Author Archives: Comms

Visit to SEKEM

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Earlier this month we had the opportunity to visit SEKEM, a comprehensive development initiative founded by the late Dr Ibrahim Abouleish, a 2012 Oslo Business for Peace Award Honouree. Rafik Costandi welcomed us to Bilbeis, Egypt to give us a first-hand look at SEKEM’s operations.


Spanning agriculture, health, education and textiles, SEKEM takes a holistic approach to sustainable development in Egypt, working toward a future where social structures reflect human dignity and all economic activity is conducted in accordance with ecological and ethical principles.


First, we got to see a production facility at NatureTex, SEKEM’s company for organic cotton textiles and garments. Here, a team member is seen weaving carpets from leftover material used in the all-organic clothing production.


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Pigeon towers, with their unique design and all natural materials, can be seen all across Egypt. It is an ancient method of keeping pigeons, either in a farm or on the top of a house near green fields. The ones pcitured below are owned by SEKEM.


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Lotus was the first company within the SEKEM initiative, founded in 1977. The company processes organic herbs and spices from bio-dynamically cultivated plants. We got to see the factory, including one of their storage facilities.



Next, we toured Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development, established under the umbrella of SEKEM, and inaugurated in 2012, to introduce sustainable development principles to students in Egypt and improve well-being by decreasing threats to the Earth’s natural systems. The University has an entrepreneurial hub and also includes art and music as part of its core programme since, as Dr Abouleish said, “the human is not just intellect.”


Ms Regina Hanel accompanied us in a tour around campus and to the different faculties. We met students from the Engineering faculty who up-cycled this car and made it electric. It can now drive 80 kilometres after five hours of charging.


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Thank you to Regina Hanel (pictured below) and the team at SEKEM for the warm welcome and tour!



 “I had a vision of a three-fold project that would allow me to contribute to community-building, humanity, and healing the earth. The desert was like the canvas of a painting, but without a frame.” – Dr Abouleish



BfP Foundation Joins Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace

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Business for Peace Endorses the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace
President Macron and the French Government launched the Paris Call for Trust and Security
in Cyberspace at the Internet Governance Forum on 12 November 2018. This cross-industry
initiative supports the call of 25 European governments so far to address state-sponsored
cyberattacks. Business for Peace is proud to be one of the initial signatories endorsing the

Cyberspace plays a crucial role in every aspect of our lives and it is the shared responsibility
of a wide variety of actors to improve trust, security, and stability in cyberspace. Signatories
of the Paris Call affirm their support of an open, secure, stable, accessible, and peaceful
cyberspace. The Call underlines the need to enhance broad digital cooperation and
recognises the necessity of a strengthened multi-stakeholder approach to reducing risks to
the stability of cyberspace, and to building confidence, capacity, and, trust.



See the full text of the Paris Call and a list of signatories thus far here 

Business for Peace Foundation partners with Oslo European Green Capital 2019

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Our foundation is based in Oslo, Norway, so we are delighted to announce that we will be an official partner in Oslo’s upcoming role as the 2019 European Green Capital.


What does that mean? Oslo will work to strengthen the green economy, promote green citizens, and support ambitious green policies. As the capital city of Norway, Oslo has a population of 658,390. It is surrounded by the Marka Forest, a nationally protected area, and the Oslo Fjord, both connected by a number of waterways, and its approach to conserving its natural areas and restoring its waterway network is just one of the many reasons why it won the European Green Capital Award for 2019.



Governed by #businessworthy thinkers, the municipality of Oslo has made tackling climate change a priority. The city aims to cut emissions by 50% by 2020 (as compared to 1990) and wants to be carbon neutral by 2050. Oslo has introduced a range of integrated measures to achieve these ambitious targets, including the promotion of zero emissions transport, and is currently the ‘Electric Vehicle Capital of the World’ with 30% of all vehicles sales involving electric cars.


Given that innovation and the creation of new jobs in the circular economy are featured as hallmark priorities for Oslo’s future, we are proud to hold our annual Business for Peace Award Ceremony and Summit in the city every May. The Summit will be held from May 14-15, 2019, but until then, learn more about Oslo’s selection as the 2019 European Green Capital here.


Nominations for the 10th Anniversary Oslo Business for Peace Award now open


Partner Ready Nom Grid w_o website


Nominations for the 2019 Oslo Business for Peace Award have now closed.


Business for Peace is seeking candidates for the 2019 Oslo Business for Peace Award. Candidates can be nominated through the Foundation’s global partners: International Chamber of Commerce, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Global Compact and, new this year, Principles for Responsible Investment.


The Award, first conferred in 2009, is the highest distinction given to a business leader who exemplifies outstanding businessworthy accomplishments: ethically and responsibly creating value both for business and society.

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Help us celebrate businessworthy leaders and nominate a candidate for the 2019 Award by using our partner nomination tool via the links below.


Candidates can come from a wide variety of business backgrounds and industries. Previous Award recipients range from a United Kingdom product designer who has created sustainable refrigeration, to a Nigerian entrepreneur who has increased the overall returns to rice farmers through improved quality, enhanced productivity, and guaranteed crop buy-back.


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 United Nations Development Programme

International Chamber of Commerce

United Nations Global Compact

Principles for Responsible Investment



Following the nomination process, Honourees will be selected by an independent committee consisting of Nobel Laureates in peace and economics. The current Award Committee consists of Ouided Bouchamaoui (Tunisia), Shirin Ebadi (Iran), Leymah Gbowee (Liberia), Finn Kydland (Norway), and Eric Maskin (USA).


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Winners of the 2019 Oslo Business for Peace Award will be announced March 20, 2019 and will be presented with the award at Oslo City Hall May 15, 2019 in a public ceremony. Previous winners include Elon Musk (Tesla and SolarCity), Paul Polman (Unilever), Marilyn Carlson Nelson (Carlson Companies), Richard Branson (Virgin Group), Sarah Beydoun (Sarah’s Bag), Edgar Montenegro (Corpocampo), Martin Naughton (Glen Dimplex Group), and Durreen Shahnaz (Impact Investment Exchange).


Learn more about the stories of past winners here

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Humanizing Corporations: David Sloan Wilson in interview with Per L. Saxegaard

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A Prize for Enlightened Business Leaders – A conversation about the Oslo Business for Peace Award with Per L. Saxegaard


 Work can be so much more than money. It might represent a higher meaning, give identity, community, a sense of belonging. I believe these values add to another curve, going the other way, a positive shaped curve (see illustration). This curve is reflecting the effect on your wellbeing of making a difference to other people.

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How does the businessworthy concept differ from corporate social responsibility? What’s wrong with classic economic theory? And what is the result of merging the aim for profit with higher purpose? Learn all this and more in this Evonomics interview with Business for Peace founder and chairman Per L. Saxegaard.


2018 Summit speaker David Sloan Wilson, Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences and Anthropology at Binghamton University, joined him for the conversation.


Read the article at Evonomics


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