Information about recent developments at MitOst and the funding of Robert Bosch Stiftung

Dear MitOst members,

The Robert Bosch Stiftung has informed us that, as part of an ongoing strategic process, they are fundamentally reviewing their domain “International Relations”. In light of this process, the foundation has now announced that they will terminate the funding of all existing projects and programmes in this field (find here the press release 13.12.2018).

This decision has far-reaching significance for MitOst and our programme activities. Funding for the Robert Bosch Stiftung's Lectureship programme ends in summer 2020, for the programme Actors of Urban Change in summer 2021, and for the Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg at the end of 2020. In addition, activities in the area of Members, Alumni, and Network will be also affected by this decision.

In view of current global challenges, the Robert Bosch Stiftung's plans to reposition itself in the international arena are understandable. However, we very much regret the decision to stop funding current programmes altogether. MitOst maintains a close relationship with the Robert Bosch Stiftung and our organisation itself is an offspring of one of its programmes. In 1996, alumni of the Robert Bosch Stiftung's Lectureship programme founded MitOst association as a platform for further networking and projects. For over 20 years, MitOst’s activities have been shaped by projects and programmes that were developed and implemented in cooperation with the Robert Bosch Stiftung. It started with the Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg, which is now established in over 25 countries and promotes active citizenship. The Robert Bosch Cultural Managers programme was followed by two innovative new programmes, Actors of Urban Change and Tandem, in turn promoting cultural exchange and cross-sectoral collaboration. Since 2016, the Robert Bosch Stiftung's Lectureship programme has become part of MitOst. And all the while, alumni work at MitOst is closely linked to the Bosch supported activities.

We can look back on many years of trustful cooperation. The Robert Bosch Stiftung is and will remain an important partner for MitOst. Together, we have set many wonderful things in motion. We are grateful for this and look forward to future cooperation, provided of course that the new strategy of the foundation, that will be presented in 2019 coincides with the mission of our association.

This news affects us as an organisation and many of our staff and associates personally. Although discontinuation of programmes is a reality for MitOst over the years, this decision by the Robert Bosch Stiftung presents us with great challenges. However, we have adequate time to plan a transition phase and a strategy for a future after the funding of the above-mentioned programmes will have ended. The Board and Managing Directors are co-designing a process to support our employees in this phase. Together with them, we will work on ways for sustaining the knowledge, impact, and network beyond the duration of the programmes. In the more than 20 years of MitOst history, we faced many bigger and smaller challenges. We have learnt from this and have always grown from it. We are convinced that this time, too, we will work together to come out stronger as an organisation and as a network.

As always, we want to have an open, constructive and trustful dialogue with you, our members, alumni, partners and colleagues on how we can actively shape MitOst together in the long term as a viable and impactful associated network. Feel free to contact us with your questions at the next opportunity - at a networking event, at a MitOst regulars' table, at the MitOst Camp or at a meeting in our office! Of course, you can also contact the board, managing directors or the MitOst team directly via email.

Herzliche Grüße senden euch
Ljiljana Šotra , Barbara Anna Bernsmeier, Sabrina Schulz, Catharina Sligting, Nurana Mammadova und Karsten Michael Drohsel (MitOst Vorstand),
Annegret Wulff und Jotham Sietsma (Geschäftsführung)