GLS Treuhand in conversation –
From a culture of giving
Nikolai Fuchs is a member of the Management Board of GLS Treuhand. Pursuing the goals of encouraging people and working together freely to effect change, GLS Treuhand works in thematic action areas and strives to achieve an open civil society in which every individual can unlock their potential. Together, GLS Treuhand spreads this concept of tomorrow based on a culture of giving. Many future-focused foundations involved in very varied areas of action are brought together under its umbrella.
In early version of the Rumpelstiltskin story told of gold being spun into straw. Isn’t that actually a more interesting version of the fairytale?
Well today’s reading will also do well enough. After all straw is a key component of (warm) manure – as opposed to the cold, liquid slurry from slatted floor stables. And as fertiliser, manure is prized as gold in agriculture. Fertiliser is the key component for establishing soil fertility, and as such a generative element – which is why Alfred Rexroth was so keen to support agriculture as a counter to the destructive factor of industry.
How do we get to a culture of giving?
By practising letting go when giving.
What’s needed for us to let go?
Self-awareness. If I know who I am and know my identity, then I can let go of that which I am not and which I do not need for my identity. There is also the joy of letting someone else develop freely – and being surprised by what comes of this.
How do you convert loss into profit?
There’s a saying that goes: “Never waste a good crisis.” Mostly, a loss is a small crisis. If I set out to replace the loss, but do so in such a way that I put something better in its place – something pioneering – then a profit has been made…
Is encouragement your most important responsibility?
Yes. By encouraging people, we give the signal: “What you have in mind is a good idea. Take it forward!”
And what role does Neuguss play in this process?
It is one of our most important partners – it has been loyally by our side for decades, and is a co-guarantor for our existence by means of the profit-participating loan that we have lodged with it! In addition, we learn from one another and with one another, forming a learning community. It brings elements that are aligned with the common good from an entrepreneurial perspective, and we bring elements that are aligned with the common good from a charitable perspective. It’s like a constant mutual fertilisation. Via the fiduciary Alfred-Rexroth Foundation, but also recently the Neuguss Foundation, it also makes its own support contributions, focusing primarily on the area of “new work” and education.
“Just do it” – what would your next project be if you had any amount of freedom to choose it?
Founding a new course on the subject of health and agriculture nutrition, starting not from natural science, as is standard today, but from human science. That way you could also anchor the generative element mentioned above – which was so crucial for Rexroth in terms of balancing the destructive factor of industry – at the level of university education.