Dr Peter W. Heller is a representative of the Canopus Foundation. The Canopus Foundation is a 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 in 1988). From 1990 to 1997, he worked as Deputy Mayor for Environmental Protection, Energy and Forestry in the city administration of Fribourg. From 1993 to 1997, he was Chairman of the Executive Committee of the organisation ICLEI, Cities for Sustainability. He is co-founder and trustee of the Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy (BASE), trustee of the European Environment Foundation, Basel, and a member of several advisory boards. Heller is the founder, sole shareholder and managing director of forseo GmbH, an investment company for the early-stage 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 under German law that has been supporting social enterprises and non-profit organisations in developing and emerging countries since 1997. Canopus promotes social enterprises with the aim of combating poverty in off-grid rural areas by providing access to environmentally friendly energy systems. In addition to financial assistance, it also offers entrepreneurial expertise.
Since 2014, the foundation has been building up 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 in Bernkastel-Kues. Among other things, both organisations contribute to overcoming the legitimacy crisis in economics and promote research and teaching for a sustainable economy and its communication to society.