Welcome to the Right Livelihood College Campus Bonn!

Linking the Right Livelihood Award ("Alternative Nobel Prize") Laureates with applied and interdisciplinary research and education

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”.

Meet the new RLC Bonn PhD candidate Ahmed Abdalla from Egypt

How did you become aware of the RLC programme at ZEF and what was your motivation to apply for it?

One of my colleagues suggested to me the RLC and after browsing the website, I found that it fits extremely well with my research needs and interests, in addition to the reputation of ZEF and the professionality of the staff members.

The RLC scholarship aims at connecting young researchers with winners of the “Alternative Nobel Prize”. Which are the partners you will be working with?

My main partner will be the organization SEKEM in Egypt that received the “Alternative Nobel Prize” in 2003. I will also work together with Alexandria University and the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation.

You arrived at ZEF in Bonn only a couple of weeks ago. So how have you experienced your time here so far and what are you looking forward to experiencing?

My experience so far is that ZEF is such a professional institution supported by professional staff members, high quality research and education services. There is great collaboration and an open doors policy among the staff. I am looking forward to gaining more experiences and skills such as research methods, critical thinking, project planning and proposal writing.

RLC Bonn PhD student and ZEFa senior researcher at the RLC Campus in Mumbai

The RLC Campus at the Tata Institute for Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai and the RLC Campus at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok organised a collaborative lecture series with international RLC researchers in Mumbai. On Thursday, September 26, two researchers from the RLC Campus at the Center for Development Researchers (ZEF) in Bonn contributed to the conference. Dr. Irit Eguavoen, Senior Researcher at ZEF talked about her current research project with the topic of “Under the constant threat of eviction: Strategies to secure spontaneous settlements in Abdijan, Ivory Coast”. RLC Bonn PhD student Amit Kumar delivered a talk on “Everyday experiences of women waste pickers to Act of Citizenship for Housing Rights Movement in Mumbai: My Journey from TISS to ZEF”.

Prior to their visit at the RLC Campus Mumbai, Eguavoen and Kumar participated in the RC21 conference in Delhi titled “In and Beyond the City: Emerging Ontologies, Persistent Challenges and Hopeful Futures”. Kumar present his paper on “Do not fight, there are other ways: Tracing a slum becoming permanent in Mumbai, India” and also co-convened the panel “Reimagining Urban Politics through Comparative lens”

During their stay in Delhi, Eguavoen and Kumar also visited the informal settlement of Indra Nagar.

RLC Bonn PhD candidate at Columbia University

RLC Bonn PhD student Evelyn Ewere attended the 7th "International Conference on Sustainable Development" hosted by Columbia University, New York. The conference brought together several stakeholders, policy makers and researchers across the different segments of the SDGs including renowned economist Prof. Jeffrey Sachs. She participated in the thematic session on "good practices in sustainable food production" chaired by Prof. John Dilyard and Sintia Molina. The parallel sessions and keynote speeches exposed participants to New technologies, trends and impacts as well as the challenges and opportunities to achieving the global SDGs through sustainable production, consumption and policy making.

2019 Right Livelihood Award Laureates Announced

The Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, announced the 2019 Awardees: 

  • Aminatou Haidar (Western Sahara)
  • Guo Jianmei (China)
  • Greta Thunberg (Sweden)
  • Davi Kopenawa / Hutukara Yanomami Association (Brazil).

For more information on the Laureates, please visit www.rightlivelihood.org.


“Greening the Future” – RLC Campus Bonn organised workshop with Tony Rinaudo and The Green Belt Movement

From September 15-18, 2019, the RLC Campus Bonn brought together 18 PhD students from 12 countries in Africa and Asia for an interdisciplinary workshop at the Center for Development Research (ZEF) in Bonn.  Together with two Laureates of the Right Livelihood Award (“Alternative Nobel Prize”) they worked on sustainable agriculture and forestry in drylands.

Australian Laureate Tony Rinaudo gave insights into agricultural restoration methods, including the prime example of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR). Apart from the technique itself, Tony reported on his work with farmers, who adopted and spread FMNNR in Niger and beyond. “You want to bring beneficial changes to communities where there might be centuries of conflict and cultural differences. The change with the help of technology will not come over night. It doesn’t matter how good the science is, the technology, the super species of tree we are planting, it won’t work unless we listen and learn with patience”, Tony said.  

Wycliffe Matika, Executive Director of the Kenyan Green Belt Movement, funded by “Alternative Nobel Prize” Laureate Wangari Maathai, reported on his grass-root-work towards converting the ecological debate into mass action for reforestation and livelihood security. “You cannot change the people unless you empower them. You have to understand the issues around their livelihood security and also give them tools so that environmental actions and efforts are more sustainable”, Wycliffe said.

The four-day workshop was facilitated by Laurens van Veldhuizen, rural innovation specialist at the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in Amsterdam. He used interactive and participatory approaches for strengthening the participant’s knowledge and understanding of forestry concepts in a development context. PhD students presented their topic-related empirical research findings and gained valuable advice from the invited Laureates.

The RLC Campus Bonn workshop was a unique opportunity for both PhD students and “Alternative Nobel Prize” Laureates for mutual exchange of expertise in research and practice. “It is crucial to link what is theoretical or more academic with experiential learning. The Awardees, like The Green Belt Movement, are bringing years of experience and the nexus of practicability. But also we need knowledge on innovations, so that we drive sustainable”, Wycliffe commented. Tony added: “If the Award I received and the work that I have done can be used to inspire and perhaps to guide and to give council to others, then bring it on, let’s have more of it, because young people can really benefit from programmes like this”.

The workshop was embedded in a series of cultural events, press meetings, and a Public Talk at the Old Town Hall of the City of Bonn. This event titled “‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ for Greening the Future in Africa” was moderated by Dr. Irene Quaile-Kersken (Deutsche Welle) and attracted more than 130 guests.  

The RLC Campus Bonn is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The Public Talk was organised in cooperation with the City of Bonn.


Who we are


Dr. Till Stellmacher (RLC Programme Coordinator)
Mail: t.stellmacher( at )uni-bonn.de
Tel: 0049-(0)-228-734907

Theresa Sander
Mail: t.sander( at )uni-bonn.de
Tel: 0049-(0)-228-734906

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

Fax: 0049-(0)-228-731972

Further Links