Activities and Events 2016

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, Juan 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.

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.

2016 Right Livelihood Award Laureates announced

The Laureates of this year’s Right Livelihood Award, widely referred to as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, have been announced in Stockholm, Sweden.


This years’ Laureates are:

  • Syria Civil Defence (The White Helmets), ‘for their outstanding bravery, compassion and humanitarian engagement in rescuing civilians from the destruction of the Syrian civil war’. It is the first time that a Right Livelihood Award goes to a Laureate from Syria.
  • Egypt’s Mozn Hassan and Nazra for Feminist Studies, ‘for asserting the equality and rights of women in circumstances where they are subject to ongoing violence, abuse and discrimination’.
  • Russia’s Svetlana Gannushkina, ‘for her decades-long commitment to promoting human rights and justice for refugees and forced migrants, and tolerance among different ethnic groups’.
  • Cumhuriyet, a leading independent newspaper in Turkey, ‘for their fearless investigative journalism and commitment to freedom of expression in the face of oppression, censorship, imprisonment and death threats’

Find more information on this years' Laureates here.

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:

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:


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 journalisttypo3/#_msocom_1, 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 public panel discussion on LGBTI Rights in the Development Discourse successfully took place in Bonn

RLC Bonn invited to a panel discussion with Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, Laureate of the "Alternative Nobel Prize" from Uganda, and Dr. Christine M. Klapeer, senior researcher in Politics and Queer Studies at the University of Vienna, Austria, and the University of Bayreuth, Germany.

Kasha Jaqueline Nabagasera, the Founder of Freedom and Roam Uganda (FARUG), advocates and lobbies for policy change of discriminatory laws against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in Uganda and Africa.

Dr. Christine M. Klapeer is currently working on her habilitation project on "Rainbow Aid: Development Cooperation as a new arena for transnational LGBTIQ-politics" and is an expert on decolonial, feminist and queer perspectives on gender identity and post-humanist concepts of society and subjectivity at the Universities of Vienna and Bayreuth. The discussion 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 event was well visited and a frutiful combination of practical activities and abstract ideas. In case you' would like to be informed about further RLC events in Bonn, you can easily register for our newsletter here.


Public panel discussion on LGBTI Rights in the Development Discourse on Monday, June 13

Right Livelihood Award Laureate Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera from Uganda will speak on a panel at the RLC Campus in Bonn on Monday, June 13, 5-6 pm. Together with Dr. Christine M. Klapeer, senior researcher in Politics and Queer Studies at the University of Vienna, Austria, and the University of Bayreuth, Germany, she will discuss the role of gender identity and diversity of sexuality in the development discourse in Africa. The discussion will be 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)

RLC Campus Bonn
Center for Development Research (ZEF)
Right Conference Room
Walter-Flex-Str. 3
53113 Bonn

Please confirm your attendance via e-mail to presse.zef(at)

“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.


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, 201

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.

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.

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