In our 2012 Annual Report, we look back at the years Prof. Gunter Thielen spent as the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s chairman and CEO. The report also introduces his successor, Aart De Geus. To commemorate 25 years of NEUE STIMMEN, it describes how the international singing competition began and its success over the years promoting promising young opera singers. In addition, the 2012 Annual Report documents our proposed educational reforms, our efforts to create a vibrant civil society and the expansion of our international activities.