As Chatham House wraps up its centenary activities, the institute has made three Centenary Awards recognizing outstanding contributions to confronting the critical challenges facing the world today.
The awards are unique as they were voted on by the institute’s staff and pay tribute to the individual or organization they believe has played a significant role in progressing the Chatham House mission: to help governments and societies build a sustainably secure, prosperous and just world.
Greta Thunberg has been awarded the Chatham House Centenary Changemakers Award in recognition of her vanguard role in mobilizing young people to take up climate activism.
Greta’s message has cut through where politicians and scientists have failed time and time again. She has commanded the attention of world leaders, addressed intergovernmental organizations and inspired millions of people to join the global climate strike. She has demonstrated the electrifying power of young voices speaking truth to power and focused the world’s attention on environmental injustices.
Sir David Attenborough has been named as the Chatham House Centenary Lifetime Award winner for his tireless commitment to conservation and raising public and political awareness of the growing climate crisis.
Together with the BBC, he has pioneered the way in which we experience and understand life on this planet, bringing the wonders of the natural world into our homes. Over the last 60 years, from black-and-white to 4K TV, his pioneering documentaries have been broadcast around the world and have sounded the alarm on the devastating impact humanity has had on the environment.
He has become one of the most compelling voices on important issues such as biodiversity loss, climate change and the destruction of natural habitats. Sir David was previously awarded the Chatham House Prize in 2019 for his work on Blue Planet II and tackling ocean plastic pollution.
Melina Abdullah, one of the co-founders of the Los Angeles chapter of the Black Lives Matter movement and co-director of Black Lives Matter Grassroots, has accepted the Chatham House Centenary Diversity Champion Award on behalf of the movement.
This award is in recognition of the momentous work Black Lives Matter has done towards empowering black people and promoting a more inclusive approach to race in policy-making. The movement has brought global attention to systemic injustice against black lives and is helping to build a better world that draws on more diverse voices and inclusive approaches.
Dr Robin Niblett, Director of Chatham House said:
‘We are delighted to recognise three special centenary awards today in recognition of the individuals who our staff believe are redefining the ways in which each of us can drive positive global change.
‘The vision and achievements of each of the winners echo Chatham House’s own goals for its second century and demonstrate a shared commitment to building a more sustainable and inclusive world.
‘We are inspired by the ways the award winners are leading global efforts to combat climate change, protect biodiversity and bring about more equal and inclusive societies.’
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