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RLC research exchange: Professor Fuders from the RLC Campus Valdivia, Chile, works at the RLC Campus Bonn

Professor Dr. Felix Fuders, Director of the Economic Institute of the Universidad Austral de Chile, will spend a research term at the RLC Campus in Bonn. His research will focus on the privatisation and exploitation of natural resources, and its effects on economic efficiency, natural environment and on sustainable development.

The RLC Campus Bonn welcomes Felix Fuders to the team. Further information on past and current research projects can be found in his CV here.

Further articles published by Felix Fuders can be perceived here.

RLC Campus Bonn graduate publishes article in The Journal of Modern African Studies

Dr. Willis Okumu, RLC Bon graduate of 2017, has published an article in The Journal of Modern African Studies on livestock raids and pastoralist's competition over water and pastures in north-western Kenya. He argues that manifestation of local ethnic political conetests and rivalries can be found in Samburu, Turkan, Pokot, Borana, Gabra and Rendille communities which have changed the culture of raiding in the past 40 years.

The recent published article can be found here.

RLC workshop-alumnus Dr. Abdallah Possi appointed as Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania in Berlin, Germany

Tanzanian President John Magufuli appointed RLC alumnus Dr. Abdallah Possi the new Tanzanian ambassador in Germany. After being the deputy minister of Tanzania (Policy, Parliament, Labour, Youth, Employment and Disabled) since 2015, his new position brings Abdallah Possi back to Germany: 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, 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.

2017 Right Livelihood Award Laureates announced

The Right Livelihood Award Foundation announced the 2017 Laureates Robert Bilott from the USA (Honorary Award), Colin Gonsalves from India, Khadija Ismayilova from Azerbaijan, and Yetnebersh Nigussie from Ethiopia.

The Ceremony will take place in Stockholm in December. More information on the Laureates here.

Public Panel Discussion - Human Rights and Environmental Governance: From Marginalization to Empowerment

On September 5, the RLC Campus Bonn and the Association of German Development Services (AGdD) organised a public panel discussion on Human Rights and Environmental Governance jointly with the Adult Education Center Bonn.

Juan Pablo Orrego, Alternative Nobel Prize Laureate (1998) and founder of the Chilean NGO Ecosistemas, discussed with the Deputy Director of the German Development Institute (DIE), Dr. Imme Scholz, the importance of community involvement in the decision making process of large scale “development” projects that affect the social and ecological livelihoods of people. A special emphasis was put on collaborations and on information spreading between the affected people, activists and policy advisors. Additionally, two participants of the RLC/AGdD workshop spoke on the panel; Ms. Sandhya Kumar presented research findings on how people’s action are established practically in local communities, using the example of “Right to Food” in India. Wolfang Dörner, peace consultant for the “Forum Ziviler Friedensdienst”, gave insight into challenges in creating grassroot organisations and networks in the conflict-ridden and mineral-rich southern Philippines. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Merjam Wakili (Deutsche Welle) and supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

RLC Workshop on “Mobilization for Change: Human Rights, Governance and the Empowerment of the Marginalized”

From September 2 to 7, 2017, 24 scientists, practitioners and PhD students from 17 different countries came together at the RLC Campus Bonn to discuss and analyse research and practice concerned with human rights, governance and marginalized people in Latin America, Asia and Africa. The transdisciplinary workshop, jointly organised with the Association of German Development Services (AGdD), focused on the nexus between economic development, ecological balance, and on rural livelihoods of marginalised people. Right Livelihood Award Laureate Juan Pablo Orrego (1998) participated and gave insights into his lifelong work and engagement against large-scale dam projects and for the protection of Chilean ecological and social systems.

On September 5th 2017, RLC Bonn organized a public panel discussion with Juan Pablo Orrego and the Deputy Director of the German Development Institute (DIE), Dr. Imme Scholz at the Adult Education Center Bonn. Read more!

RLC PhD student Willis Okumu publishes paper in the Journal of Modern African Studies

RLC PhD graduate Willis Okumu published an article in the September Volume of the journal of Modern African studies, together with Kaderi Noagah Bukari, Papa Sow and Evans Onyiego, on “The role of elite rivalry and ethnic politics in livestock raids in northern Kenya”. They analyse the changing culture of cattle raids in northern Kenya, focusing on new arising businesses and political elites who use the existing ethnic rivalry to mobilise raids to gain control over limited resources in the region.

The paper can be found here.

RLC PhD student attends summer school

From 25 June to 7 July 2017 RLC student Alejandro Mora Motta participated at a Summer School on “Transformations that sustain life: Degrowth and Environmental Justice” held in Barcelona (Spain) and Cerbère (France). The event was organized by the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona/ICTA in collaboration with the Research & Degrowth association. During a poster session he presented his ongoing PhD research on the topic “Looking for a way out: tree plantation extractivism and emerging resistances in La Union”. In this presentation Alejandro shared the strategies that the mapuche and non-mapuche communities (in southern Chile) employ in the search for alternatives to the tree plantation extractivist model.

RLC/BICC Panel Discussion: Academic Freedom and International Cooperation at Risk: Turkey and Beyond

Academic freedom and international cooperation have been increasingly at risk in Turkey in the last years. University Deans, Professors and other scientists were forced to step down, a travel ban was imposed on many academics, and Turkish scientists working abroad were pressured to return to Turkey. Many journalists and newspaper editors have been detained and harassed, particularly since the coup attempt last year.

Dr. Özgür Mumcu, journalist with the "Alternative Nobel Prize"-awarded Cumhuriyet newspaper discussed with Antje Schlamm, Head of Section Scholarship Programmes East Central Europe, South East Europe, Turkey at the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), how Universities, editors and journalists deal with these restrictions on and hindrance of their work. 



RLC workshop on “Sustainable agriculture and rural transformation: meeting farmers’ needs in socio-ecological systems”

From June 10 to 15, scientists, practitioners and PhD students from 18 different countries came together at the RLC Campus Bonn to present their work on sustainable agriculture in rural areas of the Global South. Among others, Dr. Lee HeHaan from the Right Livelihood awarded Land Institute, USA  and Prof. Lennart Olsson from Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies, Sweden presented different pathways of sustainable agriculture and its actual and potential contributions.

In the framework of the workshop, the RLC Bonn and the City of Bonn also organised a public panel discussion with Helmy Abouleish of the Right Livelihood awarded SEKEM holding in Egypt in the Old Town Hall of the City of Bonn. 

In the framework of this international workshop, the RLC and the City of Bonn organised a public panel discussion on:

“Sustainable Food – Local Solutions to Global Problems?”

- Helmy Abouleish, SEKEM, Egypt (“Alternative Nobel Prize” 2003) 
- Markus Arbenz, IFOAM - Organics International, and 
- Gerhard Weber, Chamber of Industry and Commerce Bonn/Rhine-Sieg.

The panelists talked about sustainable food production and organic agriculture as one competitive solution for the environmental, social and food security challenges of the 21st century. They shared their vast expertise and experiences and elaborated on how to successfully integrate local sustainable food production into globalised markets, on challenges and obstacles as well as their personal motivation.

RLC PhD student presents research proposal

Picture RLC Bonn

RLC Bonn PhD student Amit Kumar from India presented his research proposal titled "Contested Urban Development: Resistance, Negotiations and Daily Life Struggles of Slum Dwellers in Mumbai, India" at Department of Political and Cultural Change (ZEFa) on Thursday, 9 March 2017.

The central focus of his research is to understand how forms of individual and collective resistance by slum dwellers influence the process of urbanisation in India. The work of Medha Patkar’s (RLA 1991) Ghar Banao Ghar Bachao Aandolan – a right to the city movement – is an important case to his studies on the collective resistance of slum dwellers in Mumbai. Amit Kumar’s research aims at the alternative imagination to the existing urban structures in relation to globalization.

RLC student Willis Okumu completes his PhD

In January 2017, RLC Bonn PhD student Willis Okumu from Kenya successfully defended his PhD on the topic "Meaning of Violence and Its Impacts on the Socio-Political Relations among the Samburu and Turkana of Baragoi, Northern Kenya". Directly thereafter Willis started working for a NGO on the peace process in Northern Kenya. His thesis can be read here.

Further information on his research can be found in this interview which was conducted by the Center for Development Research (ZEF) in Bonn.

RLC Bonn student Alejandro conducting field research in Chile

RLC Bonn student Alejandro Mora Motta is developing his field work since June 2016 in Chile.

In collaboration with Right Livelihood Laureate Prof. Dr. Manfred Max-Neef, Alejandro is currently in the field phase of his research in Los Ríos, Chile. His project focuses on how peasant and indigenous communities well-being has been affected by the model of exotic tree plantations, which is the main forestry model in Chile. He has approached different communities following a bottom up participatory approach that allows to understand the territorial transformation through the lenses of the local inhabitants, and his main research focus is in rural La Unión, Municipality of Los Ríos.

Besides, Alejandro has performed collaborative research in two lines. First, he was involved with the methodological support for an indigenous community in the context of a new Law Project of Biodiversity and Protected Areas. This was thanks to the collaboration with the researcher Sarah Kelly-Richards of the Arizona University. Second, he is collaborating with the TESES group of the Austral University. Within this group, he started following a similar approach with a small community un rural Valdivia.

Please find some visual impressions from working in the field below.


“Activistas para un mundo mejor”: RLC Campus Valdivia organises events and congress with five Laureates

On 5th of December 2016, the University Austral in Chile, Valdivia organized the event “Activistas para un mundo mejor” (“Activists for a better world”) and the congress “La transdisciplina hecha práctica” (“Transdisciplinarity put into practice”) together with the RLC Valdivia. The event brought together five Laureates of the Alternative Nobel Prize (Right Livelihood Award) who all participated in the opening forum “Activismo y academia: diálogo de saberes y disciplinas”: Manfred Max-Neef from Chile, Evaristo Nugkuag from Peru, Ju

an Pablo Orrego from Chile, Gabriel Franco from Colombia and Francsico Chico Whitaker from Brasil. The event was a mixture of different types of events including field trips, public discussions and music presentations. PhD student of the RLC Campus in Bonn, Germany, Alejandro Motta was among those organizing a fieldtrip to his research site of the indigenous Mapuche people. Within the program of the event members of the indigenous community, Human Rights organizations, groups of artists and University students had the opportunity to connect through various fieldtrips and forums organized by the University Austral and the RLC.

The economist Manfred Max-Neef was the first Latin-American to receive the Right Livelihood Award in 1983. He developed the thesis “Development on Human Scale” which identifies nine fundamental human needs that are de

fined by various existential categories within a matrix. Evaristo Nugkuag Imanan is a leader of the indigenous ethnic people Aguaruna in Peru. He has dedicated his life to the protection of the civil, economical, and political rights of indigenous communities in the Amazon basin for which he was awarded the RLA in 1986. Chilean ecologist Juan Pablo Orrego (RLA 1998) is best known for his activism against the construction of large hydroelectric plants in the Bio-Bio region in Chile. As the founder and coordinator of the Grupo Accion por el Bio-Bio, he gave life to a campaign for the defense of the Pehuenche communities and the river itself. Poet Gabriel Jaime Franco is the co-founder and

coordinator of the annual Festival Internacional de Poesia de Medellin, which received the Right Livelihood Award (RLA) in 2006. Finally, Francisco Chico Whitaker, a political and social activist, is one of the founders of Foro Social Mundial (FSM). He was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 2006 for his work and activism for social justice.

Update: Videos recently published on Chula Right Livelihood Summer School 2016

Between July 10th and August 7th 2016 the second Chula Right Livelihood Summer School was held in Thailand and Bhutan. Divided into two parts, the first part took place in Bangkok, Thailand, on July 10th  to 23rd , while the second part of the Summer School took place in Bhutan July 24th to August 7th. The Summer School was organised by the Chulalongkorn University, the Sathirakoses Nagapradipa Foundation (SNF), the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) and by Dr. Timmi Tillmann (RLC), based on a MoU between these institutions.

Participants from all over the globe participated at the Summer School in Bangkok and Bhutan. Chula Right Livelihood Summer School is a platform to bring together the Right Livelihood Award Laureates, policy practitioners, academia, students and social workers to join in a co-creative learning workshop aimed at fostering the emergence of transformative leaders for change.
For further infromation on the Chula Right Livelihood Summer School please have a look into the videos below:


United Nations Day successfully took place in Bonn

On Saturday, 29th October 2016, United Nations Day celebrated its 20th birthday in front of the Old City Hall in Bonn. United Nations Day was founded to raise awareness of the United Nations (UN) and other organizations that share similar aims and achievements as the UN.

Together with the Center for Development Research (ZEF) Bonn, RLC Bonn had the chance to once again participate in the UN Day.

RLC Bonn had the opportunity to present its work and its connection to the Right Livelihood Award (RLA) and their laureates. Visitors had the chance of gaining insights into the research of one current RLC-PhD-student Juliet Wanjiku who was also present at the UN Day this year.
Juliet Wanjiku conducts her field research closely together with
Biovision foundation, an institution founded by RLA Laureate Hans Herren.

RLC Bonn regularly organizes workshops while building a global network of skilled researchers.
By sharing these results with the interested public, the ideas and visions which arose from laureates’ minds as well as their implementation could thus also reach the non-academic sphere of the general population.

United Nations Day regularly takes place on last Saturday of October, so the next date will be October, 28. 2017 in Bonn.

Public Panel Discussion with RLA Laureates Glorene Das and Prof Dr. Anwar Fazal

On September 5th, Right Livelihood Award Laureates Glorene Das (Tenaganita Malaysia, RLA Laureate 2005) and Prof. Dr. Anwar Fazal (RLA Laureate 1982) were invited to a public panel discussion at the historic Old City Hall in Bonn to talk about their work as activists. The topic of the panel discussion revolved around Human Rights and the Empowerment of the Marginalized and was organized by a cooperation of the Centre for Development Research, Working group for Development Services and the City of Bonn. The discussion was facilitated by Dr. Merjam Wakili from the Deutsche Welle. The two panelists talked about the challenges and success of their organizations fighting against Human Rights abuses.

Glorene Das shared some of the stories working for women migrants and trafficked people in Malaysia, stressing the importance of involving companies in their work to ensure the implementation of gender policies. Prof Dr. Anwar Fazal shared experiences of his long work history for the protection of consumer rights in Asia. You can watch the full discussion here:

RLC workshop on "Mobilization for Change: Human Rights and the Empowerment of the Marginalized" in Bonn

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:

Glorene A. Das, rep. TENAGANITA Women's Force, Malaysia (2005)

Prof. Anwar Fazal, Malaysia (1982), Director of the RLC

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.”

Please download the e-book here. Prof. Fazal is happy to receive comments and feedback, which can be sent to the RLC Global Secretariat.

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)

A Deutsche Welle -article on the discussion is available here. The full panel session is available as a video podcast below:


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.

Please visit our RLC blog for more information on the RLC campus Cordoba and on it's relaunch.

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 from the University of Kassel 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 Laureates – also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize” – in educational and teaching methods of learning as part of future-oriented teacher training?

More information here.

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.

Please watch the video below or visit Youth Future Project online.


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

From left to right: Stephan Krall, Mirjam Gehrke and Hans Herren.

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.

A video on the public panel discussion can be watched below:      

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 Bonn at United Nations Day

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

Participants of the workshop discussing empowering methods

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!

Photo: ZEF

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).

Read press release in German here.

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.

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Who we are



Prof. Dr. Eva Youkhana

Dr. Till Stellmacher (Coordinator)
Mail: stellmacher( at )
Tel: 0049-(0)-228-734907

Tiemo Pokraka
Mail: pokraka( at )
Tel: 0049-(0)-228-736707

Wagma Bromand
Mail: bromand( at )
Tel: 0049-(0)-228-734906

Right Livelihood College
RLC Campus Bonn/ RLC Global Secretariat
Genscherallee 3
53113 Bonn, Germany

Fax: 0049-(0)-228-731972