Profile

25th Anniversary of the sef: Discussion with Rainer Burchardt (Chair) Anke Brunn, Gernot Erler and Franz Nuscheler
© sef/Thomas Ecke
Foto mit Brandt, Biedenkopf und Rau bei der Gründung

The Development and Peace Foundation (sef:) aims to shape policy responses to the complex challenges arising in a globalised world. Its overarching goal is to contribute to worldwide peace and sustainable development based on social justice, human dignity and a respectful approach to the environment and natural resources.

The Foundation sees itself as an international forum for shared independent and creative thinking on urgent peace and development issues. It brings together present and future policy-makers and practitioners, their advisors, academic experts, civil society actors and the business community in a structured dialogue. In so doing, it mediates between different sectors, spheres of life and political levels and between academics, policy-makers and civil society. The Foundation makes it a priority to include views and perspectives from the Global South in the political debate.

Its global governance perspective is fundamental to the Foundation’s agenda. The Foundation turns attention in particular to the coordination, cooperation and, indeed, competition between the local, national, regional and global levels and between state and non-state actors, in order to address the urgent problems facing the world and shape the future in a responsible manner. It also explores forms of resistance to global cooperation and examines alternative models.

The Development and Peace Foundation is a cross-party organisation funded by the federal states of Berlin, Brandenburg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Saxony.

Approach

In an era characterised by pressure to act and rapid decision-making, the – mostly international – events organised by the Foundation provide a space for informal, open but also focused dialogue. Its core tasks are to establish the thematic framework and provide a structure for the debate, and to identify and bring together relevant discussion partners from a range of disciplines.

The purpose of the discussions initiated by the Development and Peace Foundation is to promote creative reflection on potential solutions and thus to provide guidance and support – but not policy advice in a narrower sense – for decision-makers and their advisors in the political arena. In a best-case scenario, although this is by no means obligatory, practical recommendations for policy-makers and civil society are proposed within this framework.

Mediating between academics and practitioners in the political and economic spheres is one of the Foundation’s key priorities. It also facilitates the “trickle-down” of global debates and agreements to the regional and local levels.

In order to make the results of its work accessible to a wider interested public, the Foundation produces short policy papers, an annual report entitled Perspektiven auf Global Governance [published in German only], and the in-depth Global Trends, which is published in book form every three years.