Two key influences on the philanthropy of Hans Schöpflin, co-founder of the Schöpflin Foundation, have been his experience of living in the US and, more importantly, the death of his son from a heroin overdose. The first led him to reject what he sees as the broken American political system, the second has given a philosophical and practical dimension to his work. He and Tim Göbel, the foundation’s executive director, talk to Charles Keidan about Schöpflin’s commitment to democracy promotion, drug prevention and what they see as the responsibility of Germany’s foundation sector to stand up for migrants and refugees and challenge far-right political movements.
Hans, as a young man, you went off to the US. How did your experiences there form your philanthropy?