OSLO, NORWAY – May 16, 2017 – After two days of meetings and celebration, winners of the 2017 Oslo Business for Peace Award, Elon Musk (USA), Harley Seyedin (USA), Durreen Shahnaz (Singapore), and Murad Al-Katib (Canada) were presented their coveted prize at the Oslo City Hall. The Business for Peace Award is the highest recognition a global businessperson can receive. The selection had taken place behind closed doors in London on February 9th, where the independent Award Committee of Nobel Laureates in Peace and Economics decided the 2017 winners from a pool of nominees from over 40 countries put forward by the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).
Celebrations included a private dinner hosted by their Royal Highnesses, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway at their Residence “SKAUGUM”. Speakers included Erna Soleberg, Prime Minister of Norway who also opened the 2017 Business for Peace Roundtable attended by nearly 200 Board Chairs and CEOs from leading global companies, investors, civil societies and politics. The Award Committee included Nobel Peace Laureate Ouided Bouchamaoui, Nobel Economics Laureate Finn Kydland, Governing Mayor of the City of Oslo Raymond Johansen, and Board Chair of Business for Peace Foundation Per Saxegaard.
The Oslo Business for Peace Award is not bestowed in recognition of philanthropy or for corporate social responsibility. It is given to individual business leaders who are willing to take risks and who challenge and inspire their surroundings, in order to reach a better union between business and society. The award is conferred when enlightened leadership has a business contributing to the potential between business and society, rather than retreating to claims that “the business of business is business”.
Award Committee member Ouided Bouchamaoui stated: “This year again, the Business for Peace Nominees are the proof that working ethically and looking for sustainable development is viable and worthy. The nominees are accomplished entrepreneurs helping people in need and showing the world that being businessworthy can also serve the values of trade.”
Elon Musk (USA)
Elon Musk receives the Award for his leadership of the way forward in the automotive industry, and for his showcasing of business’ ability to help confront and solve the world’s most demanding and complex problems. The battery technology of Tesla has recently been successfully combined with solar energy in his company SolarCity, USA’s second largest provider of solar systems.
Dr. Harley Seyedin (USA)
Dr. Harley Seyedin is an Iranian immigrant to USA, who has spent his life building a multi-national electricity and low carbon infrastructure development business with great success in China and Southeast Asia. He has lived more than 20 years in China and for the past 12 years he has held the position as president of the American Chamber of Commerce in South China.
Murad Al-Katib (Canada)
Murad Al-Katib, son of Turkish immigrants to Canada, receives the Award for his entrepreneurship in leading the way in sustainable agriculture and contributing to feeding millions of refugee families in the Syrian crisis. His company AGT Food and Ingredients is one of the world’s largest lentil companies, handling about a quarter of the global supply.
Durreen Shahnaz (Singapore)
Durreen Shahnaz receives the award for her work in spearheading the transformation of the way financial and capital markets work, focusing on purpose and maximizing impact. Her work in Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), the world’s first stock exchange dedicated to social enterprises – which she founded in 2009, has positively impacted 10 million lives to date.
Please find the justification for the Honorees here.