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Welcome to the Right Livelihood College Bonn!

The Right Livelihood College (RLC) is a global education and research initiative of universities and the Right Livelihood Award Foundation, also known as the "Alternative Nobel Prize". The RLC promotes and implements transdisciplinary education and research on social justice, poverty and inequality reduction, and environmental sustainability together with laureates of the “Alternative Nobel Prize”.

RLC-PhD Candidate Amit Kumar at the 7th "Conference on International Development" at Ruhr-University Bochum from November 8-9, 2018

Amit Kumar, the RLC-PhD Candidate at Centre for Development Research (ZEF), has presented a part of his PhD thesis on ‘Photo-pass and the Legitimation Crisis of Urban Planning in Mumbai’ at the 7th PhD Conference on International Development organised by Institute of Development Research and Development Policy (IEE), Ruhr-University Bochum. He was a speaker at the session on ‘Housing and Urban Citizenship in Transforming Cities’ chaired by Prof. Dr Erhard Berner (International Institute of Social Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands).

In the paper presented, Amit strived to trace the genealogy of urban planning with particular reference to slum demolitions in Mumbai. Firstly, he provided a snapshot of the land-management policies in Mumbai. Secondly, he elaborates how the state frames the logic of 'formalising the informal' through documentary evidence, i.e. Photo-pass in the case of Mumbai. Thirdly, he shows how in such a retrospective mode of urban planning the people living in unauthorised slums in Mumbai trump it strategically through counter-documentaries, participating in informal labour markets and forming associations with activist organisations like one of Medha Patkar (Right Livelihood Award Laureate, 1991). Fourth and final, he argues that the urban planning in the Global South, suffers from a crisis of legitimation in between a) the compulsions of democratic populism and b) imperatives of technocratic planning.

Apart from participating in the conference, he also networked with some researchers from other universities in Europe and outside. He also met Mr Biswaranjan Tripura, an Assistant Professor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai which hosts the Right Livelihood Campus Mumbai, who is currently pursuing his PhD on ‘Indigenous Politics in India’ at IEE, Ruhr-University Bochum.

Alejandro Mora Motta, also an RLC-PhD Candidate at the Centre for Development Research (ZEF) participated in the conference as well.




RLC Bonn and RLC Mumbai organised Collaborative Alumni Workshop in October 2018

From 4-6 October, 2018, development academics and practitioners from South East Asia and South Asia gathered in Mumbai at the first ever RLC Alumni workshop. Organised jointly by the RLC Campus at TISS Mumbai and the RLC Global Secretariat in Bonn, Alumni presented current science-practice projects for tackling development-related issues in the area of livelihoods innovation.

Further keynote speeches were delivered by researchers from the Centre for Livelihoods and Social Innovation (CLSI), Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Indo-German Centre for Sustainability (IGCS), German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and the Environmental Policy Research Centre, Free University of Berlin.

Right Livelihood Award Laureate Shrikrishna Upadhyay presented and discuss a regional action plan for sustainable livelihood in countries of South Asia. Upadhyay also spoke on a Public Plenary Panel on “Reimagining Sustainable Livelihoods: Creating Synergies through State-University-Civil Society Partnerships”, joined by Dr. Swati Banerjee, RLC Mumbai Coordinator, and Prof. Abdul Shaban, Deputy Director of TISS, and Dr. Victor Karunan, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.

Karunan, who represented the newest RLC Campus in Thailand, urged the importance of South Asian and South East Asian collaborations, and addressed the role of researchers working together with practitioners: “The economic development model that we have, with its political, cultural and psychological consequences, is at the origin of these imbalances. But it is necessary to find solutions urgently. The time has come to put forward new orientations and not just adaptations of the existing system. To reflect on this and to bring together the forces for change has become a top priority.”

On the second workshop day, all participants visited two civil society organisations in Mumbai:

Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan (GBGBA) was launched as a response to the massive eviction drive that took place in Mumbai, from December 2004 to February 2005. This eviction ruthlessly swept away 90,000 hutments, rendering tens of thousands of poor homeless. One of the founders of NAPM is Right Livelihood Award Laureate Medha Patkar.

UDAAN is a field action initiative of TISS which engages with women at Babanagar in Rafiqnagar, a community which was primarily engaged in waste picking at the vicinity of the Deonar Dumping Ground in Mumbai.

For information regarding the programme and workshop participants, please contact




Supported by DAAD with funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

RLC Bonn PhD student Evelyn Ewere presents her research at the 11th Sustainability Academy in Abuja

Evelyn Ewere Anyokwu, doctoral student at RLC Campus Bonn, presented her ongoing research on “Alternative Extraction for maritime Biorefinery” within the framework of the 4th Annual Public RLC Lecture on "Natural resource extraction, social relations and conflict in Africa" from August 30 until August 31, 2018.

"Alternative Nobel Prize" Laureates Jacqueline Moudeina from Chad and Nnimmo Bassey from Nigeria also participated in the event.

During the two-day event hosted at the Center for Conflict and Gender Studies, Moudeina gave a lecture on natural resources and conflict in Africa, arguing that natural resource extraction, particularly oil, being rather a curse than a blessing in the African context. As solution, Modeina demanded the promoting of good governance of natural resources as well as the overall improvement of democratization.

Prior to the RLC Annual Public Lecture, the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) organised the 11th Sustainability Academy on “Extractives, Oceans and fisheries” in Abuja. Bassey talked about “Privatizing the oceans through pollution” emphasizing the devastating situation of fisher folks in the Niger Delta caused by oil companies and thus by the privatization of natural resources.
Along with Nnimmo Bassey and Jacqueline Moudeina, Dr. Babtunde Bolaji Benard, Legborsi Pyagbara, President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), spoke about poverty issues arising from land and water pollution caused by oil extraction.

Please find the full report here.

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Prof. Dr. Solvay Gerke

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

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

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

Fax: 0049-(0)-228-731972