Triodos Bank’s Executive Board provides a perspective on the wider world it operates in, its impact and activity in 2017 and its prospects for the future.
What challenge was the inspiration for the project?
The Alanus Foundation’s main objective is to promote art, culture, science and research. It does this in particular by providing economic and broader support to the Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences.
Alanus University is a state-accredited and independently-funded university of arts in Alfter, near Bonn. It brings study programmes from the fields of architecture, fine arts, drama, eurhythmy, art therapy, education, philosophy and business management together under one roof.
The University opened a second location, named “Campus II”, in Villestrasse, Alfter, Germany in 2009. The site is home to the architecture, educational sciences, art therapy and economics departments. Since the university became state-accredited in 2002, it has seen an eight-fold increase in student numbers, now totalling around 1500. New spaces are being created to meet this increasing demand.
Small learning groups, and scope for each individual’s personal development, are important components of the university’s approach. The university aims to provide an environment that supports each student and gives them the space they need to advance in their scientific and artistic development. The new spaces are particularly relevant in meeting these requirements.
What was your innovation that addresses this problem?
The Alanus Foundation plans to use land acquired from the Software AG Foundation to carry out a second phase of construction and to use available space to create additional studios.
Campus II currently has three studio houses for art therapy, architecture and art education studies under the auspices of the educational sciences department. Given the growing number of students in new study programmes and the launch of new arts programmes, studio houses offer ideal working conditions for studying in small groups, in a personal atmosphere.
What impact has Triodos Bank had on the business?
Triodos Bank, which supported us financially with the purchase of the site, is the ideal partner for this step in our development. Our goal, which is to promote change in society, is at the forefront of both institutions.
In addition, we have already had some excellent experiences collaborating with Triodos Bank, as a practice partner of the university. Students working towards Bachelor’s degrees in business management can take practical part of their studies - 60 weeks altogether - at the German office of Triodos Bank, in Frankfurt.
What impact has your business had on the sector it works in?
Buying the land means the Alanus Foundation is building on the strategy at Campus I, the home of its further education centre as well as its arts departments. A strategy of owning land wherever university education and professional training and development is carried out under the “Alanus” brand, which is recognised throughout the region and beyond.
The space will also help us to be more attractive to students looking for an alternative in the university sector and a study course with scope for personal development and small classes.
What impact has the business had on the community?
An important aspect of the concept of Alanus University is the amalgamation of art and science. In the view of the university, this combination offers the opportunity for dialogue and mutual inspiration. Looking beyond the horizon of the students’ personal study fields is a fundamental part of the university’s educational approach.
With its Studium Generale programme, a complementary study course in cultural sciences open to all students, the university is reviving the tradition of holistic education extending beyond purely specialist studies. Seminars and lectures on philosophy and cultural history encourage students to think independently and critically, expand their horizons and empower them to find their own views on culture and society.
The university looks to motivate young people to take control of their own personal development, and that of society, and to immerse themselves on a personal level.
How does Triodos Bank share the vision behind the project?
Just like Alanus University, Triodos Bank wants to contribute to creating positive change in society. As an educational institute, Alanus University achieves this by providing young people with the space to develop their personality and enables them to look beyond the boundaries of their individual specialist study course.
It provides training for those who want to actively shape society in their later careers contributing to the change in society that we both want to see. Together with Triodos Bank’s finance and support, we can deliver on our educational ideals.