The Social Value of the Financial Sector

Salon Evening

The financial services industry lies at the heart of how our society functions. Yet its recent record has not been met with much social approval. The impression has formed that the financial services industry has lost its sense of the proper balance between its own narrow self interest and its role and responsibilities in our overall social fabric. This salon will bring together leading individuals in the financial services industry to discuss openly some of the challenging questions facing the industry, its regulators and our broader societies:

  • Is a change in culture necessary in the industry? Is it even possible?
  • Is our regulatory framework appropriate? Does it help or hinder progress?
  • What roles do politicians, regulators and industry executives have to play in re-setting the relationship between the industry and the rest of society?

Pre-dinner Speaker: Theodoor Kockelkoren | AFM Executive Board Member. Chairman, OECD Task Force on Financial Consumer Protection

Amsterdam, June 12th, 2014
In partnership with Camunico

The Politics and Ethics of Energy Policy

Salon Evening

Germany has become a leader in transforming its energy policy towards more sustainable and renewable energy sources. The nature and pace of this change has not been without its social, industrial and political issues. Is the Energiewende in its current form sustainable? What would it take to make such a policy sustainable in political, social and economic terms? Many speak of climate change and its mitigation as one of the biggest ethical issues of our time. Few, however, have taken on the ethics of energy policy. What are the ethics of the social disruptions caused by rapid energy transformations and how does this balance against our ethical choices regarding climate change?


Berlin, March 21st, 2013

Partners for Berlin Event: Dialogik, Alliance Energy-Trans, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy for Sciences and the Humanities

Science, Activism, Credibility – The Role of Science in Environmental Policy

Salon Evenings

A recent US study showed that when scientists take public policy positions, their scientific credibility with some publics is undermined. In an environmental culture where the boundaries between science and activism are substantially blurred (and may always have been) what is the future role of science and of individual scientists in the policy debate? Do activist scientists undermine the credibility of their own and others’ science? Is it possible for science to inform policy without becoming tarred with the activist brush?  Is there a case for building stronger firewalls between science and environmental activism?

A group of scientists and non-scientists will come together to discuss these issues in the spirit of the salon as public sphere.


London, December 6th, 2012

The Politics of Environment

Salon Evenings

In the US, the right has pushed environmental issues into the political wilderness. In the UK ‘the greenest government ever’ has turned away from any serious environmental agenda. In Germany, with the consent of the Green party, carbon emissions will rise – the price of moving away from nuclear power. Politically, has the environment become a toxic issue? Are there ways in which an environmentally based political platform can be made appealing and sustainable through economic downturns? A small number of influential thinkers will discuss these questions in a series of events organized in the tradition of the salon as public sphere.


London, December 3rd, 2012

Annual Competition

Cash prizes of $2,000 for winning entries. Shortlisted essays published in collected volume.
free eBook of shortlisted essays from 2011 competition.

Happenings & Events

WOLFoundation organizes and sponsors happenings and events aimed at improving our social wellbeing by stimulating novel approaches to the socio-environmental debate.

Fresh ideas. Freshly presented.

“soon or late, it is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil”


We are a factory of ideas. The Web of Life Foundation encourages broad dialog to

break out of conventional thinking on the politics of society, business and environment.

John Peacock

Isaac Yuen

Is there a vision for a sustainable future?

Salon Evenings

Many of us talk about ‘a sustainable future’ yet few of us have any sort of clear vision of what our lives – and those of the next generation – will be like in such a future. Will they be better or worse than they are today? Is such a future something to aspire to or to avoid and postpone? Can we even imagine such a future world in any tangible form or are we asking people to buy into a theoretical construct on no more than a wing and a prayer? These events bring together a small number of influential thinkers to discuss and debate what “a sustainable future” might look like in daily life. The events are organized in the tradition of the salon as public sphere.


London, September 20th, 2012

Partners for London Event: Brave Collaboration  The Circle Economy  de Baak  EU Flash  IUCN  New Economics Foundation

Report from the London session can be downloaded here.

New York, November 8th, 2012

Partners for NYC Event: New Knowledge Organization