A new Centre for Social Investment (CSI) opened at the beginning of July at Heidelberg University, Germany. The Centre, a joint initiative of several leading German foundations such as the Bosch, Deutsche Bank, Hertie and Thyssen Foundations, and the University, will provide research, teaching, training and advisory services in the public benefit sector.
Its aim is to contribute to the development of professionalism in the field. The new Centre will be jointly led by its Managing Director, Dr Volker Then, formerly of Bertelsmann Stiftung, and its Academic Director, Professor Helmut Anheier. Anheier has accepted a professorship at Heidelberg and will join the Centre full time in spring 2007.
It is the Centre’s mission to become the European academic centre of excellence for the study and teaching of social investment. To realize this mission, the Centre will pursue four major objectives:
· to improve the theoretical and practical understanding of social investment, philanthropy, civil society, and social economy institutions;
· to inform policymaking relating to social investment at local, regional, national and international levels;
· to build managerial and governance capacity in the field, and to foster leadership and organizational effectiveness;
· to monitor major developments affecting social investment.