the Right Livelihood Award

On my research trips for the Right Livelihood Award, I encounter some terrible aspects of life on our planet today. But I also meet the people working to solve these problems. I have seen the devastating aftermath of oil production on the lands of the Ogoni in Nigeria. But I have also seen how a poetry festival in the streets of Medellín in Colombia, a city formerly known for its terror and violence, can bring about the best in people.
To see this, to experience the positive results of people's commitment, gives me hope that a better world is indeed possible.

Selection process
Anyone – except Right Livelihood Award Jury and staff members – can propose anyone (individuals or organisations), except themselves, close relatives or their own organisations, to be considered for a Right Livelihood Award. The Right Livelihood Award Foundation reserves the right to refuse clearly unsuitable proposals. Proposals must not be publicised, except to the candidate and possible referees. Failure to observe this disqualifies a proposal.

In this way, the Foundation receives proposals from all around the world. Projects from Global South countries and grassroots activists have the same chance of being proposed as, for example, a scholar or entrepreneur from the Global North. Through this open nomination process, the Foundation gets a sense of what people around the world perceive as the most urgent problems – and who develops ways to solve them.

Every year, there are more than 100 proposals for the Right Livelihood Award. After careful research by the Foundation’s research team, reports on the current proposals are submitted to the Foundation’s board and international Jury. The Jury meets annually in September to select the Recipients. The year’s Laureates are announced at a press conference in Stockholm.

Guidelines for Proposals
The following guidelines are for anyone wishing to propose a candidate for the Right Livelihood Award. Prospective proposers who have not had previous contact with the Foundation are advised to contact us via email with brief information before making a formal submission.

Who can be proposed for a Right Livelihood Award?
Anyone – except Right Livelihood Award jury and staff members – can propose anyone (individuals or organisations), except themselves, close relatives or their own organisations to be considered for a Right Livelihood Award. The Right Livelihood Award Foundation reserves the right to refuse clearly unsuitable proposals.

Normally, the Foundation makes three cash awards and one Honorary Award each year. The cash awards are intended for work in progress or the extension of existing activities; they are never given for personal use.

At the sole discretion of the jury, an unsuccessful candidate may be held over for consideration in the following year. Otherwise an unsuccessful candidate can be proposed again after three years, if there is substantial new work to report.

We have a strict rule that proposals and candidates for the Right Livelihood Award cannot be publicised. Infringement of this rule will make a candidate liable to disqualification.

How to write a proposal for a Right Livelihood Award:
Proposals, preferably written in English, need to be submitted both electronically and as a paper copy via regular mail to our office in Geneva. Please send only one copy, preferably printed double-sided. If possible, use encrypted email (more information below).

The deadline for submission of proposals to be valid for the current year is March 1. Any proposals received after this date will normally be held for consideration in the following year.

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