12/09/2019 2019 Right Livelihood Award Laureates to be announced 25 September

2019 Right Livelihood Award Laureates to be announced 25 September

12/09/2019

The Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, celebrates its 40th anniversary this fall. The 2019 Laureates will be announced in Stockholm on 25 September at 09:00 (CEST) at the International Press Centre at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Fredsgatan 6.

The announcement will be made by Ole von Uexkull, Executive Director of the Right Livelihood Foundation, and Amelie von Zweigbergk, board and jury member. The press conference will be livestreamed via rightlivelihood.org.

Anyone can propose candidates to be considered for the Right Livelihood Award. This year, the Foundation had received proposals for 142 candidates from 59 different countries around the world. After careful investigation and documentation by the Foundation’s research team, an international Jury selected the four recipients.

Previous Laureates include whistleblower Edward Snowden (USA), doctor Denis Mukwege (DR Congo), human rights activist Jacqueline Moudeina (Chad), as well as Swedish children’s book author Astrid Lindgren.

Pre-registration is required to attend the press conference until 23 September via email to communications@rightlivelihood.org. Please bring a valid press card.

 

Read more below:

  • About the Right Livelihood Award
  • How it all began – The Nobel Foundation rejected an environmental prize

 

About the Right Livelihood Award

Established in 1980, the Right Livelihood Award honours and supports courageous people solving global problems. An international jury selects four recipients every year to receive 1 million SEK each, which equals 94.000 EUR.

The Swedish Right Livelihood Foundation presenting the Award sees its role as being the megaphone and shield for the Laureates and provides them with long-term support. It seeks to help protect those Award recipients whose life and liberty are in danger. The Foundation has Special Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council.

Unlike most other international prizes, the Right Livelihood Award has no categories. It recognises that, in striving to meet the challenges of today’s world, the most inspiring and remarkable work often defies any standard classification.

 

How it all began – The Nobel Foundation rejected an environmental prize

In 1979, the Swedish-German philanthropist and stamp collector Jakob von Uexkull turned to the Nobel Foundation with the proposal to create two new Nobel Prizes, one environmental award and one award to promote knowledge and perspectives of people in poor countries. To fund the prizes, he offered to sell his stamp collection, worth more than a million US Dollars, and donate the money to the Nobel Foundation.

Jakob was alarmed by the disconnect between the urgency of global problems and the way the international community was dealing with them. He saw how decision-makers were meeting behind closed doors, out of touch with reality. Activists and civil society organisations were at the same time gathering outside the meeting rooms, often presenting constructive solutions to the problems. But their proposals were not taken seriously, and Jakob wanted to do something about it.

“Whoever gets the Nobel Prize will be listened to”, he thought and contacted the Nobel Foundation, which politely rejected the proposal to establish two new awards. There and then, Jakob decided to create the Right Livelihood Award to support people fighting for a just, peaceful and sustainable world. He went ahead and sold parts of the stamp collection, and that was how it all began. The Right Livelihood Award received a lot of attention when it was presented for the first time in 1980, one day before Nobel Prize Day. Today, it is one of the most prestigious awards in sustainability, social justice and peace.

Income from the sale of stamps generated sufficient means to kickoff the prize but ever since the Right Livelihood Award gets its funding is from donations from individuals. A unique feature right from the start is that the Award comes with long-term support that includes networking and protection for Laureates under threat. Because of its founding history, it has come to be known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’.

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