In June 2008, the Heinrich Böll Foundation moved into its new home on Schumannstrasse 8 in Berlin’s Mitte district. The new building, based on designs by the Swiss architectural firm e2A, offers the Foundation’s approximately 180 employees a bright new working environment. The crowning jewel of the new Foundation building is the “bel étage”: a modern conference and meeting center on the first floor, which opens up new dimensions for our civic education activities.
A look back: In the year 1990, the Heinrich Böll Foundation commissioned Reinhard Loske, now environmental senator in Bremen, with a study that appeared as one of the Foundation’s first publications, entitled “Ways toward Climate Stabilization – Atmospheric Protection as a Challenge for Industry, Government and Society.” Among other things, the study called for global justice through emissions reductions in the industrialized countries and assistance to Third World countries in attempting to “synchronize development and ecology.” Eighteen years ago, many viewed climate change as an issue being blown out of proportion by a few scientists and Green ideologues. Today, it is recognized as a fact.
Climate change could prove to have a particularly damaging impact upon emerging and developing countries where it primarily affects poor people. This means that those who bear the least responsibility for climate change will likely be most severely affected by it. Thus the international climate-related activities that the Heinrich Böll Foundation supports and conducts have been grouped under the motto “Climate of Justice.” One example of our activities in this area is the campaign “Africa Speaks up on Climate Change.” Prominent environmental activists, under the patronage of Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai, are calling upon leaders in industrialized and emerging countries to take decisive steps to protect the climate. Our study, “The Right to Development in a Climate Constrained World,” which was presented at the international Climate Change Conference in Bali, also attracted strong international interest from governments in the North and South, the European Commission, the World Bank, and many climate activists.
As an ambitious and contradictory country, China became another focus of the Foundation’s international activities. The discussion circle “China and India in the Global Economy” addresses the international economic dimensions of these aspiring world powers. In addition, the 8th Annual Foreign Policy Conference in September dealt with the West’s policies toward China. And for over 10 years we have been providing support to various projects to strengthen the cultural identity and self-determination of the Tibetans; the Tibetan Center of Human Rights and Democracy in Dharamsala, India, is among their renowned international partners.
The Foundation can claim with full justification that the issue of gender policy is one of its trademarks. With the establishment of the Gunda Werner Institute for Feminism and Gender Democracy in 2007, we are working hard to enhance our impact on this important field even further. Through its events and publications, and through its one-of-a-kind virtual “knowledge portal” on gender policy, the Institute has become a high-profile actor in Germany and beyond.
Last year, we had a total of three birthdays to celebrate. First, Heinrich Böll would have turned 90 in December. This gave us the opportunity to commemorate the person, works and influence of Heinrich Böll through various events and internet presentations. Second, we celebrated the occasion of Petra Kelly’s 60th birthday in November. A large-format illustrated volume is dedicated to her life and work. The best-known Green politician from the party’s early days in the 1980s was honored at a conference.
And third, the Heinrich Böll Foundation itself turned 20 last year. A great deal has happened since its establishment in November 1987 in Cologne, and the history of Green-affiliated foundations is still on the move: we are actively involved in helping to build up a European Green foundation, which has meanwhile been established in Brussels. Its work will contribute to the emergence of a European public sphere and will thereby complement the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s broad spectrum of activities directed toward European policy. This Annual Report highlights some of the key aspects and details of our work in the past year. Of course, current information is always available on our website (www.boell.de).
Berlin, April 2008
Ralf Fücks Barbara Unmüßig
Executive Board of the Heinrich Böll Foundation
- Globalization and Sustainability
- International Democracy Promotion
- Foreign and Security Policy
- Global Gender Policy
- Migration and Intercultural Management
- Promoting Young Talent – Scholarship Program
- Contemporary History
- Artand Culture
- Heinrich Böll House in Langenbroich
- News from the Foundation