In 1980 Jakob von Uexkull founded the Right Livelihood Award in response to the Nobel Prize which he believed was not as open and inclusive as it had the potential to be. Normally four persons are chosen to receive the Right Livelihood Award and this year the recipients include Krishnammal and Sankaralingam Jagannathan of India, Amy Goodman, Asha Hagi of Somalia, and Monica Hauser of Germany. Amy interviewed them all on Democracy Now today and it is well worth a listen. These are some amazing individuals involved in much needed work. The nomination process is one hundred percent open, anyone can nominate anybody. As long as you aren’t out there giving props to yourself.
The award is intended, according to the website, “to honor and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today.” This is an award recognizing and indeed focused on social transformation in whatever medium it may take. Because there are no specific categories for the prize it is all the more inclusive. Listening to the voices of the recipients as they shared there work, visions, and the contributions they have made to human welfare I am compelled to reflect, however cliche it may seem, what have I done today to make the world a better and more hopeful place.