2015, 2016, and 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Nomination


Left: Bertha von Suttner, Ein Leben für den Frieden
Right: Front side of one of the Nobel Prize medals in Physiology or Medicine awarded in 1950 to researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Sculptor and engraver: Erik Lindberg (1873-1966).
Derivative of File: NobelPrize.JPG

Dear Friend!

Please be invited to share the honor!

We warmly congratulate the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 for their crucially important work, Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016, and the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015! We also warmly congratulate all recipients of the prize since 2017!

At the same time, we are still very thankful that also our global dignity work was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015 (Pdf | Pdf | URL), and again in 2016 (Pdf | Pdf | URL), and in 2017 (Pdf | URL). We are celebrating all the remarkable individuals and groups who were nominated as candidates, whose work was regarded to be in resonance with the will of Alfred Nobel and his inspirer Bertha von Suttner, who in 1889 wrote the path-breaking book, Die Waffen nieder! or Lay Down Your Arms! Nobel's intention was "that his prize should benefit the 'champions of peace'," "the movement and the persons who work for a demilitarized world, for law to replace power in international politics, and for all nations to commit to cooperating on the elimination of all weapons instead of competing for military superiority."

We are delighted that our Founding President Evelin Lindner was included in the list of nominees, as representative of our Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies network. This nomination was an affirmation of our global dignity work and Evelin Lindner's more than forty years of loving service and action to bring peace and dignity into the lives of all people, in equal dignity, diversity, humility, and mutually beneficial collaboration.

Bertha von Suttner has inspired the will of Alfred Nobel and we feel very close to her spirit. Our dignity work is based on the African Ubuntu philosophy "I am because of you!" of which Bishop Desmond Tutu has offered a wonderful explanation (see also the Foreword he kindly contributed to Evelin Lindner's book on "big love" in 2010). The nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize has protected many of our network members around the world who put themselves in harm's way by speaking up for dignity. This nomination is therefore also YOUR nomination! YOUR support and YOUR work are crucial for bringing more dignity into this world!

We therefore are deeply grateful for the nominations in 2015 and 2016 by Geir Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oslo. From 2015 to 2016, he was president of the European Association of Social Anthropologists. He is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. We are very thankful for his important "Message to the World" that he recorded on November 20, 2021, for the 2021 Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict, Virtual at Columbia University, New York City, December 9 – 11, 2021.

We are equally thankful to Inga Bostad for her nomination in 2017. Inga Bostad is Professor of Philosophy at the Department of Education of the University of Oslo in Norway. She is head of the research group HumStud, Humanities Studies in Pedagogy and project leader of the comparative research group NordEd (The Nordic Education Model). She is also Professor 2 at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. She was appointed director for the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights at the Faculty of Law at the University of Oslo from 2014–2017. She was elected Pro-Rector for the University of Oslo from 2009–2013 and the first appointed Vice-Rector for the University of Oslo from 2006–2009. Inga Bostad hosted the launch of the World Dignity University initiative at the University of Oslo on June 24, 2011, when she was the Pro-Rector of the University. She offered important reflections in the aftermath of the terror attacks in Norway on July 22, 2011, and warm greetings to the 2021 Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict.

You are warmly invited to see Evelin's reflections that she composed in 2015 on this honor further down or as Pdf.

It would be wonderful if you would like to offer encouraging words to our global dignity family around the world, you are warmly invited to do so here.

Altogether, the Nobel Committee received a total of 276 nominations for the 2015 Peace Prize, thereof 227 nominations of individuals and 49 nominations of organizations (this was slightly down from 2014, when a record high of 278 nominations were submitted). In 2017, 318 nominations came in. Each year, the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) compiles a preliminary list of nominations which are publicly known prior to the announcement of the actual recipient. See here the 2015 list.

The 2015 Nobel Peace Prize for the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet was announced by Kaci Kullmann Five, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo, Norway. The 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos was announced on 7th October 2016. The 2017 Prize for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was announced on 6th October 2017. We appreciate the reflections shared by Berit Reiss-Andersen, head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, on Norwegian television on 6th October 2017.

Evelin Lindner reflecting on being nominated for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize:

Dear Friend!

Please allow me to begin with joining in with the congratulations to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015 for their crucially important work!

Allow me then to express my deepest admiration for all those individuals and groups who were nominated for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize. I would also like to profoundly thank all those who included me in this nomination in recognition of the efforts of our dignity community. I so much appreciate their wish to nurture and protect the message of this prize – for the sake of peace and in the spirit of peace – a message that perhaps has never been as timely as now, when global crises call for windows of opportunity to be used rather than neglected.

To be counted among the extraordinary individuals and groups considered to be worthy of fulfilling Alfred Nobel's will is a humbling, breathtaking, and overwhelming honor. It gives me the courage to explore how my own life project connects with the efforts of many past Nobel Laureates. In particular, I think of Bertha von Suttner, who was not only the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1905. Her work was Alfred Nobel's inspiration for including peace as a category among awards for chemistry, physics, physiology, medicine, and literature.

The message of von Suttner's 1889 novel, Die Waffen nieder! (Lay Down Your Arms!), is both daring and path-breaking. I read it when I was an adolescent, and since then, it has always stayed in my mind. When I re-read her book now, I was deeply touched by its power, and how it provides direction and courage to us as much now as when it was written. Bertha von Suttner forged a trail and a tradition of peace work that set the highest of standards. It is at the heart of Alfred Nobel's vision of demilitarization and the soul of the Nobel Peace Prize. Her example places an enormous responsibility on humanity's shoulders to stay true to it. Personally, I profoundly feel this responsibility and it shapes and defines every minute of my life.

Gratitude, questions, and dilemmas

In the midst of feelings of great honor and gratitude, this nomination challenges me to also reflect on questions and dilemmas associated with this highest of prizes. I am keenly aware that these dilemmas need to be explained. For example, I know that bringing peace and dignity into the world is not possible through individual achievement. It cannot be derived from recognition resulting from receiving an award. Awards and recognitions can bring attention to an important cause, yet, awards can also be misunderstood or even misused.

This nomination is an opportunity to let everybody know that our HumanDHS work is always about the message, not about the messenger. In other words, our nomination does not mean that I am in a "race" for "winning." Such concepts are antithetical to the very spirit of our dignity work. I wish this nomination to be understood as a recognition of our collective work in the past, and an encouragement of our collective efforts as a community in the future. If "good luck" wishes or "congratulations" messages were sent to me as an individual, this would rather sadden me because I would feel that my mission has failed. Instead, all of us deserve good luck with our efforts. All of us deserve congratulations for uniting as a global community dedicated to bringing dignity and peace into the lives of others.

I see this nomination as a call for compassionate action and cooperation. We can't wait for politicians, global leaders, or even Nobel Prize winners to lead us to the peace we seek in the world. A global citizens movement is the only force, in my view, that is large enough to face the scope of present-day obstacles to peace. Enduring dignified and dignifying peace requires gathering a global community of collaborators who share in this effort and maintain it over long periods of time, also in the face of daunting adversity. The path to peace grows by cultivating mutually dignifying relationships, relationships that realize the spirit of the African concept of Ubuntu, "I am because we are." 

Therefore, I can only feel comfortable with an individual nomination by making utterly clear that my contribution is to serve and nurture a global dignity movement. I am thankful that the nomination gives me a special opportunity to emphasize the significance of connection and collaboration in our shared endeavor to offer our next generation a world that is as peaceful and dignified as possible.

There is also another dilemma, that of different approaches to peace. Working globally, I strive to manifest peace and dignity in every step of my efforts, aspiring to dignity in all actions and initiatives – at least as much as it stands in my power (we all are children of our time and are per definition limited by being blind to our own blindness). This emphasis stands in contrast to other long-held approaches – please allow me to briefly explain. During the past millennia of human history, the world was much less interconnected than now. In a compartmentalized world the security dilemma reigned: "I have to amass weapons, because I am scared. When I amass weapons, you get scared. You amass weapons, I get more scared." In the context of a strong security dilemma, out-group relations follow the motto of Vegetius, "if you want peace, prepare for war," or that of Carl von Clausewitz, "the best defense is a good offense." In such a context, it appears to be prudent to build strong-arm systems that define peace in terms of either overpowering control or at least a balance of power. In such a context, only what I call "small peace" is possible – some peace agreements here and there until the security dilemma makes itself salient again and undoes them – and while it is extremely praiseworthy to work for "small peace," the larger context itself resists deeper change.

At the present historical juncture, the unprecedented level of global interconnectedness forces us to deeply rethink methods that grew out of the logic of the security dilemma. We can no longer afford to be content with peace defined as demonstrations of strength, domination, and control, and even peace defined as successful conflict resolution is not enough. We need to aim for more ambitious manifestations of peace. There is a need to be the practice of the peace we seek. As Gandhi observed, "There is no path to peace. Peace is the path."

My forty years of living globally have demonstrated to me in myriad ways, small and large, that in a globally interconnected world escalating militarization no longer works, and even the making of "small peace" is insufficient. Particularly when cycles of humiliation traverse the globe in high speed, amplified by new technology, this creates a short-term thin illusion of security, a mirage. Humanity is at a crossroad, interconnectedness represents a profoundly new reality, where traditional strategies of domination that might have offered victory in the past now become collectively suicidal. Also local peace agreements ("small peace") risk failing more than before, because nothing is local when a global context holds it hostage. It is overdue to move beyond being warriors, even warriors for peace.

We can, and we must do better. We need to commit ourselves to doing everything in our power to prevent the seeds of indignities from ever being planted. This means leaving behind traditions of competition for domination – be it domination over people or nature – it means preventing and reversing cycles of humiliation and violence. It means cultivating a global climate of equal dignity instead, enriched by a spirit of unity in our human diversity.

Some may suspect that I am a starry-eyed idealist, yet nothing could be further from the truth. My experience as a citizen of the world has taught me that, indeed, "if we want peace, we must prepare for peace," by patiently and persistently repairing, rebuilding, and replenishing relationships. This can be manifested at all levels – from micro to meso to macro levels – by focusing all energy on nurturing the social fabric of relationships, rather than hollowing it out for the sake of maximum profit, or fracturing it for the sake of glorious domination. Ultimately, nurturing relationships will be the most practical, efficient, and sustainable path to peace in our age of interconnectedness – and everyone can join in this effort. The future of humanity depends on our capacity to live within our planetary boundaries in mutually dignifying relationships. "It takes a village to raise a child" is an African saying. Nowadays, it takes the global village to raise its children. A world full of guns pointing at each other cannot manifest dignity, a world committed to wanting to "crush the enemy" will commit collective suicide. Even local peace efforts are too weak. Only shared responsibility for nurturing the social fabric of the global village can turn the social and ecological crises of this village into opportunities.

It is time to overcome the security dilemma altogether and build global trust instead. For the first time in human history, we can: we have all the means to do so, we have all the knowledge. It is time for "big peace." This is precisely the spirit in which we do our global dignity work. Global disarmament, the "big peace" that Bertha von Suttner and Alfred Nobel had in mind, is only possible in a world that intentionally builds global trust. Trust cannot be bought, it has to be nurtured and earned through love. With our global dignity work, we aim to create a seed of a global community of loving trust. Human beings are social beings, they are capable of love, and they offer it to their in-groups. With our dignity work, we strive to manifest humanity as a global in-group.

A Swedish based peace education project is called The Dream of the Good. All living Nobel Peace Laureates (UN Resolution 54/, 243B) call for a global movement for a culture of peace and the teaching of non-violence in all schools around the world.

As many other questions and dilemmas are brought to mind by this nomination, please allow me to share one more. With great sincerity and respect, I recognize the tradition of secrecy that surrounds the naming of nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize and its important rationales and benefits. For me, humility and modesty are at the core of dignity, and therefore also at the core of our dignity work. To be true to this stance of humility, we initially considered keeping our nomination confidential. Yet, it soon became clear that it would have been irresponsible to deprive the members of our global dignity family around the world. Since February 2015, the nominations have had invaluable results for our global community. In a world where speaking up for dignity is often difficult or even life-threatening, this nomination has brought greater safety and support to members who dare to speak up, even when at risk. And since our work is profoundly in line with Alfred Nobel's intentions, we feel that protecting the members of our global dignity family through this speaking about this nomination in public is justified.

We speak of our nomination in terms of mutual encouragement (rather than "winning a prize"), as Bertha von Suttner's message is manifested in our approach more radically than may be apparent at first glance – for instance, by nurturing what we call dignicommunication. The crossroad at which humanity now stands calls for exceptional interventions. Humanity needs a wake-up call to see and grasp the historical opportunity for dignified peace, rather than allowing the arena to be dominated by the noise of the drama flowing from ceaseless confrontation. We enthusiastically join in celebrating the creativity and courage of all those nominees who do crucial peace-generating, world-saving work, and who, by their actions, walk the talk of peace.

We value the Nobel Peace Prize highly and wish to do whatever we can to contribute to protecting and nurturing its message, a message that is more important than ever, as we stand at a crossroad where a window of opportunity for radical global peace stands open. The group of scholars and thinkers who nominated our dignity work is motivated by a deep-felt wish to protect Alfred Nobel's message, and their choice to make their nominations public is to be seen in this context.

My ongoing outlook

The image of the Blue Planet stands for a historically unprecedented time, a call to re-evaluate everything that history has taught humankind so far. I wonder why we, as humankind at large, seem to overlook the historic opportunity that is open to us, a window that may not stay open for much longer. Why do we overlook that we can co-create a decent world for future generations, a future without war in any of its forms? Why are military budgets still so big? Human rights ideals promise equality in dignity, why is inequality on the rise? Why do so few people grasp the fact that global interconnectedness makes a world without war more feasible than ever? Why do so many people, when asked to escape from the maelstrom of war, remain caught in the past, thus re-creating it, and effectively closing down the very window of opportunity? Why do the world's citizens allow a global government/corporate nexus to be stuck in out-of-date competition for domination, competition that fuels war, violence, and environmental destruction? Above all, I ask, how can we work together to harvest the best of what helps create a dignified future, and leave behind what stands in the way?

Our HumanDHS community is one way of working together to bring forth the best of what helps create a dignified future for all people. Each of us is contributing according to our ability, and thanks to all of you, throughout the past decade, we have nurtured a dedication to dignity on all continents. We have formed a global family of scholars, activists, organizers, educators, and many others who join us on this long and hard path to peace. We walk our talk by being a social movement that nurtures diversity, we are not a traditional top-down organization where only one opinion rules. This means also that not all of my opinions are necessarily shared by all members in our movement, nor should they. In a world in which the concept of Homo dominator and Homo economicus seems to be the call of the day, our work flourishes by sharing the ego-free, renewable "super fuels" of Homo amans, the "loving human being". Those "super fuels" are love and humility.

This nomination shines a light on the importance of our shared quest. In celebrating this nomination, I urge us to remember that our efforts together are much bigger and more important than any prize. I wish to express my personal gratitude to the many thousands of members of our global dignity movement: it is your courage-through-connection that energizes our efforts to build a world that dignifies the lives of all people.

At this point, I wish to express particular appreciation to those at the very core of our dignity work. This work is possible only through holding hands with Linda Hartling in shared ubuntu-satyagraha leadership and through the support of such pillars of our work as Rick Slaven, Michael Britton, and Uli Spalthoff.

I call on each of you to realize that my nomination is your nomination for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize!

With loving gratitude,

Evelin Lindner, MD, PhDs
Founding President, Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies
November 2015

Please see also:
Linda Hartling and Evelin Lindner in Dignilogue on the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Nomination of Our Dignity Work, December 3, 2015 (Video | PowerPoint)
Evelin Lindner and Linda Hartling contributed to the Public Event on the afternoon of December 3, 2015, at the 12th Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict, which took place at Columbia University in New York City, December 3 - 4, 2013. Linda Hartling is the Director of the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HumanDHS) network. Evelin Lindner is the founding president of the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies network and she explains the background of, and the intentions behind the Nobel Peace Prize. See also her reflections on her 2015 nomination, and meet the inspirer of the prize, Bertha von Suttner. We very much thank Gabriela Saab for the video-taping!

"The Real News about Nobel's Peace Prize Is Here and It Isn't Trump," PressInfo # 361, TFF Transnational Foundation for Peace & Future Research, February 12, 2016.

Ingunn Norderval (2015). Nobelkomiteen og kvinnene 1901-1960. Oslo: Internasjonal kvinneliga for fred og frihet.
Ingunn Norderval (2021). Women and the Nobel Peace Prize. Portland, Oregon: Dignity Press.

Trump – Putin Could Rescue the World – and Win the Nobel Peace Prize, by Fredrik S. Heffermehl, in Defence and intelligence Norway, posted on 25th February 2017. Fredrik S. Heffermehl is a lawyer and author (nobelwill.org), author of The Nobel Peace Prize – What Nobel Really Wanted.

Your comments

Each of us plays a vital role in bringing greater dignity and peace into the world. In recognition and appreciation of our global collaboration, we would love to hear your reflections, that is, what inspires your efforts and ongoing commitment to cultivating dignity and peace in the world? Thank you for allowing us to share your reflections with the many members of our global dignity family.

You are warmly invited to post your message here (see the first messages here).

Your words will encourage our HumanDHS community and encourage all who work for a world of peace, a world that dignifies the lives of all people.

Comment from Nobel Peace Prize Watch on the day of the 2019 announcement

Oslo / Gothenburg, October 11, 2019
To the media
I am just back from a conference in Prague that celebrated the 130th anniversary of peace advocate Bertha von Suttner´s main contribution to humanity’s future – Die Waffen nieder, Lay Down your Arms. Her novel, the main inspiration behind the Nobel Peace Prize, is the main key to understanding the intention behind the peace prize. Will this intention finally be clearly respected when the Norwegian committee announces the 2019 prize only an hour from now (11 a.m.)
Suttner´s book, a passionate attack on militarism and war, is world heritage ignited the imagination and enthusiasm of the period. A disarmed world became a real political alternative. The idea of breaking with the military tradition was never stronger. Regrettably, the greatest idea of Suttner not only died, it is being murdered every day, all over the world, and even in its presumably safest haven, Norway. The Norwegian Nobel Committee has picked many fine laureates, but has failed the idea of global disarmament.
The military concept of security threatens us with instant incineration, it neither offers security nor can it help against the many very real threats to health and survival. Nobel Peace Prize Watch has for 12 years worked intensely to inform and make the world see the urgent necessity of bringing Suttner’s greatest idea back to life. We hope the 2019 will bring a breakthrough for the visionary idea of security by global co-operation, international law, disarmament.
Additional Comments from the Nobel Peace Prize Watch: Norway: Fredrik S. Heffermehl, Sweden: Tomas Magnusson