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Global Economy

dm founder Götz Werner is dead

Götz Werner, founder of the drugstore chain dm, died at the age of 78. The company announced this on Tuesday in Karlsruhe.

    Götz Werner, founder of the drugstore chain dm, died at the age of 78. The company announced this on Tuesday in Karlsruhe.

Business acumen and a social streak: since the 1970s, Götz Werner has been creating a drugstore empire out of nothing. With the introduction of the discounter principle, the founder of the Karlsruhe drugstore chain dm earned a lot of money. But the focus for the pioneer of an unconditional basic income was something else: "People and their needs." If you act accordingly, he once said, you cannot prevent success.

For him, "income for all" – the title of his book – had something to do with human dignity. "In view of the abundance in which we live, we must act immediately and shape our welfare state in such a way that everyone can live humanely." Poverty in old age was gross ingratitude for him. "Our prosperity is rooted in the motivation of previous generations." In hundreds of lectures, discussions and interviews he propagated his heart topic.

Werner died on Tuesday at the age of 78. His family said his strength had steadily declined over the past few months. Werner lived with his wife Beatrice in Stuttgart. He leaves behind seven children and several grandchildren.

Werner was a pioneer for an unconditional basic income

Götz Werner was born on February 5, 1944 in Heidelberg. The trained druggist, German youth rowing champion and pioneer for an unconditional basic income has created a drugstore chain with dm, which is now active in 14 European countries.

More than 66,000 people work for dm. According to the company, sales amounted to 12.3 billion euros.

Since the early 1990s, and even more so after he left operational responsibility for the company in 2008, Werner has devoted his time to the unconditional basic income project. He promoted the idea in lectures and contributions to discussions.

Werner saw this as an important social contribution to give people the freedom to take their own initiative and participate in the life of free civil society, even in times of increasing globalization, digitization and automation.

Professor's title from the University of Karlsruhe

"He was always aware that he would not live to see the completion of this idea," says the statement about his death. Nevertheless, he put a lot of energy into it because he recognized it as right and sensible for himself.

Werner also gained a foothold in the academic world. In May 2005, the University of Karlsruhe commissioned him to head the Institute for Entrepreneurship and awarded him the title of professor. (dpa/dh)

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