Right Livelihood Award

The Right Livelihood Award is an international award to "honour and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today."[1] The prize was established in 1980 by German-Swedish philanthropist Jakob von Uexkull, and is presented annually in early December.[2] An international jury, invited by the five regular Right Livelihood Award board members, decides the awards in such fields as environmental protection, human rights, sustainable development, health, education, and peace.[3] The prize money is shared among the winners, usually numbering four, and is EUR 200,000.[4] Very often one of the four laureates receives an honorary award, which means that the other three share the prize money.[3]

Right Livelihood Award
Awarded for"practical and exemplary solutions to the most urgent challenges facing the world today"
Presented byRight Livelihood Award Foundation
First awarded1980

Although it is promoted as an "Alternative Nobel Prize",[5][6][7][8][9] it is not a Nobel prize (i.e., a prize created by Alfred Nobel). It does not have any organizational ties to the awarding institutions of the Nobel Prize or the Nobel Foundation.

However, the Right Livelihood Award is sometimes popularly associated with the Nobel prizes; the Right Livelihood Award committee arranged for awards to be made in the Riksdag of Sweden the day before the Nobel prizes and the economics prize are also awarded in Stockholm, and the awards are understood as a critique of the traditional Nobel prizes.[9] The establishment of the award followed a failed attempt to have the Nobel Foundation create new prizes in the areas of environmental protection, sustainable development and human rights. The prize has been awarded to a diverse group of people and organisations, including Wangari Maathai, Astrid Lindgren, Bianca Jagger, Mordechai Vanunu, Leopold Kohr, Arna Mer-Khamis, Felicia Langer, Petra Kelly, Survival International, Amy Goodman, Memorial, and Edward Snowden.


Since 1985, the ceremony has taken place in Stockholm's old Parliament building, in the days before the traditional Nobel prizes are awarded in the same city. A group of Swedish Parliamentarians from different parties host the ceremony; in 2009 European Commissioner Margot Wallström co-hosted the ceremony. However, in 2014 when it became public that one of the recipients of the 2014 prize was whistleblower Edward Snowden, the ceremonial group was disinvited from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs building in Stockholm.[10]

Nature of the award

Some media refer to the prize as the Alternative Nobel Prize,[3] and the prize is frequently understood as a critique of the traditional Nobel prizes.[9]

The prize differs significantly from the Nobel Prizes:

  • it is not a fulfillment of Alfred Nobel's bequest and thus not one of Nobel's own prizes;
  • it has an open nomination process (anyone can nominate anyone else, except close relatives or their own organizations);[11]
  • it is not limited to specific categories;[4]
  • the prize money is considerably lower than that of the Nobel Prize. Currently it is €200,000 compared to about €1,000,000 for a Nobel Prize;
  • the funds for the prizes now come from donations[1] while the Nobel Prizes come from the revenue of Alfred Nobel's fortune. The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (which is technically not a Nobel Prize) is financed by the Sveriges Riksbank.


Jakob von Uexküll, the philatelist, sold his company to create a prize,[1] realizing one million US dollars which provided the initial funding of the award. Before establishing the award in 1980, von Uexkull had tried to interest the Nobel Foundation in new prizes to be awarded together with the Nobel Prizes. He suggested the establishment of two new prizes, one for ecology and one for development.[12] Like the Nobel Economics Prize, this would have been possible with an amendment to the Nobel Foundation statutes and funding of the prize amount completely separate from Nobel's fortune. The Nobel Prize amount was 880,000 Swedish kronor at that time,[13] which corresponded to 195,000 US dollars.[14] However, as a result of the debate that followed the establishment of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel (first awarded in 1969), the Nobel Foundation had decided not to associate the Nobel Prize with any additional awards, so von Uexküll's proposal was rejected.[15]

From 1980-2013, the foundation presented awards to 153 Laureates from 64 countries.[1] Its self-described purpose is to bestow prizes and thus publicize the work of recipients' local solutions to worldwide problems.[16]


Hassan Fathy Egypt
Plenty International United States
Mike Cooley United Kingdom
Bill Mollison Australia
Patrick van Rensburg / Education with Production Botswana
 South Africa
Erik Dammann / Future in Our Hands Norway
Anwar Fazal Malaysia
Petra Kelly West Germany
Participatory Institute for Development Alternatives Sri Lanka
Sir George Trevelyan, Bt United Kingdom
Leopold Kohr Austria
Amory Lovins and Hunter Lovins / Rocky Mountain Institute United States
Manfred Max-Neef / CEPAUR Chile
High Chief Ibedul Gibbons and the People of Belau Palau
Imane Khalifeh Lebanon
Self-Employed Women's Association / Ela Bhatt India
Winefreda Geonzon / Free Legal Assistance Volunteers' Association (FREE LAVA) Philippines
Wangari Maathai / Green Belt Movement Kenya
Theo Van Boven Netherlands
Cary Fowler (Rural Advancement Fund International) United States
Pat Mooney (Rural Advancement Fund International) Canada
Lokayan / Rajni Kothari India
Duna Kör Hungary
Robert Jungk Austria
Rosalie Bertell Canada
Alice Stewart United Kingdom
Ladakh Ecological Development Group / Helena Norberg-Hodge India
Evaristo Nugkuag / AIDESEP Peru
Johan Galtung Norway
Chipko movement India
Hans-Peter Dürr / Global Challenges Network West Germany
Institute for Food and Development Policy / Frances Moore Lappé United States
Mordechai Vanunu Israel
International Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims / Dr. Inge Kemp Genefke Denmark
José Lutzenberger Brazil
John F. Charlewood Turner United Kingdom
Sahabat Alam Malaysia / Mohammed Idris, Harrison Ngau, the Penan people Malaysia
Seikatsu Club Consumers' Co-operative Union Japan
Melaku Worede Ethiopia
Aklilu Lemma / Legesse Wolde-Yohannes Ethiopia
Survival International United Kingdom
Alice Tepper Marlin / Council on Economic Priorities United States
Bernard Lédéa Ouédraogo Burkina Faso
Felicia Langer Israel
Association of Peasant Workers of the Carare (Asociación de Trabajadores Campesinos del Carare) Colombia
Edward Goldsmith United Kingdom
Narmada Bachao Andolan India
Bengt Danielsson & Marie-Thérèse Danielsson Sweden /  France
Senator Jeton Anjain / the People of Rongelap Marshall Islands
Landless Workers' Movement (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra) / CPT (Commissão Pastoral da Terra) Brazil
Finnish Village Action Movement (Kylätoiminta) Finland
Gonoshasthaya Kendra / Zafrullah Chowdhury Bangladesh
Helen Mack Guatemala
John Gofman / Alla Yaroshinskaya United States /  Ukraine
Arna Mer-Khamis / Care and Learning Israel
Organisation of Rural Associations for Progress / Sithembiso Nyoni Zimbabwe
Vandana Shiva India
Mary and Carrie Dann of the Western Shoshone Nation United States
Astrid Lindgren Sweden
SERVOL (Service Volunteered for All) Trinidad and Tobago
Dr. H. Sudarshan / VGKK (Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra(for working of soliga tribes in MM hills) India
Ken Saro-Wiwa / Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People Ogoniland, Nigeria
András Bíró / Hungarian Foundation for Self-Reliance Hungary
Serb Civic Council Bosnia and Herzegovina
Carmel Budiardjo / TAPOL Indonesia /  United Kingdom
Sulak Sivaraksa Thailand
Herman Daly United States
Committee of Soldiers' Mothers of Russia Russia
People's Science Movement of Kerala (Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad) India
George Vithoulkas Greece
Joseph Ki-Zerbo Burkina Faso
Jinzaburo Takagi Japan
Mycle Schneider France
Michael Succow Germany
Cindy Duehring United States
International Baby Food Action Network
Samuel Epstein United States
Juan Pablo Orrego Chile
Katarina Kruhonja / Vesna Terselic Croatia
Hermann Scheer Germany
Juan Garcés Spain
COAMA (Consolidation of the Amazon Region) Colombia
Grupo de Agricultura Orgánica Cuba
Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher Ethiopia
Munir Indonesia
Birsel Lemke Turkey
Wes Jackson United States
José Antonio Abreu Venezuela
Gush Shalom / Rachel and Uri Avnery Israel
Leonardo Boff Brazil
Trident Ploughshares United Kingdom
Martin Green Australia
Kamenge Youth Centre (Centre Jeunes Kamenge) Burundi
Kvinna Till Kvinna Sweden
Martín Almada Paraguay
David Lange New Zealand
Walden Bello / Nicanor Perlas Philippines
Citizens' Coalition for Economic Justice South Korea
SEKEM and Ibrahim Abouleish Egypt
Swami Agnivesh / Asghar Ali Engineer India
Memorial Society Russia
Bianca Jagger Nicaragua
Raúl Montenegro Argentina
Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke Canada
Irene Fernandez Malaysia
Roy Sesana and First People of the Kalahari Botswana
Francisco Toledo Mexico
Daniel Ellsberg United States
Ruth Manorama India
Chico Whitaker Brazil
International Poetry Festival of Medellín Colombia
Christopher Weeramantry Sri Lanka
Dekha Ibrahim Abdi Kenya
Percy Schmeiser and Louise Schmeiser Canada
Grameen Shakti Bangladesh
Krishnammal Jagannathan and Sankaralingam Jagannathan LAFTI India
Amy Goodman United States
Asha Haji Elmi Somalia
Monika Hauser Italy
Catherine Hamlin Australia
René Ngongo Democratic Republic of the Congo
David Suzuki Canada
Alyn Ware New Zealand
Nnimmo Bassey Nigeria
Erwin Kräutler Austria
Shrikrishna Upadhyay   Nepal
Physicians for Human Rights Israel
Huang Ming China
Jacqueline Moudeina Chad
Ina May Gaskin United States
Campaign Against Arms Trade United States
Gene Sharp United States
Hayrettin Karaca Turkey
Sima Samar Afghanistan
Paul Walker United States
Hans Rudolf Herren and Biovision Foundation  Switzerland
Raji Sourani Gaza
Denis Mukwege Democratic Republic of the Congo
Bill McKibben and 350.org United States
Basil Fernando and AHRC Hong Kong SAR, China
Asma Jahangir Pakistan
Alan Rusbridger United Kingdom
Edward Snowden United States
Sheila Watt-Cloutier Canada
Tony deBrum Marshall Islands
Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera Uganda
Gino Strada Italy
Cumhuriyet Turkey
Syrian Civil Defense Syria
Mozn Hassan and Nazra for Feminist Studies Egypt
Svetlana Gannushkina Russia
Robert Bilott United States
Colin Gonsalves India
Khadija Ismayilova Azerbaijan
Yetnebersh Nigussie Ethiopia
Thelma Aldana, Iván Velásquez Guatemala  Colombia
Yacouba Sawadogo Burkina Faso
Abdullah al-Hamid, Mohammad Fahad al-Qahtani, Walid Abu al-Chair Saudi Arabia
Tony Rinaudo Australia
Greta Thunberg Sweden
Aminatou Haidar Western Sahara
Davi Kopenawa Yanomami Brazil
Guo Jianmei China

See also


  1. Ministry for Foreign Affairs (26 September 2013). "The 2013 Right Livelihood Laureates announced". Government Offices of Sweden. Archived from the original on 3 March 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  2. Jawetz, Pincas. 30th Right Livelihood Awards: Wake-up calls to secure our common future. SustainabiliTank. 13 Oct. 2009.
  3. Thorpe, Edgar; Thorpe, Showick. "General Awareness: Right Livelihood Award". Guide to the Combined Defence Services Exam. New Delhi: Pearson Education. p. 26. ISBN 81-317-0074-7.
  4. About the Right Livelihood Award Archived 2011-08-11 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed October 26, 2010.
  5. "Indians win 'alternative Nobel'". BBC. 2 October 2008. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
  6. "Peace and Social Justice Workers Receive Alternative Nobel Prize". Deutsche Welle. 1 October 2008. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  7. "Global activists honoured with 'Alternative Nobel' prize". The Local. 30 September 2010. Archived from the original on 2 October 2010. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  8. "Israeli doctors' group wins 'alternative' Nobel prize". BBC. 30 September 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
  9. "Alternativer Nobelpreis: Kampf gegen Klimawandel, Armut, Kriege ausgezeichnet". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. 13 October 2009. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
  10. "Edward Snowden inte välkommen till UD". Aftonbladet. Aftonbladet. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  11. Right Livelihood Award: Proposals & Selection Process. Accessed January 24, 2010.
  12. "Right Livelihood Award: History - Setting up the 'Alternative Nobel Prize'". Rightlivelihood.org. Archived from the original on 2012-08-29. Retrieved 2012-07-28.
  13. "The Nobel Prize Amounts". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2012-07-28.
  14. "according to historical exchange rate from".
  15. TT-DN (2003-10-02). Alternativt Nobelpris delas på fem. Dagens Nyheter, "Publicerat 2003-10-02 10:08". Retrieved from http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?a=188389. (in Swedish)
  16. "Right Livelihood Award history". Archived from the original on June 20, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)


This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.