In keeping with the beliefs of its founder, Reinhard Mohn, the Bertelsmann Stiftung carries out a worldwide search for solutions that contribute to the common good and that make social progress and participation possible, now and in the future. As a result, the Reinhard Mohn Prize addresses a different topic each year. Whether it’s civic participation, sustainability or immigration, the chosen issue always reflects a challenge Germany currently faces. In searching for potential solutions, it helps to look at initiatives that have been successful in other countries: Not only can we learn from them, their achievements inspire similar efforts in Germany as well.
The €200,000 prize is awarded every two years to an exceptional individual who has played a key role in bringing these noteworthy initiatives to life. The prize money is given in support of each year’s cause. The prizewinners are individuals who have demonstrated vision and creativity and whose life work has been characterized by outstanding achievement and success. They are known for being thought leaders and facilitators of innovative solutions. Through their communicative abilities and willingness to enter into dialogue, their efforts transcend individual disciplines and help create a society based on personal responsibility. The prizewinners are role models who inspire others, in keeping with Reinhard Mohn’s maxim: “We have the freedom to act. We should make use of it.”
The decision on who is to receive the prize is made by a committee convened by the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board. The Reinhard Mohn Prize is the successor to the Carl Bertelsmann Prize, which was awarded from 1988 to 2008.