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 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.