Q&A

More information about the Global Leaders and the selection process.

Who are the Tällberg Foundation Global Leaders?

The Tällberg Foundation Global Leaders are women and men who demonstrate the kind of leadership demanded by the challenges of the 21st century: innovative, imaginative, flexible, systems-based, risk-taking and, above all, ethical. By honoring them, the Foundation not only seeks to nurture and extend their accomplishments, but also to encourage others to follow their examples. The actions of the leaders must be in harmony with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Why has the Foundation established Tällberg Global Leaders?

We believe that many societies—and, indeed, the global system itself—are at or approaching inflection points.  Institutions, paradigms, and societal norms are under enormous pressure to change, but old habits die hard even if they no longer are adequate to deal with new realities.  That puts, or should put, enormous value on courageous leaders and leadership.  The Tällberg Foundation aspires to identify, reward and thereby promote leadership behaviors that have the potential to produce positive change in the face of significant resistance.

We also believe that leaders need to be supported, and we aspire to use the Foundation’s global network to help the Tällberg Global Leaders wherever we can.

Who are the Tällberg Foundation Global Leaders 2016?

Eleni Antoniadou is a multidisciplinary researcher in Regenerative Medicine, Artificial Organ Bioengineering and Space Medicine who focuses on the development of artificial organs from stem cells as an alternative therapeutic pathway for transplantations. She also serves as the President of the European Health Parliament in Brussels and is an advocate in raising awareness about illegal and immoral organ trafficking.

Christiana Figueres served as Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change for the past six years where her innovative diplomacy helped to deliver the unprecedented climate change agreement last December.

Sunitha Krishnan is the Co-Founder of Prajwala, an anti-sex trafficking organization in Hyderabad, India that has evolved pioneering, effective rehabilitation programs for victims of sex crime and sex trafficking. She has also advocated for policy changes and legal reforms for the welfare of victims of sex trafficking.

Thuli Nomkhosi Madonsela is the Public Protector of South Africa and Chairperson of the African Ombudsman Research Centre in Durban, South Africa who has leveraged the power of her office to promote good governance, executive ethics and the rule of law in the face of entrenched opposition.

Celina de Sola is the Co-Founder of Glasswing, a community-based education and public health initiative based in El Salvador that works throughout Central America. By employing an open, engaging, and optimistic lens towards development, she and her colleagues have catalyzed unlikely, but successful collaborations among government, business, and community groups—often in the context of otherwise violent societies.

How were they chosen?

The five Global Leaders were selected by an international jury from a pool of 270 nominations from 60 countries. The nominees work in a wide range of fields and roles, and included global businessmen, national political leaders, innovative and risk-taking social activists and entrepreneurs, artists, religious figures and many others.

Nominations were made during a two-month, open, online process. Anyone with internet access is eligible to nominate, and anyone from any country from any discipline is eligible for nomination. Only jurors are not eligible to nominate or be nominated.
The jury reviews all nominations during a multi-day meeting, an intense, interactive process that is led by a non-voting jury secretary and supported by Foundation staff.  The jury defines its own criteria, and every nominee is judged individually. Winners are selected by successive rounds of secret ballot, which means that all jurors have equal weight in the selection process.

How does the jury deal with conflicts of interest?

Because winners are selected by secret ballot, no juror may recuse herself. However, jurors are required to declare any material conflicts and are expected to make their selections without bias.  Ultimately, the process rests on the integrity of the jurors and of the process.

Why are all the 2016 global leaders women?

The jury conducts its work with no pre-conceived ideas of what the outcome will be in terms of gender, nationality, discipline, political orientation, etc. They are searching the pool of nominees for outstanding leaders doing extraordinary things, who have the potential to do even more.  Thus, the ultimate mix of leaders chosen by the jury is accidental. In 2016 the individuals happen to be five extraordinary women who were selected from 270 nominees, the majority of which were men.

Who served on the jury in 2016?

Defne Ayas, Director, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, The Netherlands

Nora Bateson, President, International Bateson Institute; Independent researcher, filmmaker, and educator; Board Member, Tällberg Foundation

Tom Cummings, Founder, Leading Ventures; formerly Global Head, Learning and Organization Effectiveness, Unilever and ABN Amro Bank, among other corporate assignments; Board Member, Tällberg Foundation

Vishakha Desai, Special Advisor for Global Affairs to the President of Columbia University, Professor of Professional Practice at the School of International and Public Affairs.

Aiko Doden, Senior Commentator and Senior Producer, NHK World TV, Japan

Muni Figueres, Costa Rican diplomat and politician; former Ambassador to the U.S., Minister of Foreign Trade, and Special Trade Representative among other posts; educator and development specialist; Board Member, Tällberg Foundation.

Alan Stoga, Senior Advisor, Kissinger Associates; President, Zemi Communications; Chairman, Tällberg Foundation

Scott Miller, CEO, Core Strategy Group; Co-Founder of RealLeader.com; Co-developer of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Partnership for a Healthier America” initiative.

Jury secretary:
Maarten Koets, Director Programs and Operations, Smart Freight Centre; Board Member, Tällberg Foundation. Formerly, acting Managing Director, World Press Photo. Previously COO for the organization and helped develop the World Press Photo Academy.

Are Christiana Figueres and Muni Figueres related?

Yes, they are sisters. The Foundation’s management, as well as the jury, recognized the potential for conflict and for the appearance of conflict when Christiana was nominated. The dilemma was whether it would be fair to Christiana to reject the nomination or fair to the foundation and the prize sponsor to accept it and risk potential criticism. We chose the latter and relied on our conflict of interest protocol to assure fairness. Arguably, Christiana’s nomination was reviewed even more carefully by the jury and her selection is testimony to her accomplishments and to her continuing potential.

Who were Tällberg Foundation Global Leaders 2015?

Jamila Afghani is the Founder and Program Director of the Noor Educational and Capacity Development Organization in Kabul, Afghanistan whose work is based on a progressive vision of the role of women in Islam.

Antonella Battaglini, is Founder and CEO of the Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI) in Berlin, Germany and is working to establish smart, efficient electrical grids in Europe.

Jason Glaser founded and serves as the President and CEO of La Isla Foundation in San Salvador, El Salvador, an organization devoted to research, advocacy and solutions for the Chronic Kidney Disease epidemic.

Martín von Hildebrand, Founder and General Director, Fundación Gaia Amazonas in Bogota, Colombia, is working to develop a sustainable development corridor from the Andes to the Atlantic.

Dr. M. S. Swaminathan, Founder and Chairman of the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai, India. Dr. M. S. Swaminathan is developing and working to deploy a more holistic concept of food security.

What is the Tällberg Global Leadership prize?

In addition to the Global Leaders initiative, the Tallberg Foundation awards its Leadership Prize to two of the outstanding Global Leaders, people who have demonstrated the willingness and capacity to address the complexity of 21st century challenges in innovative, risk-taking, and ethical ways.  Prize winners are honored not only for what they have already accomplished, but for their commitment to continue seeking the kinds of positive change our societies demand.  Each prize winner receives $50,000.

What is the relationship between the Tällberg Global Leaders and the Leadership Prize?

The jury selects the prize winners from the five Global Leaders.

When will the Prizes be announced and awarded?

The Global Leaders 2016 will join the Global Leaders 2015 and other selected participants in a workshop on leadership in the 21st century to be convened on November 28-30, 2016 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.  The award ceremony will be held on November 29 as part of that workshop

Why does the Foundation support a leadership prize?

We believe that singling out one or two truly outstanding leaders and providing them with significant cash awards not only helps their work, but also encourages the global conversation about leadership that we hope to provoke.

How is the prize funded?

The lead sponsor of the Tällberg Foundation Global Leaders is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (www.SNF.org).

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation plays no role in the selection process.