The idea behind the founding of “ethecon - Foundation Ethics & Economics” already existed at the beginning of the 1990s. At this time the need for a source of stable, long-term support for social justice and human rights organizations engaging in work critical of corporations and globalization became increasingly apparent. Accordingly, we the founding members developed the core idea of the foundation: the resistance to the hegemony of the profit principal should, in the context of the larger discourse surrounding ethical principals and norms, be strengthened in a sustainable and long-term manner. In addition to this, alternatives with global perspective should be sought out, and their implementation should, in the long-term, be promoted.
Starting in 1999, founding members Gudrun Rhmann and Axel Köhler-Schnura began to work in cooperation with foundation experts on the development of an organizational constitution. They also contributed the first two endowment deposits of 80,000 euros. In 2001 a further member joined on, bringing collective assets of the foundation to 280,000 euros.
At the same time, the constitution was submitted to a first examination by the Berlin Foundation Authority and the relevant financial authorities. The following examination lasted almost two years. At the end of 2002 the Berlin Senate had accepted the constitution, but the financial authorities had not.
The good news came at the end of September, 2003: the Finance Office had also accepted the constitution and we were now finally ready to begin the official approval procedures.
On the 16th of January 2004, “ethecon - Foundation Ethics & Economics” was notarized by the Senate for Justice in Berlin under the reference number 3416/701-II.2. This marked the end of the founding process; the development and expansion process could now begin.