In this interview, Liz Mohn talks about our foundation’s guiding values and its four decades of work.
This year we are celebrating the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s 40th anniversary. Which principles have guided the foundation’s work in the past and continue to do so today?
Exactly 40 years ago, Reinhard Mohn established the nonprofit Bertelsmann Stiftung with the aim of contributing solutions in various areas of social concern. As a German citizen and business leader, he did so knowing that wealth entails social responsibility. The foundation’s establishment in 1977 simultaneously continued the sociopolitical, cultural and social engagement of the Bertelsmann and Mohn families. The credo that inspired Reinhard Mohn throughout his life was: “Learn from the world!” Today it continues to be expressed through many international projects which are based on our guiding values of solidarity, freedom and goodwill.
When you look back on four decades of the foundation’s work, what would you say was of particular importance?
For four decades, the Bertelsmann Stiftung has been active as a private operating foundation in a range of projects both in Germany and abroad. We want to use our anniversary to join with our supporters and project partners of many years, as well as with our employees and the members of our governance bodies, to reflect on our 40 years of committed, successful work. After all, the success we’ve enjoyed would never have been possible without the inspiration and engagement of these many individuals.
And which goals should the foundation pursue in its future work?
Looking ahead both inspires and encourages us to continue addressing our social responsibilities in a way that reflects our values and honors the legacy of our founder. Making people curious about the future, helping the world become a bit more peaceful, humane and better every day – those are goals with which we venture a look ahead.