The Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics is an independent, international and interdenominational initiative of persons and organizations from politics, business, academia, the Churches and civil society. The founders, UN-Ambassador ret. Andrew Young and former German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, presented the core idea of the Center in the autumn of 1998:
"Our goal is to sustainably promote peace, justice and prosperity in the emerging world society. Globalization, world economy and competitive markets need to be utilized for the common good and the sustainable benefit of all people. Therefore, we are working on the scientifically based ethics of leadership responsibility geared to real-world needs in order to be able to meet the challenges of the future successfully. Starting from the world historic city of Wittenberg, we enter into a dialogue with the present and future leaders in politics, business and society on an ideologically neutral basis. Through what we offer, we support ethical orientation, personal development and competence in social questions. In order to realize our vision, we carry out activities that contribute to the understanding of the structural problems of the modern world community and thus promote social cooperation to mutual advantage."
Over the past years, the Wittenberg Center has prospered. Today, the Center helps tackling social challenges by promoting a cooperative and practicable approach that has a sound scientific base. Seminars, dialogue processes and international cooperation provide formats that allow scientific reflection on principles and values while putting them to the test and fleshing them out with real-world experience.
Three pillars sustain the structure of the Center:
◦The Foundation defines the Center's strategy and decides on crucial programmes. It channels the interests yielded by the Wittenberg Center's endowment to fund the Center's activities.
◦The Association puts the projects into practice and employs the Center's staff. Members of the association are renown individuals, companies and organizations.
◦In the US, the American Foundation for the Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics Inc. functions as a representative of the Wittenberg Center's goals and provides coordinative support.