Citizen Projects

Sociopolitical Projects

28.02.20233 minutes reading time

Michael Otto would like to have a positive impact on society and is pursuing a clear agenda to this end. He is not wearing blinds when it comes to social challenges – but is confident that they can be solved through cooperation and intelligent pragmatism.

Stiftung KlimaWirtschaft — German CEO Alliance for Climate and Economy

Climate neutrality requires nothing less than a fundamental transformation of almost all parts of society. The challenges are enormous for the economy and industry to implement this under the conditions of global competitiveness. To meet the Paris climate targets, nothing short of an industrial revolution is required and must be implemented in less than 25 years on a globally successful scale. This is the most ambitious target of the Stiftung KlimaWirtschaft (Climate Economy Foundation) that Michael Otto founded in 2007, initially as Initiative 2° – German Entrepreneurs for Climate Protection. Today, Stiftung KlimaWirtschaft is an initiative pursued by board members, managing directors and entrepreneurs of family-run businesses who are actively committed to meeting European and German climate targets. Ambitious climate protection and competitive business must not be a contradiction. Rather, these objectives must drive industrial and societal modernization projects that will secure sustainable jobs, prosperity and our future, while making us resilient.

World Future Council

Present and future challenges can only be addressed with interdisciplinary approaches – compartmentalized thinking no longer helps. This was the logic behind the World Future Council, founded by Jacob von Uexküll in 2007. Michael Otto provided start-up financing to help set it up and establish Hamburg as the center for the World Future Council. On the Board of Trustees, experts from a very wide range of disciplines – economics, science, politics, civil society and culture – exchange ideas here. The goal: To overcome the globally insufficient activity that is preventing humankind’s sustainable and peaceful future, and to open up new paths.

Prof. Dr. Michael Otto
Prof. Dr. Michael Otto

Building of New Children’s Hospital at Hamburg-Eppendorf University Hospital

In 2017 the new children’s university hospital was opened thanks to a multi-million-euro donation by Michael Otto. It bears the name “Werner and Michael Otto Universitätskinderklinik” (University Children’s Hospital) and is now the most modern pediatric clinic in the north of Germany. It has over 148 beds; its focal point is, among others, very rare, complex and unexplained diseases and cancer, metabolic and neurological diseases. Architecturally, the children’s hospital is designed with its light-filled and lovingly furnished rooms to meet the needs of patients and their families.

IPSO – Psychological Support Project for Refugees

Many refugees that reach Germany struggle with psychological problems. For the most part, they are left on their own – which makes social integration substantially more difficult. This is where the “International Psychosocial Organisation (IPSO)” comes into play. Its project in Hamburg has been funded since 2016 with a large donation by Michael Otto. The organization trains refugees to be psychosocial counselors called IPSO Counselors. They support people from their country with mental disorders by employing a culturally sensitive, clearly structured counseling method in their native language so that such refugees will remain capable of living a meaningful life despite their difficult experiences in the past. The goal is to empower them so that they can make progress on their own integration into society.


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Prof. Dr. Michael Otto being interviewed
Prof. Dr. Michael Otto being interviewed

Prof. Dr. Michael Otto as


Prof. Dr. Michael Otto as