GTF 2013 Awards for Excellence
We are proud to present the Global Thinkers Forum Excellence Award Honourees 2013.The 2013
Ceremony will take place on December 3, 2013.
Excellence in Leadership – H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, High Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations
On March 1st, 2013, H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser assumed the post of UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations. Prior to that, Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser assumed the Presidency of the Sixty-Sixth session of the United Nations General Assembly from 13 September 2011 to 17 September 2012. A veteran diplomat, Mr. Al-Nasser has the rank of Minister, granted by His Highness the Emir of the State of Qatar. He has contributed to advancing the multilateral agenda in the realms of peace and security, sustainable development and South-South cooperation over a career spanning nearly four decades. For the past 13 years, from 1998 to 2011, Mr. Al-Nasser served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations. During this period, he played leading roles as Chairman of the General Assembly’s Special Political and Decolonization (Fourth) Committee (2009 to 2010) and as President of the General Assembly High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation (2007 to 2009). He also chaired the Group of 77 and China at the United Nations in New York (2004), guiding action that paved the way for the Second South Summit of the Group, which took place in Doha, Qatar, the following year, and led to the establishment of the South Fund for Development and Humanitarian Affairs, a financing mechanism aimed at assisting the countries of the South in addressing issues such as poverty, hunger and natural disasters. Mr. Al-Nasser represented his country on the United Nations Security Council during the two-year term of Qatar as a non-permanent member (2006 to 2007). He was Security Council President for the month of December 2006, when the Council took action on a range of complex peace and security issues, including international cooperation to combat terrorism and the protection of journalists in armed conflict. He also presided over three of the subsidiary bodies of the Council. During his term as Ambassador to the United Nations, Mr. Al-Nasser also served as a Vice-President of the fifty-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly (2002 to 2003) and represented his country at numerous international and regional conferences and other forums. At the same time, he served as non-resident Ambassador to a number of countries in the Americas, including Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay. Earlier, Mr. Al-Nasser was appointed as his country’s resident Ambassador to Jordan (1993 to 1998), before which he was first posted to the Permanent Mission of Qatar to the United Nations, New York, as Minister Plenipotentiary (1986 to 1993). Mr. Al-Nasser entered the international arena at an early age, and was appointed Attaché at the Embassy of Qatar in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1972. He was assigned to the Embassy of his country in Islamabad, Pakistan, in 1975 and, later that year, was dispatched to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where he served as Consul-General for Qatar through August 1981. The recipient of numerous decorations and awards, Mr. Al-Nasser was made an honorary fellow of the Foreign Policy Association in New York in 2009. He also holds three honorary doctorates, in international affairs from the Government of China through Chongqing University, from the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences in recognition of his efforts to foster cross-cultural understanding and strengthen the work of the UN Alliance of Civilizations initiative, and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Fordham University in the United States. He was recently awarded by the United Nations Association of New York their 2012 Humanitarian Award as well as an award from the Universal Peace Federation in New York. A wide range of countries have conferred on him their national awards, including the Medal of Independence of the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Grand Officer, Order of Merit (Italy); Medal of Grand Commander of the Order of Makarios III (Cyprus); National Order of Doctor José Matias Delgado (El Salvador); and Commander of the National Order of the Republic (Côte d’Ivoire). In his private capacity, Mr. Al-Nasser serves on the boards of a number of institutions, including the Board of Advisors of the New York University Center for Dialogue and President of the Board of IPS (Inter Press Service). He also serves as member on the Advisory Board of the Committee on Education chaired by HH Sheikha Moza. Educated in Doha and Beirut, he is fluent in Arabic and English. Mr. Al-Nasser was born on 15 September 1953 in Doha. He is married to Muna Rihani and has one son, Abdulaziz.
Excellence in Promoting Peace and Collaboration His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople
His All-Holiness, BARTHOLOMEW, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch is the 270th successor of the 2,000 year-old local Christian Church founded by St. Andrew the Apostle. As a citizen of Turkey, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s personal experience provides him a unique perspective on the continuing dialogue among the Christian, Islamic and Jewish worlds. He works to advance reconciliation among Catholic, Muslim and Orthodox communities, such as in former Yugoslavia, and is supportive of peace building measures to defuse global conflict in the region. As Archbishop of Constantinople and New Rome, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew occupies the First Throne of the Orthodox Christian Church and presides in a fraternal spirit among all the Orthodox Primates. The Ecumenical Patriarch has the historical and theological responsibility to initiate and coordinate actions among the Churches of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Russia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Cyprus, Greece, Poland, Albania, The Czech Land and Slovakia, Finland, Estonia, and numerous archdioceses in the old and new worlds. This includes the convening of councils or meetings, facilitating inter-church and inter-faith dialogues and serving as the primary expresser of Church unity as a whole. As Ecumenical Patriarch he transcends every national and ethnic group on a global level and today is the spiritual leader of approximately 250 million faithful world-wide. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s roles as the primary spiritual leader of the Orthodox Christian world and a transnational figure of global significance continue to become more vital each day. He co-sponsored the Peace and Tolerance Conferences in Istanbul (1994 and 2006) bringing together Christians, Muslims and Jews. Most noted are his efforts in environmental awareness, which have earned him the title “Green Patriarch”. He has organized environmental educational seminars in co-sponsorship with His Royal Highness Prince Philip, and international, scientific environmental symposia on Patmos (1995) and around the Black Sea (1997), along the Danube River (1999), on the Adriatic Sea (2002), in the Baltic Sea (2003), on the Amazon River (2006), in the Arctic 2007), and on the Mississippi River (2009). These endeavours, together with his inspiring efforts on behalf of religious freedom and human rights, rank Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew among the world’s foremost apostles of love, peace and reconciliation for humanity, a reason for which he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by the U.S. Congress.
Excellence in Philanthropy- Hani Masri
A long time advocate for Middle East peace and children’s issues, Mr. Masri founded Tomorrow’s Youth Organization. This non-profit organization provides programs in Technology (IT), Arts, Sports and Health for impoverished children aged 4-8, as well as social and economic development programs for women. TYO is a point of light for under-privileged children and communities in the Middle East. It represents the best aspects of the American people and international goodwill, contributing, managing, and operating essential services and activities for all members of communities afflicted by conflict, isolation, and poverty. TYO is an influence for personal and community development throughout the region. Working in cooperation with the highest quality institutions and organizations, TYO aspires to break ground in non-formal early childhood education and women’s empowerment. TYO pursues this objective through innovative programming as well monitoring and research activities to measure impact in communities where it works. The Nablus flagship opened in March 2008 and additional centers are planned for Egypt, Lebanon and Gaza. In 2009, he co-founded Palestine Note, a blog dedicated to fostering dialogue about all issues related to the Middle East. Mr. Masri is also a board member of the Peres Center in Tel Aviv, a non-partisan organization founded by Shimon Peres in 1997 and dedicated to the promotion of peace in the Middle East. He serves on the Board of Seeds of Peace, a non-profit, non-political organization that helps teenagers from regions of conflict learn the skills of “making peace”. Born in Nablus, Palestine and an American citizen since 1987, Mr. Masri served in the diplomatic service of Jordan as Director of its Foreign Ministry’s United Nations Department and as consul at the Jordanian Embassy in Washington, DC. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida and his graduate degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Mr. Hani Masri is Chairman of Capital Investment Management Inc. based in McLean, Virginia and specializing in fund and investment real estate management in the U.S. He also serves as President of M2 Investors Inc. also based in McLean, specializing in private equity fund investments and international consulting throughout the Middle East and Europe, and is President of Capital Corporation specializing in management consulting. He currently resides in Washington, DC.
Excellence in Global Thinking – Nouriel Roubini
Nouriel Roubini is the cofounder and chairman of Roubini Global Economics, an independent, global macroeconomic and market strategy research firm. The firm’s website, Roubini.com, has been named one of the best economics web resources by BusinessWeek, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and the Economist. He is also a professor of economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Dr. Roubini has extensive policy experience as well as broad academic credentials. From 1998 to 2000, he served as the senior economist for international affairs on the White House Council of Economic Advisors and then the senior advisor to the undersecretary for international affairs at the U.S. Treasury Department, helping to resolve the Asian and global financial crises, among other issues. The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and numerous other prominent public and private institutions have drawn upon his consulting expertise. He has published numerous theoretical, empirical and policy papers on international macroeconomic issues and coauthored the books “Political Cycles: Theory and Evidence” (MIT Press, 1997) and “Bailouts or Bail-ins? Responding to Financial Crises in Emerging Markets” (Institute for International Economics, 2004) and “Crisis Economics: A Crash Course in the Future of Finance” (Penguin Press, 2010). Dr. Roubini’s views on global economic issues are widely cited by the media, and he is a frequent commentator on various business news programs. He has been the subject of extended profiles in the New York Times Magazine and other leading current-affairs publications. The Financial Times has also provided extensive coverage of Dr. Roubini’s perspectives. Dr. Roubini received an undergraduate degree at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy, and a doctorate in economics at Harvard University. Prior to joining Stern, he was on the faculty of Yale University’s department of economics.
Excellence in Positive Change- Dr Ibrahim Abouleish
In 1977 Dr Ibrahim Abouleish established a sustainable development initiative in Egypt. He called it SEKEM, taking its name from the hieroglyphic transcription meaning “vitality,” to solve the pressing problem of the country. Since the foundation of SEKEM, Prof. Dr. Abouleish aims to promote sustainable development of human, society and earth. SEKEM was the first entity developing eco- agricultural methods in the desert. The SEKEM Group encompasses several companies for organic agriculture, phyto-pharmaceuticals, fresh and processed food and organic textiles. SEKEM provides employees and farming communities throughout the country the opportunity to improve their education, health and quality of life. SEKEM maintains human rights principles within its scope of work. The Sekem Development Foundation established cultural initiatives providing education, healthcare and research. The foundation established cultural enterprises like educational and vocational training institutions, medical care and research. In conjunction with an international exchange, artists and scientists further develop the work and task of holistic development. Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development dedicated its existence to the challenge such as climate change, resources scarcity, a growing population, and extreme poverty and strives for sustainable development of individuals, communities and nature in Egypt and the world. Heliopolis University offers study programs in Pharmacy, Engineering and Technology, Business and Economics. Dr Abouleish’s vision has earned him world recognition. In 2003, he and SEKEM received the Right Livelihood Award (also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize) for integrating the commercial success with promotion of the social and cultural development of society. In 2012 he received the Business for Peace Award”. He was selected as an “Outstanding Social Entrepreneur” by the Schwab Foundation in 2004 and he is founder and member of the World Future Council. Prof Dr tech Dr med Ibrahim Abouleish is Alternative Nobel Prize Laureate (The Right Livelihood Award).
Excellence in Gender Equality – Shahira Amin
Shahira Amin is a freelance Egyptian journalist who contributes mainly to CNN’s Inside Africa and CNN.com. She also writes for Index on Censorship, a portal for free expression. Amin was formerly Deputy Head of Egyptian state television’s English Language Channel Nile TV but she quit in the height of the uprising in protest at state TV coverage of the developments in her country. Shahira was also a former Senior Anchor and Correspondent for the channel. Shahira has traveled the world covering major events and conflicts and has interviewed numerous statesmen and high profile figures. She has been recognized by UNICEF for her efforts to improve the status of women and children in her country. Earlier this year she received the American University in Cairo’s Catalyst for Change Award and is also the recipient of this year’s Holmes of the year award from the University of Gotheborg.
Excellence in Media – Sir David Frost
Sir David Paradine Frost was an English journalist, comedian, writer, media personality and television host. After graduating from Cambridge University, Frost rose to prominence in the UK when he was chosen to host the satirical programme That Was the Week That Was in 1962. His success on this show led to work as a host on US television. He became known for his television interviews with senior political figures, among them The Nixon Interviews with former United States President Richard Nixon in 1977, which were adapted into a stage play and film. Frost was one of the “Famous Five” who were behind the launch of ITV breakfast station TV-am in 1983. For the BBC, he hosted the Sunday morning interview programme Breakfast with Frost from 1993 to 2005. He spent two decades as host of Through the Keyhole. From 2006 to 2012 he hosted the weekly programme Frost Over the World on Al Jazeera English and from 2012, the weekly programme The Frost Interview. The GTF Award for Sir David Frost will be received by his son George Frost.
Excellence in Cultural Understanding – Tu Weiming
Tu Weiming, Lifetime Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies at Peking University and Research Professor and Senior Fellow of Asia Center at Harvard University, was born in Kunming and grew up in Taiwan. He received his B. A. from Tunghai University in Taiwan, M. A. and Ph. D. from Harvard University. Tu is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1988-). Executive member of the Federation of International Philosophical Societies (FISP, 2008-) and a tutelary member of the Institute of International Philosophy (IIP2010-).
Tu has taught Chinese intellectual history, philosophies of China and Confucian humanism at Tunghai University (1967-68), Princeton (1967-71), Princeton University (1967-1971), University of California in Berkeley (1971-81), Peking University (1985), Taiwan University (1988), and the Ecole des Haute Etudes in Paris (1989). He taught at Harvard from 1981 to 2010.
He holds honorary professorships (comparable to honorary degrees) from Zhejiang, Sun Yat-sen,Suzhou, Renmin, Jinan, the Foreign Languages University and the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, all in China. He has been awarded honorary degrees from Lehigh, Michigan State (Grand Valley), Shandong (the highest honor confirmed by the State Council of the People’s Republic of China), Tunghai (Taiwan), Lingnan (Hong Kong), King`s College in London and Macau University, and Soca University. He was invited by the United Nations as a member of the Group of Eminent Persons to Facilitate the Dialogue Among Civilizations in 2001 and gave a presentation on civilizational dialogue to the Executive Board of UNESCO in 2004. He was the recipient of the grand prize of International Togue Society, the second Thomas Berry award for Ecology and Religion, Lifelong Achievement Award by the American Humanist Society, and the first Confucius Cultural Award (Qufu, 2009).
Excellence in Innovation – Nikos Floros
Nikos Floros’ is an award-winning, extremely prolific and creative artist who has gained worldwide recognition for his artwork. His sculptures are unique and original designs utilizing recycled materials such as aluminum cans which he transforms into fabric-like material used to create unique sculptural costumes. This method was created and patented by Nikos Floros in 2003. Nikos Floros’ artwork has been described as surrealist pop art . He utilizes materials from our everyday lives which he transforms into magnificent original works of art. A major inspiration for him has been the lives of extraordinary women such as Queen Elizabeth I, Katherine the Great, Maria Callas and Grace Kelly. These women themselves have been transformative figures who have inspired many others. Nikos Floros has been inspired by them and created moving tributes to their art, their lives, their spirits and their legacies. Nikos Floros was recognized for his talent and originality early in his career. One of his first sculptural costumes, “Silver Elizabeth I” received the first prize at the Young Friends Heritage Society in New York City. Following that, in 2003, he took part in «Save Venice Benefit Gala”, in New York, presenting two costumes, “Gold Elizabeth Coronation” and “Black Marie de Medici”. The following year at the same event, he presented “Red Elizabeth”, created from 2,004 Coca Cola cans knitted into fabric and was awarded the first prize which was presented by Harold Koda, curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Αrt Costume Institute
Excellence in Cultural Creativity – Sir Dirk Brosse & Ludwig Wicki
Ludwig Wicki serves as a professor of chamber music and teacher of conducting at universities in Lucerne and Bern. In 2007, Ludwig Wicki was awarded the Recognition Award of the City of Lucerne. As a conductor Wicki pursues many different styles. As the music director of the Hofkirche, he cultivated a sacred repertoire ranging from Gregorian chant to contemporary music, with an emphasis on classical music, particularly Haydn, the work of J.S. Bach, and also the masters of the Renaissance, such as Palestrina, Monteverdi, and Schütz. He has conducted concerts with late Romantic works, Impressionist works, and the Viennese classics, as well as chamber ensemble concerts featuring Stravinsky, Schönberg and contemporary works.
Many years ago, Ludwig Wicki wished to establish a professional orchestra that dedicated itself primarily to the performance of film music. That was the origin of the 21st Century Orchestra, of which Ludwig Wicki is the artistic director. The orchestra plays seasons featuring more than ten film music projects. Wicki has collaborated with renowned film music composers such as Howard Shore, Randy Newman, Martin Böttcher, George Fenton, and Michael Giacchino. The orchestra’s projects include presentations of classic silent films with live music, such as those with Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton, and even cult films like Noserferatu.
In 2008, Ludwig Wicki conducted the world premiere of “The Fellowship of the Ring“ at the KKL Luzern with the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, which was the first live performance of the original soundtrack to the first film of the trilogy “The Lord of the Rings“. Since then, he has conducted the piece in Munich, Washington, DC, Lyon, Sydney, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival, and with his 21st Century Symphony Orchestra at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The world premiere of “The Two Towers“ in 2009 and “The Return of the King“ in 2010 followed, as well as the 2011 world premiere of “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl“ and the 2012 world premiere of the live performance of “Fantasia“.
Sir Dirk Brossé, born in Ghent, Belgium, in 1960, is a multi-faceted composer and a respected conductor on the international music scene. He is currently Music Director of ‘The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia’, Music Director of the Filmfestival Ghent and Music Director and Principal Conductor of the ‘Star Wars in Concert World Tour’.
Sir Dirk Brossé began his music studies at the Music Conservatories of Ghent and Brussels. He subsequently specialised in conducting, which he studied in Maastricht, Vienna and Cologne. Alongside his many guest professorships, he is currently Professor of Composition and Conducting at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Ghent. Dirk Brossé has conducted all the leading Belgian orchestras, among them, the Brussels Philharmonic, the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Flemish Opera and the National Orchestra of Belgium.
Outside his native Belgium, he has conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra London, l’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Shanghai, the Vancouver Opera, the KBS Symphony Orchestra of South Korea, l’Orchestra de l’Opéra de Lyon, the World Symphony Orchestra (Japan), the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra, the Ulster Symphony Orchestra of Northern Ireland, the Camerata St Petersburg, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Orchestras of Venezuela and Ecuador. Dirk Brossé is also a versatile and prolific composer. He has written some 200 works, including concerti, oratorios, lieder, chamber music and symphonic works, that have been performed all over the world and have been recorded in more than 40 countries. His most important works are ‘La Soledad de América Latina’, written in collaboration with the Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez, ‘Artesia’, a universal symphony for orchestra and ethnic instruments, the ethno-classical symphony ‘The Birth of Music’, the oratorio ‘Juanelo’, the lieder cycles ‘Landuyt Cycle’ and ‘La Vida es un Sueno’, the ‘War Concerto’ for clarinet and orchestra, and the violin concertos ‘Black, White & Between’, ‘Sophia’ and ‘Echoes of Silent Voices’. In 2010, at the request of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, he wrote ‘The Hallow-e’en Dances’. This Halloween-inspired work is specially written for age-old, traditional Chinese instruments. Besides this, on numerous occasions, Dirk Brossé has composed for the theatre and the cinema.
Excellence in Humanitarian Work – Gbemuotor Dan Kama for Professionals for Humanity
Professionals For Humanity (PROFOH) was established by Gbemuotor Kama a Nigerian, Cliff Jarrell an American and Markus von-Have a German in 1998. PROFOH is providing life-saving surgeries, safe water, education and moral support based upon the strength of its core competencies, combining depth of knowledge and technical expertise with proven processes that can significantly help and alleviate suffering of less privileged people in the world. Over its existence, with the help of sister and partner organizations like Earthwide Surgical Foundation, Medical Mission International based in the United States, Amici Di S. Agnese in Rome, Italy and Global Thinkers Forum in London, United Kingdom, PROFOH has performed thousands of life-saving surgeries, a million clinical consultations and treatments in countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Mexico, Sierra Leone etc. PROFOH’s track record and medical work includes: Successful medical and social missions across Africa, over 10,000 surgeries performed, another 10,000 children immunized against polio, two primary schools renovated, 42 local scholarships offered, provided several communities with portable water, 5,000 households benefited from our safe water filter programs. Additionally, more than 1.1 million people have benefited from clinical consultations and treatments. Most missions are conducted in places where authorities are either unable or unwilling to provide basic services for large numbers of their citizens. Therefore, preventive and curative health services are severely neglected, resulting in short and long-term consequences for social economic development. Today, PROFOH is incorporated in four countries and has its presence in twelve nations. The organization is a member of several international bodies including the WHO TB partnership, United Nations Global Compact, World Bank Group Spring Meeting Dialogue, United Nations Convention Against Corruption Coalition and was the regional coordinator for West and Central Africa(25 countries) in 2012.
Excellence in Pioneering-Dr Maisah Sobaihi, Academic/Writer/Director/Performer
Maisah Sobaihi is an academic, writer, performer and director. She has a doctorate in English Literature from King’s College, the University of London and is an Assistant Professor at King Abul-Aziz University in Jeddah. She recently became the first Saudi Arabian performer to participate at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She is best known for her work in theatre and the arts across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and around the world. Her one-woman play entitled ‘Head Over Heels in Saudi Arabia’ was first performed in 2006 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and has been performed several times since then, both within the country and in the US. In 2011, Maisah performed her play at the Midtown International Theater Festival, Manhattan, New York. She aims to perform this play at other venues across the US and Internationally in order to create a stronger dialogue and understanding of Middle Eastern affairs. Maisah is widely respected as a contemporary voice for women leading her to co-host a series on the experiences of Muslim women around the world, as well as serving as a Fulbright scholar at New York University. She has represented Saudi and Arab women at International and regional forums, one of which includes the Arab Youth Survey where she served as a panelist alongside Mark Penn, and Mohammad Al-Abbar to explore aspirations and attitudes of the Middle East youth.
Excellence in Entrepreneurship- Marco Veremis, CEO Upstream
Marco is Upstream’s CEO and the company’s co-founder. Marco sets Upstream’s strategic direction and spearheads business development as it continues its expansion into new geographical and product areas and has been Chairman of the Board since 2002. As an experienced marketing strategist at leading advertising agencies Grey Advertising, McCann-Ericsson and DDB in London, Marco developed global and Pan-European communications strategies for brands such as Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Sony and SmithKline Beecham. Marco is a mentor for Endeavor and Openfund, Vice President of the board of HAMAC and an angel investor and board advisor in Workable HR. Marco holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and International Studies from Warwick University and a Masters of Philosophy in European Studies from Oxford University.
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