The Right Livelihood Award was established in 1980 to “honour and support courageous people and organisations offering visionary and exemplary solutions to the root causes of global problems”. It has become widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ and there are now 174 Laureates from 70 countries.
Presented annually in Stockholm, the Right Livelihood Award is usually shared by four Recipients. The prize money shared by the Laureates is SEK 3 million (2018) but not always all Laureates receive a cash award. Often an Honorary Award is given to a person or group whose work the Jury wishes to recognise but who is not primarily in need of monetary support. The prize money is for ongoing successful work, never for personal use.
Unlike the Nobel Prizes and most other international prizes, the Right Livelihood Award has no categories. It recognises that, in striving to meet the human challenges of today’s world, the most inspiring and remarkable work often defies any standard classification.
The Right Livelihood Award is not an award for the world’s political, scientific or economic elite, but an award for the people and their work and struggles for a better future. The Laureates come from all walks of life: they are farmers, teachers, doctors, or simply, concerned citizens. The Right Livelihood Award accepts proposals from everyone through an open nomination process.
The presentation of the Right Livelihood Award is only the start of a long relationship between the Laureate and the Foundation. The Foundation sees its role as being the megaphone and shield for the Laureates, and provides them with long-term support.