Peace Prize Proposal for Sustainable Development

Thank you for supporting our effort to have the Nobel Peace Prize (themed for Sustainable Development) awarded jointly to the Club of RomeDr. Herman Daly, and Pope Francis.

This is a Peace Prize proposal, not a proposal for a new kind of Nobel Prize.  In the Nobel Committee’s own words, “The Nobel Peace Prize 2004 was awarded to Wangari Maathai “for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.”

This is also not a proposal that all economic growth should end.  Clearly some growth in the developing nations is needed to lift people out of poverty. But the unquestioned axiom of the current NeoClassical growth economics taught in all business schools is that all nations, corporations, businesses, etc. are benefitted by unending, exponential growth, when we have passed the point where growth in the scale of the human economy is reducing our well-being, making us ‘poorer’ in fact.  The proposal questions this universal axiom of the current economic system.

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Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of the Nobel Committee:

I am writing to ask you to award the coming year's Nobel Peace Prize to key figures in the field of Sustainable Development constituted as follows:

1 - The Club of Rome, for its bold foresight in commissioning the seminal Limits to Growth study and report done at MIT and published in 1972. With this organizational candidate the award recognition would encompass the Club of Rome as well as the authors of the Limits to Growth study itself, Donella Meadows, Dennis Meadows, and Jorgen Randers.

2 - Herman Daly, former World Bank Senior Economist, widely recognized as the father of Ecological Economics, a practical alternative to the current mainstream growth economics, which ignores the limits to Earth's resources and its ability to absorb our wastes. His work spawned legions of sustainability practitioners, consultants, managers, researchers and implementation by enlightened institutions, corporations and governments.

3 - Pope Francis, for his strong advocacy of sustainable development in the face of society’s present unsustainable economic mainstream, which puts at risk poorer peoples and nations, and eventually all of humanity. He courageously returns the world's focus to the damage the current economic system is doing to people and planet. His 2015 Papal Encyclical, Laudato Si', transformed conversation, bringing into clear focus the conflict between our present unsustainable, consumptive, and wasteful economic model and the well-being of humanity and natural systems.

The Club of Rome tilled the soil so that the field now known as Sustainable Development might come into being. Herman Daly formulated and refined seeds to be planted and cultivated by a host of practitioners and teachers of Sustainable Development. Pope Francis has tirelessly cultivated and promoted the field by illuminating the need for a sustainable alternative to current development patterns that marginalize, exploit and harm people and Nature, creating inequity, strife, suffering and tearing apart the very fabric of Nature that supports all of life on Earth.

The award of this Peace Prize is not only deserved, but will help stimulate a paradigm shift from the present unsustainable economic growth model to a sustainable one where a) improvements in the quality of life are valued more highly than increases in financial wealth and the gross amount produced and discarded (GDP), and b) wealth and well-being are more equitably distributed than with the current system that is predicated upon the increasing concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands.

These three candidates are all considered integral to this proposed Peace Prize for Sustainable Development.

This is a most timely award and I urge the Nobel Committee to consider further elaboration of why these candidates are worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize at the website NP4SD.org. I sincerely appreciate your consideration of this forward-looking Peace Prize.

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