Right Livelihood Award

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The Right Livelihood Award, established in 1980 by Jakob von Uexkull, is presented annually in early December, to honour those "working on practical and exemplary solutions to the most urgent challenges facing the world today".[1] An international jury, invited by the five regular Right Livelihood Award board members, decides the awards in such fields as environmental protection, human rights, sustainable development, health, education, and peace.[citation needed] The prize money is shared among the winners, usually numbering four, and is EUR 200,000.[2] Very often one of the four Laureates receives an Honorary Award, which means that the other three share the Prize money.



The ceremony takes place in the Stockholm old Parliament building, usually during the first week of December. A group of Swedish Parliamentarians from different parties host the ceremony. The prize is sometimes called the Alternative Nobel Prize,[3][4] and differs significantly from the Nobel Prizes in

  • having an open nomination process (anyone can nominate anyone else, except close relatives or their own organizations);[5]
  • not being limited to specific categories (many more people are eligible);[2]
  • making individual or shared awards amounting to about 5% of the Nobel ones; and[citation needed]
  • neither being a fulfillment of Alfred Nobel's bequest nor being affiliated with the Nobel Prize committees.[citation needed]


Before establishing the award in 1980, von Uexkull had tried to interest the Nobel Foundation in a new prize to be awarded together with the Nobel Prizes. However, as a result of the debate that followed the establishment of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel (first awarded in 1969), the Nobel Foundation had decided not to associate the Nobel Prize with any additional awards, so von Uexkull's proposal was rejected.[6]

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