|

|

Who we are

The Fair Finance Institute (FaFin) is a not-for-profit think-and-do tank. It realises research projects for the socio-ecological transformation of the monetary and financial system in the most trans- and interdisciplinary way possible. It also provides information and training, produces publications and organises events. FaFin works at the interface between science, business, politics and civil society and develops solutions in cooperation with local, national and international organisations. FaFin is based in Heidelberg. And it has an office in Berlin.

Mission

FaFin conducts research into a sustainable monetary and financial system. To this end, it brings together people, perspectives, scientific disciplines and organisations, creates transformative learning and experience spaces and develops practical solutions together.

FaFin works for a monetary and financial system that serves people and protects our livelihoods.

Fair Finance
Institute

Team

FotoAgenten AngelikaLoeffler Portraet v Duscha Markus klein 72 dpi

Markus Duscha

Managing Partner

Markus Duscha is a founding partner and Managing Director of the Fair Finance Institute, which was transformed into a gGmbH at the end of 2023. He founded the predecessor in 2016 and subsequently built it up and established it successfully (more under History). He has already provided numerous impulses for a sustainable financial system and, for example, initiated the Geld-Kompass Heidelberg network together with others, organised MeetUps and a community on Conscious Fintech, made significant contributions to the transfer of the sustainable finance concept to the municipal level and was involved in the further development of the EU taxonomy and sustainability reporting standards. Markus Duscha has been a member of the Sustainable Finance Advisory Committee of the German Federal Government since 2022.

Markus Duscha studied engineering (Dipl. Ing.) at RWTH Aachen, completed his undergraduate studies with a minor in psychology and trained in theme-centred interaction (TCI diploma). He can look back on over 30 years of political-strategic consulting and research work for sustainable development. Before founding FaFin in 2016, he worked at ifeu – Institut für Energie- und Umweltforschung Heidelberg gGmbH as Managing Director and was previously responsible for energy transition issues as Head of Department. He is now utilising the skills and experience he gained there for the financial transition at the Fair Finance Institute.

Walter Kern klein 72 dpi

Walter Kern

Founding partner and Authorised Representive

Walter Kern is a founding partner and authorised representive of the Fair Finance Institute. Even before the Fair Finance Institute was transformed into a gGmbH at the end of 2023 (more under History), he was an important partner in selected projects and provided decisive impetus for strategic developments. As a qualified financial specialist (university of applied sciences) and certified financial planner, he supports companies and individuals in the sustainable organisation of their finances. Walter Kern is also involved in the Rhine-Neckar regional group of the Economy for the Common Good movement and the Geld-Kompass Heidelberg network. He is currently working on issues such as sustainability reporting.

The computer science graduate can look back on a long career in specialist and management positions at SAP, where he actively campaigned for the interests of employees on the works council, among other things. Walter Kern thus combines expertise in the areas of social engagement, sustainability, finance and IT in a special way, which makes him a sought-after member of committees and working groups that deal with issues at the interface of digitalisation, sustainability and finance, for example in connection with the European Sustainability Reporting Standards and EFRAG.

Katharina 1 klein 72 dpi

Katharina Meyhöfer

Student Assistant

Katharina Meyhöfer is a student assistant at the Fair Finance Institute. She is studying political science and sociology at Bielefeld University. Her studies focus on the critical analysis of existing processes on financial markets and their impact on overall social development and the environment. Prior to her studies, she trained as a bank clerk and worked at Degussa Bank for a total of twelve years.

gesa voegele 72 dpi neu

Gesa Vögele

Managing Partner

Gesa Vögele is a founding partner and Managing Director of the Fair Finance Institute. She has over 15 years of experience in various roles in the field of sustainable finance alone, including as an independent advisor at mimastitan, senior consultant at imug rating, managing director at CRIC, an association for the promotion of ethics and sustainability in investment, and an project manager and PR officer at the German Sustainable Investment Forum (FNG). She first became involved with socially responsible investments in 2004 at the Südwind Institute. Other previous professional stations of the economics graduate include the editorial department of a specialised publishing house, where she was entrusted with parliamentary reporting on education policy, among other things, and research institutions.

In the area of sustainability and the financial market, Gesa Vögele has worked on a wide range of topics covering areas as diverse as market statistics, labels, criteria for real estate investments, dialogue strategies, biodiversity and regulatory issues. She has also developed a series of training and event formats, lectured on sustainable finance at the Hochschule für Gesellschaftsgestaltung and is the initiator and co-editor of the German-language anthology Nachhaltige Finanzen. Mit Engagement und aktivem Aktionärstum Wandel bewirken. Gesa Vögele studied economics and political science at the University of Cologne and trained as a specialised journalist.

Network

The people working at the Fair Finance Institute have been active in the areas of energy transition, sustainability, not-for-profit organisations, sustainable finance and socially responsible investment for many years. FaFin therefore has a broad network that includes companies and organisations from the financial and real economy as well as civil society, associations, initiatives, ministries and academic institutions.

The Fair Finance Institute itself is also an initiator of networks with and within it designs projects and facilitates, maintains and promotes exchange between different people and organisations. Examples include the Conscious Fintech intitiave and the Geld-Kompass Heidelberg network.

The initiative was launched in March 2016 with the first Conscious Fintech Meetup in Berlin. In collaboration with the community, A Roadmap to Conscious Fintech was created in 2017 and 2018 followed by a first Mapping von Fintechs iin Germany that contribute to the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which was publised in 2020. In addition, several other meetups were held in Berlin, Hamburg and Zurich and there were presentations at universities and the Fintech Week, the largest fintech event in Germany. Markus Duscha, Managing Partner of FaFin, is the coordinator of the initiative.

Founded in 2016, the Geld-Kompass Heidelberg network is an association of citizens’ initiatives from the Rhine-Neckar region in favour of a sustainable monetary and financial system. It facilitates and promotes dialogue between the participating groups and joint regional activities. Cooperation partners of the network include BUND Heidelberg die Gemeinwohlökonomie Rhein-Neckar, the Ökostadt Rhein-Neckar, Starkmacher e.V., the Werkstatt Ökonomie e.V., other individuals and the Fair Finance Institute. Markus Duscha, Managing Partner of FaFin, is co-founder and contact person of the network.

History

The direction was therefore clear: the Fair Finance Institute should continue to grow in order to be able to implement its own vision even more powerfully, namely to contribute to a stable monetary and financial system that naturally integrates social and ecological criteria, fulfils its social function of serving people and at the same time preserves our natural resources.

Looking back, the financial and subsequent economic crisis at the end of the noughties marked the starting point for a professional reorientation of Markus Duscha, the founder of the Fair Finance Institute. At that time, he, who had dedicated his professional life to the energy transition up to that point, did not want to accept that many social and environmental policy measures would no longer be realisable due to the turmoil on the financial market. He recognised how important the financial system is for the necessary changes and began to look into its restructuring and potential positive leverage effect.

Shortly afterwards, he decided to found the Fair Finance Institute. It began its work in 2016 and from the outset saw itself as an organisation that works independently of political parties to use the upheavals in the financial system to restructure it into an economically, ecologically and socially sustainable financial and monetary system. Markus Duscha’s special approach and the new thing that he brought to the sustainable finance community, which was already very lively at the time, was his extensive experience with the economic and social change processes from the energy transition, which he is now putting at the service of the financial transition.

Since then, he has worked as a freelancer with the Fair Finance Institute, providing a wide range of impetus for a fair and sustainable financial system (more under Projects). Since 2020, Walter Kern has been helping him with his special combination of expertise in the areas of social engagement, sustainability, finance and IT. Student employees have supported the work of the Fair Finance Institute right from the start.

The direction was therefore clear: the Fair Finance Institute should continue to grow in order to be able to implement its own vision even more powerfully, namely to contribute to a stable monetary and financial system that naturally integrates social and ecological criteria, fulfils its social function of serving people and at the same time preserves our natural resources.

Partly because there is no formal “not-for-profit freelance status”, this should be done on the basis of a new legal form that also reflects the Fair Finance Institute’s focus on the common good in organisational terms. And more people should be involved. In April 2023, Markus Duscha therefore asked Gesa Vögele, who has been committed to sustainability in the financial sector in various roles for many years, whether she would like to join Walter Kern and him in founding a not-for-profit limited liability company (gGmbH) to continue the work of the Fair Finance Institute and put it on a broader footing.

No sooner said than done: FaFin – Fair Finance Lab gGmbH has been in existence since 21 December 2023, although it continues to use the name Fair Finance Institute established by Markus Duscha in its external communications.

This opens a new chapter in the history of the Fair Finance Institute.

We are happy and committed to this!

Contact

FaFin – Fair Finance Lab gGmbH

Montpellierstraße 10

D-69115 Heidelberg

+49 6221 42 63 793

kontakt@fair-finance-institute.de

Heidelberg location

Berlin location

fafin logo

Contact us

We look forward to meeting you! Please feel free to contact us by e-mail or telephone.