Home Foundation Founder Max Schmidheiny Milestones Board of Trustees Team Partnerships Activities Forum Foundation Professorship St.Gallen Endowment for Prosperity through Trade Max Schmidheiny Lectures Freedom Prize 1979–2003 Contact
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Creation of the St.Gallen Endowment for Prosperity Through Trade – SGEPT. The founders of this initiative are Professor of International Trade and Economic Development Simon J. Evenett, as well as the University of St.Gallen and the Max Schmidheiny Foundation. The core component of the SGEPT is the Global Trade Alert, which has been published regularly by Simon J. Evenett for over ten years and which closely monitors global trade and economic policy.

Establishment of a strategic partnership with the Global Trade Alert at the University of St.Gallen.

Prof. Niall Ferguson holds the inaugural Max Schmidheiny Lecture in the context of the St. Gallen Symposium. Since then, regular lectures are held by, among others, Prof. Daron Acemoglu, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Bob Collymore, Prof. Timothy Garton Ash, and Prof. Dr. Peter Sloterdijk.

First Forum of the Max Schmidheiny Foundation in Bad Ragaz on the topic “Entrepreneurial Perspectives on Switzerland”, with active participation by Federal Councillor Pascal Couchepin. Yearly fora have since contributed to dialogue between business, politics and society.

Establishment of the Max Schmidheiny Foundation Professorship for Entrepreneurship and Risk in the field of Law and Economics at the University of St.Gallen. Prof. Dr. Anne van Aaken appointed Max Schmidheiny Tenure-Track Professor for Law and Economics, Public, International and European Law (2006–2012; since 2012: full professor at the University of St.Gallen). Since 2007, each semester an internationally renowned scholar in the field of Law and Economics has been invited to take up the Max Schmidheiny Foundation Visiting Professorship for Entrepreneurship and Risk at the University of St.Gallen for a term combining research and teaching with an emphasis on the intersection of entrepreneurship and risk.

Following an in-depth analysis of the global political and economic environment, the Max Schmidheiny Foundation decides to end the awarding of its freedom prize. The award ceremony for Kofi Annan, as incumbent Secretary General of the United Nations, marks a symbolically fitting high-point to conclude the 25-year history of the prize, and underscores the strong bond between the Foundation and the University of St.Gallen that is bound to continue. The Foundation decides to place its commitment to a stronger relationship between business, politics and society at the centre of its activities.

In light of a deep recession, structural barriers to growth in the Swiss economy, as well as emerging challenges of globalization, the Max Schmidheiny Foundation decides at the beginning of the 1990s to directly engage in debate on economic policy and to present proposals for structural economic reforms from an ordo-liberal perspective. To this end, the Foundation initiates and publishes two “white papers” elaborated by a distinguished group of academics, entrepreneurs, and corporate executives.

Awarding of the first Max Schmidheiny Freedom Prize to Robert Moss and Hugo Sieber. From 1979 to 2003, the Max Schmidheiny Foundation goes on to award its freedom prize annually in the context of the St. Gallen Symposium at the University of St.Gallen. The prize recognizes persons or institutions from the world over who have rendered exceptional services to the preservation and further development of a free social and economic order. Awardees include, among others, Kofi Annan, Gerd Bacher, Bill Bradley, The Economist and Bill Emmott, Jeanne Hersch, Nicolas G. Hayek, Paul R. Jolles, Fritz Leutwiler, Mario Vargas Llosa, Ruud Lubbers and the UNHCR, Hermann Lübbe, Lennart Meri, Hans L. Merkle, N.R. Narayana Murthy, Mary Robinson, Hannah Suchocka, Transparency International and Peter Eigen, Hernando de Soto, and Muhammad Yunus.

On the occasion of his 70th birthday, Max Schmidheiny (1908–1991) establishes the Max Schmidheiny Foundation at the University of St.Gallen. In his founding declaration, he states the mission as follows: “My intention in setting up this Foundation is to promote and encourage especially praiseworthy efforts to preserve and develop the free market economy and society, and in particular endeavours to safeguard personal liberty and the selfresponsibility of the individual and to guarantee social security”.

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