Global Economy Prize 2021

05 Sep 2021

The Global Economy Prize is awarded to pioneers of a cosmopolitan, economically liberal, and public-spirited society. The 2021 prize winners are Dr. Göran Persson, Prof. Dr. Michael Otto and Prof. Xuemei Bai, Ph.D.

Rathaus Kiel
Invitation only
The award ceremony at Kiel’s City Hall.

Prize Winners

Xuemei Bai Portrait Photo

Category: Economics

Prof. Xuemei Bai, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor, Urban Environment and Human Ecology, Australian National University, Canberra

The jury's reasoning:

Professor Xumei Bai is not only a pioneer and leading expert in interdisciplinary urban sustainability research but also a skillful and dedicated policy adviser. Her rare talent to transform state of the art research into practical policy recommendations and her deep understanding of the complexity of the drivers and environmental impacts of urbanization made her to one of the most influential thought leaders in urban sustainability transitions worldwide.”

Website: Australian National University


Göran Persson Portrait

Category: Politics

Dr. Göran Persson

Former Minister President of Sweden 

The jury's reasoning:

Göran Persson paved Sweden’s path towards one of the most successful nations in environmental policy. Despite short-sighted populist resistance, he ranked sustainable development high on his political agenda and introduced policy measures that went far beyond the requirements of the Kyoto protocol. His strong personal commitment to environmental protection and his willingness and courage to turn this commitment into concrete legislation made him a veritable beacon in environmental and climate policy worldwide.

Website: Swedbank - Board of Directors


Portrait Michael Otto

Category: Business

Prof. Dr. Michael Otto

Chairman of the Otto Group Supervisory Board

The jury's reasoning:

"Michael Otto is not only an extraordinarily successful entrepreneur who, by acting with foresight, succeeded in leading the traditional Otto mail-order-business into the digital age and successfully positioned it against market giants such as Amazon, but for more than 25 years he has also set groundbreaking standards as a fervent advocate and constant promoter of nature and environmental protection. As early as 1993, he founded the Michael Otto Foundation for Environmental Protection which promotes forward-looking projects in environmental and nature conservation and promotes social dialogue on sustainable development. In 2005 he initiated the Aid by Trade Foundation with the aim of improving the economic and ecological living conditions of small cotton farmers and their families in sub-Saharan Africa. As co-founder of the initiative 2° - German Entrepreneurs for Climate Protection, he is also a role model and pioneer of entrepreneurial environmental protection".

Website: michael-otto.info