Who if not us? Europe can realize mission-oriented policies and climate neutrality, based on fundamental rights, democracy, and the rule of law. 

How shall the EU position itself, which investment climate do we want? Do we reverse or recalibrate globalization?

Can we leapfrog towards the Green Deal? Are we getting serious on ESG asset classes and SDG investment?

Which international governance structures in a competitive world? Alliances, cities, communities to the table?

EU recovery needs leadership teams across the EU—in public institutions, in the business world. In philanthropy and the non-governmental field. To equip these teams, we at European Commons apply our bespoke toolkit called Impact by Design. It helps the ambitious rise from action to mastery.

What is Impact by Design?


The long timeline

From the start, we zoom in on the future. The future deserves at least the same amount of attention, ambition, and investment as does the present. We mainstream future thinking in each of our projects or processes. Even those that seem like singular events or one-off occasions. As soon as partners or clients articulate their vision of future impact, they spell out their WHY.

We encourage our clients to familiarize themselves with the myriad futures ahead of them. We train them to see their willingness and ability to choose and shape one of them. No matter how small in scope or finance an intervention; if done right, it can unfold desired ripple effects in the longer run. 

This approach works because we tackle every task or problem set as a process, rather than a one-off. We thus make the whole cycle of a project or problem set visible—including the spectrum of early-stage and follow-up opportunities. We aim to optimize European Commons’s interventions along the whole sequence of engagement, from first encounters via peak implementation all the way to feeding results back into the academic or theoretical discourse in European affairs and international relations. 

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the Whole

The large space and place

What if we tear down those walls, and take off these blinders? Just to see we only had half the story? Tackling our 21st century problems requires an effort of the whole system. Leaders are to mandate a whole new equipe of entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs from across our sectors and fields. The good news: the map is crowded with changemakers and visionaries, with strengths and opportunities.

Success can no longer be achieved nor measured by one sector’s performance. This concerns also success of the European Union. We cannot gauge the success of the EU at home and abroad by only looking at the European Council. Rather, the success of the EU is a result of our private, academic, societal and civic performance. 

We want to develop a New European Balance Sheet and define what European Commons are, so we can open a debate on the critical infrastructure – material, non-material – of the future. 

What do we mean? Decades of European cooperative policymaking render the EU with a unique body of Commons that stem from constant cooperation. European Union as a method and practice has been producing immaterial results. They are the EU’s secret recipe of success behind the scenes. 

These European Commons deserve attention, safeguarding, and evolvement. They make up the core value proposition of the EU as a global player, and they shall thus be part of the non-negotiable core of the European Union. 

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the Many

The long list of voices

Leadership teams create better and more legitimate solutions when they have occasions for listening and learning along the way. They thrive on diversity of input, and yet many find the road to diversity burdensome. We cut this road short thanks to our scouts and strategic matchmaking. We populate each project with the whole spectrum of both today’s and tomorrow’s voices and stakeholders.

From project governance to design or outreach—we identify and then pair up functionally very different groups who might be united by nothing but their values and principles. We forge alliances at 2nd sight, and we empower quiet voices. We don’t produce or foster solo stars; rather, we create orchestras. 

Our unique and crucial contribution is that of consequent, rigorous, and in-depth opportunities management. Thanks to our interventions, leadership teams in the public, private, civic and social sectors are ready to bring out their full potential: they come out ready to not just perform well in the present, but to also actively co-create a future reality. 

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