February 2014 3rd Zero Project Conference on Accessibility

On February 27th and 28th, the 3rd Zero Project Conference on Accessibility: Innovative Policies and Practices for Persons with Disabilities takes place. The conference will be held at the headoffice of the UN in Vienna.


Please find more information on:



04.06.2012 Award cermony of the fifth Essl Social Prize at the Essl Museum in Klosterneuburg

The award ceremony oh the fifth Essl Social Prize was held on 2nd of June in the Essl Museum in Klosterneburg. The winner of the Essl Social Prize 2012 is Father Wolfgang Pucher, who has been committed to the homeless for many years and provided them new confidence with his work.

Together with the Essl Foundation, a special project will be established with the prize money from the Essl Social Prize 2012: "Housing First" is an innovative and promising approach to permanently freeing homeless people from their situation. The funding and realization is being implemented together with the province of Salzburg.

At this year`s award ceremony about 300 guests from politics, business and social sector were present: the founders Martin and Gerda Essl, prize winner father Wolfgang Pucher, head of Caritas Dr. Franz Küberl, LR Mag. Cornelia Schmidjell, LR Dr. Stefan Pernkopf, Phillips CEO Robert Pfarrwaller, bishop Dr. egon Kapellari, Almaz Böhm, Freda Meissner-Blau, Lotte Tobisch and Thomas Geierspichler. Moderated by Barbara Stöckl.


Essl Social Prize – award cermony on June 2, 2012 at the Essl Museum in Klosterneuburg

The Essl Social Prize is awarded for the fith time this year. The prize money goes to Father Wolfgang Pucher for implementing the social project "Housing First" in the city of Salzburg.

The award ceremony takes place at the Essl Museum in Klosterneburg. About 300 people from politics, business and social sector are expeted.


02.01.2012 Essl Social Prize 2012 – Prizewinner Father Wolfgang Pucher/ St. Vincent de Paul Initiatives

The Essl Social Prize 2012 goes to Father Wolfgang Pucher for implementing the social project "Housing First" in the city of Salzburg.
In the last few decades Father Pucher has established 30 St. Vincent de Paul initiatives and a total of 57 St. Vincent de Paul societies in Austria and Slovakia, and has managed zto give numerous homeless people a sense of new hope with his exceptional social initiatives.



02.12.2011 The Results of the Zero Project Report 2012

A new international comparative study on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is published today. The Zero Project Report – Zero as in “zero barriers” – is the first of its kind and has been initiated by the Essl Foundation, which is based in Klosterneuburg, Austria. The core elements of the study are indicators on social inclusion of people with disabilities, together with, for the first time, Good Practices and Good Policies.

Find out more about it on the homepage 



1.12.2011 The International Conference on “Good Policies for Disabled People” takes place on 22 and 23 January 2012 in Vienna





27.3.2011 Award Ceremony Essl Social Prize 2011 in the Vienna Hofburg

The award ceremony took place in the Vienna Hofburg on 26 March 2011. 

The Essl Social Prize 2011 goes to Almaz and Karlheinz Böhm for their unprecedented commitment in Ethiopia with their organisation Menschen für Menschen.


More about it ...


27.3.2011 Speech by Martin Essl at award ceremony Essl Social Prize 2011




22.11.2010 Essl Social Index 2010 on Disability Governance

In November 2010 the Essl Foundation is presenting the first Essl Social Index as a pilot study. This is a rating system with which the living conditions and legal situation of disadvantaged persons in specific countries are rendered measurable and comparable on an international basis. It is produced annually together with NGOs and stakeholders representing groups of disadvantaged persons and covers some of society’s most urgent social themes. The aim is to locate best practice examples worldwide and to develop the most concrete criteria for improvement. The initial pilot study for the Essl Social Index was conducted, and is now published, in the area of persons with disabilities (Essl Social Index on Disability Governance (ESI-DG)).


21.10.2010 Essl Social Prize 2011 - Prize winner Almaz and Karlheinz Böhm

The Essl Social Prize 2011 goes to Almaz and Karlheinz Böhm for their work in integrated rural development in Ethiopia with their organization "Menschen für Menschen". With the Prize the development of a new region and the development of "solar entrepreneurship" will be financed. The awards ceremony will be held on 26 March 2011 in the Hofburg Vienna.


Full press release: press release 21.10.2011  


New initiative of Austrian private foundations presented in Alpbach

Six Austrian private foundations - Erste Stiftung, Essl Foundation, Humer Privatstiftung, Schweighofer Privatstiftung, Katharina Turnauer Privatstiftung und Unruhe Privatstiftung - launched their joint initiative in Alpbach today. The aim is to foster social innovation and social entrepreneurship. Every year at least two new projects will be launched or supported. The group of foundations is trying actively to encourage other foundations to take part in the projects or start their own initiatives.



May 4th, 2010 Interview with Bill Drayton on the occasion of the award ceremony at the Wiener Hofburg




April 12th, 2010 Essl Social Prize 2010 - award ceremony on April 17th, 2010 at the Hofburg Vienna

The Essl Social Prize will be awarded for the third time on April 17th, 2010. The prize money of 1 million euro will go to American Bill Drayton, who has built with Ashoka a world-wide network with more than 2,500 social entrepreneurs in 70 countries. 



November 19th, 2009 Essl Social Prize 2010 - Bill Drayton

The Essl Social Prize, an outstanding international prize for social innovation and social entrepreneurship, will be awarded for the third time in 2010. The prize money of 1 million euro will go to Bill Drayton of the United States. He is the founder and CEO of Ashoka, an international non-profit organisation whose goal is to foster social entrepreneurship world-wide.


Please read the detailed press release: press release November 19th, 2009



September 29th, 2009 Construction site "Tibor háza"

After the ground breaking ceremony on July 8th, 2009, the construction of "Tibor háza" makes good progress. 


Please find a small range of photos on: Prize Winner


July 8th, 2009 Ground-breaking ceremony for "Tibor háza" in Hungary

The Essl Social Prize, an outstanding international prize for social initiatves, was awarded for the second time in 2009. This year's prize winner was Szekeres Tiborné from Hungary with her project "Tibor háza". On July 8th the ground-breaking ceremony for the residential home will take place. The house has three floors and includes a hospice for elderly people with mental and/or physical disabilities. 


Please find the press release on: press release July 8th, 2009



July 1st, 2009 Video of the second award ceremony

Please find the video of the second award ceremony from April 3rd, 2009 on video award ceremony.


April 2nd, 2009 Essl Social Prize - Prize Winner from Hungary

In 2009, the Essl Social Prize, the first international prize for social initiatives, will be awarded for the second time. The prize money of 1,000,000 Euros goes to Mrs. Szekeres Tiborné from Hungary and her project "Dignified Aging for Disabled People". The award ceremony of the Prize is scheduled to take place in the Schömer-Haus (bauMax-headquarter) in Klosterneuburg on April 3rd 2009, 6 p.m.

Martin and Gerda Essl have founded the Essl Social Prize to support social innovation and social entrepreneurship worldwide. 


Please read the detaild press release on: press release April 2nd, 2009


April 1st, 2009 Opening Casa Abraham

It happened on April 1st, 2009. Casa Abraham, the prize-winning project of the Essl Social Prize 2008, was inaugurated solemnly in Ploieşti, Rumania. The house was built for the benefit of former street children, who found a new home in the facilities of "Concordia", which were established 16 years ago. In Casa Abraham they will be trained as bakers, carpenters, farmers or kindergarden teachers.


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