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.