Dr. Peter Heller

Dr. Peter W. Heller is a representative of the Canopus Foundation. The Canopus Foundation is co-founder and shareholder of the HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform.

Peter Heller studied economics and philosophy at the universities of St. Gallen, Lausanne and Freiburg im Breisgau (doctorate 1988). From 1990 to 1997 he worked as a mayor for environmental protection, energy and forestry in the city administration of Freiburg. From 1993 to 1997, he was Chairman of the ICLEI Executive Committee, Cities for Sustainability. He is the co-founder and founder of the Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy (BASE), the foundation board of the European Environment Foundation, Basel, and a member of several advisory councils. Heller is the founder, sole proprietor and CEO of forseo GmbH, an investment company for the early phase promotion of young companies in the field of renewable energies and energy efficiency. He is Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Streb AG and Fahrenheit GmbH.

The Canopus Foundation is a non-profit private family foundation of German law, which has been active in developing and emerging countries for social enterprises and non-profit organizations since 1997. Canopus supports social enterprises with the aim of combating poverty in remote rural areas through access to environmentally friendly energy systems. In addition to financial assistance, entrepreneurial expertise is also offered.

Since 2014, the foundation has been setting up a second focus of its work “Education and Science for a Sustainable Economy”. The Canopus Foundation is a shareholder of the HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform and supports the establishment of the Cusanus College in Bernkastel-Kues. Both organizations contribute, inter alia, to the overcoming of the legitimation crisis of economics, and promote research and teaching for a sustainable economy and its mediation into society.


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