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Living Democracy

„Rarely has it been so clear: Humanity and its planet need change. For peace and freedom. For the environment and climate. For equal opportunities and social balance“, says Uwe Jean Heuser, jury chairman of the Helmut-Schmidt-Zukunftspreis (Helmut Schmidt Future Prize). For this reason, the three partners – DIE ZEIT, the Bundeskanzler-Helmut-Schmidt-Stiftung and THE NEW INSTITUTE – have initiated the Helmut Schmidt Future Prize in 2022, an award that will from now on be presented annually to an international personality for their innovative achievements in the fields of democracy, society and technology.

The award ceremony for the second Helmut Schmidt Future Prize will be held on 4th May 2023 at the Thalia Theater Hamburg. We will inform you here and in our event newsletter as soon as tickets are available.

The award win­ner and ce­re­mo­ny 2022

Vanessa Nakate is the first award winner of the new Helmut Schmidt Future Prize.

This is how the jury explains their choice: „Vanessa Nakate is one of the leading voices for climate justice, a voice of the young generation, of the future, of the Global South. She is advocating for Uganda, Africa and beyond, for a large part of the planet that is particularly hard hit by climate change and least culpable for it. She is courageous, innovative, responsible, and represents many activists who are defining a new global common good. We look forward to learning much more from Vanessa Nakate in the future, and we are pleased and respectful to award her the Helmut Schmidt Future Prize 2022.“

Watch the highlights of the award ceremony here:

The Fu­ture Fes­ti­val 2022

As a supporting program for the Future Prize, the three partners organized a „Zukunftsfestival“ (Future Festival) with innovative and lively events in the fields of ecology, digitalization, civil society, democracy and the welfare state – as a special part of the „Lange Nacht der ZEIT“ (Long Night of DIE ZEIT) 2022.

Watch the events of the Future Festival here:

The Pri­ze

„Politics is not simply thinking, but also acting.“

(Helmut Schmidt, 1969)

Helmut Schmidt understood democracy as a struggle for the best possible solutions. He trusted in the strength of rational elements and was convinced that a compromise had to be reached at the end of intensive debates on political issues. According to Schmidt’s classical understanding, political decisions were taken in parliaments by democratically legitimized parties.

At the same time, Schmidt cultivated an exchange of views and debate across milieus with broad sections of society, and „trust“ for him carried immense significance as a political category. He attached great importance to exploring complex problems and illuminating them in a well-founded manner from different perspectives. This explains his thirst for knowledge and his openness to new and interdisciplinary approaches. Schmidt recognized early on that the future issues of the late 20th century could not be resolved within the narrow confines of the nation-state. Rather, he was convinced that European answers and global initiatives were required.

In the future, the Helmut-Schmidt-Zukunftspreis will be presented annually to an international personality whose significant work stands for innovative achievements in democracy and the common good.

The mem­bers of the ju­ry

The In­itia­tors


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email: helmut-schmidt-zukunftspreis@zeit.de
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