About us

The Foundation

The Isocrates Foun­da­tion is an inde­pen­dent phil­an­thropic foun­da­tion, ded­i­cat­ed to the pro­tec­tion and pro­mo­tion of pub­lic debate.

Estab­lished in 2011 by Nico­las Puech and fund­ed by him since, the Foun­da­tion pro­vides grants to sup­port the fun­da­men­tal role civ­il soci­ety orga­ni­za­tions play in safe­guard­ing and stim­u­lat­ing pub­lic debate.

The Foun­da­tion funds and sup­ports pub­lic inter­est jour­nal­ism and media orga­ni­za­tions com­mit­ted to strength­en­ing the field of inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ism and the pro­duc­tion of inde­pen­dent qual­i­ty infor­ma­tion, as well as civ­il soci­ety orga­ni­za­tions work­ing towards respon­si­ble dig­i­tal­iza­tion and a healthy dig­i­tal pub­lic space.

To cel­e­brate courage and ded­i­ca­tion, we also sup­port occa­sion­al­ly the work of out­stand­ing indi­vid­u­als who con­tribute sig­nif­i­cant­ly to pub­lic good in oth­er ways than fos­ter­ing pub­lic debate.

& mission

We envi­sion pub­lic debate not only as the cor­ner­stone of democ­ra­cy, but also as a dri­ver of social cohe­sion and a force for pos­i­tive change.

For cit­i­zens to ful­ly par­tic­i­pate in demo­c­ra­t­ic process­es, they must be able to form opin­ions and make informed choic­es on issues that affect them or are in the com­mon inter­est, in an edu­cat­ed and crit­i­cal man­ner. This requires access to reli­able and qual­i­ty infor­ma­tion, which is inde­pen­dent of pri­vate inter­est and respect­ful of the diver­si­ty of point of views. It also requires a space where ideas can be safe­ly expressed and con­struc­tive­ly debat­ed in order to seek a com­mon ground on which to build our col­lec­tive des­tiny.

Striv­ing for a peace­ful and respon­si­ble soci­ety that upholds demo­c­ra­t­ic prin­ci­ples and fun­da­men­tal rights, encour­ages the par­tic­i­pa­tion of every cit­i­zen, and fos­ters social har­mo­ny, the Foun­da­tion is com­mit­ted to pro­tect and pro­mote pub­lic debate by sup­port­ing access to qual­i­ty inde­pen­dent infor­ma­tion and con­tribut­ing to the health and safe­ty of the dig­i­tal pub­lic space, in which it increas­ing­ly takes place.

Core values
and guiding

The fol­low­ing core val­ues and guid­ing prin­ci­ples are the dri­ving force behind who we are, what we aim for, and how we work. They shape our iden­ti­ty and cul­ture, guide our choice of part­ners, and inform every­thing we do.


We val­ue ideas, deci­sion-mak­ing and actions based on facts and free from delib­er­ate bias or vest­ed inter­est. We regard objec­tiv­i­ty, integri­ty, and trust­wor­thi­ness as the pri­ma­ry guide to all our activ­i­ties.

Critical thinking

We believe that ris­ing to the chal­lenges of our com­plex times requires more than ever the abil­i­ty to think clear­ly and crit­i­cal­ly. We val­ue open­ness, thor­ough­ness, and humil­i­ty as nec­es­sary pre­req­ui­sites to crit­i­cal think­ing and con­struc­tive change.


We cel­e­brate courage, com­mit­ment, and resilience in soci­ety and in the orga­ni­za­tions and peo­ple we work with. We acknowl­edge the risks often asso­ci­at­ed with such qual­i­ties and strive to pro­vide pro­tec­tion to high­ly exposed actors. We val­ue unique­ness, and agili­ty in estab­lish­ing new part­ner­ships.


We firm­ly believe in col­lec­tive intel­li­gence and joint efforts as the best way for­ward to bring about pos­i­tive and last­ing social change. We val­ue plu­ral­i­ty, diver­si­ty, and respect­ful coop­er­a­tion in all our endeav­ors and pri­or­i­tize col­lab­o­ra­tive ini­tia­tives in our grant­mak­ing strat­e­gy.


As per Swiss law, the Foun­da­tion is under the author­i­ty and sur­veil­lance of Swiss Fed­er­al Super­vi­so­ry Board for Foun­da­tions.


The Foun­da­tion is gov­erned by a Board of Trustees, which cur­rent­ly con­sists of six mem­bers. The Board reviews and approves the bud­get, strat­e­gy, and progress accord­ing to the Foundation’s mis­sion and strate­gic pri­or­i­ties. It makes all deci­sions regard­ing the allo­ca­tion of funds. The Board gen­er­al­ly meets four times a year.

Members of the Board

Nico­las Puech, Founder and Pres­i­dent
Corinne Chapon­nière Mey­er
Jacques Per­rot
Ari­ane Leschal­li­er de Lisle
William Mc Comish
Alfred Neck­er


The day-to-day man­age­ment of the Foun­da­tion is in the hands of the Sec­re­tari­at, which is respon­si­ble for oper­a­tions, finances, and pro­gram­ming. It reviews and eval­u­ates grant appli­ca­tions to deter­mine whether they are con­sis­tent with the Foundation’s objec­tives and require­ments, pre­pares and pro­pos­es dona­tions to the Board, mon­i­tors and eval­u­ates award­ed grants, and admin­is­ters grant dis­burse­ments. The Sec­re­tari­at also pre­pares and pro­pos­es strat­e­gy, pol­i­cy, and pro­gram devel­op­ments to the Board.


Isocrates (436–338 BC) was an ancient Greek rhetorician, teacher, and writer, contemporary of Plato and Socrates, who lived and taught in Athens in the 4th century BC. Among the most influential thinkers of his time, he is known for his many contributions in the fields of ethics, politics, rhetoric, and education, which have had a lasting impact on Western thought.

An advocate for a fairer and more honest democracy, Isocrates promoted the Greek ideals of freedom, self-control, and virtue, emphasizing the importance of civic responsibility and the need for individuals to contribute to public good, which can never be reduced to the ambition of a few or to the result of the confrontation of rival camps.

His teaching on the importance of effective, courteous, and moderate communication and the role of education in promoting good citizenship and courage remains highly relevant today.