The support of international young leadership and cross-border dialogue are the current core themes of the Tönissteiner program work.
International young leadership & Cross border dialogue
At the time of the establishment, the aim was to set up a network that would prepare qualified young people to take on international leadership roles. Young graduates with experience abroad were voted into the group and supported by the network of older members. Tönissteiner support the vision of an united Europe.
Since 2000 a range of further programs for the external support of young leaders was developed:
- Welcome In Germany is a program helping foreign DAAD fellowship holders to feel at ease and find their place in German society. Members of the Tönissteiner Group invite DAAD fellows to Tönisstein events, meetings and home activities, making them feel welcome in their host country. The program is a cooperation between Tönissteiner Group and DAAD-Freundeskreis.
- The East Initiative opens the Tönissteiner Group to internationally-oriented and trained young leaders from the New Länder of Germany. Nowadays this is pursued in an engagement in the countries of Eastern Europe, most of all Poland YPIN
- Tönissteiner act as mentors and advisors for young, internationally-oriented leaders. The program stands under the patronage of the Federal Foreign Office.
- The Berliner Initiative focused on an improvement of the circumstances for young leaders in university and when entering the job market. Initiatives in the international personnel policy are as important as the question of a greater permeability between the private sector and the economic sector.
- The Student Forum offers highly qualified students from all fields a contact with international issues and prepares them for leadership roles. Since a couple of years, the Group is dedicated to high-capacity pupils as well. The Schülerkolleg International offers a chance of an insight in the diversity of international occupational fields, evokes an interest for internationality in education and career and gives a help for orientation and information at the same time to prepare for later schooling and career.
- Sustainability Initiative. Since 2020, interested members have been organizing activities on ecological, social and economic sustainability in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Interested parties are in regular exchange to address sustainability issues both within the Tönissteiner Kreis and outside as multipliers in their respective professional environments.
- The Gender Equality Initiative (“Initiative Gleichstellung”) was initiated within the Tönissteiner Kreis from 2018 on. Its founders want to shed light on the issues of gender equality and women in leadership from diverse and fact & figure based perspectives and bring them forward within the Kreis. Numerous events with both members of the Tönissteiner Kreis and external experts provided qualified information on these topics, highlightening the question of gender equality with recommendations for action in an international context and for various sectors (such as in start-ups and large listed companies), in the financial sector as well as in the field of foreign affairs and security policy.
The discussion on gender equality was also brought forward within the circle itself, in an intergenerational context and with a prospect on the future development of the Tönissteiner Kreis.