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Bertelsmann Foundation North America

The Bertelsmann Foundation North America is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit think tank in Washington, DC with a transatlantic perspective on global challenges. Our innovative projects and discussion events allow policy makers and thought leaders to develop practical recommendations for pressing political, economic and social issues.

Founded in 2008 as an affiliate of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the Bertelsmann Foundation North America advances social change, supports civil liberties and promotes international understanding. Serving as a bridge between Europe and the United States, it highlights best practices on both sides of the Atlantic in the areas of foreign, economic and social policy. Its work is predicated on the belief that sooner or later Europeans and Americans will face the same challenges and can learn from each other’s solutions.

The Bertelsmann Foundation North America provides insight into German and European perspectives on international issues and introduces them into policy discussions. An area of key interest is globalization as experienced in Europe and the US, including the impact of the financial crisis and the opportunities offered by a transatlantic free-trade agreement.

CHE Centre for Higher Education

Germany’s system of higher education is being transformed by an unprecedented change: Going to university has now become normal. Almost anyone can enroll – the possibilities are virtually endless. That means many people who would like to study have difficulty choosing the program that is right for them.

CHE offers them detailed information and makes the numerous offerings more transparent. Moreover, not only are there more students in Germany, they have become more diverse as well. Ensuring anyone can study regardless of background is a challenge that university administrators and policy makers must address. CHE supports them by providing recommendations and solutions. CHE was founded in 1994 by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the German Rectors’ Conference. For 20 years, the organization’s best-known project, the annual CHE University Ranking, has been providing students with guidance on higher education programs at German-speaking institutions. In 2014, U-Multirank was introduced, the first multidimensional ranking of universities on an international scale. In March 2017, it compared institutions from 99 countries using more than 30 criteria from the areas of research, teaching, internationality, regional engagement and knowledge transfer.

Founders Foundation

The Founders Foundation in Bielefeld uses its two practice-oriented academies to train next-generation entrepreneurs and business leaders and to network them with established companies.

In 2016, the Bertelsmann Stiftung launched the nonprofit Founders Foundation. Making use of the practices developed by Bertelsmann Stiftung’s founder, Reinhard Mohn, the Founders Foundation is training the next generation of entrepreneurs in East Westphalia/Lippe. As a result, new opportunities are taking shape in the region for individuals with entrepreneurial potential. The Founders Foundation supports tomorrow’s business leaders as they launch their start-ups. The foundation’s training courses, workshops, networks and work spaces are designed to motivate people with innovative ideas to start businesses in the region. In addition to the Founders Academy, a Founders Camp supports start-ups for six months as they go from initial idea to actual business. The program’s various elements include strategic consulting, seminars led by professionals, and shared office space. Within five years, the Bertelsmann Stiftung will be investing up to € 17 million in this unique project.

Fundación Bertelsmann

The Bertelsmann Stiftung promotes social change in Spain through its Barcelona-based affiliate, the Fundación Bertelsmann. Since 2014, all Fundación Bertelsmann activities have focused on reducing the country’s high level of youth unemployment.

Reinhard Mohn established the Fundación Bertelsmann in Barcelona in 1995. Initially it focused on developing libraries in Spain, thereby making use of longstanding practice-oriented efforts in Germany to modernize public libraries. After 10 years, the Barcelona-based foundation began launching projects designed to increase civic engagement in Spain. Since 2014 it has focused on combatting the country’s high rate of youth unemployment. The nonprofit foundation supports organizations in the educational sector and job market as they improve training programs and employment opportunities for young people in Spain. It has therefore launched the Alliance for Dual Vocational Training, which brings together businesses, vocational schools and other institutions. It also offers further education programs that increase the quality of the country’s career counseling services.

German Stroke Foundation

The German Stroke Foundation is a first point of contact for questions relating to stroke. It assists people who have experienced a stroke, and their families, as well as practitioners in the field. Its services range from providing information, educational materials and advice to promoting self-care following a stroke and organizing training for medical professionals.

The German Stroke Foundation was established by Liz Mohn in 1993 after a medical incident in her own family. The foundation engages in health promotion and works to improve prevention, acute care, rehabilitation and recovery following a stroke. In addition to coordinating initiatives that advance stroke treatment, such as the use of “stroke stewards,” it assists and networks innovative approaches. The foundation supports measures for assessing and enhancing the quality of care stroke patients receive, for example by promoting the creation of stroke units and the introduction of integrated care on a national level. In the area of stroke management, the German Stroke Foundation is a people-centered solutions provider which helps ensure patients have access to interdisciplinary care that is modern and efficient. Regardless of the activity, the organization’s first priority is meeting the needs of patients and their families.

Liz Mohn Foundation for Culture and Music

Through its projects, the Liz Mohn Foundation for Culture and Music focuses on developing young opera talent and advancing music education. It also works to increase understanding among children and young people of different cultural backgrounds.

This nonprofit foundation was established in 2005. In keeping with the vision of its founder, Liz Mohn, the organization’s mission is to make greater use of the opportunities culture and music offer for personal development and for society at large. The focus of its work is on promoting music education and supporting up-and-coming opera singers. In addition, it aims to increase understanding among children and young people of different cultural backgrounds. Within these focus areas, the foundation supports the Opera Studio at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin and the studio’s participants. It also organizes the project Children’s Musical Theater, which contributes to local efforts supporting culture and young people in the city of Gütersloh, where the organization isbased. The Liz Mohn Foundation for Culture and Music accepts applications for grants once a year as part of the national Cultural Diversity With Music initiative.


Doing good and achieving the best – that’s Phineo’s goal. Its analysis and consulting help ensure that social investors are effective when they engage on behalf of society. Phineo is also committed to helping civil society grow – quantitatively and qualitatively.

The Bertelsmann Stiftung founded Phineo gAG in 2009 together with business, government and civil society organizations. The idea behind Phineo originated in a project developed and realized as part of the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Civil Society program, which is overseen by Dr. Brigitte Mohn in her role as a member of the foundation’s Executive Board. Phineo helps social investors (philanthropists, donors and CSR managers) identify promising projects and highly effective organizations. Through its reports, manuals, analyses, workshops, free quality seal and individual consulting services for social investors, Phineo makes social challenges and the resulting solutions more transparent. It thus supports nonprofits and investors, such as foundations and businesses, in increasing the effectiveness of their social engagement. As a result, its activities assist and strengthen civil society on an ongoing basis. The Bertelsmann Stiftung supports Phineo as one of the organization’s shareholders.

Reinhard Mohn Institute for Management

The Reinhard Mohn Institute of Management is an educational institute at the University of Witten/Herdecke. Through research, teaching and dialogue with practitioners in the field, it contributes innovative ideas that advance the theory and practice of corporate management on the national and international levels.

Named for the founder of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the Reinhard Mohn Institute of Management (RMI) at the University of Witten/Herdecke was established in 2010. The institute’s program is anchored in organization theory and reflects Mohn’s participatory and accountability-driven management philosophy. The RMI increasingly sees strategy, management, organization and governance as one cross-functional concept which results in cooperative, networked corporate leadership. Key issues addressed by the institute include cooperative relationships; network and alliance strategies; managing openness and transparency; trust in and among organizations; new forms of leadership and work in the digital age; and corporate responsibility. The RMI faculty is comprised of two professors and one research professor, one of whom holds the Reinhard Mohn Chair of Management. Since its establishment, the RMI has received ongoing support from the Bertelsmann Stiftung.

Reinhard Mohn Stiftung

The Reinhard Mohn Stiftung works to ensure that the educational achievement of children and young people does not depend on their social or cultural background. Its activities are thus designed to improve the quality of education in preschools and schools.

The Reinhard Mohn Stiftung began its project work in 2009. Its activities focus on helping all children and young people reach their full potential regardless of social or cultural background. It bases its work on successful programs in Germany and other countries, especially those used in Toronto and Zurich. The foundation’s projects take place in the cities and towns of East Westphalia/Lippe, the area Reinhard Mohn was from and where his family still lives today. The Reinhard Mohn Stiftung engages in a range of activities to achieve its goals, including programs for getting parents more involved and for creating multi-professional teams in preschools and schools. It also works to ensure children transition successfully from one educational institution to the next. All of its projects are developed and carried out together with local partners.

Center for Digital Education and Schools in Gütersloh

The center supports the 122 schools and their administrators in the district of Gütersloh by helping them include digital learning in the school development process. The goal is to continue improving the quality of classroom instruction and ensure all young people can participate as digital technology transforms how we live and work.

Digitization is creating fundamental change in almost all areas of life. Schools, moreover, must prepare students for their future in a digital society. That means ensuring young people are not only able to use digital media, but can interact with them critically and responsibly. To mark the 40th anniversary of its founding, the Bertelsmann Stiftung partnered with the Reinhard Mohn Stiftung to create the Center for Digital Education and Schools in Gütersloh. Working closely with individuals and institutions responsible for education in the greater Gütersloh area, the center will provide ongoing support for developing the role media play in schools. The goal is to ensure all of the area’s 122 schools benefit from the center’s activities over the next five years and beyond.