Background
The founder, Charles Léopold Mayer, was a philanthropist and financier. He believed in the progress of humankind and used his whole fortune to create the foundation and a science award in the French Science Academy. This legacy led to the establishment in 1982 of the foundation. In 1996, as a tribute to its founder, the foundation was renamed the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation for the Progress of Humankind.
Mission
To finance, by granting awards or loans, research and other activities that contribute in a significant and innovative way to the progress of humankind through science and social development.
Geographic focus
Worldwide
Programme areas
The foundation is committed to contributing to long-term societal changes. It supports and underpins the emergence of a global community in terms of:
• Governance
• Ethics
• Alternative development models

Governance
Promotes and supports the development of new social, political, and institutional regulations at local and global levels to ensure social cohesion, justice, peace, diversity, and individual development.

Ethics
Building a viable world society assumes an agreement on common ethical principles. The foundation seeks to present and implement proposals for the establishment of a common ethical foundation, namely the Charter of Human Responsibilities.

Alternative Development Models
Promotes new development, economic, scientific, and technological models tailored to meet the lifestyle, consumer and production needs of a global community.