Dr. Peter W. Heller is a representative of the Canopus Foundation. The Canopus Foundation is co-founder and shareholder of the Berlin 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 Deputy Mayor for Environmental Protection, Energy and Forestry in the city administration of Freiburg. From 1993 to 1997, he was Chairman of the Executive Committee of the organization ICLEI, Cities for Sustainability. He is co-founder and member of the Board of Trustees of the Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy (BASE), member of the Board of Trustees of the European Environment Foundation, Basel, and member of several advisory boards. Heller is founder, sole shareholder and managing director of forseo GmbH, an investment company for early-stage support of young companies in the field of renewable energy 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 under German law that has been involved in social enterprises and non-profit organizations in developing and emerging countries since 1997. Canopus promotes social enterprises with the aim of combating poverty in off-grid 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 developing a second focus area, "Education and Science for a Sustainable Economy. The Canopus Foundation is a shareholder of the Berlin Governance Platform and supports the establishment of the Cusanus University of Applied Sciences in Bernkastel-Kues. Both organizations contribute, among other things, to overcoming the crisis of legitimacy of the economic sciences, and promote research and teaching for a sustainable economy and its communication to society.