Adessium is an endowed foundation in the Netherlands, established in 2005 by commodities trader Gerard van Vliet and his family. Today, it spends approximately €18 million annually on programmes including marine conservation and efforts to promote open and democratic societies. It is one of the 'dark horses' of European philanthropy, avoiding attention and declining all requests to be interviewed. Gerard's interview with Alliance magazine is his first for any publication. Together with his son, Rogier van Vliet, and managing director, Rogier van der Weerd, he talked to Alliance editor, Charles Keidan, about how Adessium came into being and, a decade on, where this remarkable philanthropic journey has taken them. Alliance issue: Philanthropy and the media; December 2017, Volume 22, Number 4.