When looking out “for one another”, the purpose is one key element – what am I doing something for? But also enshrined in the concept is the idea of the one and the other; the I and the you. How wonderful! Neuguss Group is essentially founded on this very principle, in the form of a very conscious decision to act for one another. We come together to serve a purpose that extends far beyond the individual company and also beyond individual people within a company. And even beyond time. We work on the understanding that economic activity is essentially a social event that is about being there for the other party. That’s why one of the key questions that Neuguss Group asks is: “What do you need?”
This question directs both what I do and how I do it. An economic system denoting growth as an end in itself, and which exclusively targets the accumulation of money, has long become obsolete; and, most recently since the financial crisis, this realisation has taken on enormous significance in society. This is evident firstly in efforts and initiatives related to the Economy for the Common Good, but it has also ultimately been translated into a certification procedure which is being pursued by a growing number of companies across a huge range of sectors and contexts. This certification seeks to create clarity about how far they have already travelled along the right path, but also to highlight areas for improvement and to engage with them.
The wrangling of these two considerations is a key topic for Neuguss Group. In fact it has been occupied with almost nothing else for 50 years, and conducts its operations on the principle of with one another and for one another. This runs through the company’s purpose itself, both in the business group and also in the societal context. The majority of the company’s profits are used for charitable purposes serving the common good, meaning they have social impact.
But the principle of acting “for one another” also goes beyond Neuguss, of course. SOTRUST brings together companies like Neuguss, which focus on systematically developing the potential of fiduciary entrepreneurship and supporting its implementation. But what does fiduciary actually mean? When researching its etymology, “in trust” is the first term you’ll encounter: an estate is given “in trust”, or “entrusted” to someone. So the emphasis is not now on “holding”, but accompanying and caring for on a trusted basis, specifically over a certain time period. As highlighted in Germany’s constitutional law and elsewhere: ownership imposes obligations. And these obligations exist not only for the property, but also because of it. So this term “fiduciary” contains a very nice image of the common good idea to which those companies under the SOTRUST umbrella are committed, and which they carry forward and develop further through various formats such as conferences, dialogue, seminars, workshops, publications, and research and consultancy projects. German speakers investigating the equivalent “treuhänderisch” are likely to also come across the word “Unterpfand” – familiar to many from Hoffmann von Fallersleben’s “Lied der Deutschen”, sung as the national anthem at many an international sporting event. In the context of the lyric, the word can be translated to mean a guarantee – for happy togetherness (“Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit sind des Glückes Unterpfand” – “Unity and justice and freedom are the guarantee for happiness”). Perhaps we could also see fiduciary entrepreneurship as a guarantee for a future-fit model of economic activity – which works for the benefit of everyone.