The Business for Peace Foundation believes that socially responsible and ethical initiatives will stand the test as a business case, and gradually, as the moral culture of corporations matures, will constitute an integrated part of modern business.
In order to foster such a development, the Oslo Business for Peace Award has been established, to be conferred annually.
We wish to establish an internationally acclaimed recognition of the highest possible honour, in order to accelerate a reappraisal of what it should mean to be regarded as a successful businessperson.
Professor Micheal E. Porter stated that “creating shared value represents a broader conception of Adam Smith’s invisible hand.” The Foundation is encouraged by the fact that it is well aligned in its work with leading business thinkers. When we created the Award we present to the Honourees who are showing the way to a higher form of capitalism, we decided to make a handshake – the universal symbol of mutual trust – the central feature. The Business for Peace Foundation believes that we now need Adam Smith 2.0, where the invisible hand that was used to justify laissez-faire economics, is replaced by “the invisible handshake” in a trusted relationship between business and society, both dedicated to their mutual prosperity.
The Business for Peace Foundation has chosen to make examples of those individual women and men who have proven able to grow their significant businesses in ways that are both socially beneficial and financially sensible. Through drawing attention to these front runners, the hope is to encourage a re-examination of business practices, against a set of principles that build from a goal of shared prosperity and mutually reinforced trust.
The aim of the Award is to serve as an inspiration for businesspersons worldwide, stimulating them to recognize the ethical business case, and renewing the traditional vision of success.
The Physical Award
“The Just Man” by the artist Bruce Naigles, symbolizes the bond of trust between two people joining in a handshake to confirm their commitment to each other.
A human flexes and raises a mighty form. It is the “Wheel of Life” – the primal symbol of continuity. Naigles’ “Wheel of Life” does not join in a circular end, it is bisected by “the handshake that obligates.” Through an ethical act, human beings contribute and become part of the cosmic order. The sculpture hints that ethical obligation is not a pre-given, but has to be carried forth by each and every human being – again and again and again …
(Description by Bjørn Li)
The sculpture is awarded at The Oslo City Hall, during the Oslo Summit on Business for Peace, together with a diploma commemorating the achievement and occasion.