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Felix Dresewski

Felix Dresewski

Schüler helfen leben
Felix studied at the Berlin University of the Arts and the London School of Economics (LSE). In 2004, he graduated with a Master of Science in “Voluntary Sector Organization.” He presented the results of his thesis on resistance to change in non-profit organizations at the 2005 annual meeting of the Academy of Management. Furthermore, Felix has published widely on the issues of corporate-non-profit partnerships and, for example, authored the fist “how-to” guide on corporate-non-profit partnerships for German medium-sized enterprises.
 
Schüler helfen leben
Felix started voluntary work while he was at school and since then has gained extensive experience in different non-profit organizations both as a volunteer, full-time manager, and board member. Since 1996, he has been working voluntarily for the humanitarian aid organisation SHL (Schüler helfen leben) with changing responsibilities. SHL is an initiative of young people from all over Germany which contributes to peace and reconciliation in the Balkans through multi-ethnic youth projects. In 1998 he organized the first “Social Day” campaign; since then more than half a million German school students have taken part in this event and raised more than € 10 million for their contemporaries in the former Yugoslavia. The idea of the campaign is quite simple: On this particular day, pupils – instead of attending classes – perform jobs in a company or somewhere in the community. All the money they earn is donated to SHL. Hence, pupils do not simply ask for donations but invest one day of hard work to show their solidarity with young people in the former Yugoslavia. Furthermore, the campaign also involves “employers” who provide jobs and supervize their new “employees” for one day. So the campaign unites pupils, parents, schools, and businesses in a campaign which involves more than just “begging” for money or writing checks. After the second campaign in 2000, Felix resigned from the managing board – as a matter of principle, members only serve one term in order to open up opportunities for new members and to facilitate a dynamic development of the organization. Nevertheless, he has always been closely connected to SHL after his chairmanship both as an adviser and consultant in organizational change, fundraising and administration. In 2003, he was asked to chair the supervisory board of the SHL foundation, which was founded that year.

Felix currently works as a project manager for the German non-profit organization UPJ (Unternehmen: Partner der Jugend). UPJ is a network of businesses – amongst others, BMW, KPMG, Manpower, O2 – and intermediary organizations promoting corporate philanthropy and cross-sector partnerships in Germany. He is head of the UPJ competence center. Furthermore, he is significantly involved in developing new projects and successfully raising funds, for example from the European Commission for the awareness-raising campaign “Responsible Entrepreneurship in German SMEs.” In the future, Felix is going to deepen his work on corporate-non-profit partnerships because he believes that businesses with their specific resources and competencies can play a vital role in solving social problems.