Marek Cernocky

Ashoka Fellow
Hermanuv Mestec, Czech Republic
Fellow Since 2007


This profile was prepared when Marek Cernocky was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
Marek has a new investment strategy. He invests gifts and sponsorship meant for charitable purposes into activities that will generate permanent income to fund the organizations in the future. Then he engages with individual business donors that are willing to support his method. This strategy strengthens citizen organizations by making them independent and grants them freedom to develop without relying on the ‘noble beggary’ approach.
In response to the limiting way charitable activities are often funded, Marek established a public benefit company to create new ventures, such as the current construction of a dam that will fund them over the long-term. Marek’s strategy destroys a perception of citizen groups as money vacuums. This activity is based on a thorough understanding of present-day society: It creates a new form of ethical business that not only invests in renewable and environmentally sustainable energy production in a socially non-exploitative way, but above all, exists to support charitable causes. Each step of his activities currently generates more profit than investment, which in turn, convinces other donors to participate. It is easily replicable not only across the Czech Republic, but also within Eastern and Central Europe.
Unlike other organizations that focus on creating a sustainable image of the citizen sector that will allow its funding through individual and corporate sponsorship in the short-run, Marek wants an attractive mainstream business enterprise to fund charitable activities over the long-term, and to inspire new ways to think about our interconnected world.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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