Jakob Von Uexkull
Jakob Von Uexkull is a professional Philatelist who has used the value of his rare stamps as a source of funds for the creation of a Foundation.
The son of a journalist and grandson of a biologist, Jakob Von Uexkull is a 43 year old Swedish-German writer, politician and philatelic expert. After receiving schooling in Sweden and Germany he obtained a scholarship to Oxford where he gained a Masters Degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. After graduating he became a free-lance journalist and translator specialising in political and environmental issues while living in Germany, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Great Britain. From 1984 to 1989 he was a Member of the European Parliament for the German Greens. He is author of “Der Alternative Nobelpreis” (Dianus Trikont 1986).
In 1980 Jakob Von Uexkull approached the Nobel Prize Foundation with the suggestion that it establish a new award recognising the efforts of people tackling the challenges of to-day more directly. This idea was rejected by the Nobel Foundation so, in 1980, after selling his holdings of rare postage stamps, he founded the Right Livelihood Foundation. The endowment of £600,000, approximately one million dollars, funded an award “to honour and support those working on practical and exemplary solutions to the most urgent problems facing us to-day”. To-day, thanks to additional contributions, the Foundation is able to donate awards worth a minimum of £130,000 (200,000 dollars annually).
The Right Livelihood Awards Foundation is a charity which is registered in Sweden, Germany and the Isle of Man with representation in England, India and the United States. Its annual award ceremony is held in the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm and the awards are presented by Jakob Von Uexkull, the Foundation’s Chairman. It has no association with any political or religious groups. The recipients of the awards are chosen annually by an international jury in such areas as environmental protection, peace and disarmament, human rights and development, health, education, housing and technology.
The Right Livelihood Awards Foundation aims to help the West to find a wisdom to match its science and the third World to find a science to match its ancient wisdom.