The award ceremony was held this morning at the Haus der Wirtschaft building of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Kiel. Recognized as pioneers of a cosmopolitan, economically liberal, and public-spirited society, this year’s laureates are:
- Prof. Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF),
- Bas van Abel, founder and CEO of Fairphone B.V.,
- Prof. Robert Shiller, Ph.D., American economist, Nobel prizewinner, and best-selling author,
Schleswig Holstein Minister of Economic Affairs, Transport, Employment, Technology and Tourism, Dr. Bernd Buchholz, welcomed the assembled guests. He emphasized the importance of dialog between economics, politics, and business, which is the primary goal of the World Economic Prize. “I am delighted that interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration have become such an established reality here in Schleswig-Holstein, as elsewhere. The institutions involved are becoming ever more tightly networked—which benefits us all,” said Buchholz.
Prof. Dennis J. Snower, President of the Institute for the World Economy (IfW), Dr. Ulf Kämpfer, Mayor of the City of Kiel, and Consul Klaus-Hinrich Vater, Vice-President of Schleswig-Holstein Chamber of Commerce and President of the Kiel Chamber of Commerce, presented the prize at a special ceremony.
“Using knowledge to solve global problems and boost international cooperation while putting human prosperity and social well-being at the heart of economic activity is one of the central intentions behind the World Economic Prize.” Commenting on the jury’s decision, Dennis Snower highlighted what this year’s prizewinners have in common: “All three have enabled solutions to the global problems of our time based on the knowledge they have acquired and their responsible use of that knowledge.”
But the three prizewinners are not defined solely by their great thirst for knowledge. They have shared their knowledge for the common good, promoted cooperation and dialog, and made sustainable economic activity possible. With reference to the individual recipients, Snower said:
“As an economic pioneer, Robert Shiller dispelled the notion of rational investors and efficient markets that are self-correcting and always return to equilibrium, while also correctly predicting both the dotcom bubble and the real estate bubble. He made his knowledge of financial markets accessible to broad sections of the population through books and free online courses.
“Bas van Abel shed light on questionable and environmentally damaging conditions in the production of mobile phones and wants to use the Fairphone to encourage consumers and large electronics companies to embrace a new paradigm.
“In founding the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab created a framework that contributes toward addressing global problems, sharing knowledge, and finding collaborative solutions that benefit all parties.”
The Global Economy Prize is an initiative of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and is awarded in close conjunction with the City of Kiel and the IHK Schleswig-Holstein. The aim of the prize is to inspire creative solutions to the global economic challenges of our time. It is awarded annually to influencers in politics, business, and academia, who have made an outstanding contribution to establishing a just and protective society based on individual initiative and responsibility. The award carries no prize money.
Dr. Bernd Buchholz, Schleswig Holstein Minister of Economic Affairs, Transport, Employment, Technology and Tourism:
“Dialog between academia, politics, and business is becoming ever more important in an increasingly complex world. I am delighted that interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration have become such an established reality here in Schleswig-Holstein, as elsewhere. The institutions involved are becoming increasingly tightly networked—which benefits us all.”
Dr. Ulf Kämpfer, Mayor of Kiel:
“For 14 years now, the presentation of the Global Economy Prize has made a significant contribution to addressing issues of global importance. It has become an established fixture in the wide-ranging program of the Kieler Woche and contributes to the festival’s international reputation. My special thanks go to Professor Dennis Snower, who has used the prize to create an important platform for dialog between business, politics, and society.”
Klaus-Hinrich Vater, Vice-President of the IHK Schleswig-Holstein:
“Digitization is accelerating the pace in today’s already fast-moving markets. At the same time, we are seeing protectionist policies that are having a negative impact on world trade. Every company needs to face up to these challenges, which in turn requires a fast and flexible response from employees.”