For the Years

Photo by Sabine Vielmo


For the Years

In this report, with a foreword by our Founding Director Wilhelm Krull, we outline the evolution of our program and research architecture in the founding and construction phase, as it entered its second full year of fellowship work in 2022. Learn more about our foundational programs “The Foundation of Value and Values”, “The Future of Democracy”, and “Socio-Economic Transformation”, meet our first cohort of fellows and read about events from the early days of THE NEW INSTITUTE.


When Erck Rickmers visited me in Spring 2019 on the premises of the Volkswagen Foundation in Hanover, we almost instantly agreed that in view of the multiple, interconnected crises and pressing existential problems facing humankind, it seemed quite urgent to provide time and space for opening new opportunities to some of the brightest minds to fundamentally rethink and reconfigure our value systems, our mindsets, and subsequently, our democratic and economic practices. In turn, all of that was to be realized in a not-for-profit, privately funded institutional setting.

In our jointly written statement on “Vision, Mission, and Purpose” (dated June 16, 2019), we sketched the intellectual and institutional ambition for “establishing a mission driven Institute for Advanced Study that shall become known for its imaginative capabilities, its readiness to get engaged in developing and implementing new insights and ideas, as well as in launching respective initiatives”. Like other institutes for advanced study, it would select and invite outstanding researchers and visionary thinkers based on intellectual rigor and on their ability and commitment to generate creative ideas. Moreover, we decided to add another dimension to the institutional mission by searching for fellows and projects whose goal would be to work on concrete and viable options for reconfigured social practices. On this basis, their research questions and results could potentially open up pathways toward scalable solutions. While building on the proven strengths of institutes for advanced study, it became clear that it would be crucial for THE NEW INSTITUTE to develop new structures and approaches for advancing comprehensively designed, interdisciplinary and trans-sectoral modes of inclusive knowledge creation. These should welcome the experiential wisdom of relevant stakeholders as well as new opportunities for the dissemination of results. In a nutshell: We wanted to create a breeding ground for new ideas that could potentially serve as an incubator and a platform for socio-ecological change.

Read the Director's Foreword in full

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