Alumni Voices

Our former employees also observe our work from the distance. We asked them:

What would you say are the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s strengths today?

I continue to be impressed by the wide range of issues that the Bertelsmann Stiftung addresses, not to mention its outstanding studies and analysis.

Claudia Wilm, Rheda Wiedenbrück Community Foundation

Through its studies, the Bertelsmann Stiftung consistently addresses social issues of major importance, offering facts and other forward-looking information – always with its finger on the pulse of the times.

Dr. Ulrike Naim, Founder of una-pr

Over the last 40 years, the Bertelsmann Stiftung has developed from a small group of committed individuals to a highly professional institution. It has moved away from operational project work (model projects) and towards policy work and an enrichment of the political discussion by publishing comparative studies and making the relevant data and materials available.

Prof. Dr Marga Pröhl, Director-General, European Institute of Public Administration

I find it exciting to be able to watch the foundation from the outside and to observe from a new environment how it approaches things. I believe one challenge will be to be seen and heard as an expert in areas that are less directly related to the foundation. After all, many “consultants” exist who use major issues to present themselves and offer assistance to managers on all levels every day. The foundation will have to focus on certain topics in order to solidify its status as an expert on those topics. This will continue to require a balancing act: specializing to a certain degree without limiting the foundation’s vision.

Nicole Kleimann, CTS EVENTIM AG & Co. KGaA

The Bertelsmann Stiftung remains a fount of sociopolitical ideas and knowledge. In 2017, however, there are many other players on the field who are pursuing similar goals in Germany and Europe and around the world.

Michael Alberg-Seberich, Managing Partner, Forum for Active Philanthropy

Back then, the Bertelsmann Stiftung was one of the first foundations in Europe dedicated to professionalizing the work foundations do, something I did not fully appreciate at the time. Today, however, I know that our projects laid the groundwork which allowed the sector to take a huge step forward.

Fatiah Bürkner, Managing Director, Max Kohler Foundation

I had many remarkable encounters and experiences during my time at the Bertelsmann Stiftung. As a result, I am now also part of an extensive, active network made up of people with a range of expertise on the topics of education, inclusion and civil society.

Gerald Labitzke, Director of PR, Wittekindshof

“Gütersloh” continues to play a special role among foundations in Germany and Europe, and you can still sense the influence of Reinhard Mohn and his ideas. At the same time, the foundation has moved forward and will undoubtedly keep doing so in the future – which can be seen a sign of quality.

Dr. Christof Eichert, Member of the Executive Board, Schader Stiftung

The Bertelsmann Stiftung has the considerable advantage of not having to design projects to meet public-sector requirements, but society’s needs instead. The resulting ability to identify the necessary reforms and solutions remains one of its core strengths.

Cortnie Anne Shupe, German Institute for Economic Research
Richard Asbeck, Resident Representative in Israel and the Palestinian
Dr. Volker Then, Executive Director CSI – Centre for Social Investment
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