In cooperation with the Bonn based "Association of German Development Services" (AGdD), the RLC Campus Bonn organised an international workshop focusing on research and practice concerned with human rights and marginalized people in Asia and Africa. From September 3-8, 2016, concepts and approaches of human rights, empowerment and marginalization were discussed in applied development contexts. Around 18 young researchers from the Global South had been selected for full workshop scholarships sponsored by DAAD. In addition, about 10 former development workers participated in the programme and shared their experience of working in human rights projects. Two Laureates of the "Alternative Nobel Prize" participated, namely:
2016 Right Livelihood Award Laureates announced
The Laureates of this year’s Right Livelihood Award, widely referred to as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, have been announced in Stockholm, Sweden.
This years’ Laureates are:
- Syria Civil Defence (The White Helmets), ‘for their outstanding bravery, compassion and humanitarian engagement in rescuing civilians from the destruction of the Syrian civil war’. It is the first time that a Right Livelihood Award goes to a Laureate from Syria.
- Egypt’s Mozn Hassan and Nazra for Feminist Studies, ‘for asserting the equality and rights of women in circumstances where they are subject to ongoing violence, abuse and discrimination’.
- Russia’s Svetlana Gannushkina, ‘for her decades-long commitment to promoting human rights and justice for refugees and forced migrants, and tolerance among different ethnic groups’.
- Cumhuriyet, a leading independent newspaper in Turkey, ‘for their fearless investigative journalism and commitment to freedom of expression in the face of oppression, censorship, imprisonment and death threats’
Find more information on this years' Laureates here.
RLC workshop on "Mobilization for Change: Human Rights and the Empowerment of the Marginalized" in Bonn
RLC director Prof. Anwar Fazal published Sourcebook for Changemakers
To celebrate his 75th birthday, Prof. Fazal has drafted another multiverse adventure, a selection of initiatives and projects of hope – the right livelihood way.
“We live in a world sadly dominated by the trinity of “badness” – the culture of violence, of manipulation and of waste. People everywhere are rising against this badness – a phenomenon that Paul Hawken calls “Blessed Unrest”. We see springs of action, candles of hope, sparks of courage that are making a difference. There is a trinity of “goodness” that gives a vision of (a) balance and harmony, (b) the culture of stewardship of Mother Earth and, (c) accountability for the future. The book hopes to share and spread these ideas and suggest actions to make them happen.”
Laureate Kasha Nabagesera spoke at the Global Media Forum in Bonn
On June 14, 2016, RLA Laureate Kasha Nabagesera spoke in a panel session entitled “Born free and equal? Reporting on the global struggle for LGBT rights” which was hosted by the Right Livelihood Award Foundation at the Global Media Forum (GMF). The GMF is an international conference annually organized by the Deutsche Welle in the Old German Parliament in Bonn. Together with Claudia Roth, Vice President of the German Bundestag, Mahmoud Haseeno, Syrian journalist, and Kriss Rudolph, Editor-in-Chief of MÄNNER Magazine, she spoke on hate crimes, anti-gay laws, homophobia and the media as a catalyzer of polarization, radicalization, and threat to the very foundation of freedom.
“We need freedom of speech. But racism and homophobia is no opinion. It's hate.” (Kasha)
RLC Bonn PhD student attends Workshop at Deakin University, Australia
Willis Okumu (RLC Bonn PhD student) and his scientific advisor Dr. Papa Sow (ZEF) convened a workshop on the role of local knowledge on climate change mitigation in Africa, at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia, in early June 2016. At this occasion Willis Okumu gave a presentation on “Nganyi Rainmakers: Integrating Indigenous Knowledge to Farmers Climate Change Response in Western Kenya” on June 8, 2016.
“Alternative Nobel Prize” Laureate Kasha Nabagesera at the RLC Campus Bonn
One of the most courageously outspoken human rights activists in Africa and “Alternative Nobel Prize”-Laureate Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera from Uganda joint a panel discussion organized by the RLC Campus in Bonn on June 13, 2016 . Under the title “LGBTI rights and the development discourse in Africa”, and joined by Dr. Christine Klapeer, senior political scientist from the University of Vienna, working on gender, queer, postcolonial and decolonial studies, Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera discussed perspectives on LGBTI rights and development and the subsequent normative economic authority over aid conditionalities. The event was facilitated by Dr. Epifania Amoo-Adare, Senior Researcher of Gender and International Development at the Center for Development Research of the University of Bonn (ZEF).
The full panel discussion is available as a video podcast here.
Vandana visit to Cordoba Argentina
In June 2016, Indian laureate Vandana Shiva (RLA 1993) visited the municipality of Malvinas Argentinas (in Cordoba province), the town where Monsanto illegally started building the world's largest plant for genetically modified maize seeds (3.5 million bags per year). Successful fights have temporarily stopped this project.
In that visit, she met RLA 2004 laureate Raul Montenegro, who has been working with the organised neighbours of Malvinas Argentinas since they started the resistance, in 2012. Together with "Malvinas lucha por la vida" (‘Malvinas fights for life’) and the citizens' assembly, both laureates said “No to pesticides” and “Monsanto Out”.
Vandana Shiva also transmitted to Raul Montenegro her enthusiastic support to the recently founded Campus Cordoba of the Right Livelihood College (RLC) which is located in the Faculty of Psychology at the National University of Cordoba.
International Workshop on Sustainable Agriculture at the RLC Campus in Bonn
On June 4-9, 2016, 25 young researchers from nine countries worked together with distinguished scientists, practitioners and a RLA Laureate representative on sustainable agricultural with a focus on smallholders in rural areas in Africa, Southern Asia and Latin America.
Key notes were given by Dr. David Amudavi, Director of Biovision Africa Trust in Nairobi, Kenya (RLA awarded organisation), Mr. Thomas Cierpka (Deputy Director of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, IFOAM), Dr. Wolfram Laube (Senior Researcher at ZEF), and Dr. Irene Kadzere ( Senior Researcher at the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Fibl, in Switzerland). During the intense workshop sessions, the workshop participants presented and discussed their research in a cohesive transdisciplinary way by building on each participants’ expertise and experience. The workshop sessions were facilitated by Mr. Laurens van Feldhuizen, Royal Tropical Institute , KIT, in The Netherlands).
The workshop sessions and key notes were imbedded in a series of scientific and cultural outbreak events, such as an excursions to an organic farm, to the German Historic Museum and Botanic Gardens of the University of Bonn.
RLC Bonn student Juliet Wanjiku conducting field research in Kenya
RLC student Juliet Wanjiku, who started her doctoral scholarship in Bonn in 2014 in close collaboration with Biovision Foundation, an organisation funded by RLA Laureate Hans Herren, is currently conducting her field research in Kajiado and Murang’a counties in Kenya. Her research on sustainability of ecological organic agriculture in the two counties involve field surveys of smallholder farmers, biodiversity assessment as well as soil sampling in some of the farms.
Some visual impressions from working in the field below.
New RLC campus relaunched in Cordoba, Argentinia
The RLC network is happy to announce the opening of it's 8th RLC campus in Cordoba, Argentinia.
The new RLC campus was officially opened on April 19th 2016 at the National University of Cordoba and will serve as an exchange hub for academics and activists on questions such as human rights and social and environmental justice. The campus will be headed by Professor of Evolutionary Biology Raúl Montenegro, who is also environmental advocate and Laureate of the Right Livelihood Award in 2004.
Chulalongkorn University Right Livelihood Summer School (CURLS) 2016: The COMMONS, COMPASSION & COMMUNITIES
Call for participation at the Chula Right Livelihood Summer School in Bhutan, July 23 - August 7, 2016
Deadline for registration is May 1, 2016.
All information can be found in the announcement, here.
Teaching Right Livelihood - Book published
RLC partner Dr. Ellen Christoforatou has published a book on "Education in a Globalized World: Teaching Right Livelihood". It contains articles by the Laureate of the German Environmental Award, Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, Chair of the RLA Board Monika Griefahn and other experts on the question: How is it possible to sustainably implement the ideas of the Right Livelihood Award – also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize” – in educational and teaching methods of learning as part of future-oriented teacher training?
More information here.
Right Livelihood Junior Scientist Dr. Abdallah Possi appointed as first albino deputy minister in Tanzania
Abdallah Possi participated in the RLC Bonn workshop "Mobilization for Change: Participatory research and the empowerment of the marginalized" in May 2014, when he was pursuing a doctoral programme at University of Erlangen in Germany, focusing on “Persons with Disabilities rights to work in Africa: A comparative study of Tanzania and selected African States”. Download his complete thesis here. Dr. Possi is a qualified lawyer actively involved in the attempt to achieve equality for persons with physical disabilities in East-Africa.
According to the first articles of the human rights convention, all persons should be treated equally, regardless their native origin or their appearance. Still in many African countries, albinos are persecuted and experience discrimination in many aspects of their life.
With Abdallah Possi’s assignment as the new deputy minister of Tanzania an important step was made to improve the juridical and practical implementation of albino's basic human rights in the country. He is the first person with albinism to hold a powerful ministerial position in Tanzania.
"Most people do not understand that albinism is part of human diversity. We need to change our attitudes and create a friendly environment so that people of all races can enjoy their freedom," Abdallah Possi says in this DW article.
RLC PhD student Willis Okumu attended the Africa Young Graduates Conference in South Africa
On 14-17th March 2016, RLC Bonn PhD student Willis Okumu travelled to Limpopo University in South Africa to attend the 10th Africa Young Graduates and Scholars Conference organised by the Human Sciences Research Council. Mr. Okumu presented his paper on "Cultural Violence among Pastoralists Groups in Northern Kenya- A Consequence of Marginalisation?". The paper was ranked 2nd among the 40 papers that were presented at that conference.
Living for Change: Youth Future Project releases short documentary on Alyn Ware
Living For Change is a series of short documentaries that highlights people who are trying to make the world a better place sustainably. Living for Change is run by Youth Future Project, which establishes the exchange between laureates of the Right Livelihood Award and the youth.
The first short documentary portrays the peace activist Alyn Ware, who is globally known for his activities on nuclear disarmement for more than 20 years. Alyn Ware is laureate of the Right Livelihood Award 2009. The episode gives an impression of Alyn Ware's work and visions.
Right Livelihood Award Laureates received their awards in Stockholm
On November 30 the 36th Right Livelihood Awards were presented in the Swedish Parliament. The 2015 Laureates are
Tony de Brum & the People of the Marshall Islands,
Sheila Watt-Cloutier (Canada),
Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera (Uganda) and
Gino Strada / EMERGENCY (Italy).
Watch their inspiring acceptance speeches here.
Public Talk with Representatives of Right Livelihood Award Organizations in Bonn
Sakina Qasimi of the Gawharshad Institute of Higher Education in Kabul (Afghanistan) and Ovais Sultan Khan, working for the Lokayan Network based in New Delhi (India), are both representing human rights organisations which have been honoured with the Right Livelihood Award, the “Alternative Nobel Prize”. At a public talk in the Old City Hall of the City of Bonn, they spoke about the human rights situation in Afghanistan and India, as well as their work and life in this context.
RLC PhD student Willis Okumu presented paper at conference in Morocco
RLC Bonn PhD student Willis Okumu participated at the Human and Environmental Security Conference organised by the Environment and Human Security Program (EHSP), North-South Center for Social Sciences (NRCS) in Agadir, Morocco, in November 25th-27th 2015. Together with Dr. Papa Sow, Senior Researcher at ZEF Bonn, Willis Okumu presented a paper on "Linking Pastoralists Conflicts and Environmental Security: The Case of Turkana and Samburu communities in Northern Kenya".
Next RLC workshop on human rights and the empowerment of the marginalized
From September 26 until October 1, 18 young researchers from ten different countries worked together with representatives of two awarded human rights organisations at the Right Livelihood College Campus in Bonn. The workshop focused on research and education on human rights in Asia and Africa as well as on practical concepts and approaches to empower marginalized social groups. Case studies of participatory empirical research were presented, discussed and analyzed in a cohesive trans-disciplinary way by building on each participant's expertise and experience.
Successful RLC workshop on “Food security and sustainable agriculture: The future of smallholder farmers?”
Between May 30 and June 4, scientists, practitioners and 27 PhD students from 15 different countries participated in an international workshop at the Right Livelihood College (RLC) in Bonn.
The workshop focused on the role of smallholder farmers in rural areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America, and future pathways for a more sustainable agriculture. Inputs were presented, discussed and analysed in a cohesive transdisciplinary way, thus building on each participant's expertise and experience. Right Livelihood Award Laureate Hans Herren, one of the world’s leading experts on sustainable and organic agriculture and President of the Millennium Institute (Washington DC), shared his expertise and knowledge with both researchers and the public.
The workshop was embedded in a variety of social and cultural side-events and was kindly supported by DAAD and the Robert Bosch Foundation.
Who will feed the World? Global Agriculture between Population Growth, Business, Sustainability, and Poverty
On Monday, 1 June, 2015 Right Livelihood Award Laureate Hans Herren discussed together with Timo Beiermann, Food First Information und Action Network (FIAN), and Stephan Krall, Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) about opportunities and challenges in the global agricultural and food systems - with a special focus on the role of smallholder farmers in Africa and Asia.
Hans Herren spoke at a public panel discussion on Monday, June 1, 2015, in the Old Town Hall of Bonn. Around 130 people attended the lively debate about risks and opportunities of organic and sustainable agriculture in contrast to more "conventional" agricultural methods which imply the use of pesticides for increasing yields.
According to Hans Herren an adaptation of pricing policies for agricultural products is crucial - as long as consumers in the Global North only have to pay up to 7% of their income for food and people in the South up to 70% something is wrong in the food system, he claimed. Especially as most small-scale food producers are also the ones being hungry.
"In addition, smallholder farmers should be on board when governments talk with private companies and broker deals - they should be part of the planning and implementation process", he emphasized.
Article on Social Engagement in New Sunday Times
Prof. Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, Chairman of the Right Livelihood College Steering Council and President of the International Association of Universities, recently published an article for the New Sunday Times on the regional conference of RLA Laureates from the Asia-Pacific region in Mumbai.
RLC Global Network: Kick-off meeting in Mumbai brought together all campus coordinators
On March 7th and 8th, the coordinators of all Right Livelihood Colleges worldwide met with the members of the Right Livelihood College Steering Council in Mumbai, India. At this meeting, the new project “Global RLC Network” was commenced. The seven RLC campuses will cooperate on a broad range of matters in the future. These will include education and capacity-building projects, as well as publications and other ways to share the work of the seven campuses. The "Global RLC Network" is funded by the Robert Bosch Foundation.
Prior to this event, the coordinators met with Right Livelihood Laureates at the Regional Conference of the RLA to build up new relationships between Campuses and Laureates.
RLC Bonn PhD Student Willis Okumu visited by his advisor Dr.Papa Saw (ZEF) during his field research in Kenya
Willis Okumu, PhD student at RLC Campus Bonn, has been conducting his fieldwork in Samburu North district in Kenya since July 2014. His research is centered on the effects of cattle raids on Turkana and Samburu communities' livelihoods, therefore drawing on reports and documentation from local individuals and public and private organizations as well as colonial archives.
RLC Bonn PhD student Divya Swaminathan at Third Young Investigators Meeting
Divya Swaminathan (RLC Bonn PhD student) attended the Third Young Investigators Meeting held at Leibniz University Hannover, on November 5th, 2014, where she met with other Indian PhD students working in Germany/ Europe and Directors of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).
Further there is also a new publication by Divya Swaminathan (RLC Bonn PhD student)
Kumaran, T.V. and Swaminathan, D.R.: "Local Action Planning for Pro-Poor Urban Governance in the Southern Megacity of Chennai, India", In: Urban Development Challenges, Risks and Resilience in Asian Mega Cities Advances in Geographical and Environmental Sciences 2015, pp 175-194.
RLC Bonn at United Nations Day in Bonn
RLC Campus Bonn participated at the United Nations Day in Bonn on October 25th, 2014. Under the theme “Education for Sustainable Development” RLC Bonn introduced its work to a larger public audience and linked up with other international development related organisations based in Bonn. Visitors had the chance to learn about our work, to participate in a quiz on “Alternative Nobel Prize” Laureates, to talk to our staff and PhD students, and to choose from a wide range of information materials.
Since 1996, the founding of the United Nations is annually celebrated in Bonn with an all-day public information and culture programme on the cities’ main market square. This year, 18 different Bonn-based United Nations organizations, federal ministries as well as international NGOs and research institutes working in the nexus between education, development and sustainability took part.
RLC Campus Bonn at BMBF/UNESCO Conference on Education for Sustainable Development
The RLC Bonn team participated at the BMBF/ UNESCO Conference “10 years of Education for Sustainable Development in Germany”, the national closing event of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, on September 29, 2014, at the World Conference Center Bonn. Together with our partners from the Youth Future Project and the Right Livelihood Award Foundation, we held a plenary session where we introduced our education and research related work.
New Publication by RLC Bonn PhD student Willis Okumu on “Conflict on Grazing Land in Kenya”
Mr. Willis Okumu, PhD student at the RLC Campus Bonn, published a paper on "Conflict over Ltungai Conservancy A Case of Fatal Competition over Grazing Land and Water among the Samburu and Pokot in north-western Kenya", in: Mulugeta Gebrehiwot Berhe (eds.) “A Delicate Balance Land Use, Minority Rights and Social Stability in the Horn of Africa”, Institute of Peace and Security Studies (IPSS), Addis Ababa University.
Mr. Okumu is pursuing his PhD research at Center for Development Research in Bonn under the title "Cattle Raids, Violence and Institutional Change in Northern Kenya: The Case of Samburu and Turkana Pastoralists". He is currently doing field research in northern Kenya.
Fourth RLC Bonn PhD Student started her research at Center for Development Research (ZEF)
Miss Juliet Wanjiku Kamau from Kenya has been awarded the fourth RLC Bonn PhD Scholarship funded by DAAD for 3 years. She is planning to start her research on “Productivity and Sustainability of Ecological Organic Agriculture Systems in Kenya” in October, 2014. She received her Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics at the University of Nairobi and her Master of Science in International Agricultural and Food Marketing from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom.
Workshop– Empowering Research Methodologies Training
What is my role as a researcher? What is the role of science in society? And is empowerment relevant for research?
From 28. – 31. August, 2014, a training workshop in Empowering Research Methodologies was organised by the Youth Future Project e.V. (YFP) and the Right Livelihood College Bonn. Transformative approaches like these ones are gaining ground in many scientific disciplines today, with empowering aspects taking a central role in the development towards transdisciplinarity and sustainability.
This training workshop was dedicated to explore empowering research methods based on Participatory Action Research with techniques of visualising knowledge and ideas. Its aim was to enable young researchers to work cooperatively with the communities in which they research, and to apply methodologies which empower and support communities in achieving sustainable development. The idea to this workshop came up during a prior cooperation between the YFP and RLC Bonn and we were happy to cooperate with YFP in this effort!
16 young researchers from 11 countries participated in the workshop, which was characterised by a high degree of communication and cooperation, as well as creativity. They all expressed great satisfaction with the outcomes of the workshop and everyone agreed on the importance of participatory and empowering research, with many participants actively trying to incorporate these methods into their research.
From Penang to Bonn: RLC Global Secretariat based at ZEF from now on!
In the picture: May 26, Bonn. Anwar Fazal officially hands over the RLC insignia to Solvay Gerke. Bonn's Mayor Jürgen Nimptsch hosts the event. Photo by Michael Sondermann.
Right Livelihood Campus Bonn at ZEF extends capacities and becomes RLC Global Secretariat
Since 2011, the Center for Development Research (ZEF) has been hosting the German Campus of the “Alternative Nobel Prize”, the Right Livelihood College (RLC). In the previous year, a conference on the occasion of the 30th year jubilee of the “Alternative Nobel Prize” had been held in Bonn. Funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the University of Bonn, the RLC Campus Bonn is now one out of seven worldwide.
In May 2014, RLC’s headquarter for global research and education, the Global Secretariat, has moved from Penang, Malaysia, to Bonn.
The opening ceremony of the RLC Global Secretariat was held in the Old City Hall of the City of Bonn on Monday, May 26, 2014.
At the opening ceremony of the RLC Global Secretariat talks were given by: Jürgen Nimptsch, Mayor of Bonn, Prof. Solvay Gerke, co-director of RLC and ZEF-director, Prof. Dr. Hans van Ginkel (Chairman of ZEF’s International Advisory Board (former Under-Secretary General of the UN), Monika Griefahn, co-chair RLA Foundation, and Prof. Dr. Dzulkifli Abdul Razak (President of the International Association of Universities IAU).
From Penang to Bonn: RLC's Global Secretariat to be located at ZEF
As of May 26, 2014, RLC's global secretariat will be located in Bonn at the Center for Development Research (ZEF). Since 2011, ZEF has been hosting the German Campus of the Right Livelihood College. Funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the University of Bonn, the RLC Campus Bonn is now one out of seven worldwide. RLC’s headquarter for global research and education, the Global Secretariat, will move from Penang, Malaysia, to Bonn.
On May 26, 5 p.m., there will be an official opening ceremony in the Old Town Hall in Bonn. Find more information here.