Who We Are

2017 Laureate Yetnebersh Nigussie presenting the Award to Aminatou Haidar at the 2019 Award Presentation, credit: Stina Stjernkvist. Below: 2015 Laureate Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera receiving the Award at the Swedish Parliament, credit: Right Livelihood.

Right Livelihood is a courage-powered community for social change.

Established in 1980, we are committed to peace, justice and sustainability for all.

Each year, we present the Right Livelihood Award. By recognising the actions of brave visionaries and building impactful connections around the world, the Award boosts urgent and long-term social change. 186 Laureates from 73 countries have received the distinction to date. 

However, our work goes beyond only presenting the Award. We provide these change-makers with long-term support. We work to raise their profile, highlight their solutions, provide protection when their lives and liberty are in danger and link them and their innovative solutions to academia.

We believe that lasting change requires concerted action based on diverse solutions. We do our part by nurturing a growing community of courageous change-makers, connecting them and their solutions worldwide.

 

1979

Jakob von Uexkull turns to the Nobel Foundation with an offer to fund two new Nobel Prizes. When the Nobel Foundation turns down his offer, he decides to start the Right Livelihood Award.

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1980

The Right Livelihood Award is presented for the first time in Stockholm.

1982

The first Right Livelihood Award logo is created by Gro Isali Faye Stjerneham.

1985

The Right Livelihood Award is presented at the Swedish Parliament for the first time.

1987

Our first office is established in the School of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford. Paul Ekins becomes its Executive Director.

1989

The Foundation bestowing the Award is established in Sweden.

1990

A majority of the then 45 Laureates take part in the 10th Anniversary Conference held near Genova, Italy. They discuss ecological regeneration and peace and disarmament, among other issues.

1991

The office of the Right Livelihood Foundation moves to Sweden, and our first full-time paid staff is recruited.

1995

Around 30 Laureates participate in the 15th Anniversary Conference titled "New Alliances - New Paths to Development" in Cologne, Germany.

1999

During the 20th Anniversary Conference in Salzburg, Austria, 58 Laureates meet. They discuss how to strengthen their work together in the future, resulting in a report.

2003

The total number of Laureates reaches 100.

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2005

The 25th Anniversary Conference in Salzburg, Austria, is attended by around 60 Laureates. The conference results in 20 petitions on various issues.

2006

Ole von Uexkull becomes the Foundation's Executive Director.

2007

The Swiss Support Foundation is established.

2008

The first Right Livelihood lecture is organised at the University of Zurich. It has since become an annual event.

2009

The Right Livelihood College is set up on the initiative of 1982 Laureate Anwar Fazal.

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2010

Over 70 Laureates participate in the 30th Anniversary Conference held in Bonn, Germany, under the theme "Reclaiming our Future."

2011

Our protection programme is established to safeguard Laureates under threat.

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2013

Our first Regional Conference is held in Bogota, Colombia for Laureates from Latin America and the Caribbean. Over the next 5 years, other regional conferences take place in Cairo, Mumbai, Geneva and Santa Cruz, California.

2015

Jakob von Uexkull retires from the Board.

2015

Our Geneva office is established.

2015

Our Stockholm office moves to the Right Livelihood House in Gamla Enskede.

2016

The Award Presentation is moved to Stockholm's The Vasa Museum, which hosts the event for the next 3 years.

2018

The Foundation receives consultative status at the UN. This allows us to advocate for Laureates and their causes before the UN.

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2019

The 40th Right Livelihood Award is presented at a large-scale celebration at Stockholm's Cirkus.

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2020

We celebrate our 40th Anniversary in Bangkok with a conference titled "Education for Right Livelihood to Inspire Change" before the Covid-19 pandemic.

2020

The Award Presentation goes virtual: our 2020 event is produced entirely for online audiences due to the Covid-19 pandemic.