Call for nominations: Desmond Tutu Reconciliation Fellowship 2018


Global Reconciliation is calling for nominations for the 2018 Desmond Tutu Reconciliation Fellowship. Desmond Tutu's Reconciliation Fellowship is the premier award in the world recognising effective on-the-ground achievements in reconciliation. The 2018 theme of the fellowship is Environmental Care.

The relationship between human beings and the natural environment has always been dynamic. However, in recent times, this relationship has undergone a fundamental and unprecedented transformation. Much natural habitat has been destroyed which, together with other factors, has contributed to changes in macro and micro-climate systems. For the first time, human beings have acquired the capacity to not only to override natural processes but also disrupt or even substantially destroy much of the earth’s living environment. While the ultimate outcomes of these changes are uncertain, it is possible that the impact on human life, and the biosphere more generally, will be disastrous.

In the context of a developing awareness of an ecological crisis, a renewed sense of ethical purpose has developed. This entails a commitment to caring for, protecting, and restoring natural environments. The link between knowledge of the intricate and delicate web of nature, with its infinite complexity and unbounded possibilities, and the values that guide our lives, along with the social relationships and practical actions we take, has generated a novel practice of reconciliation. Many people in all parts of the world are now engaged, in one form or another, in environmental care. They are working individually and collectively to transform the relationship between humans and nature, the ways we understand and value other living things and natural and physical environments and identify actions at the community level that can support and enhance this historical transformation.

Who are we seeking?

For this year’s fellowship, we are seeking to honour a person who has provided practical leadership in the ethical reworking of our relationship to nature. We are seeking a person(s) who has contributed significantly to advancing both the awareness of the need for environmental care and the practices associated with it. We are seeking someone who through his or her own work has helped develop innovative responses to contemporary environmental challenges.

This person will be someone who works at the community level in ways that have more than local consequences. It will be a person whose imaginative vision has the potential to shift current paradigms and change the way people behave in a diverse range of settings. It will be an individual who is courageous and effective and stands as an inspiration to others. It will be someone who can help all of us move forward through concerted action.

The person we are seeking is, like previous Desmond Tutu Fellows, an individual who has found a way to negotiate across the borders posed by difficult cultural and political differences. If you know of such a person, we urge you to nominate him or her by writing to us with information on where and how they work and the achievements they have made relevant to this nomination.

It is important that candidates provide their agreement to being nominated, and nominations should also include the names and contact details of two referees.

Please feel free to pass on this call for nominations to other individuals or organisations so that they too have the opportunity to nominate possible candidates.

The award of the Desmond Tutu Reconciliation Fellowship is made following a review process that considers past accomplishments and possible future achievements. A panel will consider the nominations received and submit a recommendation to the Global Reconciliation Board, which will make the final decision.

Past winners have included Aung San Suu Kyi, Dr Nanko Van Buuren, Dr Ian Campbell, Elizabeth Langslow, Katarina Pejovic, June Oscar, and Emmanuel Jal.

Successful candidates may hold the status of Tutu Reconciliation Fellow for life and use the initials FGR after their names in public recognition of their fellowship of Global Reconciliation. An award of AUD10,000 will be made with the fellowship to be invested in the furthering of the fellow’s work.

We request that nominations are made before 31 July 2018. Please see our What We Do pages for background information on Global Reconciliation and our understanding of the concept of reconciliation. Should you have any questions about the Fellowship, or the process being followed, please email Victoria Baldwin.

Victoria Baldwin