Dr. Volker Then


Universities & Institutions

  • Fondazione AIS

Areas of Interest

  • Civil society and intermediary institutions
  • Social capital
  • Effective foundations
  • Organisational strategy development
  • Social enterprise
  • Social impact measurement
  • Social innovation

Dr. Volker Then is the CEO of Fondazione AIS, a public benefit research foundation focused on advancing impact and sustainability.

Previously, he was the Executive Director of the Center for Social Investment and Innovation (CSI) at Heidelberg University, prior to which he spent twelve years at the Bertelsmann Foundation in various managerial functions. His strategic interests include civil society, intermediary institutions, and social capital, as well as effective foundation work, entrepreneurial and organisational strategy development, impact investment, and social impact measurement.

In addition to producing publications, he devotes himself intensively to other forms of conveying research findings in politics and practice. These include appointments to political advisory bodies such as the National Advisory Board of the G8 Social Impact Investment Task Force since 2014, expert hearings and briefings in the European Parliament and the Bundestag, and speeches at scientific, professional, and practical conferences, as well as numerous honorary board memberships in foundations, publications, or associations in the non-profit sector. He was a member of the Executive Session in Philanthropy at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations within the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (1999-2002) and was a member of both the Governing Council (2000-2006) and the International Committee (2000-2006) of the European Foundation Center in Brussels.

Dr. Then’s academic credentials includes degrees in history, sociology, and economic from Universität Tübingen, Universität Bielefeld, Oxford University (St.Antony’s College), and Freie Universität Berlin.

See a selection of work by this Author