Right Livelihood College

The Right Livelihood College is a network of 9 campuses at universities around the globe.

The Right Livelihood College is a partnership between UC Santa Cruz and the Right Livelihood Award Foundation. The Right Livelihood College links faculty and students with 'Alternative Nobel Prize' winners for research and education about proven solutions to the world's most pressing global problems. 

Visit rightlivelihood.ucsc.edu for more information!

Disseminating and strengthening knowledge, wisdom and skills for a positive future

The Right Livelihood College (RLC) is a global capacity building initiative of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation and universities. Founded in 2009, the RLC aims to make the knowledge of the Laureates accessible to all and, by linking young academics and civil society organisations with the Laureates, hopes to make their “winning ideas” succeed and multiply. The College operates as a global network of campuses at universities, initiated at the Universiti Sains Malaysia (campus 2009-2014).

Every Right Livelihood Laureate is automatically a Fellow of the Right Livelihood College. The role of the Fellow is to be the principal source of supply of learning resources through engagement in activities of education, scientific research, and practical activities that share and upscale their work.

The Right Livelihood College (RLC) has gained affiliate membership status with the UNESCO-based International Association of Universities (IAU). The IAU recognizes the key role higher education plays in the overall process of achieving sustainable development, by pursuing the creation, dissemination and application of knowledge. The Right Livelihood Colleges, including its researchers and students, will add substantial value to this forum for innovation, shared and mutual learning, and joint action. 


The RLC has four main goals:

  1. Making the knowledge of Laureates accessible to all, the general public as well as individuals and academics with the potential to make the ‘winning ideas’ of Laureates succeed and multiply. 
  2.  Actively linking the most excellent educational institutions with the Laureates, thus providing researchers and students unparalleled access to primary data and case studies of eminent civil society activists and movements.
  3. Connecting the global community of Laureates to help release synergies, scale tested know-how and create the critical mass to help bring their common goals forward.
  4. Providing a hub and an incubator for promoting and multiplying the most successful solutions to urgent global problems through the development of information and education activities including web-based learning materials, meetings, networking and internship and research scholarship programmes.


The College operates as a global network of campuses at 9 universities: University of Bonn (Germany), University of Lund (Sweden), University of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), University of Port Harcourt (Nigeria), University of Austral (Chile), Tata Institute of Social Sciences (India), National University of Cordoba (Argentina), the University of California at Santa Cruz (USA), and the School for Wellbeing Studies & Research (Thailand).


In order to build partnership with Right Livelihood Laureates around the globe, the College is organized as a network of campuses. Several university centres, faculties and institutes have committed to carry out activities and raise funds for Master or PhD fellowships. As each campus and the Global Secretariat raise their own funds from various sources, the College operates financially independent from the Right Livelihood Award Foundation.

The RLC works also with partner organisations on specific issues that relate to the College’s mission, vision and goals and promote synergies with the Laureates. Partners include the German youth initiative Youth Future Project and the international Chulalongkorn University – Right Livelihood Summer School previously organised in Thailand and Bhutan. 


Laureates share their ‘winning ideas’ with researchers, students and an interested public by giving lectures on particular issues.

Fellowships and research grants are given to outstanding students and researchers to further work on issues Laureates are working on; around ten PhD fellowships have been awarded so far.

Various international policy and action building workshops and seminars are organised, building upon the knowledge and activities of the Laureates. Topics that have been covered include ‘social mobilisation’, ‘reversing environmental degradation’ and ‘promoting food security’.

Inspiring films have been produced with the aim to multiply the thoughts and actions of the Laureates. Right Livelihood College lectures have been documented on a Youtube channel.

Interns are supported and mentored by the Laureates on specific issues; over a dozen internships have taken place so far.

‘Days of Action’ are organised to link selected international United Nations days with issues Laureates are working on, such as biodiversity, water and migrant workers.

For reports from the activities of the campuses and to find about about current opportunities, visit the RLC alumni blog.