Author Archives: Comms

Award Committee meets to select 2020 winners

Photo of the award statue

The Award Committee deliberates. Photo: Johannes Berg, Statue artist: Bruce Naigles


It was a businessworthy day in New York City on Monday. The 2020 gathering of our esteemed Award Committee members was a successful one.

After a hard day of discussion and reviewing many inspiring candidates, the Nobel Laureates in peace and economics have chosen this year’s winners of the Oslo Business for Peace Award.


Closed door meeting

The Award Committee deliberates. Photo: Johannes Berg

The Oslo Business for Peace Award Committee works independently of the Foundation when assessing nominated candidates. Each year, candidates are nominated through our global partners: International Chamber of Commerce, Principles for Responsible Investment, United Nations Global Compact, and United Nations Development Programme. The decision of the Committee members is final.






Our Award Committee consists of  Nobel prize winners in Economics and Peace, including one who has also received our Award.

Finn Kydland, member since 2014, is the winner of the Sveriges Riksbanks Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2004. He is also the Henley Professor of Economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Ouided Bouchamaoui, member since 2016, is the President of The Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA), and Business for Peace Honouree in 2014. UTICA is one of the four organisations that make up the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015.

Eric S. Maskin, member since 2017, is the Adams University Professor at Harvard. In 2007, he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics (with L. Hurwicz and R. Myerson) for laying the foundations of mechanism design theory.


Leymah Gbowee, member since 2014, is a Peace Activist and Winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.


Group photo of the award committee members present

The Award Committee 2020 Meeting. Photo: Johannes Berg


The Committee bases their decision based on the Award criteria: being a role model to society and their peers, standing out as an advocate, and having earned the trust of stakeholders.

An announcement revealing who the 2020 Honourees are will take place in March. 

What does it mean to be businessworthy?

We asked our Award Committee members what it means to them to employ businessworthy behaviour in business leadership.

“The ability to a run successful business…but at the same time contributes to society in a bigger way.” -Eric Maskin

“It’s showing that the business community is involved in social and environmental matters, and also that we are concerned about the change happened.” -Ouided Bouchamaoui

“Doing business but with more emphasis on what the activities do for society.” -Finn Kydland

See the full video here:

Past Event: The #FutureOf Travel

Asking questions at MESH event

Future of Travel


Please note! This is a past event, and the information below was posted prior to the event.

In the age of climate change, our desire to see the world is contributing to its destruction. We’re all aware of the impact (hello flyskam), but the travel industry isn’t slowing down.

Can we innovate our way out of this challenge or do we have to re-think ethical travel? Does the responsibility lie with businesses, consumers, or policy makers? Join us for this discussion on what’s being planned for a sustainable future for us and the planet.


Join us the 26th of February as we speak to:

– Anders Fagernæs, Head of Sustainability at Norwegian

– Ane Furu, Head of New Mobility at Møllergruppen

– Astrid Bergmål, Head of Virke Reiseliv

Our moderator for this event is Petter Guilli.


It’s the latest #FutureOf talk series presented by Business for Peace and MESH.  The event is free to attend, but donations to help cover the cost of the event can be made here. 

Please RSVP to let us know you’ll be joining us: link here. 




17:30-18:00 Doors open, come mingle and get settled
18:00-19:00 Talk and discussion
19:00-late  Stick around and continue the conversation

For updates on the latest events, sign up for the Business for Peace newsletter here.


The event is free to attend, but please RSVP on Eventbrite to let us know you will be joining us.


Join the event page on Facebook for ongoing updates

About the Speakers


Anders Fagernæs

Anders’ education received his degree in economics and international relations from University of St Andrews and Copenhagen Business School. Prior to taking up the position as Head of Sustainability at Norwegian, he was a sustainability advisor for private sector companies, NGOs, and government institutions.





Astrid Bergmål headshotAstrid heads Virke Reiseliv, which is a member organisation covering the breadth of tourism: hotels, tour operators, and agencies. Astrid is active in the public debate on the development of Norwegian tourism, framework conditions and sustainable tourism, acting on behalf of members across the country.






Photo of Ane Furu

Ane Furu is the Head of New Mobility at Møller Mobility Group, developing and managing the Group’s new mobility strategy. Ane is also a Board Member in Urban Infrastructure Partner and Urban Sharing. 



Event image credits: Jørgen Øyehaug

Can we achieve ocean sustainability in 10 years? Experts hope so

two women looking out at the ocean


The message from experts is clear: we need to act fast to reverse the damage done to our oceans. We’ve lost 40% of life in the ocean in the last 40 years and the situation is escalating. Biodiversity loss, pollution, urban waste water, overfishing, and climate change, are all part of the problem. But there is hope.


Business for Peace convened leading ocean experts in Norway to determine the state of the industry. High on the list of talking points was what action the private sector in particular is doing to protect nature’s most important system. Panelists Vidar Helgesen, Christine Spiten, and Nina Jensen are all heavily involved in pushing the industry forward. 


As the blue economy booms, businesses need to collaborate on minimising their ocean impact and addressing climate change. Whatever action that is taken needs to be aggressive and collective. We are all aware that time is not on our side. Who has responsibility for this implementation, though, and how we get there, is increasingly being acknowledged and pushed forward by the private sector.


Mesh event view of the crowd

The event was part of a monthly #FutureOf series, presented with start-up hub MESH in Oslo. 

Photo: Trym Schade Warloe.


Bring in the experts

The panellists acknowledged the interplay of problems. Norway’s Special Representative for the Ocean, Vidar Helgesen, sees incentives for innovation as part of the solution: “Part of the fundamental problem is that plastic is too cheap. This is an innovation problem. In Europe there are a lot of exciting new initiatives coming out.” Where you live also determines who should be held responsible, and goes on to claim that “if you are in the US, I would look to business rather than the government.” 


Christine Spiten, Senior Corporate Advisor for Plastic & Circular Economy at WWF Norway, acknowledges that there are risks involved when trying to make innovation profitable, but advocating for teamwork: “Here in Norway we are afraid of testing something out that is not perfect because we are afraid of losing face. We need to be bold and come up with those crazy ideas and support them.” This teamwork and openness is crucial in having any hope of recovering the status of the oceans, as “very few people know how to manage the ocean and most of them do not do that in a sustainable way.”


Our final panelist, CEO of Rev Ocean and marine biologist Nina Jensen, also sees that the most potential lies “in business. Where there are large problems there are also huge business opportunities.” Of course, this is easier said than done. It is extremely difficult to persuade those in power on ideas. “Part of the solution,” she suggests, “is to scale up infrastructure. Those producing the plastic have plenty of money and they should be held accountable. They should be solving the problems that they have created.”

Panel of three policy and industry experts

Our panel. From left: Christine Spiten, Vidar Helgesen, and Nina Jensen.        Photo: Trym Schade Warloe.


Making waves

The ocean protects us in ways we can barely fathom. It absorbs about 30% of carbon dioxide produced by humans. To put that into perspective, the ocean covers 99% of the total living space on Earth by volume. It’s a lot to take in for the average land-dweller. 


“There has been a free-for-all approach to managing the ocean,” said Heglesen. Jensen added: “I’m an optimist and believe that technology can help us with a lot of things, but it’s also a way of keeping us from doing the right things. We simply cannot open any new oil fields. It is keeping us from making the right choices.” 


When making the right choices, then, it is “equally important to make sure what happens is not just creating another problem. Technology is not going to solve anything unless you put it in the hands of good people,” as Spiten pointed out. 


So what is the future of the ocean?

“I do think that we’re on the cusp of some really important and critical discussions,” Helgesen said. “More has happened in banking and investment in the past few months than has happened in the past few years. Today we know better. We are in a transformation. The oil issue is a transformational question. We need to get away from fossil fuels. Divestment from oil is really catching on.” Governments need to provide that holistic planning framework for such activities to take place. Industry working in ocean solutions can achieve ⅕ of what we need in order to achieve our targets. A lot of this requires regulations put in place by governments in combination with technological innovation. 


Keeping businesses accountable is a key piece to the puzzle for Jensen. “There are a lot of great initiatives out there that could benefit from funding. Part of the solution is to scale up waste management in the countries that are missing this.” According to her, funding should come from those who produce the plastic. It’s the responsibility of governments to put regulations in place, to use the data that we have to our disposal. 


Spiten pointed out that there is a need for more cross collaboration. Research is being done without the connection to business, and this lack of shared ideas and research is hurting progress. “Let’s put more scientists into startups,” she says. It is through this collaboration where we meet around the challenges.


The solutions don’t have to be complex in order to be effective. The start-up ARC Marine has transformed, for instance, a simple brick block. The brick is used on off-shore wind turbine field construction, where the bricks have simultaneous purpose: doing its job while at the same time creating artificial reefs for threatened animals. In this way, Spiten says, what nature needs is “often what we need as well.”


Panel discussing in front of a live audience ocean innovations

Our panel. From left: Christine Spiten, Vidar Helgesen, and Nina Jensen.           Photo: Trym Schade Warloe


Sea of Possibilities

The panellists left us with feelings of hope – hope that concrete technologies and solutions will be put to use in the hands of those who really can make a difference already in 2020. This includes individual efforts as well. Does it really matter if we eat less meat and recycle? If we ask the panelists, of course it does. “We might not all be Greta Thunberg but we can all make an impact,” says Jensen. We can all act like Greta in whatever way that we can. It’s the little things that everyone does that add up. “All of a sudden, you can have a huge impact.” 


From the air we breathe to the water we drink, sustaining life on our blue planet depends on the oceans. We are living in a historic time, and it’s time we have discussions and actions that make an impact.


For updates on the latest events, sign up for the Business for Peace newsletter here.


sign with hashtag #businessworthy

Photo: Trym Schade Warloe.

Past Event: The Future of the Ocean

two women looking out at the ocean

Future of the Ocean Graphic long-min

Update: this is a past event, and we encourage you to watch the footage here.

One of the most unique aspects of the Earth is its oceans. From the air we breathe to the water we drink, sustaining life on our blue planet depends on them. Even so, marine plastic waste is rapidly increasing, over 90% of greenhouse gases are now stored in the sea, and there is growing demand for ocean resources.


As the blue economy booms, businesses need to collaborate on minimising their ocean impact and addressing climate change. What collective action is being taken to protect nature’s most important system and what more needs to be done for ocean sustainability?

Join us January 28 at this free event to hear from business leaders, ocean policy experts, and civil society, including speakers:

  • Nina Jensen, CEO of REV Ocean. She has served as Secretary-General in WWF Norway since 2012. She also holds a Master’s degree in Marine Biology from the University of Fishery Science in Tromsø.

  • Christine Spiten, Senior Corporate Advisor, Plastic & Circular Economy at WWF. She co-founded Blueye Robotics in 2015, has been awarded by Forbes Magazine as one of “30 under 30 most important Tech Founders” in addition to Top 10 Norwegian Female Tech-Entrepreneurs 2018. 

  • Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s Special Representative for the Ocean at Utenriksdepartementet (Norge) and Former Minister of Climate and the Environment. He also served as Minister of Climate and the Environment (2015-2018), and Minister of EEA and EU Affairs (2013-2015) and Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

    Can’t make it in person? Watch via our livestream here.

    It’s the first event in our 2020 edition of the #FutureOf talk series presented by Business for Peace and MESH.


17:30-18:00 Doors open, come mingle and get settled

18:00-19:00 Talk and discussion

19:00-late Stick around and continue the conversation

For updates on the latest events, sign up for the Business for Peace newsletter here.


Past Event: The Future of Food

Future of Food Graphic-min


Can’t make it? Follow along with our livestream here

Everybody’s talking about food. It nourishes us, brings people together, and makes us happy. But we can’t keep producing and eating the way we are now.

Today’s global food systems threaten the health of our planet and can’t sustainably continue. With links to biodiversity loss, high greenhouse gas emissions, and rising obesity in some areas with food scarcity in others, the production, distribution and consumption of food is negatively impacting people at every level of the supply chain. New solutions are needed but can we really produce food for 7.5 billions people in a way that is healthy both for us and the planet? How are businesses at different levels of the food landscape contributing to a better system?

Come hear our panel of business and civil society experts delve deep into the gaps in the food system- from production to distribution to consumption and waste. We’ll be joined by:

  • Olav Kjørven, Chief Strategy Officer of EAT Foundation

  •  Bendik Walderhaug, Head of Sales at Too Good To Go

  • Annabelle Lefébure-Henriksen, CEO/Daglig Leder of Fairtrade Norway

  • Dyveke Elset, Sustainability Communications Adviser at Norgesgruppen


17:30-18:00 Doors open, come mingle and get settled

18:00-19:00 Talk and discussion

19:00-late Stick around and continue the conversation

For updates on the latest events, sign up for the Business for Peace newsletter here.


Screen Shot 2019-11-18 at 11.09.20

Bendik Walderhaug has worked in various NGOs with fundraising, communication and team management. He joined the small startup company Too Good To Go back in summer 2017 and is now Head of Sales in Too Good To Go Norway, while continuing to drive the movement agenda within the company.







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Dyveke Elset is NorgesGruppen’s Sustainability Communications Adviser. NorgesGruppen is Norway’s largest grocery wholesaling group, and seeks to reduce their environmental footprint, improve public health and ensure a responsible value chain. Elset believes businesses are vital vehicles driving the transition into a sustainable economy. She holds an MA in International Political Economy from the Brussels School of International Studies, University of Kent, and has previously worked for international organisations on issues such as renewable energy, economic cooperation and innovation.


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Olav Kjørven is Chief Strategic Officer at the EAT Foundation. In this role Olav is part of EAT’s Senior Leadership team and provides strategic oversight to EAT’s policy work, leads engagement on global policy arenas, and guides EAT’s science and knowledge initiatives for maximum impact on food systems policies and practices. Olav’s career spans political leadership roles for Norwegian development cooperation and several senior leadership posts at the United Nations. He led the Bureau for Development Policy of the United Nations Development Program for almost seven years, overseeing an international staff of some 360, with policy priorities ranging from democratic governance to climate change.


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Annabelle Lefébure-Henriksen is CEO of Fairtrade Norway. Before joining Fairtrade she worked in Varner for 12 years where she held different positions. From 2011 to 2013 she established and led a subsidiary company of Varner in New Delhi, India, and became Sustainability Manager in 2014. She is member of the Board of Directors in Stiftelsen Miljømerking and sat for many years on the Board of Directors of Ethical Trade Norway. Annabelle has a degree in Economics and Business Administration from NHH and a master degree in International Relations from Paris.


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