On 5th of December, the University Austral de Chile hosted the event “Activistas para un mundo mejor” (“Activists for a better world”) and the congress “La transdisciplina hecha práctica” (“Transdisciplinarity put into practice”) together with the Right Livelihood College (RLC). The event brought together five Laureates of the Right Livelihood Award (RLA) who all participated in the opening forum “Activismo y academia: diálogo de saberes y disciplinas”: Manfred Max-Neef from Chile, Evaristo Nugkuag from Peru, Juan Pablo Orrego from Chile, Gabriel Franco from Colombia and Francsico Chico Whitaker from Brasil.
The event was a mixture of different types of activities including field trips, public discussions and music presentations. PhD student of the RLC Campus in Bonn, Germany, Alejandro Motta was among those organising a field trip to his research site of the indigenous Mapuche people. Within the programme of the event, members of the indigenous community, human rights organisations, groups of artists and University students had the opportunity to connect through various field trips and forums organised by the University Austral and the RLC.
The economist Manfred Max-Neef was the first Latin-American to receive the Right Livelihood Award in 1983. He developed the thesis “Development on Human Scale” which identifies nine fundamental human needs that are defined by various existential categories within a matrix.
Evaristo Nugkuag Imanan is a leader of the indigenous ethnic people Aguaruna in Peru. He has dedicated his life to the protection of the civil, economical, and political rights of indigenous communities in the Amazon basin for which he was awarded the RLA in 1986.
Chilean ecologist Juan Pablo Orrego (RLA 1998) is best known for his activism against the construction of large hydroelectric plants in the Bio-Bio region in Chile. As the founder and coordinator of the Grupo Accion por el Bio-Bio, he gave life to a campaign for the defense of the Pehuenche communities and the river itself.
Poet Gabriel Jaime Franco is the co-founder and coordinator of the annual Festival Internacional de Poesia de Medellin, which received the Right Livelihood Award in 2006. Finally,
Francisco Chico Whitaker, a political and social activist, is one of the founders of Foro Social Mundial (FSM). He was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 2006 for his work and activism for social justice.