Who we are

The Heinrich Böll Stiftung is part of the Green political movement that has developed worldwide as a response to the traditional politics of socialism, liberalism, and conservatism. Our main tenets are ecology and sustainability, democracy and human rights, self-determination and justice. We place particular emphasis on gender democracy, meaning social emancipation and equal rights for women and men. We are also committed to equal rights for cultural and ethnic minorities and to the societal and political participation of immigrants. Finally, we promote non-violence and proactive peace policies.

To achieve our goals, we seek strategic partnerships with others who share our values. We are an independent organisation, that is, we determine our own priorities and policies.

We are based in the Federal Republic of Germany, yet we are an international actor in both ideal and practical terms.

Our namesake, the writer and Nobel Prize laureate Heinrich Böll, personifies the values we stand for: defence of freedom, civic courage, tolerance, open debate, and the valuation of art and culture as independent spheres of thought and action.

We Are a Green Think Tank

  • We promote democratic reforms and social innovation. 
  • We work on ecological policies and sustainable development on a global level.
  • We provide space for the presentation of and debate on art and culture. 
  • We transfer knowledge and skills from experts to political actors. 
  • We provide a forum for open debate and promote dialogue between politics, business, academia, and society. 
  • We support talented students active on socio-political issues both in Germany and abroad.
  • We document the history of the Green movement in order to promote research and provide political inspiration.

We Are an International Policy Network

  • We are part of the global Green network and promote the development of the Green political movement on all continents.  
  • We focus especially on the broadening and deepening of the European Green movement.
  • We work actively for the development of a political European  public.
  • We support the participation of civil society in politics and, within the framework of multilateral organisations, take part in conferences and negotiations.

We Are Active on Ecology, Democracy, and Human Rights Worldwide

  • We consider ecology and democracy to be inseparable. We therefore support individuals and projects that are committed to ecology, human rights, democracy, and self-determination.
  • We support respect for the rule of law and democratic participation in all parts of the world. 
  • We promote the abolition of conditions of dominance, dependency, and violence between the sexes.  
  • We consider ethnic and cultural diversity to be an essential part of democratic culture.
  • We encourage civic and civil-society activism. 
  • We train activists so that they can successfully self-organise and participate in political processes.


Commitment, expert and social competence, and flexibility are features of our employees, both in Germany and abroad. They are highly qualified, team-oriented and, with their high level of motivation, they constitute the most important asset of the Foundation.

Equality of opportunity and respectful dealings between women and men of different ages, religions, ethnic origins and sexual orientations are constitutive for the foundation. Intercultural competence and a productive engagement with diversity are part of our corporate culture.

Mutual respect and trusting co-operation among ourselves and with our partners are the bases of our business relationships.

We constantly evaluate and improve our work. We undertake and take seriously both internal and external evaluations. We handle the funds at our disposal economically and efficiently and assure transparent operations.

We work in close co-operation with our co-foundations in all of Germany’s 16 states.

We are a reliable partner for volunteer work and for co-operation with third parties.

About the Heinrich Böll Foundation

Fostering democracy and upholding human rights, taking action to prevent the destruction of the global ecosystem, advancing equality between women and men, securing peace through con­ flict prevention in crisis zones, and defending the freedom of individuals against excessive state and economic power – these are the objectives that drive the ideas and actions of the Heinrich Böll Foundation. We maintain close ties to the German Green Party (Alliance 90/The Greens) and as a think tank for green visions and projects, we are part of an international net­work encompassing well over 100 partner projects in approxi­mately 60 countries.

The Heinrich Böll Foundation works independently and nurtures a spirit of intellectual openness. We maintain a world­ wide network with currently 30 international offices. We co­operate closely with 16 state-level Böll Foundations in each of Germany’s federal states, and we support talented, socio-politi­cally engaged undergraduate and graduate students in Germany and abroad.

We gladly follow Heinrich Böll’s exhortation for citizens to get involved in politics, and we want to inspire others to do the same.