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Evelyn Ewere - RLC Bonn PhD student

Evelyn Ewere from Nigeria joined the RLC Bonn in August 2017 to work on her PhD research on 'Bioeconomic Transformation in Nigeria: its impacts and sustainability'. She will collaborate with RLA Laureate Nnimmo Bassey and the RLC Campus Port Harocurt in Nigeria. Her research interest is driven primarily by the need for reducing Nigeria's dependence on fossil fuels with its attendant price shocks and environmental challenges.

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

Amit Kumar - RLC Bonn PhD student

Mr. Amit Kumar from India joined RLC Bonn in August 2016 to work on his PhD project on "Self Organization and Mobilization of Slum Dwellers in Urban India", working together with RLA Laureate Medha Patkar and her organization Ghar Banao Ghar Bachao Aandolan in the slums of Mumbai. He is currently in Mumbai to conduct his empirical work. Amit's research aims at the alternative imagination to the existing urban structures in relation to globalization.

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.


Alejandro Mora Motta – RLC Bonn PhD Student

Alejandro Mora Motta from Colombia joined RLC since August 2015 to work on his research project on ‘Fundamental human needs in the context of extractive forestry plantations in Los Rios, Chile’. From June 2016 he will be developing his field work in Chile, in collaboration with Right Livelihood Laureate Prof. Dr. Manfred Max-Neef. His empirical research will focus on how the territorial transformation caused by the extractive forestry model has impacted on the peasant well-being and the local sustainability in rural Los Rios.

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.

8th Right Livelihood College (RLC) campus in Cordoba, Argentina

The RLC network is happy to announce the opening of it’s 8th RLC campus in Cordoba, Argentina.

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.

More information on the new campus can be found here, in Spanish.

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.

7th Right Livelihood College debuted in India


The Right Livelihood College campus was formally launched at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai on August 18, 2014.

The collaboration with TISS deepens connections between the work of the 19 Right Livelihood Laureates based in South Asia in the fields of livelihoods, social innovation, social justice and empowerment and the university’s activities, such as research initiatives, public lectures and involvement of the Institute’s M.A. programme in Social Work in Livelihoods and Social Entrepreneurship.

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.

Juliet Wanjiku - RLC Bonn student

Juliet Wanjiku Kamau from Kenya became RLC Bonn’s latest PhD researcher, writing on  “Productivity and Sustainability of Ecological Organic Agriculture Systems in Kenya” in cooperation with RLA Laureate Hans Herren’s Biovision Africa Trust.

International workshop on Mobilization for change: Participatory research and the empowerment of the marginalized

Photo:Grameen Shakti/RLAF

From May 24 – 29, 2014, scientists, policy makers and PhD students from all over the world participated together with the “Right Livelihood Award” laureates Dipal Barua (Bangladesh), Anwar Fazal (Malaysia), and Raul Montenegro (Argentine) in an international workshop at ZEF in Bonn. This event focused on local level participatory research in rural areas of developing and transition countries and its role in empowering disadvantaged and marginalised people and communities. The participants presented their research findings, discussing them in an engaged, cohesive and transdisciplinary way. Workshops on participatory research methods and a series of public lectures by the laureates and scholars invited by ZEF were held. The workshop could thus build on each participant’s individual expertise and experience and promote friendship and exchange among a very diverse group of participants.

From Ypres to Damascus: The Quest for Global Abolition of Chemical Weapons

Paul Walker, RLA Stockholm 2013

The Right Livelihood College Campus Bonn at the Center for Development Research (ZEF), jointly with the United Nations University - Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), and the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC), organized a lecture by Right Livelihood Award laureate Ph.D. Paul F. Walker, Director of Environmental Security and Sustainability Green Cross International. The presentation discussed the many challenges in safely eliminating chemical weapons stockpiles, as well as the progress to date in destroying over 58,000 metric tons of chemical agents in the US, Russia, and elsewhere.  Syria's ongoing removal of its declared chemical stockpile was also discussed, along with implications for global arms control regimes.

The lecture was held on April, 9, 2014 at ZEF as part of a seminar series on Risk and Uncertainty for Sustainable Development. You can watch the full lecture on ZEF's YouTube channel.

Please find the CV of Paul F. Walker at

RLC PhD Student admitted as a Fellow of AGGN

Our RLC PhD Student Willis Okumu was admitted as a Fellow of the Africa Good Governance Network (AGGN) of the DAAD in January 2014. AGGN is a network of African scholars linked with German Universities. It is aimed at promoting good governance in the economic and political transformation of sub-Saharan Africa.



Sixth Right Livelihood College debuts in Chile


On November 11, 2013, the Right Livelihood Award Foundation announced Universidad Austral de Chile (UACh) in Valdivia, Chile to be sixth Right Livelihood College campus and the first in Latin America. The opening of a campus at Universidad Austral was initiated by Right Livelihood Laureate Manfred Max-Neef during the first regional conference of Latin American Laureates in Colombia last July. (Source: RLA)
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Right Livelihood College debuts in Nigeria

On October 8, 2013, the Right Livelihood Award Foundation announced the University of Port Harcourt to be world's fifth campus of the Right Livelihood College. The new campus, co-hosted by the University of Port Harcourt and Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), a think tank and advocacy organisation founded by Nnimmo Bassey, will be the second RLC campus in Africa. The campus will be based at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Port Harcourt, in a city popularly known as the 'oil capital' of Nigeria. The research focus at this campus will be environmental pollution and related socio-economic issues caused by the petroleum industry.

"The world needs young individuals who truly care about the future"

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) launched a short film about the most recent RLC workshop on “Environmental Change and the Next Sustainability Generation”. Hear what laureates of the Right Livelihood Award (RLA), workshop participants and organizers had to say about the Right Livelihood College in Bonn.
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Third RLC Bonn PhD Student started his research at Center for Development Research (ZEF)

Mr. Willis Okumu from Kenya has been awarded the third RLC Bonn PhD Scholarship funded by DAAD for 3 years. He started his research on the "Inter-community vs. Inter-clan Violence in Samburu North and Kuria East districts in Kenya; a Comparative Analysis of Development Challenges" in August, 2013. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Nairobi and his Master of Arts in Culture and Environment in Africa (CEA) from the University of Cologne, Germany.

RLC Workshop on “Environmental Change and the Next Sustainability Generation”

In August/ September, 2013, the Right Livelihood College (RLC) and the Youth Future Project (YFP) organized a joint workshop which took place at ZEF and other venues in Bonn. Several winners of the “Alternative Nobel Prize” and the “German Environmental Award” were participating together with scientists, policy makers and PhD students from all over the world. The conference thematically targeted local dimensions of environmental change in the context of socio-economic development with a focus on the Global South. Case studies of concepts and instruments that successfully combine environmental sustainability and socio-economic development were being presented, discussed and analyzed in a cohesive transdisciplinary way by building on each participants’ Expertise and experience.


Public events organized by RLC/YFP

In the framework of the joint international conference on “Environmental Change and the Next Sustainability Generation” from August 31 to September 7, 2013, the Right Livelihood College (RLC) and the Youth Future Project (YFP) organize a series of public events.» more

Women’s power: „Alternative Nobel Prize“-awardees Monika Hauser and Sima Samar meet in Bonn

The RLC, ZEF, BICC, and Crossroads Asia project organized a public panel discussion on: “Women’s rights in Afghanistan: status quo and post-2014” The event will took place on Monday, 27 May, at 2pm at the Center for Development Research (ZEF), Walter-Flex-Str. 3, 53113 Bonn (ground floor conference room). The discussion was followed by a coffee reception. The plight of women in Afghanistan has been a critical issue for years and one the two “Alternative Nobel Prize” laureates Sima Samar from Afghanistan and Monika Hauser from Germany reported on extensively. Sima Samar is an Afghan physician and human rights activist, who has been involved in improving the situation of Afghan women and girls for many years. Monika Hauser founded the organization “Medica Mondiale” in 1993, which seeks to support traumatized women and girls in areas of war and conflict. The organization started operating during the former Yugoslavian civil war and became active worldwide later. Both activists have been awarded the “Alternative Nobel Prize” (Right Livelihood Award).

RLC Public Panel Discussion with Laureates Sima Samar (Afghanistan) and Ruth Manorama (India)

Title: Mobilization for Change: The work of “Alternative Nobel Prize” winners in India and Afghanistan
Moderation: Dr. Till Stellmacher

Two of the “Alternative Nobel Prize” talked about their work at Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Bonn. For more information, please download this flyer.
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RLC Workshop on "Mobilization for Change", May 25-30, 2013 in Bonn

RLC Bonn organized an international workshop on "Mobilization for Change: Re-defining local decision-making and participation", May 25 – 30, 2013, at ZEF in Bonn, Germany. "Alternative Nobel Prize" winners Sima Samar (Afghanistan), Ruth Manorama (India) and Monika Hauser (Germany) had been participating together with junior and senior scientists and experts from all over the world. The workshop thematically focused on locally-adapted innovative solutions to mobilize disadvantaged and discriminated people in the Global South. Particular focus was given to gender and health issues. Case studies of successful local mobilisation and innovative decision-making and participation approaches were presented, discussed and analysed in a cohesive transdisciplinary way by building on each participants’ expertise and experience.
Please find the workshop programme » here.

RLC Bonn PhD Student held a presentation at Women's Development Research Centre (KANITA) in Malaysia

On November 8, 2012, Ms. Lai Wan Teng, the first Bonn PhD Student, held a presentation on "Kerja terus, Makan terus, Hidup terus!" (We keep on working, eating and surviving!): HER story of Indonesian women migrants in Penang.
Malaysia has the largest number of migrant employees in Asia. Penang as a major centre of production in the global electronics industry and tourism has recruited a substantial number of migrant workers, especially Indonesian workers. However, there is lack of ethnography research design in studying their everyday life, surviving strategies, interaction within and beyond their community. Ms Wan Teng discussed her research methodology and highlight some interesting findings regarding the lived reality of Indonesian female migrants, who sustain their livelihood in one of the migtrants’ hotspots in Penang.
For more information on the “Woman, Gender and Migration Forum”, view the
» programme.

Second RLC Bonn PhD Student started her research at Center for Development Research (ZEF)

Ms. Divya Rajeswari Swaminathan from India has been awarded the second RLC Bonn PhD Scholarship funded by DAAD for 3 years. She started her research on the "Role of Local Knowledge in Multi-Stakeholder Innovation Processes" in August, 2012. She received her B. Sc., in Geography and M. Sc., in Applied Geography from University of Madras. She also completed her second master´s in Geoinformatics from University of Muenster. Ms. Swaminathan was a lecturer at the Department of Geography (GIS), University of Mysore. She has also worked in developmental organisations both at the national and international level.

RLC Fall Academy on the Economies of the Commons

From September 19-23, 2012, RLC Bonn organized an International Fall Academy on “The Economies of the Commons: Reshaping Economic Education”. Eleven PhD students from Asia, Africa and Latinamerica were granted scholarships by DAAD to participate in the workshop and engage in dialogue with two laureates of the “Alternative Nobel Prize”, namely Sulak Sivaraksa (Thailand) and Helena Norberg-Hodge (Australia). The Fall Academy was co-organized with the Alanus University for Arts and Social Sciences in Alfter, near Bonn. Sixty-four Alanus students took also part in the workshop to share the laureates' experiences in the practical work of promoting more just and sustainable economies beyond the classical paradigm of market and state.

Workshop on "Mobilization for Change: Social Movements in a Developing World", June 2 - 9, 2012

From June 2-10, 2012, RLC Bonn conduced an international workshop on "Mobilization for Change: Social Movements in a Developing World". On this occasion, three winners of the "Alternative Nobel Prize" were invited to Bonn, namely: Nnimmo Bassey (Nigeria), Prof. Dr. Anwar Fazal (Malaysia), and Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury (Bangladesh). 21 PhD students from Africa, Asia and Latin America also be participated. The workshop included various public events. The Workshop Programme is available » here

RLC Bonn PhD Student started field work in Malaysia

Ms. Lai Wan Teng, the first RLC Bonn PhD Student, started her field work in Malaysia End of May 2012. In the coming 10 monthes she will conduct empirical research on pattern of migrant integration in Penang State. She will work together with the two "Alternative Nobel Prize" winners Irene Fernandez and Prof. Anwar Fazal.


Delegation from Addis Ababa visited RLC Bonn, Nov. 18 - 23, 2011

From November 18 to 23, 2011, a delegation from Addis Ababa University and the Right Livelihood College in Addis Ababa visited RLC Bonn and the Center for Development Research (ZEF). The visit by Dr. Hirut Woldemariam, Vice-President for External Relations at Addis Ababa University, and Mr. Kibreab H/Michael, RLC Addis Ababa Coordinator, aimed to establish and strengthen long term partnerships and exchange between both RLC Campuses in Bonn and Addis Ababa in particular and ZEF and Addis Ababa University in general.
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First RLC Bonn PhD Student

Ms. Lai Wan Teng from Malaysia received the first RLC Bonn PhD Scholarship funded by DAAD for 3 years. Starting from October 1, 2011, she will conduct research on patterns of migrant integration in Penang, Malaysia in cooperation with the two "Alternative Nobel Prize" laureates Irene Fernandez and Prof. Anwar Fazal. Lai Wan Teng was a lecturer at the Women’s Development Research Centre (KANITA), Universiti Sains Malaysia. She has a B.A in Chinese Studies and Gender studies and she received her M.A. degree in Gender and Development Studies (GDS). She worked in a local women’s organization and was passionately involved in various gender-related training programmes, research and advocacy.

RLC Bonn participating in UN DPI/NGO Conference in Bonn, Sep. 3-5, 2011

Right Livelihood College Bonn and Center for Development Research (ZEF) are partners and co-organizers of the 64th Annual United Nations Department of Public Information / Non-Governmental Organizations Conference: “Sustainable Societies; Responsive Citizens” to be held in Bonn from September 3-5, 2011. "Connections between development-related NGO work and research: Ambitions and constraints" is the topic of a workshop organized by the RLC Bonn and ZEF at the conference.
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"Our daily rice. Possible for all! - but how?", September 2, 2011

The "Alternative Nobel Prize" winner Vandana Shiva spoke on a panel discussion on "Our daily rice. Possible for all! - but how?" on September 2, 2011, at Brückenforum in Bonn. Other speakers included Bonns Lord Mayor Jürgen Nimptsch, UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner and World Food Award Laureate Hans Herren. The event was co-organized by the RLC Campus Bonn.

First RLC Bonn Workshop in Bonn, May 30 - June 1, 2011

From May 30 - June 1, 2011, the first thematic workshop at RLC Campus Bonn will take place. Under the title "Reverse Degradation by Innovation: New Pathways of Sustainable Natural Resource Management" it will bring together the "Alternative Nobel Prize" winners Prof. Anwar Fazal (Malaysia), Dr. Hanumappa Sudarshan (India) and Wes & Joan Jackson (USA) with practitioners, researchers and PhD students from developing and transition countries.
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Opening of international Campus of „Alternative Nobel Prize“ in Bonn, May 30, 2011

The new international Campus of the Right Livelihood Award in Bonn has been inaugurated officially on May 30, 2011 in Bonn. It is based at the Center for Development Research (ZEF) and financed by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Bonns Lord Mayor Jürgen Nimptsch and the Rector of the University of Bonn, Jürgen Fohrmann welcomed the audience, among them “Alternative Nobel Prize” laureates such as Raul Montenegro from Argentina, Hanumappa Sudarshan from India, Shrikrishna Upadhyay from Nepal und Wes Jackson from the U.S.A.
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Young Scientists Side Conference at ZEF, Sep. 14-19, 2010

On the occasion of the 30th Anniversary Conference of the Right Livelihood Award that took place on September 14-19, 2010, in Bonn/ Germany, the Right Livelihood College and the Center for Development Research (ZEF) co-organized a Young Scientists Side Conference located at ZEF. During this event the RLA "Alternative Nobel Prize" Winners worked together with students and young researchers on thematic topics such as social entrepreneurship, climate change and environmental protection, or the preservation of our cultural heritage.
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