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Organization: Nobel Peace Prize Forum
The following information may be cited or quoted as long as the source is accurately mentioned and the words are not taken out of context.
Posted: May 01 2010,07:05 If you wrote this report, you will find a button here that you may click
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Postal address of organization/institution

Luther College
700 College Drive,    
Decorah, IA  52101

E-mail address of organization/institution


Website address of organization/institution


Telephone of organization/institution

PRIORITIES: All of the organization's domains of culture of peace activity


TOP PRIORITY: The organization's most important culture of peace activity


PARTNERSHIPS AND NETWORKS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

--The Norwegian Nobel Institute (Oslo, Norway) is a co-sponsor with the 5 colleges of the Forum.  This association is the only one the Institute has outside Norway.

ACTIONS: What activities have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the ten years of the Decade? If you already made a report in 2005, your information from 2005 will be included in the 2010 report.

History of the Peace Prize Forum

In cooperation with the Norwegian Nobel Institute, five Midwestern colleges of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America sponsor the annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum. This prestigious event is the Norwegian Nobel Institute's only such program or academic affiliation outside Norway.

The colleges, all founded by Norwegian immigrants, sponsor the forum to give recognition to Norway’s international peace efforts and to offer opportunities for Nobel Peace Prize laureates, diplomats, scholars, and the general public to share in dialogue on the dynamics of peacemaking and the underlying causes of conflict and war.

Begun in 1989 with generous annual support from Lutheran Brotherhood (now Thrivent Financial for Lutherans), the Nobel Peace Prize Forum’s stimulating array of programs have involved over 21,000 participants and reached a much broader audience through national and regional media coverage.

Among the many who are inspired by the forums, students perhaps receive the greatest impact. Exposure to world leaders who work tirelessly for peace can be life-changing as young people learn that peacemaking is both possible and honorable. When students and other forum participants see and hear the likes of Elie Wiesel, Oscar Arias Sanchez, Jody Williams, and David Trimble, the messages of peace and peacekeeping become even more personal and powerful. In fact, the colleges note a connection between the Nobel Peace Prize Forum and the increasing number of their students studying abroad or pursuing volunteer service at home or overseas upon graduation.

With the invaluable assistance of Dr. Geir Lundestad, executive director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, the forums have benefited from the participation of a host of Nobel laureates and other thought-provoking speakers. The sponsoring colleges are indebted to Dr. Lundestad, Thrivent, and members of the Executive Committee for 15 years of support. The Nobel Peace Prize Forum is a unique, transformative learning opportunity for U.S. citizens; it provides an unparalleled opportunity to inspire future generations to become full participants in peacemaking efforts round the world.

2000 Striving for Peace: Risk and Reconciliation
St. Olaf College

· David Trimble, 1998 co-laureate
· Denis Haughey, representing Northern Ireland political leader John Hume, 1998 co-laureate
· Additional Speakers: J. Bryan Hehir, Harvard Divinity School, and Sissela Bok, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies

2001 Striving for Peace: Crossing Borders/Challenging Boundaries
Luther College

· Médicins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders, 1999 laureate (group), represented by Dr. Morten Rostrup, International President
·Additional Speakers: Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, human rights activist, J. Brian Atwood, former head of U.S. Agency for International Development

2002 Striving for Peace: Who is Responsible?
Augustana College

·Sung Chul Yang, South Korean Ambassador to the United States, representing 2000 laureate Kim Dae Jung, President of South Korea
·Additional Speaker: Craig Kielburger, Free the Children founder and children’s rights spokesperson

2003 Striving for Peace: A World Without Borders
Concordia College

·U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, 2001 laureate (invited)
·Additional Speakers: Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, Dr. Geir Lundestad, and Vice President Walter Mondale

2004 Striving for Peace: Roots of Change A World Without Borders
St. Olaf College

·President Jimmy Carter, 2002 laureate
·Additional Speakers: Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director-General of WHO and former Prime Minister of Norway; Eboo Patel, Director of Interfaith Youth Core

2005 Striving for Peace: Uniting for Justice
Augsburg College

·Shirin Ebadi, 2003 laureate (invited)
·Keynote speaker: Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
·Additional Speakers: Davar Ardalan, Producer, National Public Radio; Dr. Sima Samatar, chair, Afghanistan Human Rights commissions and Founder of Shuhada Organization; Frances Moore Lappe, author

2006 Striving for Peace: Uniting for Justice
Luther College

·Wangari Maathai 2004 laureate
·Additional Speakers: Christine Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey and EPA Chief; Michael Osterholm, Director, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

2007 Striving for Peace: The Impact of One
Augustana College

·Dr. Mohamed Elbaradei and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) 2005 laureate
·Additional Speakers: Kjell Magne Bondevik, founder and president of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights, former Prime Minister of Norway

2008 Striving for Peace: Investing in Community
Concordia College

·Muhammad Yunus 2006 laureate
·Additional Speakers: Greg Mortenson, executive director, Asia Institute, author; Jeffrey Sachs, director, The Earth Institute at Columbia University; Nicholas Kristof, columnist, New York Times

2009 Striving for Peace: A Climate for Change
St. Olaf College

·Al Gore (invited) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2005 laureate
·Additional Speakers: Richard Alley, professor of geosciences at Pennsylvania State University; Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Senator from Minnesota; Majora Carter, president of the Majora Carter Group


'Striving for Peace: A Question of Will'
March 5-6, Augsburg College

The theme for the 2010 Forum, “Striving for Peace: A Question of Will,” honors 2008 Nobel Peace Laureate Martti Ahtisaari. Mr. Ahtisaari will present the opening keynote address at the 2010 Forum at Augsburg College.

Picture of Martti Ahtisaari.Martti Ahtisaari, former president of Finland, was awarded the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize for his important efforts to resolve international conflicts. He has served for more than three decades on several continents to resolve conflicts in Namibia (1989-90), Kosovo (1999 and 2005-07), and Aceh province, Indonesia (2005). In 2000 Mr. Ahtisaari founded the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI), an independent, non-profit organization that innovatively combines analysis, action and advocacy to build a wide stakeholder network to promote sustainable security and to strengthen the capacity of the international community comprehensive crisis management and conflict resolution. These efforts have contributed to a more peaceful world and to "fraternity between nations" in Alfred Nobel’s spirit.


Kjell Magne Bondevik served twice as prime minister of Norway, most recently until 2005. The next year he founded the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights, established to focus international work in the areas of human rights, democracy, and inter-religious and intercultural dialogue. At the second plenary session Bondevik  will engage in dialogue with Martti Ahtisaari about the role of small states in peacebuilding and the work in which their organizations are engaged.

Leymah Gbowee, executive director of Women Peace and Security Network–Africa, will end the forum at the third plenary session with a call to action for citizens to participate in peacemaking. After living with violence in Liberia for 13 years, she organized and led the women of her country, both Christian and Muslim, in a mass action to force the warring factions in Liberia to attend peace talks. The story of her leadership and the women’s movement is featured in the film, Pray the Devil Back to ####, which will be shown at the forum.

Note: Information on forums prior to 2000 may be found at http://www.peaceprizeforum.org

PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the second half of the Decade?

See actions above

OBSTACLES: Has your organization faced any obstacles to implementing the culture of peace and nonviolence? If so, what were they?

The following were reported in 2005:

Lack of a visible goal and accompanying program for the Decade makes it difficult for some participants to see the connections to the Decade.

Nevertheless, the Nobel Peace Prize Forum  has promoted the concept of the Decade and will continue to do so.

Raising money in support of the Forums has become more difficult in recent years.  Conservative donors do not like to contribute to peace issues which they consider liberal.

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization in the short, medium and long term to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence?

Next year's forum will be at Luther College on March 4-5, 2011.  See the websitge at  http://www.luther.edu/150/events2/nppf/

GLOBAL MOVEMENT: How do you think the culture of peace and nonviolence could be strengthened and supported at the world level??

The following was provided in 2005:

The United Nations, UNESCO and the Decade for a  Culture of Peace and Nonviolence  would do well to work with the concepts of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates (as the Nobel Peace Prize Festival does).   Schools, classes choose a laureate to study in depth, learning what that recipient has done.  They then share with others who have studied other Laureates   what they have learned.    From a   focus on models of effective peace workers  we can learn ways to achieve justice and peace in our own areas.
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Organization: Nobel Peace Prize Forum

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