Together. Sustainable. Act. This is what the SEZ has stood for for 30 years. Here you can find out more about our history, our values ​​and our vision.

The change starts with us! How it all began.

30 years ago, the Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation (SEZ) was founded with this insight, which was progressive for the time: How we act here in Baden-Württemberg has an impact on the whole world. For this reason, local people must take global responsibility and become aware of how their lives, their decisions and their consumer behavior are integrated into global conditions.

The SEZ was established on January 9, 1991 by the Baden-Württemberg state parliament after the then Prime Minister Lothar Späth and the former CDU parliamentary group leader Erwin Teufel, together with the former state parliament president Erich Schneider, had been pursuing the idea of ​​the foundation for a long time. In May 1991, the SEZ moved into its first business premises on Urbanstrasse in Stuttgart and was run by Dr. Karl-Hans Schmid, who then handed over management to Rainer Lang. Philipp Keil has been the managing director of the SEZ since 2013.

Create networks and enable human encounters

In the 1990s, the SEZ created the foundation on which it stands today. The focus was on networking, which still plays a central role at the SEZ today. The professionalization of the work of the many volunteers involved in One World largely shaped the activities of the SEZ in the 1990s. This not only created the foundations for development policy commitment from Baden-Württemberg, but also created extensive partnership networks that continue to characterize the diversity of our work today. An example of this is the close relationships between people from Baden-Württemberg and Burundi, which have been established since 2009 Burundi Competence Center be perpetuated. The Partnership Center the SEZ initiates, accompanies and promotes encounters at “eye and heart level” between people in Baden-Württemberg and people in countries of the so-called global south.

From Urbanstrasse to Werastrasse: Teamwork for global connections and encounters

While in 1991 the SEZ's first office on Urbanstrasse had four employees, today the SEZ on Werastrasse has a team of 4 employees whose skills are as diverse as the SEZ's project portfolio. The goal of making our own global integration noticeable by enabling human encounters is the central motivation of our work. The collaboration with people from Baden-Württemberg and the world shows us again and again that we are... Partners can and must learn from Burundi and the countries of the so-called global south.

Diverse SEZ portfolio and easy access for your commitment

Raising awareness of the people in Baden-Württemberg for the global integration of their actions has always been a theme of the SEZ and is reflected in our diverse portfolio. The Burundi Competence Center, the Fair trade fair and SEZ project funding – under the brand since 2019 works! – have established themselves over many successful years as an integral part of the development policy map in Baden-Württemberg. The My initiative. Your. One World. This year will be gathering engagement in the communities for the 9th time. In order to reach even more people in Baden-Württemberg and the world, we have been around since 2017 Future fashion and with since 2021 Mindchangers Topics that are specifically aimed at a young audience.

While the first letters in the SEZ were typed with a portable typewriter in 1991, today we are well connected digitally and are present on easily accessible channels for development policy advice and support, as a platform for networking and information: here on the website and in the Burundi Competence Center you will find constantly updated ones news. You can find everything about sustainable textiles with Future Fashion here WebsiteWherein Facebook and Instagram. With the SEZletter, the Burundi Nouvelles and the Future Fashion Newsletter stay up to date on us, the partnership with Burundi and tomorrow's consumption. And also applications for project funding works! or Mindchangers today run completely digitally via our new one Application portal.

Calendar of Events




About Us


Jobs & Careers

Foundation mission


Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees

support group


Global Commune

Africa Forum #Changing the Narrative

Partnership Center

World:Citizens asked!

project funding





BW-Burundi partnership

Act fairly

Future fashion

School and global learning

To connect

Funded projects

World shop directory Baden-Württemberg

Network map for Baden-Württemberg

Media Library

Photo and video gallery

Exhibition rental

SEZ publications