On February 9th, Nobel laureates Ouided Bouchamaoui, Dr Shirin Ebadi and Finn Kydland gathered at the Norwegian Embassy in London, and were soon joined on telephone by Michael Spence. The laureates constitute the Award Committee for the Oslo Business for Peace Award. The annual prize is awarded to international business leaders who in a responsible and ethical way create value for business as well as society.
The committee met in London to select the Business for Peace Honourees for 2017. The prize is established by Business for Peace, an Oslo based foundation dedicated to support, inspire and recognise global business leaders who are positively changing the face of business. The foundation is supported by several private and public institutions, one of the key partners being the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Norwegian Ambassador to London, Mona Juul, welcomed the committee members and the Business for Peace representatives at Belgrave Square, and highlighted the important role business leaders have in contributing to solve important societal challenges. She also underlined the significance that the distinguished Award Committee give to the prize.
– It is a Norwegian tradition to support and initiate projects promoting peace and trust building in international relations. Business for Peace makes a bridge to the business communities, by awarding leaders who are role models in supporting the sustainable development goals, she said.
The members of the Award Committee are Nobel Prize winners in Peace or Economics, with an independent mandate to identify Honourees, based on nominations from the foundation’s international partners, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Global Compact (UNGC). The fifth member of the Award Committee is Peace prize laureate Leymah Gbowee, who was unable to attend this year’s meeting.
When being asked about the significance of the Oslo Business for Peace Award, committee member Ouided Bouchamaoui states:
-The spreading of businessworthy values is important work, with the potential of creating great change as to how the world thinks about business. We do, however need to ask ourselves: “How do we communicate our work? How can we spread this message also among younger generations and make people listen?”
Per Saxegaard, founder and chairperson at Business for Peace, shared his reflections on the Business for Peace Award, and the role of the prize in an increasingly complex world.
– Technology, globalisation and climate change are accelerating, impacting the rules of international business. These changes make it necessary for business leaders to adjust the map to the new terrain. They need to become businessworthy, said Saxegaard.
The Business for Peace Award ceremony will take place at Oslo City Hall the 16th of May, where Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland will give the state of the union speech. The winners will be announced in March.
About Business for Peace
The mission of Business for Peace is to support, inspire, and recognise the global business leaders who are positively changing the face of business. At the centre of the foundation’s activities is the annual Oslo Business for Peace Award, conferred to exceptional individuals who exemplify the Foundation’s concept of being businessworthy: creating economic value in a responsible way, while also contributing to solving important challenges in society.