Natur & Kultur is a corporate foundation without owners or shareholders. This permits the foundation to act independently and to prioritize long-term visions. Our goal is to work towards increased tolerance, humanism and democracy through funding, inspiration, learning and education.
The publishing house Natur & Kultur was founded in 1922 by Johan Hansson (the son of a smallholder) and his wife Jenny Bergqvist Hansson. Johan and Jenny wanted to build a publishing house governed by ideas, with part of the published works focusing on education in areas of psychology, health and natural science.
In 1947, Natur & Kultur became a foundation. Its base was an ideological mission statement: To strive for profitability, to promote cultural aims and public utility goals, and to promote economic and political freedom while combating prejudice.
Natur & Kultur has its roots in the 20th century people’s movement and its uncompromising stance against Nazism. During WWII Natur & Kultur published several books denouncing Hitler and the Nazi-party, defying government interference and seizure.
“There is one word describing lack of freedom, injustice and dictated violence which is not recognized in our dictionary. That word is complaisance.” This statement, made by Johan Hansson, explains the ethos of the company.
Today, Natur & Kultur is the sole publishing house in Sweden with a catalogue spanning educational textbooks, academic literature as well as trade literature. We are confident that these disparate publishing areas enrich and complement each other under the umbrella of our mission statement. Bold investments in the 60s and the 80s have served to make our educational and trade titles very successful in the market. This long-term profitability has enabled Natur & Kultur to build our capital to the extent that, today, the foundation can operate effectively while prioritizing corporate sustainability over short-term profitability.
The gains from our capital investments and our yearly surplus are used to fund a variety of awards, scholarships and collaborations. These projects all strives to promote our foundation’s mission statement. Notably, Natur & Kultur each year awards the Johan Hansson prize, Kulturpriset (The Culture Prize) and offers scholarships for notable Swedish academics and authors.
Natur & Kultur collaborates with organizations which operate in the spirit of Johan Hansson and the foundation’s mission. For example we work with Expo, in their fight against racism, and Fryshuset. By operating within the framework of the foundation, Natur & Kultur has become an independent force within the Swedish publishing industry.