The Stiftung Neue Verantwortung is not a solely academic research institute. How does the organisation develop proposals and expert knowledge?

The SNV staff consists of experts in their fields with academic background. We work on our issues following a specific method: collaborative problem solving. This lends us agility and enables us to develop innovative and sound ideas. Our methodology follows a specific procedure. First, our experts conduct a research sprint. Unlike conventional studies that are often very extensive, this step aims at rapidly analysing the problem and sketching first ideas for solutions.

This provides the basis for the second phase: radical testing. We test our ideas in the outer world in an exchange with experts from civil society, academia, the economy and administration. The aim is to separate the good ideas from the bad ones at an early stage, to further develop or discard them entirely. Radical testing is not a one-off event but takes place repeatedly. The iteration allows for the emergence of innovative and viable solutions that incorporate many different perspectives. As a result, we provide very concrete and practical policy proposals that receive broad support.

Why does the Stiftung Neue Verantwortung have the term "Foundation" (“Stiftung”) in its name when it actually is a registered association?

The term Foundation covers many legal and organisational statuses. We made a conscious decision for the legal status of an association. An association does not need any capital and the legal costs and bureaucracy are limited. We consciously name ourselves “Stiftung” to underline the non-profit nature of our work.

How many people does the SNV employ?

At present, 17 people are working in our organisation. 14 of these contribute their expertise to our content-related work.

How is the SNV financed?

In order to guarantee the independence of our work while providing a stable institutional framework, we opted for mixed financing from as many sponsors as possible. In 2016, the Stiftung Neue Verantwortung (SNV) had an overall budget of 1.2 million Euro. 20 sponsors from the public and business sector currently finance the work of the think tank.

The largest category of donors consists in non-profit foundations such as the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the Stiftung Mercator, the Bertelsmann Stiftung or the Open Society Foundation. As of now, eight different foundations are financing our work and provide for about 70 percent of our annual overall budget of approximately 1.2 million Euro. 20 percent of our funds consist in business donations not attached to a specific purpose.

Our current 14 business donors include Allianz, Evonik, Knauf, KPMG or IBM Germany, whereby no single company may provide for more than 5 percent of our total budget. The remaining 10 percent are covered for by public institutions (e.g. ministries) and universities. You may find more detailed information here. The rental costs for the central offices of the SNV on Potsdamer Platz are also covered for by way of a donation by the owner of the property, the Beisheim Holding.

Which roles do the executive bodies of the SNV play (meeting of the members and executive committee)?

Intersectorality - the interplay of different disciplines and ways of thinking - forms the core of our methodology and determines the constitution of our executive bodies. We make sure to have a mix from civil society, academia, business, politics and administration.

The members meet once a year, as does the executive committee. These bodies fulfil by and large following tasks: The members appoint and dismiss the members of the executive committee and designate the chair of the executive committee.

The executive committee decides on the strategic and thematic focus of the foundation, appoints and dismisses the managing board, adopts the yearly budget and supervises the managing board as regards the accounts.  

What is the founding history of the Stiftung Neue Verantwortung?

The Stiftung Neue Verantwortung was founded in 2008 in the context of the economic crisis. The aim was to sensitise young professionals and enable them to take responsibility for pressing social challenges. Thus the SNV was founded as a platform where young representatives of business, politics/ administration, academia and civil society could exchange their points of view across sectors and silos, on a wide range of issues relevant to the future of society. Among these: intelligent power grids, government foresight, urban industrial policy or European social policy.

The founding organisations included the Deutsche Akademie der Technikwissenschaften (Acatech, German Academy of Sciences and Engineering), the Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie (BDI, Federation of German Industries), the Union der deutschen Akademien der Wissenschaften (Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities), the Deutsche Sportbund (German Sports Confederation) and the company Egon Zehnder International. The organisation gained renown and recognition largely for its intersectoral and collaborative working methodology which became the trademark of the Stiftung Neue Verantwortung. The founding members in the operative business in the years 2008 to 2014 were Lars Zimmermann, Tobias Leipprand and Dr. Timo Noetzel.

In the years since its foundation, the organisation has continued to develop in terms of both contents and structure. The foundation achieved particular success with its method in the areas of technological change. In 2015, the executive committee adopted the proposal by the managing board to turn the SNV into an expert organisation for political and social issues of technological change.