Business for Peace Foundation

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The Business for Peace Foundation
BfPF Logo
Motto Releasing the peace building power of being businessworthy.
Founded April 2007 by Per Leif Saxegaard in Norway
Type Non-profit
NGO
Location
  • Oslo, Norway
Services Building awareness of the benefits of businessworthy conduct
Fields Global search for Honourees, supporting related research, presentation of award, media relations
Website www.businessforpeace.org

Business for Peace (BfP) is a non-profit foundation based in Oslo, Norway. Each year, the foundation names up to seven Honourees who receive the Oslo Business for Peace Award, in recognition of their individual and outstanding businessworthy contribution to the building of trust, stability and peace. The Honourees are selected by an independent committee composed of winners of either the Nobel Peace Prize or Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

The Foundation works worldwide to promote a better understanding of how ethical and responsible business can contribute to building trust, stability and peace. Each year, the foundation arranges the Oslo Business for Peace Summit, which concludes with the presentation of the award to that year's Honourees.

Background[edit]

Companies are increasingly seen to be prospering at the expense of the broader community, resulting in an adversarial relationship between business and society. The Business for Peace Foundation was established to inspire business leaders and businesses to reconnect with society, to the mutual benefit of both. The Foundation works to demonstrate that business can be a force of mutual good, able to contribute significantly to the building of trust, stability and peace. The Foundation promotes the concept of “being businessworthy”, seeking to raise business practices from short-term win-lose dynamics to fulfilling longer-term business aims.

The foundation draws inspiration from the dictum:

[citation needed]

2009 Award Ceremony

Adam Smith advocated that a business should advance the prosperity and well-being of the communities where it was active. Subsequently, Smith's invisible hand has been used to defend laissez-faire economics that stand in contrast to the actual business philosophy he promoted in his seminal works The Wealth of Nations and Theory of Moral Sentiments.

The award committee of the Business for Peace Foundation selects Honourees who each have demonstrated that it is possible for a business to enter into partnership with society, while remaining profitable and capable of longer-term growth. The goal of the foundation is to provide its Honourees with a platform from which to share their business wisdom with the world, hoping to inspire other business leaders to emulate their examples.

Kofi A. Annan has endorsed the efforts of the foundation, stating that "It is important to inspire and encourage businesspersons to be conscious of the role they can play as individuals to foster stability and peace. I think the idea behind the Oslo Business for Peace Award, and the potential impact it may have, is inspiring".[1]

Nominations to the Award[edit]

The Business for Peace Foundation works together with nominating partners that help search the world for candidates who embody the values described by the criteria for the Oslo Business for Peace Award. Beginning in 2009, the foundation has entered into a formal collaboration with the International Chamber of Commerce, the largest and most representative business organization in the world. Its hundreds of thousands of member companies in 130 countries have interests spanning every sector of private enterprise. The foundation also works together with the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Global Compact, in searching the world for eligible candidates to the award. The honourees named by the foundation are also able to nominate candidates for the award in subsequent years.

Oddvar Hesjedal serves as secretary of nominations, guiding the nomination process through the year and assisting the award committee in its work.

The Criteria[edit]

The Oslo Business for Peace Award aims to highlight ethical and responsible business practices, and the commitment of business leaders as individuals towards creating sustainable long-term success of benefit to their businesses, society and themselves. The independent Award Committee evaluates the Nominees according to three criteria established by the Business for Peace Foundation.

To be considered Businessworthy, and a candidate for the Award, the Nominees must be:

  • Examples to Society and their Peers. The Nominees are acting as examples to the general public and inspiring the business community by showing how to achieve success through ethical and responsible practices.
  • Advocates of Ethical and Responsible Business. Nominees are outspoken advocates of ethical and responsible business principles, and of social responsibility in corporate governance.
  • Trusted by the Communities their Businesses Affect. Nominees have developed and cultivated successful international or national businesses in a manner that is recognized and appreciated by the communities within which their business is active, ideally by creating economic value in a way that also creates value for society.

Being Businessworthy[edit]

Being businessworthy is to apply your business energy ethically and responsibly with the purpose of creating economic value that also creates value for society. Being businessworthy embodies tested and true ethical and responsible principles for longer-term business interactions that build trust between the parties involved. Business deals are sealed with a handshake, and lasting business relationships are created when handshakes are made in good faith between partners intent on creating mutual benefits for one another. The foundation has coined the word 'businessworthy' to describe the qualities it looks for when searching the world for worthy nominees to the award.

2010 Honourees

In the spirit of corporate social responsibility, ethically aware businesses build win-win enduring relationships, forging a union between not only the business partners, but also with the societies which are touched by their business activity. The Business for Peace Foundation seeks to demonstrate that there are legion examples where businesses work as a force of good together with society, achieving results that build trust and contribute to stability and peace. It is the ambition of the foundation that these examples will inform decision makers worldwide, inspiring them to redirect their business activities in accordance with businessworthy principles.

In the January–February 2011 issue of Harvard Business Review, professor Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Cramer proposed what they called Creating Shared Value, while declaring that "Companies must take the lead in bringing business and society back together".[2] Their notion of shared value corresponds well with the criteria of businessworthiness informing the Business for Peace Foundation's search for Honourees.

The Award Committee[edit]

Following the extensive nomination process, the Honourees are selected by an independent committee composed of winners of either the Nobel Peace Prize or Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Present members of the committee are professor Michael Spence, human rights advocate and lawyer Shirin Ebadi, peace activist Leymah Gbowee and professor Finn Kydland. Professor Muhammad Yunus and professor Wangari Maathai served as members of the Award Committee from 2009 to 2013 and 2009 to 2011 respectively.

The Oslo Business for Peace Award[edit]

Oslo Business for Peace Award

The statue "the Just Man" has been created by the artist Bruce Naigles,[3] and is presented to the Business for Peace Honourees during the formal award ceremony at Oslo City Hall. Honourees also receive a diploma noting their exemplary business wisdom.

Nominees who have been vetted by the screening committee are entered into The Book of Honourable Business Practitioners, together with the Honourees named each year.

Business for Peace Honourees[edit]

2009[edit]

2010[edit]

2012[edit]

2013[edit]

2014[edit]

2015[edit]

2016[edit]

2017[4][edit]

The Oslo Business for Peace Summit[edit]

Starting in May 2007, the Oslo Business for Peace Summit has been held annually in the Oslo City Hall. The Summit examines the relationship between ethical and responsible business practices and the promotion of trust, stability and peace. Highly respected statesmen, businesspersons, academics and business thinkers have participated at the Summits through the years.

Summit Themes:

2007 - Peace and Stability through Trade

2008 - Globalisation: the good, the bad and the ugly

2009 - The World in Recession, a call for a more ethically aware capitalism? At the 2009 Summit, the Natural Resource Charter was presented.

2010 - New Times, the potential of business to contribute to stability and peace

2011 - Business as an Instrument of Peace - Research Symposium in Oslo, in collaboration with the USIP, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Peace Research Institute Oslo

2012 - The Essences of Trust in Business Today

2013 - Business in Fragile Environments

2014 - The New Imperative: Creating Shared Value

2015 - How Sustainability can Drive Value Creation

2016 - The Opportunities for Business to Act as a Problem Solver in Society

2017 - Brundtland +30: Breakthrough Ideas for Futureproofing the Global Economy

A selection of speakers who have contributed to the Summits: Kjell Magne Bondevik, Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg, Roberto Servitje (Grupo Bimbo), Guy F. Tozzoli (World Trade Center), Vijay Kalantri (All India Association of Industries), Jan Egeland, Bob Geldof, Nabil Shaath, Anders Källström, Khater Massaad, Jinghai Zheng, John Lervik, Margaret Beckett, Erik Solheim, Festus G. Mogae, Kandeh Yumkella, Jeremy Rifkin, Anthony J. Venables, Gobind Nankani, Petter Nore, Long Yongtu, Timothy L. Fort,[9] Patricia Aburdene,[10] Juan Carlos Echeverry, Børge Brende, Henrik Syse[11] and Erna Solberg.

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]