#rp24 speaker Sebastian Klein: From blinkist exit to multimillionaire exit

08.05.2024 - The New Narrative and Karma Capital co-founder is committed to putting people first again – and not capital.
Sebastian Klein lächelt in die Kamera.

Recently, we have been gaining more and more insight into how much the extremely wealthy contribute to the climate catastrophe: the richest one per cent of the world's population produces as many climate-damaging greenhouse gases as the poorest two thirds of the world. It is not only luxury villas, mega yachts and private jets that are huge contributors to emissions, but also the wealth of the super-rich themselves, which is often invested in environmentally damaging companies for the sake of returns.

Sebastian Klein writes: "Excessive wealth is not a positive thing. It is the symptom of a system that urgently needs an update." He is convinced that the increasing concentration of wealth is having a detrimental effect on our society and jeopardising democracy. As he fears that major political changes will take a while yet, he wants to show at re:publica 24 that we can - at least partially - take the necessary changes into our own hands.

Sebastian Klein is a psychologist, entrepreneur and author. Among other things, he co-founded the non-fiction book app Blinkist and the magazine Neue Narrative. When Blinkist was sold in 2023, he decided to give up 90% of his private fortune and dedicate it to charity. Sebastian believes that rising inequality is an underestimated problem and no longer wanted to be part of the problem, but rather part of the solution. With Karma Capital, he is developing an investment fund orientated towards the common good, with which he wants to move regenerative capital to where it can create social added value. He is also part of taxmenow, an initiative of wealthy people campaigning for a fairer tax system.

We look forward to inspiring discussions at #rp24 with Sebastian on the topic of steward-ownership.


#WhoCares: An interview with Sebastian Klein.

The Motto of re:publica 24 is „Who Cares?“. What or whom are you currently investing your care in?

In practical terms, I'm looking after the two organisations I'm currently setting up: New Narratives and Karma Capital. I'm also active in a few other areas, for fairer taxes or the mobility transition, for example. These are issues that I think would help to create a better society for us all.

What do we as a society fail to care enough about?

At the moment, our society is very much geared towards capital flourishing, not people. You can see this from the fact that we have made GDP our top target, and GDP does not measure how well people are doing, but rather how well economic capital is doing. As a result, people, especially those without wealth, are being left behind. And, of course, nature, art, friendship and society as a whole. In these hyper-capitalist times, all of this has become a commodity for the big companies and the wealthy. For me, it is therefore time to reorganise society so that it is about people first and not about capital.

Has anyone, any movement, or any institution caught your attention by their commitment to a particular cause?

I am inspired by everyone who dares to speak unpleasant truths. Everyone who is committed to the mobility transition, everyone who demonstrates for climate protection or challenges the rich and campaigns for fairer conditions. I am pleased to see that there are initiatives such as Taxmenow, the Bürgerbewegung Finanzwende and the Netzwerk Steuergerechtigkeit. For me, all three have a pioneering role in the fight for a fairer society, which is why I am also happy to be able to support all three in one way or another.


Vom Blinkist-Exit zum Multimillionärs-Exit: Warum Sebastian Klein 90% seines Privatvermögens aufgab

Sebastian Klein, Aileen Puhlmann

Sebastian Klein, Gründer von Neue Narrative, und Aileen Puhlmann, Geschäftsführerin von Lemonaid & Charitea e.V. sprechen über Startup-Exits, Verantwortungseigentum, Vereinssatzungen und darüber, wie Unternehmen ihrer Verantwortung für einen nachhaltigere Gesellschaft gerecht werden können.
Common good
Stage 5