Program Sequence

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  • Day 1

    October 30, 2018

  • Day 2

    October 31, 2018

  • Learning Sessions

    12:00 – 13:00 // 14:20 – 15:20 // 15:40 – 16:40







  • Private Equity, Loans, Buyouts, Start-Up Financing
    Presentation of Purpose Vehicles, Bank financing
    Moderators+: Albert Wenger, Thomas Jorberg, Cornelia Röckel, Armin Steuernagel, Daniel von Moltke

  • What steps can I take towards steward-ownership? What questions do I need to ask myself? Accompanying presentation from Purpose and Gtreu.

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  • Michael Hetzer had been thinking about succession and ownership for a long time. He wanted to make sure his company stayed independent and that his children weren’t burdened by the prospect of taking over the family business. His solution: an interesting foundation-model. The Bio Verlag, publisher of the well-known magazine Schrot & Korn, transitioned to a trust-foundation ownership structure when the founder left with one special feature: the employees select the trustees. The “inclusion of many” or “ability and values family” - learn about different forms of the trust-foundation model on this learning journey.
    Lernreisen
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  • Two of the most well-known companies in the sustainable sector - Wala GmbH which has the natural cosmetics brand Dr. Hauschka, and Triodos Bank, the world’s largest sustainable bank in the Netherlands - report on more than 70 years of combined steward-ownership. Both are owned by a foundation. Wala GmbH became a foundation-owned company in 1986 and has since then gained a lot of experience with the foundation-ownership model. Since its founding in 1980, Triodos Bank has opted for a special foundation-structure that’s only possible in the Netherlands: a foundation that simultaneously issues bonds, thus enabling the bank’s rapid growth to be financed with equity capital. Dr. Lettmann, CEO of Wala, and Josephine de Zwaan, Board of the Triodos Bank Foundation, discuss what can be learned from their experiences with steward-ownership.
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  • “Ecosia is withdrawing from capitalism” was the headline of the Business Punk magazine this October. The founder of Ecosia.org, the search engine that uses the profits to plant trees (now more than 40 million planted!), Christian Kroll did something that hardly anyone in tech has ever done: instead of selling his businesses, which would have been worth millions of Euros with 8 million users per month, or going public, Christian gave the company to “itself.” With the help of the Purpose Foundation, Ecosia is now steward-owned. All its profits are either reinvested or donated to planting trees. Similarly radical, Jolocom, a successful blockchain startup, transitioned to steward-ownership. Both companies chose interesting paths for setting up a startup that clearly communicates to its employees and community that the company doesn’t serve to make founders or investors wealthy and will never land in the hands of Facebook or Google. This creates a different kind of trust and impacts how it is to work at these companies. Christian and Kai explain their paths to steward-ownership and how its impacted their companies.
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  • Two experts in foundation-owned and steward-owned business structures have conducted a thorough analysis of the possibel legal structures in entire Europe. Genevieve Ferone Creuzet and Anne-Lise Banc from Prophil will give an overview of where foundaiton-owned companies thrive, where you should found one and how
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  • The founders and employees of the “most sustainable water bottles in the world” along with Purpose’s self-management and ownership expert Achim Hensen discuss how soulbottles was able to radically redefined what a company is. They will discuss how the company successfully transitioned to holacracy and self-management and then to steward-ownership with the help of the Purpose Foundation. Their structure includes all active employees. Learn from soulbottles how steward-ownership can be deeply rooted in an organization.
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  • Marleen and Juho will share why they decided early on in their companies’ histories to “decommodify” their companies. They chose steward-ownership to ensure their companies and its values would never be sold to one of the tech giants. Rather Ziel and Share will stay independent and mission-driven for the long term. How were Sharetribe and Ziel financed? What kind of VCs invest in a company that doesn’t plan to exit? Learn from Marleen, Juho and Derek Razo (Partner at Purpose Ventures) on financing and ownership design for successful mission-oriented start-ups.
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  • Two industries, two similar approaches to alternative ownership and multi-stakeholder participation. Organically Grown Company (OGC), the second largest organic produce distributor in the USA, chose a radically alternative path to decommodify the company. Learn about the company’s fascinating history through four different ownership structures on its path to steward-ownership. From a non-profit, to coop, to an ESOP, the company is now steward-owned thanks to a multi-stakeholder Perpetual Purpose Trust, which includes employees, farmers, and other stakeholders in its governance structure. Republik.ch made headlines with the most successful crowdfunding campaign in Switzerland ever - an independent online magazine that doesn’t advertise and is financed by members of the cooperative. Its interesting ownership structure involves customers and employees in new innovative ways. If you’re interested in learning more about steward-ownership and involving multi-stakeholders in governance, you’re in the right place.
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  • Investors (Purpose Evergreen Capital, Purpose Ventures), a bank, and family offices discuss how they invest in steward-owned companies. Learn about different financing instruments (e.g., different loan forms, silent participation, demand dividend, and shares with buy-back rights). Through examples, we’ll explore how to finance both young and mid-sized companies with the right instruments.
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