The Centre's mission is realized through four major objectives that guide its activities, and against which it will chart its progress and accomplishments over time. Specifically, the objectives are to
- Improve the theoretical and practical understanding of social investment, philanthropy, civil society, and social economy institutions;
- Build managerial and governance capacity in the field of social investment through its research contributions; and
- Monitor major developments affecting social investment in relation to markets and government institutions generally, and with reference to philanthropy and civil society institutions in particular.
- Inform policy-making relating to social investment and relevant institutions at local, regional, national and international levels;
Principal Tasks and Activities
To serve these objectives, the CSI works on interdisciplinary research, outreach and information. The CSI considers itself an academic service provider towards a strengthened civil society or social investment field. It works with a clear European perspective and combines it with a distinct preference for interdisciplinary work. The challenges for today’s civil society and social investment organizations, namely foundations, can no longer be addressed with the competencies of single disciplines but rather benefit a great deal from a cooperation across the boundaries of disciplines, and more precisely the boundaries of institutes or departments of Heidelberg University.
In its work CSI cooperates with other European, US and other international academic centres. The core research themes are social investment, social innovation, philanthropy, civil society, and social economy. They are addressed in projects of national, international and comparative scope, primarily with a European interest. Beyond its contribution to basic research the CSI has a strong interest in trans-disciplinary integration of research and practice in processes of co-production.