“Alternative Nobel Prize:” Right Livelihood Award Celebrates 40 Years Honoring Grassroots Activists

Democracy Now!

Dec 4, 2019

The Right Livelihood Award is marking its 40th anniversary. The award was established in 1980 to honor and support those “offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us.” It has since become known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize.” Over the past four decades, the award has been given to activists and grassroots leaders around the globe. A number of them have gone on to win the Nobel Peace Prize. This year’s winners are: Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg; Sahrawi human rights leader Aminatou Haidar, who has challenged the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara for decades; Chinese women’s rights lawyer Guo Jianmei; and Indigenous leader Davi Kopenawa and the Yanomami Hutukara Association, who fight for the Amazon’s biodiversity and the rights of Indigenous people in Brazil. In Stockholm, Sweden, we speak with Ole von Uexkuell, executive director of the Right Livelihood Foundation. He says the name of the award refers to “the idea of living lightly on the Earth, of not taking more than a fair share of the resources, and it means to bring change into the world through your practical actions.”

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