2019 Right Livelihood Award to be Presented in Stockholm 4 December
News / Press releases 22.11.2019
The Laureates of this year’s Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, will be celebrated during a 10-day long programme in Germany, Switzerland and Sweden from 25 November – 4 December. The Award Presentation in Stockholm also marks the 40th Anniversary of the Right Livelihood Award, established in 1980.
The 2019 Laureates are:
- Human rights defender Aminatou Haidar (Western Sahara):
“for her steadfast nonviolent action, despite imprisonment and torture, in pursuit of justice and self-determination for the people of Western Sahara”.
- Lawyer Guo Jianmei (China):
“for her pioneering and persistent work in securing women’s rights in China”.
- Climate activist Greta Thunberg (Sweden):
“for inspiring and amplifying political demands for urgent climate action reflecting scientific facts”.
- Indigenous leader Davi Kopenawa and the Hutukara Yanomami Association (Brazil):
“for their courageous determination to protect the forests and biodiversity of the Amazon, and the lands and culture of its indigenous peoples”.
The 40th Right Livelihood Award Presentation will take place on 4 December, 19.30-21.15 (CET) at Cirkus in Stockholm and is open to the public. Everyone is invited to join an inspiring evening together with 2019 Laureates and world-renowned artists such as José González. Also, on stage, journalist Amy Goodman (2008 Laureate) will moderate a conversation with whistleblower Edward Snowden (2014 Laureate) who is joining via link from Moscow.
The Award Presentation will be livestreamed on rightlivelihood.org. Members of the media interested in accreditation or receiving a live broadcast are encouraged to contact email@example.com.
2019 Laureate Greta Thunberg is currently crossing the Atlantic Ocean to participate in the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP25, in Spain. Thunberg will not attend the Award Presentation in Stockholm and will instead be represented on stage by activists from Fridays For Future Sweden.
Thunberg has stated:
“I’m deeply grateful for being one of the recipients of this great honour. But of course, whenever I receive an award, it is not me who is the winner. The Right Livelihood Award is a huge recognition for Fridays For Future and the climate strike movement. Thank you so very much!”
Thunberg’s fellow Laureate Guo Jianmei will also not be able to attend the Award Presentation in person. Guo Jianmei has stated:
“The Right Livelihood Award recognises and acknowledges the efforts of my team and me to uphold women’s rights and the rule of law in China. This award serves as an encouragement and motivation.”
Ole von Uexkull, Executive Director of the Right Livelihood Foundation said:
We promise our Laureates long-term support and the Award Presentation in Stockholm is the celebratory starting point for our cooperation. Our support work will be tailored to the Laureates’ specific needs and we are looking forward to amplifying their pioneering work.
The 2019 Award programme covers 10 days of events and high-level meetings for Laureates in Berlin, Zurich, Geneva and Stockholm. For further details, please see below.
40 years have passed since the Nobel Foundation rejected an environmental prize, and the Swedish-German philanthropist Jakob von Uexkull decided to establish The Right Livelihood Award. The prize is widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ and is today one of the most prestigious awards in sustainability, social justice and peace.
For more information and to arrange interviews with Laureates, please contact:
- International & Swedish-speaking media: Johannes Mosskin, Public Relations Advisor, mobile: +46 (0)70 43 71 148, firstname.lastname@example.org
- German-speaking media: Nina Tesenfitz, mobile: +49 (0)170 5763 663, email@example.com
- Spanish-speaking media: Nayla Azzinnari, mobile: +54 9 11 5460 9860, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Arabic-speaking media: Abed Al-Qaisi, mobile: +46 (0) 762441851, email@example.com
Further details on the Laureates, alongside high-resolution photos and videos, are available at rightlivelihood.org/2019-right-livelihood-award-week/
The Award Week
Tuesday, 26 November, 18:00-19:45 CET
Conversation with Aminatou Haidar (Western Sahara) at the Nordic Embassies in Berlin. For press accreditation, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, 27 November, 18:30-20:00 CET
The 12th Right Livelihood Award Lecture with Aminatou Haidar at the University of Zurich. Please register online via zurich.rightlivelihoodaward.org.
Thursday, 28 November, 18:00-19:45 CET
Celebration of the 2019 Laureates at Maison de la Paix in Geneva. Please register online via The Graduate Institute Geneva.
Sunday, 1 December, 15:00-16:30 CET
Join a conversation with Aminatou Haidar about her nonviolent activism in pursuit of justice and self-determination for the people of Western Sahara. Pre-registration not needed. Medelhavsmuseet, Fredsgatan 2.
Monday, 2 December, 12:00-13:30 CET
How are Swedish pension funds impacting the situation on the ground in the Amazon and Western Sahara? Lunch seminar with Aminatou Haidar and Davi Kopenawa at Skeppsbron 10, Sjöfartshuset. Register here.
Tuesday, 3 December, 13:30-15:00 CET
Seminar at the Swedish Parliament with Aminatou Haidar and Davi Kopenawa. For press accreditation, please reach out to email@example.com.
Wednesday, 4 December, 19:30-21:15 CET
The 40th Award Presentation at Cirkus in Stockholm with special guests, including Edward Snowden, and world-renowned artists. Buy tickets online or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for press accreditation.
About the Right Livelihood Award
Established in 1980, the Right Livelihood Award honours and supports courageous people solving global problems. To date, there are 178 Laureates from 70 countries.
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.
Anyone can propose candidates to be considered for the Right Livelihood Award. The Laureates are selected by an international Jury after careful investigation by the Foundation’s research team. 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 one 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 the Nobel Prize.
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 kick off the prize but ever since the Right Livelihood Award has been receiving its funding from private donors. A unique feature 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’.