Dr. Volker Then has been Executive Director of the Centre for Social Investment (CSI) of Heidelberg University. As Founding Director of the Centre he unites his interest in research relevant to society with his engagement for social impact in practice. Before joining Heidelberg University he followed that passion as a senior programme officer of the Bertelsmann Foundation. Among the areas of his continued interest count civil society and intermediary institutions, social capital, but also high impact philanthropy, the strategy development of organisations, and social impact measurement.
Next to publications he concentrates on other formats of communicating CSI research results to public policy and practice. This has recently included the invitation to serve as a member of the National Advisory Board of the G8-Social Impact Investment Task Force since 2014, but also expert hearings and briefings for the European Parliament, German Bundestag, speaker contributions to academic as well as professional conferences and meetings. Volker Then has many years of experience in serving as a volunteer board members of numerous foundations, sector and professional associations, as well as related publications.
Volker Then received his PhD in 1994 as a social and economic historian at the Free University of Berlin with Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Kocka as his supervisor. He studied history, sociology and economics at Tübingen, Bielefeld and Oxford Universities (St. Antony‘s College). He was a member of the Executive Session in Philanthropy at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations of the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (1999-2002), and among others a member of the Governing Council (2000-2006) and the International Committee (2000-2006) of the European Foundation Centre, Brussels.