The winners of the Global Economy Prize 2016 have been confirmed. Now in its twelfth year, the aim of the award, presented by the Kiel Institute in partnership with the City of Kiel and the Schleswig-Holstein Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK), is to inspire solutions to the major economic challenges that face the world today. Honored as pioneers of a cosmopolitan, economically liberal, and public-spirited society, this year’s laureates are:
- Mario Monti, Italian economist and politician, former European Commissioner for Competition and Prime Minister of Italy. Category: Politics
- Friede Springer, German publisher, majority shareholder and Vice Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of Axel Springer SE. Category: Business
- Oliver E. Williamson, Professor Emeritus of Business, Economics, and Law at the University of California, Berkeley, Nobel Laureate in Economics.Category: Economics.
Update May 11, 2016:
Economist Oliver E. Williamson, nominated in the Economics category of the Global Economy Prize, is unfortunately unable to attend the award ceremony in Kiel for personal reasons. The prize will therefore not be awarded in this category in 2016. We very much regret this and intend to award the prize to Oliver Williamson in a future year.
“All our laureates were courageous enough to give up very comfortable positions and place their energy and talents, sometimes in the face of considerable resistance, in the service of a higher cause,” said Kiel Institute President Dennis Snower about this year’s winners. “All three have made an outstanding contribution in their new roles, working toward a free and responsible society with shared social values and thus helping to create fertile conditions for the resolution of global problems,” added Snower.
Mario Monti (Politics laureate) was praised by the Lord Mayor of Kiel, Ulf Kämpfer, as a pugnacious thinker and political visionary. “As an internationally respected economics professor, he had the courage to put theory into practice and curbed the power of major corporations during his time in Brussels—for the benefit of all consumers. He then introduced crucial reforms in his own country—despite major resistance—and has always been a passionate advocate of the European idea. That advocacy is more important today than ever.”
Friede Springer (Business laureate) showed outstanding discipline and perseverance after the death of her husband, the publisher Axel Springer, as she guided the company out of a major crisis and into a new media age. “She was just as committed to the well-being of her employees as she was to journalism based on the fundamental values of liberty and peace,” said Klaus-Hinrich Vater, Vice-President of the Schleswig-Holstein Chamber of Commerce and Industry and also President of the IHK in Kiel. “Unswayed by prevailing trends, this exceptional individual is making a positive contribution to European solidarity and the commitment to Western values and the Western family of nations.”
Oliver E. Williamson (Economics laureate) gave up a secure position as an engineer to pursue original research in no fewer than three scientific disciplines. “With his insights into transaction costs and business mergers, he made a significant contribution to the emergence of a new competition policy,” said Dennis Snower. “Thanks to him, we now have much more effective regulation, which benefits society as a whole. He has also rendered outstanding service to inter-disciplinary dialogue and thus laid the foundations for other important research.”
The Global Economy Prize award ceremony will be held on Sunday, June 19, during the Kieler Woche festival, at the Haus der Wirtschaft building in Kiel. All three laureates are expected to attend. The German Minister of Finance, Wolfgang Schäuble, will give an address.