Right Livelihood Award
|Right Livelihood Award|
|Awarded for||"practical and exemplary solutions to the most urgent challenges facing the world today"|
|Presented by||Right Livelihood Award Foundation|
The Right Livelihood Award, also referred to as the "Alternative Nobel Prize", is a prestigious international award to honour those "working on practical and exemplary solutions to the most urgent challenges facing the world today". The prize was established in 1980 by German-Swedish philanthropist Jakob von Uexkull, and is presented annually in early December. 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. The prize money is shared among the winners, usually numbering four, and is EUR 200,000. Very often one of the four Laureates receives an Honorary Award, which means that the other three share the Prize money.
It is often popularly associated with the Nobel prizes, being awarded in the Riksdag of Sweden the day before the Nobel prizes and the economics prize are also awarded in Stockholm, and being understood as a critique of the traditional Nobel prizes. 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, Petra Kelly, Amy Goodman and Memorial.
Since 1985, the ceremony has taken place in the 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.
Nature of the award 
The prize differs significantly from the Nobel Prizes:
- similar to the Sveriges Riksbank economics prize, 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);
- it is not limited to specific categories.
- its prize money is considerably lower than the one of the Nobel Prize. Currently it is 200,000 € compared to about 1,000,000 € for a Nobel Prize.
- the funds for the prizes are continually acquired by donations, while the Nobel Prizes come from the revenue of Alfred Nobel's fortune. The economics prize is financed by the Sveriges Riksbank.
Jakob von Uexküll sold his valuable stamp collection to create a prize. He made 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 a new prize to be awarded together with the Nobel Prizes. He suggested the establishment of two new prizes, one for ecology and one for development. Like the Economics Prize, this would have been possible by 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, which corresponded to 195,000 US dollars. 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.
The award states that, in the 21st century, the "greatest benefit to mankind" may be found in different fields than in the traditional sciences or in strict categories: the vast majority of award winners work for grassroots non-governmental organisations in their countries. The foundation understands its awards as a complement to the Nobel Prizes.
Since 1980, the foundation has presented, as of 2010, awards to 141 individuals and organisations from 59 countries. Its purpose is both to bestow prizes and to publicize the work of its recipients' local solutions to problems that also exist worldwide.
See also 
- Right livelihood
- Schock Prize
- Polar Music Prize
- Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award
- List of prizes, medals, and awards
- "Indians win 'alternative Nobel'". BBC. 2 October 2008. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
- "Peace and Social Justice Workers Receive Alternative Nobel Prize". Deutsche Welle. 01.10.2008. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
- "Global activists honoured with 'Alternative Nobel' prize". The Local. 30 Sep 10. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
- "Israeli doctors' group wins 'alternative' Nobel prize". BBC. 30 September 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
- "Alternativer Nobelpreis: Kampf gegen Klimawandel, Armut, Kriege ausgezeichnet". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. 13 October 2009. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
- Jawetz, Pincas. 30th Right Livelihood Awards: Wake-up calls to secure our common future. SustainabiliTank. 13 Oct. 2009.
- 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.
- About the Right Livelihood Award. Accessed October 26, 2010.
- Right Livelihood Award: Proposals & Selection Process. Accessed January 24, 2010.
- "Right Livelihood Award: History - Setting up the 'Alternative Nobel Prize'". Rightlivelihood.org. Retrieved 2012-07-28.
- "The Nobel Prize Amounts". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2012-07-28.
- according to historical exchange rate from
- 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. (Swedish)
- Right Livelihood Foundation (2007-10-02). "2007 Right Livelihood Awards highlight solutions to global challenges". Right Livelihood Foundation. Retrieved 2007-12-12.
- Right Livelihood Award
- Right Livelihood Award history
- Pathiravitana, S. (2007-11-08). A Great Son of Lanka. Sri Lanka Daily News, 8 November 2007. A history of the award. Retrieved on 2008-06-03 from http://www.dailynews.lk/2007/11/08/fea01.asp.
- Right Livelihood Award - Official website
- Complete list of recipients with descriptions
- Jakob von Uexkull - Founder
- Right Livelihood Laureates Discuss Their Battles for Social Justice - video report by Democracy Now!
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