The Foundation


The Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation for Public Benefit is a private foundation with the primary purpose of promoting scientific and scholarly research in general. Its focus today is in the humanities and social sciences. Founded in 1947 by the consul general Axel Ax:son Johnson (1876-1958), owner of the Nordstjernan Group, and his wife, Margaret (1887-1966), the Foundation initiates its own projects and does not accept unsolicited applications (for more information, please see Contact).

Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson in Madeira on
their honeymoon in 1910.


The Foundation is a forum for promoting independent discussion of practical and spiritual matters of importance to Swedish society and culture, and promotes Sweden’s ongoing contribution to international, interdisciplinary humanist debate.

The Foundation acts as an operating foundation, searching out, developing and promoting its own programs for which it retains full responsibility. The Foundation focuses its resources and efforts on a small number of scientific humanistic areas and projects that have prospects of producing long-term benefit of high scholarly quality.

The Foundation supports worthy individuals, ideas and scholarly projects that run the risk of being ignored by current trends, and which are of decisive benefit to the public interest by preserving vital traditions and by renewing and developing society. The motto is “excellence and access.”

The Foundation seeks to provide a forum for independent intellectual discussion in Sweden and globally, where a crucial element consists of introducing international and interdisciplinary debates in the humanities in Sweden, and encouraging Swedes to participate in the international debate, in accordance with the axiom: Sweden in the world, the world in Sweden.