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About RLC

The Right Livelihood College

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”.


The Right Livelihood Award

Since 1980, the “Alternative Nobel Prize” is awarded annually in the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm to honour and support “outstanding work to develop and implement practical and exemplary solutions for the most urgent challenges human livelihoods are facing today”. To date more than 160 individuals and organizations from 67 countries received the prize See:


The RLC Campus at ZEF in Bonn

The RLC Campus at the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn,  was inaugurated in 2011. Supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the University of Bonn, the RLC Campus Bonn serves as an international incubator for developing, promoting and multiplying science-based practical solutions for sustainable development. The RLC Campus Bonn is an integrated program at ZEF, an interdisciplinary research institute that ranks among the Top 10 Science Think Tanks worldwide. See: or have a look into ZEF news to see what RLC Campus Bonn is about.

Activities of the RLC Campus Bonn

  • Research projects focusing on social justice, poverty and inequality reduction, and environmental sustainability in the Global South. The projects are based on in-depth empirical field work and are an integral part of ZEF‘s research agenda.
  • Regular international scientific workshops in which junior scientists from the Global South, “Alternative Nobel Prize” laureates and international experts work together.
  • Public talks by “Alternative Nobel Prize” laureates in Bonn.
  • Public film screenings, theater plays and exhibitions in Bonn.


Doctoral scholarships

The RLC Campus Bonn provides three-year doctoral scholarships, funded by DAAD, for outstanding young candidates from the Global South for research projects related to the work of “Alternative Nobel Prize” laureates and organizations. The call for scholarships is issued at the beginning of each year. All RLC Bonn doctoral students take part in ZEF’s Doctoral Studies Program.


Workshop scholarships

The RLC Campus Bonn regularly provides scholarships to outstanding doctoral students from the Global South to participate in the international RLC workshops. Recipients of workshop scholarships get the opportunity to work together with “Alternative Nobel Prize” laureates and practitioners from all over the globe, and to present and to discuss their own research in an expert setting. More information on our scholarships and activities are published on our homepage, regularly. 


The global RLC network

There are eight RLC campuses worldwide. All based at renowned universities and in cooperation with the “Alternative Nobel Prize” laureates they form a unique polycentric global network of development expertise and professionals. RLC campuses are located at:

The Global Secretariat of the RLC, which is based at ZEF in Bonn since 2014, coordinates and facilitates this wide-reaching network. Since 2015 the Global RLC Secretariat is co-funded by the Robert Bosch Foundation.

For information on the RLC Global Network activities please visit the



The RLC Logo

The Right Livelihood College logo contain two symbols - Two lotus flower embedded into Yin and Yang. These reflect the identity college as a global capacity building initiative aimed to harness and spread the knowledge and experience of Laureates of the Right Livelihood Award as follows:

The Lotus Flower - The sacred Lotus flower is revered as a symbol of purity in Asian religions. Even when emerging from muddy waters it unfolds its leaves unblemished and untouched by pollution. It also represents purity of body, speech, and mind, floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire.

Yin and Yang - Yin and Yang describe how polar or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in turn. Many natural dualities - e.g. dark and light, female and male, low and high, cold and hot - are viewed in Chinese thought as manifestations of yin and yang. Yin yang are complementary opposites within a greater whole. Everything has both yin and yang aspects, thus it will create a balance.


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For more information contact:

Professor Anwar Fazal, Director, Right Livelihood College,
C/o Centre for Policy Research and International Studies (CenPRIS), Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM, Penang, Malaysia.
Tel. (604) 653 2042 / 653 2047
Fax (604) 658 4820