top of page


At salons in New York and summits in Washington, DC, and Davos, Switzerland, Altru Institute assembles thought leaders on the most critical topics of these times, including climate change, mental health, medical advances, war and refugees, and health and wellness.  


Altru Institute began with the experience of Mariam Azarm, who spent 25 years at the United Nations in New York managing events for the UN Security Council. Through her day in and day out direct experience with high level diplomats and celebrities, Mariam naturally built a global network of lasting contacts and insights.

The impetus for Altru Institute came from a broadly felt frustration that large institutions aren't agile enough to help world-changing innovation at critical early stages. Mariam thought that maybe, with her vision, experience, and Rolodex, she could help foster collaboration so that game changing ideas could have a better chance to scale to impact.

Early retirement from the UN gave her the opportunity to pursue the idea. With childhood friend and London philanthropist Gilly Norton, she founded the Klosters Forum in 2015.


Brett Johnson, who had attended the first Klosters Forum, was greatly impressed with the collaborative model and felt it could be scaled globally for significant impact. Brett's career experience in new venture development, innovation, and conference-setting and in the communications, publishing, Internet, med tech and biotech fields, gave him a similar broad overview, deep network, and precise vision. 

Together they founded the Altru Institute to focus on the world's most complex challenges, and began convening innovators and change-makers to find breakthroughs with a simple collaboration model.

Since then, Altru Institute has attracted hundreds of thought leaders to its salons and summits, and has built a global network of talented thought leaders who share their view on the importance of innovation through collaboration. 

bottom of page