One of the criteria set out by Alfred Nobel for awarding the Nobel Peace Prize is for the holding and promotion of “peace congresses.” The Nobel Peace Prize Forum | Minneapolis is shaped by this vision.
Growing out of conversations between the Norwegian Nobel Institute’s Director Jacob Sverdrup and civic leaders in Minnesota with strong ties to Norway including Walter Mondale, David Preus, Mike Roan, and Al Quie, the first Peace Prize Forum was held at St. Olaf College in 1989.
The first Forum honored Minnesota’s own Norman Borlaug, who spoke that year about the challenge of feeding the world. Since then, the Forum has grown to become a dynamic global event that brings thousands of professionals, citizens and students together with Nobel Peace Prize winners such as Kailash Satyarthi, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, President Jimmy Carter, Wangari Maathai, Muhammad Yunus, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Elie Wiesel, Oscar Arias Sanchez, and Tawakkol Karman.
In 2018 we look forward to hosting the 2016 laureate, President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia as well as Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) who was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize on October 6, 2017.
From 1989 until 2011 the event was co-hosted by the consortium of colleges of Norwegian and Lutheran heritage in the Upper Midwest (Augsburg University, Augustana University, Concordia College, St. Olaf College, and Luther College) and rotated on an annual basis between their campuses. In 2012 the consortium schools decided to locate the Forum in Minneapolis.
Augsburg University agreed to serve as the host institution, and the group of partner institutions was expanded to include the University of Minnesota, the University of St. Thomas, Pacific Lutheran University, with new institutional partners joining the event each year. 2018 will mark its 30th Anniversary, part of a rich history of collaboration between the Norwegian Nobel Institute and the host colleges.
The Forum is now one of only three programs officially associated with the Norwegian Nobel Institute (the two others being the Nobel Peace Center and the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo).
In 2016, for the first time, a Nobel Peace Prize Forum was held in Oslo, and there are plans for additional such events in the years to come. All of these forums engage diverse audiences in serious dialogue about peacemaking in the areas of law, science, music, business or global affairs. Through discussion and reflection, forum attendees develop their own understanding of how they can contribute to a more peaceful and sustainable world.
Be part of making history! Experience the 30th Forum on September 14 and 15, 2018!