- Jakob von Uexkull
name= Jakob von Uexkull
caption= Jakob von Uexkull
birth_date= Birth date and age|1944|8|19|df=y
Jakob von Uexkull (born
19 August 1944) is a writer, lecturer, professional philatelistand past member of the European Parliamentwho, in 1980, founded the Right Livelihood Awards (a.k.a. the Alternative Nobel Prize). He holds both Swedish and German citizenship.
Uexkull stems from a Baltic German family that was forced to leave
Estoniaduring World War II. He was born in Uppsala, Sweden. After studying in Sweden and Germany, he won a scholarship to Christ Church, Oxford, graduating in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
Uexkull provided an initial endowment for the awards by selling his collection of
postage stampsfor US$ 1 million; the awards have subsequently attracted additional funding from private individuals enabling it to donate annual prizes worth 2 million Swedish Kronor.
Uexkull created the awards out of a recognition that
Nobel prizes were relatively narrow in scope and usually recognised the work of those in industrialised countries.
Von Uexkull first approached the Nobel Foundation with the suggestion that it establish two new awards, one for
ecologyand one relevant to the lives of the poor majority of the world's population. He offered to contribute financially but his proposal was turned down.
Uexkull then decided to set up the Right Livelihood Awards, presented in the
Swedish parliamenton the day before the nobel prizes and often referred to as the alternative nobel prize. In recognition of his initiative in founding the Right Livelihood Award, the German Green Partyhas several times nominated Jakob von Uexkull in electionsto the European Parliament. As an MEP, he served on the Political Affairs Committee and the Science and Technology Committee. He was also a member of the Delegation for Relations with the Supreme Soviet of the USSRand the Baltic Intergroup (1987-89).
Uexkull is a co-founder of
The Other Economic Summit. He is a patron of Friends of the EarthInternational. He has been a Trustee of the New Economics Foundation, London, and a member of the Global Commission to Fund the United Nations. He has served on the Board of Greenpeace, Germany, and on the Council of Governance of Transparency International. He lectures widely on environment, justice and peace issues. He is also a recognised philatelic expert with publications including 'The Early Postal History of Saudi Arabia' (2001).
Uexkull created the
Estonian Renaissance Awardafter the independence of the Estonian country in 1991.
Uexkull is currently working towards the creation of a
World Future Councilof planetary elders, pioneers and youth leaders, acting as a global conscience, speaking up for our ethical values as global citizens and in the interests of future generations.
Jakob von Uexküllis the founder of the study of biosemiotics.
* [http://www.rightlivelihood.se/ Right Livelihood Award] - Official site
* [http://www.rightlivelihood.org/jakob.html Jakob von Uexkull] - Founder
* [http://www.time.com/time/europe/hero2005/uexkull.html Time Europe - Got his eyes on the prize]
* [http://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/ World Future Council]
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