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. Its focus today is on the humanities and social sciences. The foundation was founded in 1947 by the Consul-General Axel Ax:son Johnson (1876–1958), owner of the Nordstjernan Group, and his wife, Margaret (1887–1966).
What we do
The foundation funds individuals, ideas and projects in the humanities and social sciences and works in three areas: research and education, seminars, and publishing. The foundation’s operations are carried out based on a conviction of the importance of open-ended scientific exploration and discussion as a prerequisite for open democracies and free, dynamic societies.
How we work
The foundation is operational and runs publishing and broadcasting initiatives through Axess Publishing, Engelsberg Ideas and Bokförlaget Stolpe. We also fund individuals and collaborate with external partners in academia. The foundation’s operations and nearly all research today are characterised by a long-term, international perspective.
The foundation’s operations are carried out based on a conviction of the importance of open-ended scientific exploration and discussion as a prerequisite for open democracies and free, dynamic societies.
Where we work
The foundation has its main office in the Nordstjernan building at Stureplan in Stockholm. The foundation also runs activities from the UNESCO World Heritage Site Engelsberg Ironworks as well as from the Grade II*-listed manor house Halewell in the UK. The Nordstjernan building and Engelsberg Ironworks were bought by Axel Ax:son Johnson in 1916 and is today owned by Nordstjernan AB.
The foundation’s assets
The Foundation owns 85 percent of the capital in Nordstjernan AB, which manages and develops the industrial heritage founded by the Ax:son Johnson family in 1890. This form of ownership guarantees continuity and stability for Nordstjernan AB as well as its commitment. The foundation is paid 85 percent of the dividends from Nordstjernan AB, which makes its public benefit activities possible.
The Ax:son Johnson family, for which the foundation is named, has a long history of philanthropy.
The foundation is operational and supports research and education, arranges seminars and runs publicistic initiatives.
The foundation initiates its own research projects and does not accept applications. However, the foundation does accept proposals, when appropriate, in the form of project descriptions.
Research and education
Applied history is a key theme in the foundation’s research and education projects.
Since 1999, the foundation has brought together world-leading scholars and thinkers to discuss our past, present and future.
In a changing media landscape, the foundation provides content about science, culture, education and tradition.