne'eman Yerushalayim" on the Bertelsmann Stiftung

Certificate from the City of Jerusalem honoring the Bertelsmann Stiftung, 1993.

In June 1993, Jerusalem designates the Bertelsmann Stiftung a recipient of the city's highest honor.

Reinhard and Liz Mohn travel to Jerusalem to accept the tribute in person. The certificate reads, "The Bertelsmann Stiftung has demonstrated its commitment to Israel and especially to Jerusalem through many different efforts to advance the country's development in the field of education and the media and to promote the cultural exchange of ideas and democratic values, such as tolerance and peaceful coexistence."

NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition

For the fifth time, the Bertelsmann Stiftung organizes the NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition, together with Professor August Everding, president of the Deutscher Bühnenverein (the German Theater and Orchestra Association) and general director of the Bavarian State Theater, as well as Professor Hellmuth Matiasek, chair of the directors' group of the Deutscher Bühnenverein and director of the Bavarian State Theater at Gärtnerplatz, Munich. The final round is held on October 13-16, 1993, in Gütersloh. German President Dr. Richard von Weizsäcker assumes the role of the competition's sponsor.

First prize in the competition goes to Russian soprano Marina Ivanova, who wins DM10,000. Italian soprano Laura Polverelli, takes second place (DM6,000), while German soprano Nicola Beller is awarded the third prize (DM3,000).

1993 Carl Bertelsmann Prize: Democracy and efficiency in local government

Local government agencies throughout Germany face a difficult situation. The financial crisis is worsening, citizens are demanding more and more of public service organizations, and employees want a sense of fulfillment in their jobs. This is the setting for the 1993 Carl Bertelsmann Prize. Public administration finds itself having to reconcile widely varying demands: Mounting criticism of public administration increasingly compels people in positions of authority to examine traditional structures for efficiency and meaningfulness. Particularly in the area of local government, the Bertelsmann Stiftung strives to develop examples of how traditional bureaucracies can be transformed into democratically governed service providers. Working with competent partners and committed German municipalities, the Bertelsmann Stiftung carries out practice-oriented projects that focus on voluntary and public-sector community services. The project work highlights the tremendous need for developing administrative structures that are efficient, flexible, employee-centered and responsive to the public. Reinhard Mohn presents certificates to Vicki Buck, mayor of Christchurch (New Zealand), and Calvin C. Goode, a city council member in Phoenix, Arizona (USA). More than 700 guests from public administration, business, academia and the media attend the awards ceremony at the Gütersloh Stadthalle. The extensive research was conducted for the Bertelsmann Stiftung under the direction of Professor Banner, in collaboration with internationally recognized administrative experts and external corporate consultants.

2nd International Bertelsmann Forum: "Europe's future – The political agenda for the 1990s"

The high point in the foundation's political project work is the second International Bertelsmann Forum, which addresses the topic of "Europe's future – The political agenda for the 1990s." The weekend event is attended by leading European politicians, who gather at the German government's Petersberg guesthouse near Bonn.

Participants agree that Western Europe should serve as the core of a pan-European order and that the upheaval taking place in Eastern Europe and the need for structural modernization in Western Europe must be tackled jointly by East and West. Preparation for the conference has entailed reviewing questions, analyses and results from every project in the realm of politics. Discussions among the 50 participants representing politics, economics, academia and the media – among them 26 officials (heads of state and government, heads of foreign, defense, economics and finance ministries) – are based on a comprehensive strategy paper entitled "Was Europa leisten soll" ("What Europe should do").

Academy of the German Book Trade

To develop the systematic credentialing and continuing education of current and future leaders in the book trade "from within," the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the German Publishers and Booksellers Association in Munich establish an academy that has offered professional seminars since autumn of 1993. Employees of publishing houses and bookstores can learn about industry-specific as well as management-specific topics. The two- to three-day seminars address staff management, controlling, legal issues, project management and self-management. As of 1999, the Academy has ten members and the legal form of a nonprofit limited company (GmbH).

Center for Hospital Management founded

Hospitals today are asked to carry out medical, nursing and administrative processes more economically without diminishing the quality of care (processes, social aspects and outcomes). In the past, the maxim held that quality costs money, innovation takes time and a shorter hospital stay requires additional capacity. This credo is now giving way to a new management paradigm. In the future, higher quality and effective healthcare innovations must be achieved in a shorter time with a downward trend in costs. As a result, hospital management is called upon to reconcile presumably conflicting objectives by applying intelligent organizational and leadership concepts.

1994 Carl Bertelsmann Prize: Social Responsibility and Television Broadcasting

The Bertelsmann Stiftung works with media experts to identify the primary criteria for ensuring socially responsible programming: political independence, diversity of opinion, journalistic professionalism and fairness. The selection committee identifies broadcasters who assume social responsibility, earn good ratings and are economically viable. Exemplary socially responsible programming can be delivered only in an appropriate social and political environment. British Channel 4 distinguishes itself by its ambitious programming, characterized by an obligation to provide as much variety as possible, to consider the interests of diverse groups of viewers and to develop innovative program content and forms. Since its founding in 1959, the Australian broadcaster TV W7 Perth has used social responsibility as a guideline for its programming. Calling itself a family channel, it produces many entertainment programs in-house and offers a wide variety of documentaries and talk shows. In addition, TV W7 makes air time and technical equipment available to social welfare organizations, supports schools in preparing educational materials, works with a job exchange to combat unemployment and participates in traffic safety campaigns.

Opening event "A modern approach close to the citizen – Reform of Saarland municipal government" with Oskar Lafontaine and Reinhard Mohn

The opening event for "A modern approach close to the citizen – reform of Saarland municipal government" in the Saarbrücken Conference Hall on June 1, 1994 (from left): Interior Minister Friedel Läpple, Reinhard Mohn and Premier Oskar Lafontaine.

The Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Saarland Ministry of the Interior conduct a joint project known as "A modern approach close to the citizen," with 53 of the 58 Saarland municipalities and municipality associations taking part. Based on the criteria for the 1993 Carl Bertelsmann Prize, "Democracy and efficiency in local government," a competition is held, culminating in the awards ceremony in autumn 1996. To help participating communities reach the goal of "municipal authority as service enterprise," a broad program of seminars is developed and held. These set forth the building blocks for the "new management model" for local administrations.

Introductory seminars are held for the target groups involved in the modernization process – heads of administrative authorities, heads of departments and agencies, personnel committee chairmen and political leaders – to explain the competition's purpose and criteria. Basic seminars follow, covering development of a management model, products, budgeting, decentralised responsibility for resources, controls and reporting, and personnel management and staff motivation. Almost without exception, these are led by experienced practitioners. More than 100 seminars are held, with approximately 2,500 people taking part.

Center for Higher Education Development (CHE) is founded

Second CHE University Ranking, 1999.

The CHE is a think tank for higher education in Germany. The CHE aims to promote responsible and economical use of resources in universities. This does not mean that universities aim to maximize profits or that economical use of resources is the primary goal. However, they should strive for the best balance between ends and means. This requires the development of cost consciousness. Co-founders are the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the German Rectors' Conference.

Andreas Schlüter becomes managing director of the Bertelsmann Stiftung

On July 1, 1995, Dr. Andreas Schlüter succeeds Frank Trümper as managing director of the Bertelsmann Stiftung. The foundation is experiencing dynamic growth. To keep it working effectively, the organizational structure is modified: Seven operational areas are now supported by two central staff units. This facilitates the delegation of responsibility and creates the structural foundation for optimal use of the foundation's growth.

Topping-out ceremony for Pavilions 3 and 4

The rapid expansion of staff in the early 1990s soon makes it necessary to expand the Bertelsmann Stiftung headquarters. Planning begins in October 1993. On June 2, 1995, employees celebrate the topping-out ceremony for Pavilions 3 and 4, which are ready for occupancy at the start of 1996.

1995 Carl Bertelsmann Prize: Methods and tools for successful employment policy

Against this backdrop, the 1995 Carl Bertelsmann Prize is awarded for "Methods and tools for successful employment policy." In September 1995, Aníbal Cavaco Silva, prime minister of Portugal, accepts the award from Reinhard Mohn, chairman of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board, as 800 guests look on in the Gütersloh Stadthalle. Led by the Institute for Economic Policy and Research at Witten/Herdecke University, the Europe-wide search is based on analyses from various research institutes, expert opinions from qualified economists and institutions, and intensive discussions with national correspondents and individuals from politics, unions and management, and business. To identify a sound economic and employment policy, it is necessary to consider all the factors relevant to the employment situation.

1995 NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition

Poster inviting applications for the 1995 NEUE STIMMEN Singing Competition

For the sixth time, the Bertelsmann Stiftung joins Professor August Everding, president of the Deutscher Bühnenverein (the German Theater and Orchestra Association) and general director of the Bavarian State Theater, to host the NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition. This competition gives young opera and operetta singers the opportunity to appear before a wide variety of experts in the field under realistic conditions. German President Roman Herzog is now the event's sponsor. The Welsh tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones wins first prize and the cash award of DM15,000. Second place, and DM10,000, goes to baritone Hanno Müller-Brachmann of Germany, while Sami Luttinen, a bass singer from Finland, receives the third prize and DM5,000.

1. Trans-Mediterranean dialogue in Kronberg: "Europe and the Middle East – Prospects for future-oriented cooperation"

The first Kronberg Talks are held in the Schlosshotel Kronberg on January 18, 1995. Participants, among them Liz Mohn and Lord George Weidenfeld, assemble for a group photo.

Just two years earlier, it would have been impossible for Israeli and Arabic conference participants to welcome each other with a hug. Now they not only negotiate about borders, customs duties and elections, they also discuss a common future within their region and with their powerful neighbor to the north, the European Union. In January 1995, the Bertelsmann Stiftung invites political, economic and academic experts from the Middle East, North Africa and Europe to a two-day Middle East conference in Kronberg. The talks are the opening event for a new project: "Europe and the Middle East – Prospects for future-oriented cooperation."

Bildungswege in der Informationsgesellschaft (Education in an information society)

Teachers hold the key to effective use of media in education, and they must learn a new professional approach. In 1995, the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Heinz Nixdorf Foundation initiate the Bildungswege in der Informationsgesellschaft (Education in an information society), or BIG, program. With a five-year time frame and a budget of DM8 million, the BIG initiative targets secondary schools and universities and works with software producers. The BIG projects will increasingly cooperate with partners in the USA, including the Media Workshop New York.

Fundación Bertelsmann is established in Barcelona

After opening the Can Torró Library in Mallorca in 1990, the Bertelsmann Stiftung now aims to systematically advance the development of public libraries in Spain. To that end, in 1995 Reinhard Mohn establishes the Fundación Bertelsmann, headquartered in Barcelona. The foundation can draw upon practical models for revamping public libraries that have been successfully tested in Germany. The Fundación's goals are to develop the Spanish reading and media culture, promote public libraries and improve continuing education and training for library management. In the tenth year of its existence, the sponsors of the Fundación Bertelsmann decide to give greater attention to projects that generate greater civic engagement in Spain. Since 2013, the Fundación has addressed the country's high rate of youth unemployment. It supports Spain's education system and job market in improving the educational and employment opportunities for youth over the long term.

Bertelsmann Wissenschaftsstiftung launched

To expand the Bertelsmann Stiftung's activities, the Bertelsmann AG founds the Bertelsmann Wissenschaftsstiftung (Bertelsmann Science Foundation).

The new entity is an independent foundation under civil law, with endowment capital of 0.5 million euros. It conducts various projects that aim to advance our society. Project members develop solutions to problems, test them in practice, and share their findings with the general public.

First Bertelsmann Stiftung website

On March 10, 1996, the Bertelsmann Stiftung goes online with its own homepage, where users can find out more about the foundation's projects and organization. The site (then at provides information in both German and English.

Number of employees tops 100 for the first time

At the end of 1996, the Bertelsmann Stiftung has 106 employees.

1996 Carl Bertelsmann Prize: "Innovative school systems in international comparison"

The 1996 Carl Bertelsmann Prize focuses on an international comparison of innovative school systems. The honor and a cash prize of DM 300,000 is awarded to the Durham Board of Education in Ontario, Canada, an unconventional, high-performing body that has become a workshop for creating forward-looking services for the educational institutions in its area. In addition, seven German schools are awarded special awards and prize money of DM 10,000 each for approaching reform with enthusiasm even in the rigid regulatory environment.

1996 International Bertelsmann Forum: "The new Europe – Strategies for differentiated integration"

The ideas for advancing the development of the European Union presented by the Bertelsmann Stiftung at its 1996 forum are well received. At the Petersberg conference center near Bonn, ministers and heads of government from Europe and the USA candidly discuss the presented strategy paper in a confidential setting.

The list of participants at this third International Bertelsmann Forum reads like a Who's Who of European politics: German President Roman Herzog, Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel, Saxon Prime Minister Kurt Biedenkopf, CDU/CSU Chairman Wolfgang Schäuble, former foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher and many business leaders represent the German point of view. Guests from other countries include Jacques Santer, president of the EU Commission; Dr. Vaclav Klaus, prime minister of the Czech Republic; Vladimir Meciar, prime minister of Slovakia; Paavo Lipponen, prime minister of Finland; Lennart Meri, president of the Republic of Finland; Läszlö Koväcs, foreign minister of Hungary; Russian reform leader Dr. Grigory Javlinsky; former prime ministers Dr. Ruud F. M. Lubbers of the Netherlands and Carl Bildt of Sweden; and former foreign ministers Dr. Henry A. Kissinger of the USA and Lord Geoffrey Howe of the UK.

1st International Foundation Symposium: "Private operating foundations. Strategies, tools and prospects"

International Foundation Symposium on April 16, 1996, in the Bertelsmann Stiftung conference space in Gütersloh. Panelists (from left): Craig Kennedy, Rien van Gendt, Reinhard Mohn, Werner Weidenfeld, Joel Fleishman, Shannon St. John and Wolfgang Reinicke.

With the globalization of economic, political and cultural relations, societal problems increasingly take on international scope as well. As agents of change, foundations face the task of adapting their work methods and solutions to this development. This requires an international exchange of information and cooperation across borders. To commemorate his 75th birthday, Reinhard Mohn chooses to hold an international symposium that would bring the world's leading foundations together around the same table. In April 1996, some 80 foundation representatives and experts from around the world come to Gütersloh for an international exchange of expertise and insight about leadership, strategies and management in foundations; about effectiveness and legitimacy; and not least about cooperation among foundations. The focus is on the type of operating foundation that takes the initiative to address societal problems, develops exemplary solutions and puts them into practice.

Stadt Stiftung Gütersloh (City Foundation of Gütersloh)

The first logo of the Stadt Stiftung Gütersloh, 1996.

The Stadt Stiftung Gütersloh (City Foundation of Gütersloh) is a foundation "by the people, for the people." As a platform for civic engagement, the foundation reflects the strength and the growth of civil society in our city. It concentrates primarily on the social and cultural issues most important to Gütersloh's residents, contributing to a better quality of life in the city and region. In doing so, it depends on broad personal and financial support from the citizenry. In return, the Stadt Stiftung Gütersloh is committed to the principles of transparency and openness.

1997 Carl Bertelsmann Prize: "Self-initiative and solidarity: New paths to social and wage policy"

Awards ceremony for the Carl Bertelsmann Prize on September 18, 1997, in the Gütersloh Stadthalle. The winners, Lodewijk de Waal and Hans Blankert.

Addressing an urgent societal problem, the Bertelsmann Stiftung chooses "Self-initiative and solidarity: New paths to social and wage policy" as the focus for the 1997 Carl Bertelsmann Prize. Based on a comprehensive international study, the jury unanimously awards the prize and DM 300,000 to the Dutch foundation Stichting van de Arbeid (Foundation for Work). The organization, which was jointly founded by employers' and workers' groups and provides equal representation for both, made an important contribution to restructuring the social welfare system in the Netherlands and the resulting employment boom, according to the citation. With the foundation, Dutch unions and management have created a powerful joint institution that paves the way for new social welfare and collective bargaining policies by bringing participants together for confidential pre-policymaking discussions. In addition, the foundation serves as the conduit for close coordination of political strategy between the government and unions and management. Its influential recommendations have done much to ensure that over the past 15 years, the Netherlands has managed to decouple its economy from the negative European trend: Once known for the "Dutch disease," the country is now famous for its successful "polder model."

1997 NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition

The primary purpose of the singing competition sponsored by the Bertelsmann Stiftung is to help young opera singers launch international careers. Unlike other such competitions, the organizers offer these young artists an outstanding forum and a variety of networking opportunities. Many directors of German and European opera houses and representatives of the music industry and major agencies, along with the media, follow NEUE STIMMEN, attend its events and support the program. In particular, singers reach a wide audience through extensive nationwide coverage by the German broadcasting station Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), a co-organizer. To offer the most realistic conditions possible, during the semifinals the young opera singers are accompanied by the WDR Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Steven Sloane. Russian soprano Eteri Gvasava is awarded first prize (DM 15,000). Second prize (DM 10,000) goes to bass Tigran Martirossian from Armenia, while baritone Soon-Won Kang from Korea takes third place (DM5,000). The jury awards special prizes to Haitao Wang, Xiaoliang Li and Jia Lin Zhang (all from China), as well as Petia Petrova (Bulgaria) and Kikuko Teshima (Japan). The Felicitas-Vössing-Stiftung presents Anke Vondung of Germany an award to foster her talent. A similar award sponsored by the city of Yokosuka goes to Regina Zona (USA).

1997 NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition – First International Master Class

In collaboration with the WDR's Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Bertelsmann Stiftung holds a workshop for promising young performers. A total of twelve young participants from six countries have the opportunity to work with director Steven Sloane and August Haltmayer, the manager of the preliminary rounds, to further develop their vocal talent and interpretive abilities. All have been recruited during the preliminary rounds of the NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition. Working with the Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Cologne Philharmonic, they study arias from their respective voice categories. Between sessions, there are opportunities for repetition and feedback. The orchestra workshops are so successful that the Bertelsmann Stiftung decides to continue offering these types of master classes in the future.

Tenth German-Jewish Dialogue

Twice a year, in an initiative sponsored by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and London publisher Lord George Weidenfeld, leading figures from the global Jewish community meet for informal discussions with German national and state political leaders as well as representatives of business, academia and the media. Topics include current issues in German-Israeli relations, with reflection on the consequences of the countries' shared history and Germany's special responsibility. Key themes this year are the peace process in the Middle East and Germany's contribution to that, as well as the international debate about Daniel J. Goldhagen's 1996 book Hitler's Willing Executioners, a debate that continues under the heading "Die Gegenwart der Vergangenheit" ("The past's present."). Among the participants are Dr. Klaus Kinkel, Germany's foreign minister; Gerhard Schröder, prime minister of Lower Saxony; Ignatz Bubis, chairman of the Central Council of Jews in Germany; Chaim Herzog, former president of Israel (since deceased); and Roni Milo and Ehud Olmert, mayors of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem respectively.

Regional education networks with Schule & Co. (School & Co.)

Signing the agreement for the Schule & Co. project at the Bertelsmann Stiftung offices in Gütersloh. Reinhard Mohn (r.) with NRW Minister of Education Gabriele Behler (l.).
Schule & Co. (School & Co.) is based in part on suggestions from the 1995 NRW.

Education Commission and its memorandum "The future of education – Education for the future" and in part on experience gained in the Durham school district in Ontario, Canada. For its innovative path to school reform from below, the Durham Board of Education was awarded the 1996 Carl Bertelsmann Prize. Schule & Co. is a joint project of North Rhine-Westphalia's Department of Education, the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the district of Herford and the city of Leverkusen, proposed in autumn 1996 and launched in summer 1997. Supporting the recommendation of an Education Commission appointed by Premier Johannes Rau, the project partners set out to strengthen the creative power and autonomy of individual schools and to position schools more clearly than before in the context of regional development. Stronger networking of education and training with other community services and private institutions should contribute to supporting the development of "regional educational networks." This project, the first of its kind in Germany, aims to link school improvement processes with the reform efforts of local authorities. After intensive and sometimes controversial discussions among teachers, students and parents, a total of 52 schools of all types in the two model regions have decided to participate. In the district of Herford, the project is ongoing.

Media Academy Cologne established

The company's goal is to promote science, research and continuing education in the multimedia field by operating an academy dedicated to the field. The academy is intended to promote media innovations and train qualified professionals to promote the introduction and dissemination of new media technologies. The focus is on training people for new media professions and to advise firms in the use of new media. Symposiums and management conferences round out the program. 

Dr. Mark Wössner takes over as chair of the Bertelsmann Stiftung

Mark Wössner at his desk at Bertelsmann AG, 1996.

On November 1, 1998, Reinhard Mohn transfers the chairmanship of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board to Dr. Mark Wössner, who has been a member of the Bertelsmann AG Executive Board since 1976 and its chair from 1983 to 1998. Mohn remains a member of the foundation's Executive Board.

1998 Carl Bertelsmann Prize: "Communications 2000"

Industrialized nations are moving toward an information society. Digitization is the keyword for the social upheavals that many are comparing to those of industrialization. Content and information set new tasks for media policy: The state can no longer control the sheer amount of available media; the global interconnectedness of communication further calls into question the effectiveness of national regulation. This is where a deficit of responsibility arises. Content providers can compensate for this shortcoming in important ways by self-regulation. At the same time, it is important to improve users' media skills and their access to communication channels, so that citizens themselves can exercise greater responsibility. The state takes on a new role as the promoter of innovation and self-regulation. This development gives those overseeing the media market particular potential for opening the market and a special responsibility to ensure diversity and quality. Their power derives from a repertoire of government sanctions that clearly takes a back seat to self-regulatory mechanisms but nevertheless supports them and sets future media policy in the context of the common good.

The Canadian Radiotelevision and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and the Recreational Software Advisory Council (RSAC) share the 1998 Carl Bertelsmann Prize and the cash award of DM300,000. The CRTC is responsible for the radio, television and telecommunications market in Canada. Its activities include licensing, monitoring concentration and mergers, and monitoring content. It also issues, renews and amends broadcasting licenses. Internally, its radio, television and telecommunications departments work with a wide variety of cultures. The RSAC, headquartered in Washington DC, stands out among self-regulation initiatives with its model for protecting children and young people on the Internet. The RSAC, an independent nonprofit organization, developed a self-administered rating system for classifying content on the World Wide Web: Content providers independently label their web pages according to an established matrix of criteria. The web pages are classified and labeled in five stages with regard to content that might be of concern to parents. Internet users then decide for themselves what content should appear on their screens or their children's screens. Internet browsers, such as those from Netscape and Microsoft, read the label and then show or hide the Web pages depending on the user’s individual settings. While imposing only minimal interference with the free and democratic structure of the Internet, the filter provides effective protection for children and young people.

International Symposium on "Responsibilities of the dual broadcasting system"

Conference on "Responsibilities of the Dual Broadcasting System" on February 5, 1998, in the Bertelsmann Stiftung conference space in Gütersloh. From left: Mark Wössner, Reinhard Mohn, Kurt Biedenkopf and Kurt Beck.

At a symposium held in February 1998, the Bertelsmann Stiftung presents the findings of its study "Fernsehen auf dem Prüfstand" ("Television under Scrutiny"), a comparison of systems in Australia, France, the UK, New Zealand, the USA and Germany, which includes a survey about programming, use and viewer ratings of Germany’s dual broadcasting system. The findings clearly show that systems with strong public and private providers offer programming of greater variety and higher quality than systems that rely primarily on private providers. However, they also clearly show that in a diverse market containing hundreds of programs, it is necessary to specify the role of public-service providers within the dual system. Therefore, the Bertelsmann Stiftung is developing a contract defining the functions of public-service broadcasting in Germany, somewhat modeled after the voluntary self-regulation of the BBC in Great Britain. Panelists include Kurt Beck, Professor Kurt Biedenkopf, Dr. Mark Wössner and Dr. Ingrid Hamm.

1998 International Bertelsmann Forum: "Europa vor der Vollendung" ("Incomplete Europe")

"Internal reforms are necessary if Europe is to act effectively in the future." This is the conclusion drawn by German President Roman Herzog at the two-day conference held at his official residence, Schloss Bellevue in Berlin. "Less responsibility for Brussels in areas better decided at other levels would actually constitute progress," he says. Jacques Santer, president of the EU Commission, also calls for far-reaching reform of the European Union. Both advocate expanding the principle of majority rule in the European Union. To a certain extent, the European Union must move away from the principle of unanimity, particularly in policy decisions regarding currency, the environment, foreign affairs and security. Some 50 high-ranking representatives from the political and economic spheres, academia and the media agree that the European Union must complete the necessary reforms before its upcoming inclusion of the nations in Central and Eastern Europe.

1998 International Foundation Symposium: The future of foundations in an open society

The increasing globalization of economic, political, and societal activities requires foundations to expand their thinking and their programs as well. This requires an international dialogue and cooperation across borders. Rising to the challenge, in May 1998 the Bertelsmann Stiftung hosts an international symposium of foundations to discuss "The future of foundations in an open society." Some 70 foundation representatives and experts from around the world, as well as entrepreneurs and representatives of international organizations, spent two days in Gütersloh discussing the role of foundations in a modern pluralistic society. The main focus was on the role of foundations in an open society as well as issues regarding the legitimacy and public acceptance of their activities.

Launch of nationwide Initiative for Employment!

Logo of the nationwide Initiative für Beschäftigung!

The situation in the German labor market demands top-down consensus. Political ideologies and organizational affiliations must be transcended in order to increase jobs and reduce unemployment. It was this belief that inspired Prof. Jürgen Strube (BASF), Hubertus Schmoldt (IG BCE), and Reinhard Mohn to found the Initiative for Employment! in 1998. Thus far 19 regional networks have sprung up throughout Germany to develop and implement programs and projects to prepare, create, and secure jobs. About 2,000 people have participated in the networks since the initiative began, launching some 200 job-creating projects.

Dr. Mark Wössner becomes chairman of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Advisory Council

The longtime chairman of the Bertelsmann AG Executive Board, Dr. Mark Wössner, replaces Reinhard Mohn as chairman of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Advisory Council.

Bertelsmann Stiftung staff tops the 200 mark.

In 1999, the number of employees rises to 201.

1999 International Foundation Symposium: The role of community foundations in civil society

Community foundations are among the fastest growing segments of the international foundation world. What began in 1914 as a local experiment in the USA has since spread to many other communities, cities and regions around the world, with rising interest in Europe as well for some time now. As a result, the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation have joined forces to promote the development of community foundations in Germany and Europe and to initiate an international exchange of experiences. To launch this initiative, the Bertelsmann Stiftung hosts an international symposium in Gütersloh on March 9 and 10, 1999, on "The role of community foundations in civil society."

Discussion focuses on how community foundations contribute to the formation and development of civil society, as well as strategies, methods and tools for effective foundation work. What role can community foundations play in building vibrant local communities? From an international perspective, what are good models and promising approaches to the work of community foundations? These questions are addressed with experts from the USA, Canada and Europe, who reported on their own experience in this area.

1999 Carl Bertelsmann Prize: Vocational education and training of the future

Award ceremony for the Carl Bertelsmann Prize on September 16, 1999, in the Gütersloh Stadthalle. From left: Mark Wössner, Margrethe Vestager, Liz and Reinhard Mohn; in the background, Lothar Späth.

To provide new inspiration for vocational education in Germany, Denmark is awarded the 1999 Carl Bertelsmann Prize for its exemplary educational system. Danish Education Minister Margrethe Vestager accepts the award on behalf of her country.

1999 NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition

Finale of the NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition on October 9, 1999, at the Gütersloh Stadthalle. Group photo with Liz Mohn and prize winner Tina Schlenker. From left: Director Johannes Wildner, Tina Schlenker, Gustav Kuhn and Liz Mohn.

The 1999 NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition draws a record 1,022 applications. Inaugurated twelve years earlier by Liz Mohn as a "European Singing Contest," it has become established as the Olympics of the opera world. Now known and appreciated far beyond the borders of Europe, the event ranks among the most renowned and significant venues for promoting young talent. This year’s winner, Tina Schlenker, is the first German to win the competition. Second prize goes to Andrei Dounaev of Russia, and Paul Gay of France takes third place.

1999 International Bertelsmann Forum: "Central and Eastern Europe on the way into the European Union"

Dedication of the renovated Chopin memorial in Warsaw's Lazienki Park in conjunction with the International Bertelsmann Forum held in Warsaw in 1999. (left to right) Henry Kissinger, Richard von Weizsäcker, Liz Mohn and Ryszard Kalisz.

In 1955, the Warsaw Pact was signed at the former Governor's Palace in Warsaw, now the Presidential Palace. In 1989, at the same location, the Polish government and opposition discussed the democratization of Poland. Seated at the same round table where those deliberations gave important impetus to the transformation of central and eastern Europe, more than 50 decision makers and experts from the spheres of politics, business, culture and the media now discuss how the European Union can define its relationships to the nations of eastern Europe that will be its immediate neighbors after its enlargement.

5th Kronberg Talks: "Europe and the Middle East and North Africa. Steps towards comprehensive stability"

The fifth Kronberg Talks, held December 7–9, 1999, focus on Europe's policies toward the Near East and Africa.

This trans-Mediterranean dialogue critically examines the European Union’s goal of creating a common economic and cultural area from Finland to Morocco and from Ireland to Jordan. Participants also discuss paths and goals for strengthening the peace process between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

Initiative for Employment – OWL Regional Network

The Regional Network Eastern Westphalia-Lippe (Regionalnetzwerk Ostwestfalen-Lippe, OWL) develops and implements solutions to the urgent problems of the regional job market. Development includes conducting and evaluating pilot projects and publishing outcomes.

The nonprofit Initiative für Beschäftigung OWL e.V. (OWL Initiative for Employment) is an independent and politically neutral association supported by regional companies and institutions. It offers companies and labor market policymakers in Eastern Westphalia-Lippe a platform for regional networking. The goal of the Initiative is to strengthen the region and its labor market, thereby improving its employment situation.

German Education Conference of the Initiativkreis Bildung (Education Action Group) with German President Roman Herzog

Education holds the key to the information society. Digitization, globalization and social upheaval pose new challenges to the educational system in the 21st century. The Initiativkreis Bildung (Education Action Group) of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, sponsored by the German president, issues a memorandum of guidelines for the educational system of tomorrow.

Prize ceremony for the network "Bürgerorientierte Kommune – Wege zur Stärkung der Demokratie" ("Citizen-oriented local government and ways to strengthen democracy")

The main aim of the Bertelsmann Stiftung's work to reform local government is to increase the involvement of citizens in local decision-making and implementation processes. Today's communities can no longer rely solely on the unilateral application of laws or efficient provision of services. To improve the quality of community life, administrative authorities and political leaders must systematically work with an active citizenry.

To promote exemplary cooperation among these at the local level, the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Verein Aktive Bürgerschaft e.V. (Association for Active Citizenship) have initiated the project "Bürgerorientierte Kommune - Wege zur Stärkung der Demokratie" (Citizen-Oriented Local Government and Ways to Strengthen Democracy). In early summer of 1998, the project sponsors initiate a national competition to identify successful examples of citizen-oriented activity. After much deliberation by the jury, on October 28, 1999 the project sponsors announce one first-place winner and two second-place winners. Civic engagement in the town of Nürtingen is recognized with first place, while Bremen and Leipzig share the second prize for their efforts in citizen-oriented government. The end of the competition marks the beginning of the next project phase: Under the working title "CIVITAS – Network of citizen-oriented communities in Germany," the project supports selected communities in specific model projects to continue the progress toward citizen-oriented local government.

Foundation governance reorganized

Reinhard Mohn reorganizes the Bertelsmann Stiftung's committees on November 1, 2000, taking over the chairmanship of the five-person Executive Committee of the Board, which heads the foundation's Board of Trustees. He also becomes chair of the Board of Trustees. The Executive Board is the Bertelsmann Stiftung's executive body, and the Board of Trustees handles consulting and management functions. With Dr. Andreas Schlüter's departure as executive director on October 30, 2000, a management committee chaired by Dr. Gunter Thielen assumes responsibility for project work. Gerd Schulte-Hillen becomes deputy chair of the Executive Committee of the Board. The other members of the Executive Committee are Liz Mohn and Prof. Werner Weidenfeld.

2000 Carl Bertelsmann Prize: Reforming the Healthcare Sector

If it were a patient, the German healthcare sector would be in poor condition. Although the healthcare sector has been seriously ill for some time, decades of treatment attempts have fallen short. Never mind that the causes have long been known. Never mind that politicians have introduced mild structural remedies and even are finally trying to treat the causes rather than the symptoms. Despite all their efforts, mounting costs seem out of control, while the revenue side comes under increasing pressure. What is needed are specific solutions to specific future questions. The decision by the Bertelsmann Stiftung to award this year's Carl Bertelsmann Prize for innovative international healthcare policy models thus also serves the purpose of increasing the pressure for reform on decision makers here in Germany. Learning from abroad – this is a reasonable hope, and entirely justified, considering the tremendous response to the prize winners of the past 12 years in the fields of education, labor negotiations and higher education. This year, the jury selects two winners for the Carl Bertelsmann Prize. In each case, a particular healthcare sector is recognized, not the healthcare system of the country as a whole. The Swiss Department of the Interior is awarded the prize for introducing a new health insurance statute that reconciles competition and principles of solidarity. In the Netherlands, the Association of Dutch General Practitioners is honored for its unique efforts to improve the quality of care. These primary care physicians find it particularly difficult to stay informed about the latest research and treatment methods.

1st Berlin Forum

The first Berlin Forum, "Prospects for the social market economy in Germany," is held in Berlin on May 29, 2000.

The Berlin Forum aims to provide decision makers and experts in politics, business and academia an outstanding discussion forum for current reform projects and issues.

A new event format for the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the Berlin Forum on "Prospects for the social market economy in Germany" is held on May 28–29, 2000. Through these high-level forums, the Bertelsmann Stiftung successfully establishes a presence in the nation’s capital. The goal is to participate directly in shaping Germany's "Berlin Republic" with the foundation's reform ideas and momentum. The event gives a select circle of decision makers from politics, business, academia and civil society the opportunity to discuss current reform issues in the "Berlin Republic" in an off-the-record forum. The event’s round-table format permits an open and active conversation about domestic policy challenges for German society.

IT Academy East Westphalia founded

Building and logo of the IT Academy Eastern Westphalia in Gütersloh.

In the same year as it is founded, the IT Academy offers its first course. The Bertelsmann Stiftung holds 90 percent of the shares, and the East Westphalian Chamber of Commerce, Bielefeld holds 10 percent. Ernst Schwanhold, North Rhine–Westphalia minister of economics and small and medium-sized businesses, officially opens the Academy in February 2001. The goals are to promote and publicize research and provide training and continuing education in all fields of information technology. The Academy is unique in that its training program is strictly demand-oriented: The content of each course is developed to meet the requirements of specific IT positions. In 2004, the Academy changes its name to Förderung der Informations-Technologie gGmbH and then becomes a GmbH & Co.KG.

Completion of Pavilion 5

Part of Pavilion 5 of the Bertelsmann Stiftung compound in Gütersloh.

The foundation's buildings had already been expanded with the addition of Pavilions 3 and 4 in 1996. The third addition to the Bertelsmann Stiftung compound is completed in the summer of 2001. The official opening ceremony takes place on September 7. The number of Bertelsmann Stiftung employees had topped 200 in 1999. Of these, 160 now work in the new pavilion.

Dr. Gunter Thielen named chair of the Board of Trustees

Board Chairman Gunter Thielen.

On Oct. 1, 2001, Reinhard Mohn turned over leadership of the Bertelsmann Stiftungs Board of Trustees and Executive Board to Dr. Gunter Thielen, chair of the ARVATO AG Management Board and member of the Bertelsmann AG Executive Board. Reinhard Mohn remains a member of both Bertelsmann Stiftung boards.

2001 Carl Bertelsmann Prize: Shaping change – Strategies of transformation

The images of 1989 have long since become powerful historic symbols: the fall of the Berlin Wall, the cutting of the barbed-wire fence between Hungary and Austria, the peaceful revolutions in Eastern Europe. With the overcoming of communism and the end of the East-West conflicts, euphoric hopes stirred around the world for a new political and social order of peace and prosperity. The historic experience of this past epoch is fundamental: Only the combination of democracy and a market economy can ensure the possibility of stability, justice and peace within a society and in the international community of states. In turn, neither a market economy without political freedom nor a democracy without a market economy will be viable for the long term. The 2001 Carl Bertelsmann Prize is awarded to Poland and Bolivia, represented by the following agents of change:

Leszek Balcerowicz, former minister of finance, deputy prime minister and now president of the National Bank of Poland, for his achievements in economic transformation. Tadeusz Mazowiecki, the first prime minister of the Republic of Poland, for his contributions to political integration, constitutional reform and institutional development. Mazowiecki understood how to harness political forces and maintain social solidarity. Adam Michnik, editor-in-chief of the Gazeta Wyborcza, who demonstrated remarkable civic-minded courage as a dissident and later as a commentator on public affairs, as the voice of Poland's civil society. Adam Michnik, editor-in-chief of the Gazeta Wyborcza, who demonstrated remarkable civic-minded courage as a dissident and later as a commentator on public affairs, as the voice of Poland's civil society.

Dr. René Blattmann Bauer, the nonpartisan minister of justice under Gonzalo Sánchez de Losada (1993–1997), for his contribution to establishing the rule of law and expanding participation via comprehensive judicial reforms. The Defensoría del Pueblo, established in 1998, under the leadership of the current Defensora Ana María Campero de Romero, for further advancing the rule of law through its critical review of law observance and for expanding participatory mechanisms such as dialogue programs and conflict mediation.

2001 International Bertelsmann Forum: Europe without borders

In January 2001, the fifth International Bertelsmann Forum meets in the Weltsaal at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin. Attended by high-ranking government officials from 21 European nations, the USA and Israel, the event confirms the stature of the foundation's work. Participants include the presidents of Ukraine, Slovenia and Lithuania, the chancellors of Germany and Austria, the prime minister of Spain, nine foreign and defense ministers and senior representatives of the European Commission.

2001 NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition

Burak Bilgi, winner of the 2001 NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition, with Liz Mohn.

The NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition has become a premium event for young singers and now offers a good look at how the world of opera and operetta has grown. The rapid rise in the number of participants is impressive. While just 36 singers competed for three prizes at the first competition in 1987, the jury listens in 2001 to more than 1,200 young men and women from nearly 50 countries. Like no other competition, NEUE STIMMEN and its preliminary rounds in 17 cities bring singers from around the world to Gütersloh, guaranteeing the highest level of quality. As a result, the event draws attention to the very best voices. Singers such as Nathalie Stutzmann, Vesselina Kasarowa, Roman Trekel or Eteri Gvasawa have made the leap to major international careers on this stage. Burak Bilgili, a bass singer from Turkey, takes first place. Second and third places go to the Wo-Kyun Kim from Korea and Anna Samuil from Russia.

1st International Cultural Forum in Cairo

This project aims to promote intercultural understanding and to develop an intercultural dialogue network between Egypt and Germany. It also plans to develop joint solutions to future globalization issues. The Egyptian-German Cultural Forum that took place on February 21, 2001, in Cairo is the first event in the Bertelsmann Stiftung's new international dialogue series.

As a parallel event, a master class for Egyptian and European opera singers is held at the Cairo Opera House. Its closing concert on the evening of February 21 also concludes the Cultural Forum.

2nd International Cultural Forum in Tokyo

The German-Japanese Cultural Forum is also linked with the singing competition. A gala concert in Yokosuka is held as the finale to the Asian preliminary round for the 2001 NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition. On the following day, the conference for the second cultural forum takes up the topic "Corporate culture and business – a German-Japanese dialogue." Participants discuss the significance of corporate culture as a success factor from the perspectives of business and academia. The focus is on the cultural and economic challenges arising from the tensions related to maintaining national cultural identities, on the one hand, and ongoing globalization, on the other. Speakers include Prof. Yoshiaki Takahashi (Chuo University, Tokyo), Takuma Yamamoto (Fujitsu Ltd., Tokyo), Takashi Nawa (McKinsey, Tokyo), Dr. Ekkehardt Wesner (member of the Volkswagen AG Supervisory Board), Prof. Florian Coulmas (Gerhard Mercator University Duisburg) and Prof. Wolfgang Dorow (Viadrina University, Frankfurt/Oder).

Heribert Meffert takes the helm of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board

25 years after founding the Bertelsmann Stiftung, Reinhard Mohn names Dr. Heribert Meffert as chair of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board. On October 1, 2002, the international marketing expert will replace Dr. Gunter Thielen, who has been appointed chair and CEO of Bertelsmann AG.

The Bertelsmann Stiftung celebrates 25 years

German President Johannes Rau is the guest speaker at the anniversary celebration on March 13, 2002, in the Gütersloh Stadthalle.

On March 14, 2002, the Bertelsmann Stiftung turns 25 years old. German President Johannes Rau is the guest speaker at the anniversary celebration on March 13 in the Gütersloh Stadthalle. In his speech, the German president praises the foundation: "The Bertelsmann Stiftung has always viewed itself as an active participant in the social and political life of the time. In the words of Reinhard Mohn, it serves as a workshop for reform."

2002 Carl Bertelsmann Prize: Transparency – A basis for responsibility and participation

How can we keep today's societies open to reform? How can we keep moving forward, maintain competitiveness, and yet shape our transitions in a humane and socially responsible way? These are the fundamental issues addressed in the 2002 Carl Bertelsmann Prize. In its successful battle against corruption, the nonprofit organization Transparency International provides an excellent model of how civil society can address urgent social issues when the state and the market fail to do so. In this example, cross-sectoral alliances among business, civil society and government led to a win-win result – especially because transparency and openness, along with self-determination and individual assumption of responsibility, are fundamental elements of such collaboration.

Ten years of German-Jewish Dialogue: "The Relationship of Poland, Germans and Jews"

Because of its history, Germany bears a special responsibility for the fate of Jewish communities all over the world and for the future of the state of Israel. The Bertelsmann Stiftung acknowledges this obligation and responds in many ways. The German-Jewish Dialogue it initiated has developed over the years to a respected forum for off-the-record dialogue. In March 2002, at the invitation of President Aleksander Kwasniewski of Poland, the Dialogue takes place in Warsaw for the first time. The event brings key public figures from Poland and Germany together for a fruitful discussion with leading international representatives of Jewish culture.

Competition to integrate immigrants – An initiative of the German President

Award ceremony for the Integration of Immigrants competition on August 22, 2002, in the garden of Schloss Bellevue in Berlin. Liz Mohn with German President Johannes Rau.

On May 12, 2000, German President Johannes Rau devoted his first presidential address in Berlin to the integration of immigrants in Germany. He described promoting immigration as a sociopolitical task of the very highest priority. The Bertelsmann Stiftung had already called attention to the "new reality" of immigration in Germany with its 1992 Carl Bertelsmann Prize. In 2001, German President Johannes Rau proposed a joint project with the Bertelsmann Stiftung in the form of a contest to identify and reward exemplary initiatives to integrate immigrants. In the planning phase, Prof. Dietrich Thränhardt and Dr. Uwe Hunger contribute a paper to the Bertelsmann Stiftung on the question, "What can civil society contribute to the successful integration of immigrants?" A roundtable discussion among experts also took place at Schloss Bellevue, the president's official residence.

The competition is launched on January 31, 2002, at Schloss Bellevue. Celebrities who come from an immigrant background volunteer as "ambassadors" for the contest, among them actors Miroslaw Nemec and Erol Sander, boxers Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, and the pop band Bro’Sis. The response to the competition is overwhelming. More than 1,300 initiatives from all across Germany apply.

On July 11, 2002, the jury selects ten prize winners in Berlin. Another 180 applicants receive special recognition for their efforts.

The winners are honored by German President Johannes Rau and Liz Mohn in the presidential garden at Schloss Bellevue on August 22, 2002. An event hosted by Jörg Pilawa is televised, showcasing the successful initiatives for a wide audience.

Dr. Johannes Meier joins the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board and Board of Trustees

Media and information technology expert Dr. Johannes Meier joins the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board and Board of Trustees. As a member of the Executive Board, he is also responsible for business management.

Bertelsmann conference center in Berlin opens its doors

We firmly believe that an aging society has potential that must be tapped. What is more, demographic change presents a rare opportunity to fundamentally reform our society. The productivity of older people could be a great asset if we change our image of aging and the institutional setting in which it takes place.

To strengthen civil society, we must develop and disseminate new ways of thinking about families, about aging, about the division of labor and smart value creation, about what is personally meaningful and socially useful. Innovative examples for new values and behaviors already exist to some extent and in some localities; to become the accepted norm, they must spread widely and take root throughout our communities.Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI)
The Bertelsmann Stiftung's Transformation Index (BTI) analyzes and evaluates the quality of democracy, the market economy and political management in 128 developing and transition countries. It measures successes and setbacks on the path toward a democracy based on the rule of law and a socially responsible market economy. In-depth country reports by 250 international experts with nearly 7,000 individual evaluations provide the basis for assessing the state of transformation and persistent challenges, as well as the ability of policymakers to carry out consistent and targeted reforms. The BTI is the first cross-national comparative index that uses self-collected data to comprehensively measure the quality of governance during processes of transition. The BTI later leads to a sister project, the Sustainable Governance Indicators, which examine governance and policymaking in the OECD member states – and starting in 2014, all EU member states – in order to evaluate each country’s need for and ability to carry out reform.

2003 Carl Bertelsmann Prize: Corporate culture and leadership as factors for success

The topic for the 2003 Carl Bertelsmann Prize is "Corporate culture and leadership as factors for success." The evaluation criteria focus on management techniques that emphasize participation and inclusion as well as dialogue-oriented partnerships within the company or institution. Key dimensions are partnership and collaboration based on dialogue and transparency, identification with goals and tasks, decentralization and delegation of responsibility as a process with rights and duties, and continuity of leadership. Other important criteria include respect for cultures and people as well as the establishment of a reporting system for the further development of the company and corporate culture as part of its social responsibility.
The nominees: BMW Group, Hilti and Novo Nordisk
The winner: Hilti Aktiengesellschaft

2003 NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition

Finals of the NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition 2003, in the Gütersloh Community Center. Winner of the competition Franco Fagioli with Gérard Mortier (chairman of the jury), Liz Mohn and Gustav Kuhn (artistic director).

Winner of the tenth International Singing Competition in October 2003 is Franco Fagioli, 22, of Argentina. The countertenor impresses the international jury, led by Gérard Mortier. In second place is Russian tenor Maxim Mironov, 22, while lyric baritone Song-Hu Liu, 28, of China takes third. More than 1,200 up-and-coming singers from 50 nations participate in NEUE STIMMEN in 2003. Eighteen preliminary rounds are held in cities around the world, including Berlin, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Cape Town, London, Moscow, Munich, New York, Beijing, Sydney and Yokosuka (Japan).

For the first time, singers from Armenia, Cuba, Equador and Iran enter the competition. A total of 48 singers from 18 nations qualify for the final rounds in Gütersloh.
Work-Life Balance: Opening press conference with Liz Mohn and Renate Schmidt

Family policy is the wave of the future, ranking high on the political agenda. Yet workplace requirements do not always match up with what employees want or need. As a result, the expectations of both individuals and businesses must be brought into alignment. This requires developing realistic approaches to family-friendly infrastructures, as well as expecting employees to take the initiative in creating innovative solutions.

The Bertelsmann Stiftung intends to support these processes. We help leaders and managers become experts in developing a family-friendly human resources policy that promotes work/life balance. We recognize individual employers for creative solutions that balance work, family and private life. We train stakeholders from companies, trade associations and communities to establish regional programs offering information, advice and continuing education.

3rd International Culture Forum in Beijing

Germany and China welcome and honor the engagement of the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the China Association for International Cultural Exchange. Promoting cultural dialogue between China and Europe, the International Cultural Forum Beijing takes place in Beijing on May 14 and 15, 2003. In addition, the Chinese preliminary round for the NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition is held there on May 9–12. The best singers in this round perform at a gala opera concert at the end of the International Cultural Forum. Under the direction of Maestro Gustav Kuhn, they join the Wagner tenor Siegfried Jerusalem, NEUE STIMMEN stars Eteri Gvazava and Xiaoliang Li, and Chinese soprano Ma Mei on the stage.

Bertelsmann Stiftung workforce tops 300 for the first time

At the end of 2004, the Bertelsmann Stiftung has 312 employees.

1st Salzburg Trilogue

The International Cultural Forums project series has clearly shown that the European continent-with its cultural diversity and by virtue of the political culture's integration efforts—is accorded a key role in the mediation of, dialogue about and tolerance among cultures. Nevertheless, in Europe there no one monolithic understanding of what tolerance is and what its limits are. This presents increasing challenges to the social cohesion of our pluralistic societies. Current discussions about head scarves, European anti-Semitism, discrimination and terror are vivid reminders of these challenges. The key question for culturally diversified and pluralistic societies is how societal consensus can be reached without there necessarily being a shared understanding of values. Tolerance is becoming an increasingly important factor in resolving ethnic, religious, cultural and gender-specific conflicts. Against this backdrop, the Salzburg Trilogue convenes prominent decision-makers and opinion leaders from all over Europe in August 2004 to develop a forward-looking model of tolerance. The participants agree that tolerance is not a static concept, but instead requires proactive involvement of all societal forces to constantly renegotiate how to deal with differences. This is the only way a framework for peaceful coexistence can be erected in a world of accelerating globalization and increasing pluralization. Participants include EU commissioners Pascal Lamy and Sandra Kalniete; Polish Prime Minister Marek Belka; advisor to Morocco's King Mohammed VI, André Azoulay, the Club of Rome president, H.R.H. Prince El Hassan bin Talal; the chair of the supervisory board of BASF AG, Professor Jürgen Strube; the chairman of BP p.l.c., Peter Sutherland; theater director Andrea Breth; and star Russian conductor Valery Gergiev.

2004 Carl Bertelsmann Prize: Improving performance and progress in the public sector

In 2004, the Bertelsmann Stiftung recognizes an organization in the public sector that not only excels in customer orientation and improved efficiency, but also emphasizes a dialogue-based management approach along with an organizational culture that focuses on the individual. From the original long list of 100 organizations in Europe that have been selected and contacted, 41 participate actively in the competition. Of the four finalists nominated, Århus Amt (Århus County, Denmark) is selected as the winner. The Stiftung's prize recognizes an organization that has set itself apart with a high degree of customer orientation and improved efficiency, as well as by cultivating an employee-friendly organizational culture and a dialogue-oriented management style. Given the size of the Amt, this is no easy task. With 21,000 employees, Århus Amt is one of the largest organizations in the running. The regional administration's jurisdiction covers 26 municipalities with a total of 64,000 residents; it has the highest population of all 14 counties in Denmark.

2004 International Bertelsmann Forum: Europe's alternatives – Responsibilities and perspectives of the enlarged European Union

The International Bertelsmann Forum, January 9–10, 2004, in the Weltsaal at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin.

More than 30 heads of state and government, parliamentary presidents and ministers from 22 European countries, the USA and Israel accept the Bertelsmann Stiftung's invitation to the 2004 International Bertelsmann Forum in Berlin on January 9 and 10, 2004. During their first meeting since the unsuccessful Brussels summit on the EU constitution, they join representatives from business and academia, international organizations and the leading German and international media outlets to discuss the political options for an enlarged Europe. The outcome of this year's forum is the call for a culture of strategic thinking in the EU. This in turn requires purposefully linking the processes of integration and expansion.

Reinhard Mohn sets the course for the future of the Bertelsmann Stiftung

Reinhard Mohn reorganizes the organizational and management structures of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, one of Germany's largest operating foundations, to ensure its long-term continuity.The foundation adopts a governance model used by many successful corporations, separating its Executive Board and Board of Trustees and clearly defining the powers and areas of responsibility of each.Beginning on January 1, 2005, the Executive Board functions as a management board and the Board of Trustees as a supervisory board responsible for consultation and controlling activities.

Dr. Brigitte Mohn is appointed to the Executive Board

Executive Board member Brigitte Mohn, 2005

Brigitte Mohn, the daughter of founder Reinhard Mohn, is appointed to the Bertelsmann Stiftung's Executive Board. Her responsibilities focus on health issues.
Prof. Heribert Meffert retires as chair of the Executive Board

For health reasons, Prof. Heribert Meffert steps down as chair of the Executive Board on December 31, 2005, but maintains close ties to the foundation.The members of the Executive Board share leadership responsibilities from January 1, 2006, until the return of Dr. Gunter Thielen in 2008.

Prof. Ernst Buschor is named chair of the Board of Trustees

Prof. Ernst Buschor, formerly a Swiss government official overseeing education policy, is the new chair of the Bertelsmann Stiftung's Board of Trustees.Prof. Buschor has been a member of the Board since 2000.

2005 Carl Bertelsmann Prize:Work and Youth:Recognizing opportunities – Realizing potential

To give young people a better chance in life, we need good ideas, cooperating partners and help in disseminating those ideas.The Bertelsmann Stiftung therefore calls upon all concerned to work together in the interest of young people and our common future.The research conducted prior to selecting a prizewinner shows that resounding success is indeed possible.The Bertelsmann Stiftung recognizes the "Hamburger Hauptschulmodell" (Hamburg Secondary Modern School Model) as an initiative with a high level of entrepreneurial involvement that can serve as a model for others.Entrepreneur and initiator Dr. Michael Otto accepts the 2005 Carl Bertelsmann Prize, which includes an award of € 150,000, from Liz Mohn on behalf of a network of over 60 Hamburg companies as well as the city’s 109 secondary modern and comprehensive schools.The foundation hopes the prize will spark new discussion in the education policy debate.

2005 NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition

Liz Mohn with Maria Virginia Savastano, winner of the NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition, at Stadthalle Gütersloh on October 22, 2005.

"Music connects us" – this realization, which is today almost taken for granted, does not always receive the attention it deserves. With its 11th NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition, the Bertelsmann Stiftung once again demonstrates the importance of music in bringing people together.The final round of competition is held in Gütersloh from October 17 through 23, 2005. The event is characterized by a collegial atmosphere among the 43 contestants from 19 different countries. "These talented young singers are role models for many today, and they share the firm belief that encounters with people from other backgrounds and cultures enrich the lives of all," says Liz Mohn, president of the competition.

In 2005, more than 1,200 young opera talents from 60 nations participate in the competition.Between May and September, 21 preliminary rounds are held in cities around the world including Berlin, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Cape Town, London, Moscow, Munich, New York, Beijing, Sydney and Yokosuka (Japan).This marks the second time in a row that the Bertelsmann Stiftung's € 10,000 prize goes to Argentina.Russian tenor Alexey Kudrya takes second place, winning € 7,500. He is the only male singer to make it to the final round.Soprano Anna Aglatova, who also hails from Moscow, clinches third place, which comes with an award of € 6,000.The remaining four prizes of € 3,000 each go to Canadian Jane Archibald, Jurgita Adamonyte from Lithuania, Emma Vetter from Sweden and Chinese singer Xiaolin Zhou, winner of the audience award in the semifinals.

20th German-Jewish Dialogue on "Current perspectives and challenges for Europe and the Jewish community"

The purpose of the German-Jewish Dialogue is to promote understanding between policymakers in Germany and representatives of the Jewish community worldwide.For the last 13 years, the Bertelsmann Stiftung and London-based publisher Lord George Weidenfeld have regularly invited Jewish persons of renown from all over the world for confidential talks.These discussions with prominent representatives of the German government, the business community, culture and the media have become an instrument for building trust.The foundation's goal is to provide an authentic way to approach topics currently being discussed in Germany.In addition, participants have the opportunity to share their views on global developments in Jewish culture and the self-concept of the Jewish community in Germany.They also analyze the situation in Israel and the Middle East.

Opening event of the Demographic Change Forum, held under the auspices of German President Horst Köhler

In cooperation with the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the German president's Demographic Change Forum holds its second annual conference at Bellevue Palace on December 5 and 6, 2006.The conference centers on the Generation Y, the children of the baby boomers, who were born between 1985 and 1995.Significant challenges await the members of this generation when their parents start to retire.In addition to caring for the large population of baby boomers, they will be expected to launch their careers, start families of their own and invest their time and energy in volunteer work in the interest of social cohesion.Conditions for meeting those challenges are favorable, since the Millenials, the "echo boomer" generation, are also a relatively large cohort.Today's young people are prepared to devote a great deal of effort to finding their place in society, and they are willing to assume responsibility.However, they are also experiencing increasing demands in the labor market and finding it difficult to plan their future, given today's globalized markets.

2005 International Cultural Forum in New Delhi

In the global village, Europe and India are forced to communicate and compete in a world marked by increasing pluralism.Differing values and lifestyles call our own identities into question.Notable developments include the loss of jobs to offshoring, an increase in the importance of Indian culture in Europe, as demonstrated by the success of Bollywood productions, and international solidarity, as seen in the aftermath of the tsunami disaster.Both of these cultural regions face similar challenges:Internally, there is growing pressure to integrate diverse cultures and ethnicities.We also need to find ways to respond to an increase in religiously and ethnically motivated intolerance, which is putting long-standing secular values to the test.Externally, Europe and India are subject to similar global forces,as their security is threatened by religious fundamentalism and international terrorism.The war in Iraq has deeply divided the world and led to further terrorist attacks in Asia and Europe.

Establishment of the Liz Mohn Foundation for Culture and Music

The Liz Mohn Foundation for Culture and Music pursues objectives that are exclusively and immediately for the public benefit.Its aim is to promote art and culture, particularly music, as well as education and international understanding.The foundation’s primary focus is music,with special emphasis on providing support for young opera singers and music education.The Liz Mohn Foundation for Culture and Music also seeks to promote understanding between children and young people from different cultural backgrounds.It is currently providing support for the Opera Studio of Unter den Linden State Opera in Berlin and its participants.In addition, it helps to fund the Gütersloh Boys' Choir.

The Bertelsmann Stiftung holds 76.9 percent of Bertelsmann AG shares

Since Bertelsmann AG has bought back the 25.1-percent ownership interest of Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, the Bertelsmann Stiftung now holds 76.9 percent of Bertelsmann AG shares, with 23.1 percent held by the Mohn family. Voting rights are held exclusively by Bertelsmann Verwaltungsgesellschaft (BVG).

2006 Carl Bertelsmann Prize:Active agingin economy and society

The 2006 Carl Bertelsmann Prize goes to Finland.The prize recognizes "Older Workers," a national program initiated by the Finnish government in cooperation with the business community, unions, trade associations and academic specialists to improve employment conditions for senior citizens.The prize was awarded based on the results of an international study carried out by Prognos AG on behalf of the Bertelsmann Stiftung.According to the study, other countries with exemplary programs for older workers include Australia, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.By putting in place consistent labor-market policies, these nations have been able to significantly increase gainful employment among workers aged 55 to 64.

2006 International Bertelsmann Forum on "Europe's strategic responses"

International Bertelsmann Forum from September 22 to 23, 2006, at the "Weltsaal" of the German Foreign Office. Among the participants (from left): Liz Mohn, Manuel Barroso, Angela Merkel, Dominique de Villepin and Gunter Thielen.

Dr. Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, calls for a special summit meeting to discuss the future of the European constitution; French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin unveils a surprising proposal for Europe’s energy security; and German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel puts forth a plan outlining a number of key points.More than 150 representatives of 35 countries, including 20 heads of state and government and 14 foreign and defense ministers, accept the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s invitation to discussions at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin.Particularly notable, for veteran observers of the political scene, is the event’s format:It offers an opportunity for scholars, business leaders and international opinion leaders to meet directly with the responsible policymakers and think about Europe’s future, free of the constraints of day-to-day politics and pre-formulated communiques.The conference’s unique structure provides a venue for discussing the many diverse challenges facing Europe.Deliberations focus first of all on the world’s crisis regions.

10th Kronberg Talks on "Europe and the Middle East – New ways and solutions for old problems and challenges"

Among the greatest global challenges, from the perspective of security and crisis management, are the political, territorial, social, economic and ideological conflicts in the Middle East.These are no longer the familiar "state versus state" conflicts, but rather confrontations with non-state groups.Such groups have social and political roots, and engage in conflict either independently or as agents of other entities.The result: Governments are in danger of toppling, states may collapse – and people may be forced to flee their homes.

The role of religion in modern society

On January 19, 2006, the Bertelsmann Stiftung launches its new project on "The role of religion in modern society" in Berlin.The foundation has invited politicians, theologians and sociologists to a conference to exchange ideas about this topic and discuss strategic approaches.There is a great deal of talk about a "return" of religion.At the Bertelsmann Stiftung conference, however, Bishop Wolfgang Huber, chair of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), points out that the idea of a "return" implies that religion has been absent – and this is not true, he contends.Unlike Jürgen Habermas, he does not view the global society – or Germany – as post-secular.Instead, he says, it is more accurate to say that religion is undergoing revitalization.Looking at the rituals of ancient Rome, he also draws the self-critical conclusion that such rituals are necessary if people are to feel at home in their faith.Huber encourages churches to rediscover their missionary role.

Establishment of the Reinhard Mohn Stiftung

This charitable foundation is headed by Reinhard Mohn's son Christoph, and focuses primarily on supporting projects in the Eastern Westphalia region.Under its articles of association, the foundation is permitted to engage in a broad range of activities, such as providing funding for institutions and activities in the areas of social services, education, culture and international understanding.

Prof. Werner Weidenfeld steps down from the Bertelsmann Stiftung's Executive Board 

Long-time board member Prof. Werner Weidenfeld leaves the Bertelsmann Stiftung on November 30, 2007.A political scientist, he headed the foundation's "Politics" division for over 20 years.

Prof. Dieter Vogel is appointed chair of the Bertelsmann Stiftung's Board of Trustees
Following the departure of Prof. Ernst Buschor, Prof. Dieter H. Vogel has been selected to succeed him as chair of the foundation's Board of Trustees.Formerly CEO of the Thyssen Group, he has been a member of the Board since 2004.

The Bertelsmann Stiftung celebrates its 30th anniversary

Liz Mohn and Karin Schlautmann in the Bertelsmann Stiftung's foyer cutting the cake celebrating the 30th anniversary of the organization's founding.

Reinhard Mohn, then CEO of Bertelsmann AG, signed the document establishing the Bertelsmann Stiftung on February 8, 1977.In keeping with the longstanding commitment of its founder, the Bertelsmann Foundation has since dedicated its efforts to promoting the public good."The Bertelsmann Stiftung still has a great deal of work to do," Reinhard Mohn says, "both in the business world and in the context of political and governmental leadership.We need to recognize that we too are responsible for civil society.Rather than sitting back and waiting, we need to act!"On September 12, the Bertelsmann Stiftung celebrates "Stiftung Day" to mark the anniversary of its founding.

2007 Carl Bertelsmann Prize:Educating role models – Civic engagement as an educational goal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives the keynote speech as the Carl Bertelsmann Prize is presented at the Stadthalle Gütersloh on September 6, 2007.

This year's Carl Bertelsmann Prize is awarded to the UK's Citizenship Foundation in recognition of its programs to encourage children and young people to participate in society, as well as its role as a mediator between nonprofit organizations and schools. A special prize is given to TOP SE (Topic-Oriented Project: Social Engagement), a program for secondary schools in the German state of Baden-Württemberg.This program has shown that in Germany, too, it is possible to motivate even schoolchildren to play an active role in civil society.In her keynote speech on September 6 before an audience of more than 700 guests from the political and social spheres, German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel underscores the important contribution of the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s “Educating Role Models” initiative in strengthening our society.

2007 NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition

NEUE STIMMEN final concert in 2007 (left to right):Francisco Araíza, Marina Rebeka, Liz Mohn, Fernando J. Radó and Diego Torre.

Preliminary auditions are held in 24 cities around the world.More than 1,100 young singers from 66 countries apply to compete in the 12th NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition.A total of 46 talented opera singers qualify for the finals in Gütersloh.Latvian soprano Marina Rebeka wins first prize (€ 15,000).Experts agree that the quality of the performances is higher in 2007 than ever before. Latvian soprano Marina Rebeka, 27, impresses the jury with the arias "Qual fiamma" from Ruggero Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci and "È strano, è strano" from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata.Second prize (€ 10,000) goes to Argentinian bass Fernando Javier Rado, who is only 21 years old. The third-prize winner, Mexican tenor Diego Torre, 27, receives a cash award of € 8,000. The fourth through sixth prizes, each with an award of €4,000, go to Australia’s Anita Watson (27, lyric soprano), Yali Wang from China (26, soprano) and Germany's Christiane Karg (27, soprano).Seventh prize goes to 22-year-old Kosovo Albanian Krenare Gashi (soprano).She is offered engagements at the Frankfurt Opera and the Chicago Opera Theater. Eighth-place winner Sung-Kon Kim from South Korea (32, lyric baritone) is also offered an engagement at the Frankfurt Opera.The people's choice award, a certificate for sheet music worth € 500, goes to Russia's Julia Novikova (24, coloratura soprano).Winner of the 20 Years of NEUE STIMMEN prize is Australian soprano Emma Pearson.

Dr. Gunter Thielen is appointed chair of the Executive Board

After five years as CEO of Bertelsmann AG, Dr. Gunter Thielen takes over the chairmanship of the Bertelsmann Stiftung's Executive Board on January 1, 2008.Thielen previously served as chair of the Executive Board from October 2001 to July 2002, and has been a member of the foundation's Board of Trustees since October 2001.

Dr. Jörg Dräger joins the Executive Board

Executive Board member Dr. Jörg Dräger.

Dr. Jörg Dräger, formerly Hamburg's senator for Science and Research as well as for Science and Health, is appointed to the Executive Board.Since July 1, 2008, he has overseen programs related to education while also serving as managing director of the Centre for Higher Education (CHE).

Bertelsmann Stiftung increases investment in education

At the presentation of the Bertelsmann Stiftung's 2008 annual report, Executive Board Chair Dr. Gunter Thielen announces that the foundation intends to focus greater attention on education.He points out that the biggest challenges facing Germany's educational system are the growing heterogeneity of German society and the changes taking place as a result of demographic shifts.To concentrate more effectively on these issues and make them more transparent, the Bertelsmann Stiftung plans to publish studies looking at the costs associated with inadequate education and at individualized support for children.In 2009, the Bertelsmann Stiftung will be making some € 12.5 million available for educational programs.

First issue of change magazine

The first issue of the Bertelsmann Stiftung's magazine change.

The magazine's first issue appears under the heading "Faith makes us strong – How people around the world experience religiosity. "The editorial describes the purpose of the new publication:"With its new magazine, change, the Bertelsmann Stiftung will be presenting its work in a new way.Behind all of the facts and figures, there are always human stories to touch our hearts."

2008 Carl Bertelsmann Prize:Integration Through Education

Executive Board Member Johannes Meier speaking at the presentation of the 2008 Carl Bertelsmann Prize.

Liz Mohn, vice chair of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board, presents the Carl Bertelsmann Prize at a ceremony in Gütersloh on August 20, 2008.Accepting it on behalf of the Toronto District School Board are Gerry Connelly, director of education, and John F. Campbell, chair of the Board of Trustees."We are very proud of this award," Connelly says in her speech at Gütersloh's Stadthalle.She expresses special pride in the work of her colleagues to promote the welfare of the city's students, who come from every corner of the world, and help them become more integrated into society through education.Toronto's school board is recognized for its exemplary efforts to promote integration and equality in education.The city’s more than 550 schools have been remarkably successful at integrating children and teenagers from immigrant families.Special help is provided for students and schools in troubled areas.In Canada, the average school performance of children and teenagers from an immigrant background is not significantly different from that of their native-born counterparts.

The "Fairness for All" competition chooses its first winners

The Bertelsmann Stiftung's "Fairness for All" initiative encourages teachers and students to find creative ways to promote equal opportunity in the German educational system.Every child is important to society.All individuals deserve a fair chance and individualized support to help them make the most of their talents. "Fairness for All" is a Bertelsmann Stiftung initiative aimed at motivating children and young people, but also teachers and parents, to get involved in promoting equal opportunity in Germany's educational system.A school-based competition is designed to find ideas and projects that will further integration in schools.

5th Salzburg Trilogue

The topic of the fifth Salzburg Trilogue is "Global Visions – Are We Speaking a Common Language?" At this event, representatives of global initiatives as well as artists and decision makers from the political, business and social spheres discuss the future of our global society against the backdrop of the urgent challenges we face, which tend to amplify one another.The international participants include HE Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister for Foreign Trade of the United Arab Emirates; former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell; Bianca Jagger, chair of the World Future Council; Ashok Khosla, president of the Club of Rome; futures researcher Jerome C. Glenn; and Dr. Klaus Wiegandt, founder of the Forum for Responsibility.The starting point for the discussions, which take place over a period of one and a half days, is a background paper prepared by the Bertelsmann Stiftung. Three issues dominate this event:global challenges and the looming global crisis, values and visions for living together in a global community, and strategies for solving the most urgent problems facing humankind.

Establishment of the Bertelsmann Foundation North America, Washington, D. C.

The Bertelsmann Foundation North America, founded in 2008, represents the Bertelsmann Stiftung in the United States.It generates ideas for effecting social change, defends the freedom of individuals and societies, and promotes international understanding.The Bertelsmann Foundation serves as a bridge between Europe and America, highlighting best practices in foreign, economic and social policy on both sides of the Atlantic.Its work is predicated on the belief that sooner or later, Europeans and Americans will be confronted with the same challenges, and that each side can learn from the other.

Bertelsmann Stiftung mourns Reinhard Mohn

Founder Reinhard Mohn (1921 - 2009)

Bertelsmann Stiftung founder Reinhard Mohn passes away on October 3, 2009, at the age of 88. He and his wife, Liz Mohn, represented the fifth generation of the Bertelsmann and Mohn families of entrepreneurs and philanthropists. Reinhard Mohn closely followed the Bertelsmann Stiftung's work as a member of the Board of Trustees right up to the end of his life.

2009 NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition

In early 2009, the 13th NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition draws applications from 1,140 singers around the world. Between April and August 2009, more than 900 rising talents demonstrate their abilities in auditions at 23 locations worldwide. Thirty-nine talented young opera singers from 24 countries participate in the finals in October in Gütersloh, with Dominique Meyer, Director Designate of the Vienna State Opera, serving as the new jury chair. The top three prizes go to singers from South Korea: Eunju Kwon (24), Kihwan Sim (26) and JunHo You (29). In all, seven monetary prizes and one special award are given. More than 70 agents and opera company directors attend the competition and singers come away with numerous contacts and first engagements.

PHINEO gAG is founded

In late 2009, the Bertelsmann Stiftung partners with a broad alliance of interested entities from civil society, government and the business world to found PHINEO gAG. A continuation of the Bertelsmann Stiftung project Orientation for Social Investors, PHINEO helps social investors (philanthropists, donors and CSR decision makers) find particularly promising projects and high-performing organizations. By providing profiles of exemplary organizations, reports on various charitable topics, handbooks for donors and recipients as well as individual consulting for social investors, PHINEO establishes transparency about social challenges and outstanding solutions to them. This enables us to strengthen and promote civil society broadly over the long term.

Bertelsmann Stiftung earns praise from Germany: Land of Ideas program

The Bertelsmann Stiftung's Marketplace Method project and its partners, KPMG and RWE AG, are recognized by the "Germany – Land of Ideas" initiative. The Marketplace Method, which originated in the Netherlands, brings companies and non-profit initiatives together. Participants negotiate cooperative projects in which supply and demand determine the terms of exchange. This approach enables companies to fulfill their social responsibility and provides non-profit organizations with additional resources for achieving their goals. To date, more than 100 "marketplaces" have been held throughout Germany, yielding more than 4,000 cooperative agreements. This is the second time the Bertelsmann Stiftung is being honored under the Germany: Land of Ideas program. The Religion Monitor, a tool for measuring religiousness, received an award in April 2009.

Leave no child behind! Communities in North Rhine-Westphalia stress prevention. (Kein Kind zurücklassen! Kommunen in NRW beugen vor.)

Kick-off event for "Leave no child behind!" ("Kein Kind zurücklassen!") with Hannelore Kraft and Brigitte Mohn.

Effective prevention improves the prospects for children and young people and is less costly than remedial action. This view serves as the basis for "Leave No Child Behind! – Communities in North Rhine-Westphalia stress prevention",  a joint pilot project of the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The project’s primary goal is to provide early assistance and thus help children and young people grow up to be successful. The project seeks to improve the prospects and thus ensure the welfare of children and young people through preventive action. Such a coordinated approach is expected to reduce the financial burden on participating communities over the medium and long term. In collaboration with a learning network of selected communities, the project takes an empirical approach to developing strategies for establishing and improving conditions for families and children locally through cooperative, support and intervention structures. The strategies are then shared with interested communities to use or adapt for their own activities.

Aart De Geus joins the Executive Board

Aart Jan De Geus is appointed to the Bertelsmann Stiftung's Executive Board on September 1, 2011.

The Bertelsmann Stiftung Board of Trustees appoints Aart Jan De Geus, deputy secretary-general of the OECD, to the Executive Board, effective September 1, 2011. De Geus served as the Netherlands' minister of social affairs and employment from July 2002 to February 2007.

Prof. Werner J. Bauer becomes chair of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Board of Trustees

Prof. Werner J. Bauer is appointed chairman of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Board of Trustees. The executive vice president of Nestlé AG has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2003 and has long been involved with the Stiftung.

1st Reinhard Mohn Prize awarded on the topic of "Vitalizing democracy through participation"

First-ever Reinhard Mohn Prize awarded on June 16, 2011, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, honorees Mayor João da Costa Bezerra Filho and student representative Keila Pessoa de Oliveira, Liz Mohn and Gunter Thielen.

The Bertelsmann Stiftung awards the Reinhard Mohn Prize to recognize innovative concepts and exemplary approaches to solving social and political issues and conducts a global search for interesting models. The prize, which is bestowed under this name for the first time in 2011, honors the memory of the Bertelsmann Stiftung's founder Reinhard Mohn, who passed away in October 2009. The Reinhard Mohn Prize's predecessor was the Carl Bertelsmann Prize, which was awarded from 1988 to 2008 in memory of Carl Bertelsmann, the founder of the Bertelsmann publishing house. The Bertelsmann Stiftung presents this prize to the Brazilian port city of Recife – a model of civic participation – and to the citizens of  Recife, for whom participation has opened up entirely new perspectives. Recife, a city of 1.5 million located in the northeastern corner of Brazil, has been including its citizens in the budgeting process since 2001 using a model of participatory budgeting that was developed in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre in the late 1980s. The idea, which has won recognition from the United Nations, has since been adopted by some 70 Brazilian communities as well as several cities in Europe, North America and New Zealand. Every year more than 100,000 of Recife's citizens help to decide what will happen in their neighborhoods – which streets will be repaired, where schools will be built and which sewers will be cleaned.

2011 NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition

In the spring of 2011, applications to participate in the 14th NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition arrived from 1,422 singers in 68 countries – the highest number since the project began. Between April and August, more than 1,000 young singers take the opportunity to demonstrate their talent in one of 23 preliminary auditions held worldwide. Of these, 41 qualify for the week-long final round in Gütersloh. Chaired by Dominique Meyer, director of the Vienna State Opera, the jury identifies six prize winners.  Shortly thereafter, she made her professional debut in a sold-out concert at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt. The final concert in the Gütersloh town hall is also broadcast in the theater and streamed live on the Internet for the first time.

Healthcare fact check – Initiative for high-quality healthcare

Healthcare fact check on "Regional differences in medical care"

Medical care in Germany varies, depending in part on where a patient lives, as illustrated in new Internet portal Visitors to the site can access information about differences in healthcare between various cities or rural districts, using an interactive map of Germany. The site covers 16 common areas of treatment. "With Healthcare Fact Check, people can find out about specific aspects of healthcare in their own regions," says Dr. Brigitte Mohn, member of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board. Healthcare Fact Check covers common operations such as Caesarean sections, tonsillectomies and appendectomies as well as non-surgical interventions, such as in-hospital treatment of diabetes and depression. The Bertelsmann Stiftung will be publishing reports that present a more detailed picture of these regional differences and explain the reasons behind them. The first report published is the fact check "Antibiotika-Verordnungen bei Kindern" (Prescribing antibiotics to children). Others follow in 2012.

Tenth Salzburg Trilogue "New foundations for the world economy and global governance"

New approaches are urgently needed for managing the world economy, with its conflicting interests, systemic risks, and social and environmental costs. Structural reforms within existing institutions – although discussed the most – are not enough. Reform must make visible the priorities that the global economy should address and identify the rules with which conflicts between actors and interests at a global level can be resolved. One key step towards creating a world economy less susceptible to crisis would be a charter for sustainable economic activity, worked out between Western and non-Western players, written in easily understandable language that describes which economic, environmental and social goals should be achieved globally and the political measures needed to achieve them. The 10th Salzburg Trilogue, which took place from August 18-20, 2011, brought together 29 experts from 16 countries to examine current challenges relating to global governance.

New Executive Board chair

In the summer of 2012, Dr. Gunter Thielen steps down as chair of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board. Liz Mohn establishes the "Gunter Thielen Grant for Responsible Corporate Governance" to honor his service. Thielen is an Honorary Professor at the University of Witten/Herdecke. Aart de Geus succeeds Thielen as Executive Board Chairman on August 5, 2012. He remains responsible for programs in the areas of Europe, the labor market and globalization.

First Lied Master class marks 25th anniversary of NEUE STIMMEN

The NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2012. The high point of the year is a gala concert on December 1, featuring 12 former prizewinners and guest star Thomas Hampson. While the artists gathered to congratulate NEUE STIMMEN perform at the Gütersloh Theater, the event is also streamed live to a virtual audience of roughly 10,000. The year's events are capped off by a press conference at the Salzburg Festival, the release of a CD celebrating 25 years of NEUE STIMMEN, a filmed portrait entitled "Die Meistermacher" (The Makers of Masters) broadcast by WDR and the appearance of selected prizewinners on the ZDF/arte program "Stars of Tomorrow." In addition to the master class, NEUE STIMMEN now also includes a Lied master class, held this year for the first time and taught by the renowned opera singer Edda Moser. Four of its participants give final concerts in Gütersloh and Berlin to demonstrate what they have learned. In cooperation with the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Lied master class will be held again in 2013 and 2014, led by Angelika Kirchschlager and Christian Gerhaher.

The German Adult Education Association (Deutsche Volkshochschul-Verband e.V.) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung establish local discussion forums to expand the reach of the public dialogue recently launched by German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel at the internet platform At the end of March, independent citizens' forums are organized in more than 50 German cities to discuss the issues put forward by the chancellor. Participants not only contribute their personal perspectives and ideas but also work together to develop concrete proposals that are then added to the national discussion process. The focus is on three issues: How do we want to live together in the future? How do we want to earn a living? How do we want to learn?

Reinhard Mohn Prize awarded to Kofi Annan

Liz Mohn presents Kofi Annan with the Reinhard Mohn Prize on November 7, 2013.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan receives the 2013 Reinhard Mohn Prize. With the award, the Bertelsmann Stiftung is honoring Annan's exemplary efforts to promote sustainable development around the world. Thanks to his work, many political, economic and social initiatives are now underway globally, nationally and locally to promote sustainable and inter-generationally just development.

"Chancenspiegel" (Opportunity Report)

The "Chancenspiegel" is a joint project of the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Institute for School Development Research. The project's aim is to increase transparency on educational opportunity. The "Chancenspiegel" examines how social background and migration-related inequality affect educational outcomes, now and in the years ahead. The analyses and findings are made available to the general public in an annual report, the "Chancenspiegel." The project seeks to stimulate discussion and support reform efforts aimed at improving the quality of education and equal opportunity within the educational system.

2013 NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition

President of the NEUEN STIMMEN competition Liz Mohn (second in from the right), with this year's winners (from left): Nadine Sierra, Myong-Hyun Lee, and Nicole Car on October 13, 2013.

In all, 1,428 young opera talents applied to participate in the Bertelsmann Stiftung's 15th NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition. Of the four male finalists, 24-year-old tenor Myong-Hyun Lee of South Korea, who recently completed his Master's Degree in Voice in Seoul, wins first place and a EUR  15,000 prize, followed by bass Oleg Tibulco of Moldavia (2nd place, EUR 10,000) and baritone Oleksandr Kyreiev of Ukraine (3rd place, EUR 5,000). The decision among the five female finalists proves more difficult. The jury awards two EUR 15,000 first-place prizes. One goes to Nadine of the United States, who completed her studies in New York and already performed in Florida, San Francisco, Boston and Naples. The other goes to Australian singer Nicole Car, who switched from jazz to opera after hearing a performance of Tosca. She studied at the University of Melbourne and made her debut as Donna Anna at the Victorian Opera in 2009. The third place prize of EUR 5,000 goes to soprano Kristina Mkhitaryan of Russia.

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Our Founder's Beliefs

Learning from the World: Why Reinhard Mohn Founded the Bertelsmann Stiftung

Reinhard Mohn wanted to encourage people to get involved. He also wanted to help create a society capable of offering everyone a chance to succeed. read more


Proactive and Forward-Looking

How is the Bertelsmann Stiftung structured? Here you'll find information about our governance bodies, management team and the contacts available to you at the foundation. read more

Mission Statement

Our Core Principles

Freedom, solidarity and goodwill are the values that underlie our work and determine our goals. read more