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Sustainability Right Livelihood Centre of the University of Zurich


16th Right Livelihood Lecture with SOS MEDITERRANEE

The 16th Right Livelihood Lecture will take place at the University of Zurich on 7 December 2023. On this occasion, we will bring the current award-winning organisation SOS MEDITERRANEE to Zurich. 

SOS MEDITERRANEE is a European maritime humanitarian organisation that rescues people in distress in the Mediterranean, the world's deadliest migration route. Since the beginning of its search and rescue operations, the organisation has brought more than 38,500 people to safety. SOS MEDITERRANEE was founded in response to the tragic deaths in the Mediterranean and the European Union's inability to effectively tackle this problem. In addition to providing medical and psychosocial care on the ground, the survivors are also given a voice by having their stories documented by the organisation.

Afterwards, we invite you to an aperitif riche in the atrium. The event will be held in German and English. Admission is free. Registration is required.

To the registration form



2023 Right Livelihood Laureates shine a light on suffering to safeguard lives and nature

Bearing witness to untold suffering, the 2023 Right Livelihood Laureates stand up to save lives, preserve nature and safeguard the dignity and livelihoods of communities around the world. 

They face off against social taboos around abortion in African countries, Cambodia’s authoritarian regime and corrupt businesses, a growing humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean Sea, and unsafe industrial practices in Kenya to demand a liveable future for all.

The 2023 Right Livelihood Award goes to:

Eunice Brookman-Amissah from Ghana “for pioneering discussions on women’s reproductive rights in Africa, paving the way for liberalised abortion laws and improved safe abortion access” (Honorary),

Mother Nature Cambodia “for their fearless and engaging activism to preserve Cambodia’s natural environment in the context of a highly restricted democratic space,”

SOS MEDITERRANEE “for its life-saving humanitarian search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea,” and

Phyllis Omido from Kenya “for her groundbreaking struggle to secure land and environmental rights for local communities while advancing the field of environmental law.”


“The 2023 Right Livelihood Laureates fight for people’s right to health, safety, a clean environment and democracy,” said Ole von Uexkull, Executive Director at Right Livelihood. “These Laureates take a stance to have a say in the affairs of their communities and those affected by harmful and corrupt policies. They care for their land and each human life connected to it: be it Indigenous communities or people risking their lives to get to safety.”

Brookman-Amissah and Mother Nature Cambodia are the first Laureates from Ghana and Cambodia respectively to receive the Right Livelihood Award.

UZH News: "Reality is much more complex"

Sustainability now! The exclamation mark highlights the urgency of the call – a call to action. Theoretical debates on their own cannot solve the numerous global challenges relating to climate change, human rights or social inequality; for sustainable transformation, we need to turn words into deeds. The question is how? How can we turn an idea into action and contribute to sustainable development?

Read the full UZH News article about our centre here.



Lecture Series «Sustainability Now!» Analysing Empowerment for Change

The third edition of our lecture series took place from March to June 2023.. You can find more information under Continuing Education



15th Right Livelihood Lecture with Fartuun Adan and Ilwad Elman

Invitation to the 15th Right Livelihood Lecture

On 23 November 2022, the 15th Right Livelihood Lecture took place at the University of Zurich. Somali human rights defenders Fartuun Adan and Ilwad Elman, came to Zurich for this edition. With their organisation Elman Peace, they developed innovative and culturally specific approaches to support survivors of gender-based violence.

Ole von Uexküll, Prof. Dr. Gesine Krüger, Prof. Dr. Gabriele Siegert and PD. Dr. Aline Steinbrecher led through the evening.




WATER IS A RIGHT - Still Hopeful with Maude Barlow

17 May 2022 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

The Right Livelihood Laureate and human rights activist Maude Barlow will speak in Zurich. 

Portrait of Maude Barlow
Maude Barlow (copyright Wolfgang Schmidt)


Under the title "Water is a Right - Still Hopeful", Maude Barlow will be appearing in the Kleine Aula of the University of Zurich (Rämistrasse 59) on Tuesday, 17 May 2022, at 6.30 pm. During the event, Maude Barlow will present UZH with the official certificate of admission to the Blue Community. The University of Zurich (UZH) has decided to join the international Blue Community network and will receive the certificate at this event. It sees its role in particular in gaining and communicating factual knowledge on the principles of the network in research and teaching. But UZH also wants to make a contribution in its operations by increasing the use of tap water instead of bottled water.
The event will be held in English. Participation is free of charge, registration is not required.

The event will take place in the Kleine Aula of the University of Zurich, Rämistrasse 59 (RAA-G-01). Participation is free of charge, no registration is necessary. The event will be held in English.

UZH Agenda Entry

More Information about Maude Barlow

Flyer (PDF, 248 KB)



Zurich Knowledge Center for Sustainable Development

We are proud to be part of the Zurich Knowledge Center for Sustainable(ZKSD) network and look forward to future exchanges as well as collaboration on contributions for sustainable development.



Video about the Right Livelihood Centre

We proudly present you our centre, which acts as a hub between the Right Livelihood Foundation, the University of Zurich and the public. The centre aims at making a contribution to solving global problems by bringing activism and academia together.
If you want to learn more about the centre and its mission, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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