This year’s honourees were announced simultaneously by Business for Peace Foundation partners the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Global Compact.
A jury of Nobel peace and economics prize laureates selected this year’s recipients following a worldwide nomination process with more than 100 candidates submitted by chambers of commerce, ICC national committees as well as country offices of UNDP and UN Global Compact.
Since the first award ceremony took place in 2009, a total of 31 award honourees have been named, all inspirational and far-sighted exemplars of business at its best. “The Business for Peace honourees are influential business leaders who, through their achievements, contribute to a better understanding of social and economic progress through showing how shared value can be created between business and society,” said Per Leif Saxegaard, Chairman of the Business for Peace Foundation.
“The recipients of the Oslo Business for Peace Award are exemplary leaders who make significant efforts in responsible business conduct,” said ICC Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier. “Since it was founded in 1919, ICC has believed in this potential of the private sector to contribute to world peace, which is why we continue to support the advancement of the Oslo Business for Peace Award.”
2014 honourees of the Oslo Business for Peace Award cover a broad range of geographies and industries. They are:
Selima Ahmad (Bangladesh)
Ms Ahmad is the Vice Chair of the Nitol-Niloy Group. With her deep understanding of the plight of women in a male dominated, poverty-afflicted society, she focuses on developing entrepreneurial talent and organizing financial and marketing resources to enable women to overcome hurdles and expand their business beyond the micro threshold.
Ouided Bouchamaoui (Tunisia)
Ms Bouchamaoui heads the Hedi Bouchamaoui Group (HBG) and works to help Tunisia pull through its challenges by pushing for national reconciliation, by protecting both enterprises and employment policy, and assisting the urgent need to restore security. In Bouchamaoui’s opinion, conditions fundamental for promoting social peace and prosperity.
Richard Branson (UK)
Sir Richard Branson is the founder and owner of Virgin Group. He uses his reputation to influence important issues also outside business and is a signatory of the non-profit Global Zero campaign for the elimination of nuclear weapons. He has taken a strong stand against climate change scepticism, and took the initiative to create The Elders, a gathering of independent global leaders working together for peace and human rights.
Kesha Kumari Damini (Nepal)
Ms Damini is the leader of more than 60,000 micro entrepreneurs. Though Ms Damini came from the most disadvantaged of Dalit communities in Nepal, her leadership and success have inspired many to become entrepreneurs, explore self-employment opportunities and overcome discrimination.
Adnan Kassar (Lebanon)
Mr Kassar is Chairman of Fransabank, and has been a driver of growth and development in Lebanon, in the absence of political stability and security, for many decades. By motivating the private sector, his work has contributed to the prosperity of the country and its attractiveness to foreign investors, thus maintaining and securing the livelihood of Lebanese people.
Marilyn Carlson Nelson (USA)
Ms Carlson is the Chairman and former CEO of Carlson. Her pace-setting approach to responsible business focuses on engaging in dialogue with stakeholders on local causes and global issues. Across a range of challenges her approach contributes to peace through the creation of shared value. Notably, she is a strong advocate to eliminate the sexual exploitation of children.
The Business for Peace Foundation was established in 2007 to identify and recognize businesspeople who ethically and responsibly show the way in creating economic value that also creates value for society.
An award ceremony will take place on 15 May in Oslo at the Oslo City Hall, with a full day’s programme of activities. The day will conclude with the celebration of the 2014 honourees.