Business for Peace in Geneva: The International Day of Living Together in Peace 2024

June 4, 2024

On May 16th, the Business for Peace Foundation had the great pleasure to attend the roundtable discussion for International Day of Living Together in Peace, hosted by AISA ONG Internationale, at the UN Building in Geneva. The city of Geneva was chosen to host the seventh edition of the International Day of Living Together in Peace this year.  An array of key actors from member states of the UN, non-governmental organisations, experts in education and actors from civil society gathered around the theme of “Education for a Culture of Peace”, discussing how we can implement peace in all forms of education. With 700 people in the audience, our Executive Director, Marius Døcker, spoke alongside Dominique Steiler, the UNESCO Chair for Economic Peace Culture at Grenoble École de Management, Michele Guillaume-Hofnung, President of the Guillaume-Hofnung Institute for Mediation, and Saïda Benouari, Head of the Mediation Unit of AISA International NGO. The panel was moderated by Hamis Demmou, Doctor of Paul Sabatier University – Toulouse III and former president of AISA International NGO. On the topic of economic peace, Marius emphasised the need for a mindset shift in business, highlighting the significant role businesses play in addressing societal issues.

In a world where conflict and violence are on the rise, it is crucial for all sectors to collaborate in seeking solutions for sustainable peace and for ensuring a better future for generations to come. Sheikh Khaled Bentounes, the initiator of the International Day of Living Together in Peace, said, “we must make our enemy our partner”. These words resonate deeply today and can be applied to the context of business and peace. Businesses can be an important force for good by placing responsible and ethical practices at its core. If done right, responsible business can make meaningful contributions to lasting peace, development and prosperity while ensuring long-term business success. The Business for Peace Foundation celebrates businessworthy behavior and leadership, which implies ethically creating economic value that also creates value for society. The shift of businesses towards the normative ideal of being businessworthy was at the heart of our message in Geneva. We strongly believe that business can be important catalysts for peace and thus must be included in the talks and work for developing peaceful and inclusive societies in the world.

During our visit to Geneva, our Executive Director, Marius, signed the Geneva Declaration on Education for a Culture of Peace: Putting Peace at the heart of Education and Learning. The declaration sets out seven articles containing a common frame of reference and affirms the signatories’ commitment to ensuring that Peace is at the heart of education and learning. By signing this document, the Business for Peace Foundation has pledged to mobilise our efforts to advocate and implement the content of the declaration. Peace should always be at the heart of education to ensure a better world for the future generations. An important step in realising change, we must invest in education: “Education is a sacred duty and we cannot avoid this responsibility towards our children. Put our skills, our assets, our knowledge and our technology to work in synergy at the service of the common good and the future. The Business for Peace Foundation encourage all our stakeholders to commit to the Education for a Culture of Peace by signing the Declaration here.

In addition to the celebration of the International Day of Living Together in Peace, the BfP also met with a number of organisations at the forefront of this work in Geneva.  Thank you to Principles for Peace, Interpeace, International Trade Centre, United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and Peaceinvest for the important discussions on the role of the private sector in securing positive social change.

This trip to Geneva has given us important insights for our work ahead. Business for Peace is committed to convey the important message of being businessworthy and we have some exciting projects coming very soon. Stay tuned for more updates in the months to come.

Navigating Business Challenges: BfP's Chair's thought leadership piece in ITC's 2023 Outlook

We are pleased to share that Per Saxegaard, Executive Chair of the Business for Peace Foundation, has contributed a thought leadership piece to the International Trade Centre’s SME Competitiveness Outlook 2023: Small Businesses in Fragility:
From Survival to Growth

This report, focusing on the impact of conflict and fragility on business performance, introduces a Fragility Exposure Index. It suggests that businesses can reduce the impact of fragility by 25% through reinforcing competitiveness, such as engaging with business support organisations and improving financial management.

Mr. Saxegaard’s thought leadership piece aligns with our Foundation’s ethos, advocating for responsible and ethical business practices. His insights add depth to the report’s findings on enhancing business resilience and sustainability in challenging environments.

This contribution is part of a wider effort by various experts and leaders to illuminate critical issues facing small and medium-sized enterprises globally. The SME Competitiveness Outlook 2023 provides an in-depth analysis and is a key resource for understanding the complex dynamics of the current business world.

The other contributing experts include 2014 Oslo Business for Peace Award Honouree Ouided Bouchamaoui, Assistant Secretary-General and CEO of the United Nations Global Compact Sanda Ojiambo and Gilles Carbonnier, Vice-President of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

To read Mr Saxegaard’s thought leadership piece and to access the full report, please visit the International Trade Centre’s website.

Per Saxegaard's thought leadership piece can be found on page 39 of the report, alongside other distinguished global leaders.

A Holiday Message from Business for Peace

23 December 2022

Dear friend,

If you told me a year ago I would be writing these words in the midst of a full-scale territorial war on European soil, I would not have believed you. Yet, here we are at the end of 2022, a year that one could easily be forgiven for labelling an annus horribilis. This rings particularly true when the glaring violations on Ukraine’s sovereignty is coupled with the subsequent soaring prices on basic necessities, rising interest rates, and a lingering COVID-19 situation. We live in unprecedented times.

In addition to this, the climate change threat is more severe than ever, there are deep-seated trust issues, and broken supply chains between the global north and the global south. And the 

Happy Holidays from Business for Peace

lead-up to the Football World Cup in Qatar showed us that tens of millions of migrant workers worldwide are stuck in a precarious position, with grave human rights violations being committed.

Yet, all is far from hopeless. On December 19th, the United Nations Biodiversity Conference in Montreal, Canada adopted the Global Biodiversity Framework, which aims to protect 30% of Earth’s lands, oceans, coastal areas, inland waters; Reduce by $500 billion annual harmful government subsidies; Cut food waste by 2030. The need to “foster the full and effective contributions of […] the private and financial sectors” are deemed critical throughout the framework’s four goals and 23 targets.

I am also relieved to see an ever-increasing focus on the global challenges at hand. New technology and a genuine willingness to build back better offer unimaginable opportunities for better lives and green growth. Now, more than ever before, the private sector has to be a fundamental part of global development, global solutions and global wealth distribution.

Private companies are rising to the challenge in record numbers. And, like the global network of Oslo Business for Peace Award Honourees, a growing amount of businessworthy leaders work tirelessly every day, all over the planet, to conduct business that does good, provide innovative solutions to global challenges, and which also inspires other business leaders to act businessworthy.

As 2022 draws to a close, I and everyone at Business for Peace are filled with renewed optimism and motivation to help re-imagine capitalism and make all businesses a force for good. After years of work, 2023 will see an immense opportunity come to fruition, where we together with our partners will lay the groundwork for a new form for multilateralism and transformative partnership as set out by the UN Secretary-General, to help build future systems of collaboration between business and society.

I hope you and your loved ones will have a peaceful holiday season. For all those that are not so fortunate; I promise that we will work tirelessly for a better tomorrow.

Warm wishes,

Marius Døcker

Managing Director

Business for Peace launches new website and visual identity

28 September 2022

In 2022, Business for Peace is celebrating its 15th year anniversary. During this time, more than 50 extraordinary business leaders have received the Oslo Business for Peace Award, and become examples of what it means to be businessworthy.

Our new visual identity keeps the Award and this message at its centre, anchoring our commitment to continue recognising, inspiring, and accelerating businessworthy leadership. With this new image, we also want to show our engagement with the 2030 Agenda and celebrate a new and exciting period for the Foundation. 

In the upcoming months, we will be sharing through this space and our social media channels, some exciting news about the future of Business for Peace. Stay tuned!

One-on-one with our Honourees: Dr Jennifer Riria

10 August 2022

Dr Jennifer Riria is CEO of Echo Network Africa (previously Kenya Women Holding) and has led Kenya Women Microfinance Bank (KWFT) for over two decades. KWFT is Kenya’s largest micro-finance provider and grants loans to marginalised women and their families, working together with leading civil rights organisations.

Through her crucial work, Dr Riria brings economic empowerment to low-income women and is contributing to peacebuilding, even during times of conflict. In 2016 she was recognised with the Oslo Business for Peace Award.

Photo by Olav Heggø

To be businessworthy is to apply one’s business energy ethically and responsibly with the purpose of creating social as well as economic value. How does your work align with these values?

As the Head of Echo Network Africa, I ensure that the strategy that targets touching of lives, enhancing livelihoods, promoting peace, and protecting peace and violations of women’s rights takes a centrepiece. This cannot be achieved without involving the target group which is low-income women, national and county government, and development partners.

How has the COVID-19 crisis impacted your work?

Like any other place on the globe, Echo Network Africa was separated from its target group due to the Ministry of Health protocols against COVID-19. Mobilisation of financial resources that support initiatives that benefit low-income women and their families has drastically reduced, forcing inadequate delivery. Psychologically, it has been torturous to receive news on a daily basis of women and their dying because of covid infections and in particular poor women and their families who cannot afford medical services.

What would you say to other business leaders about how to act as a role model and what to prioritise during these unprecedented times?

First of all, we must never give up. We must continue with our work as much as possible using every possible delivery mechanism. For example, using social media and working with local partners, providing information publicly on how people should socially manage themselves to minimise infections. There is a need to keep in contact with our target groups. Human resources, whether permanent or temporary, who work with us must be supported, advised, and given technical knowledge on how to manage themselves and their families. This may include, and is not limited to, connecting them with health services and access to daily survival needs.

Dr. Jennifer Riria during the 2015 Summit. Photo by Olav Heggø

I have personally experienced and watched women like me and girls suffer social, economic, and political exclusion. My passion has been to engage at levels and initiatives that transform how these systems work.” — Dr Jennifer Riria

What are the top issues you would like to see highlighted in the aftermath of COVID-19?

  1. Families that have broken up due to stress under lockdown.
  2. We must deal with a whole population of teenage girls who on a daily basis have been abused, gotten pregnant, and are out of school.
  3. We need to encourage the government to initiate interventions that will uphold not only businesses that have collapsed, but also initiatives that support the recreation of harmony among family members.
  4. Legal systems in place must change and be sensitive to issues that have destroyed the social fabric.

Is there another Business for Peace Honouree that you look towards for inspiration? Who and why?

All honourees are admirable because of what they stand for as businesspeople and human beings. However, I like to identify myself with Marc Benioff (2020 Honouree). First of all, he lives in the present and uses ICT to deliver and manage his quest. Secondly, he focuses on areas of philanthropy, caring leadership, and strives for quality. Those are tenets for achieving peaceful coexistence in any society.

How do you stay motivated?

All my life, when I know through any action that I take has enabled an individual to benefit their lives and achieve their self-set goals, I sing for joy.

This interview was originally published in Business for Peace Medium.

Human Rights Day 2021: Highlighting the work of human rights defenders

10th December 2021

Written by Eva Thorshaug, Intern at Business for Peace Foundation

Human Rights Day is celebrated by the international community every year on December 10th. The anniversary commemorates the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. The 10th of December also marks the annual ceremony of the Nobel Peace Prize. This years’ Laureates and human rights defenders Maria Ressa and Dmitrij Muratov are awarded the prize for their “efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace”.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov (Photo: The Nobel Peace Prize)

Businesses have a role to play in the advancement of the human rights agenda and the protection of human rights defenders. Meaningful progress has been made in the decade since the publication of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) whereby committed companies are monitoring their own activities more carefully. Human rights due diligence (HRDD), a practice by which companies have to identify and act upon potential human rights abuses connected to their activities, has also gained traction in the last few years.

Unfortunately, this has not been enough. Great challenges such as breaking the cycle of poverty, pervasive inequality and structural discrimination all require a human rights approach in order to be solved effectively — and businesses have a role to play.

Protecting the Civic Space: The Business and Human Rights Dimension

While progress has been made in advancing human rights in the corporate world, the role of business has also been called into question specifically on the issue of protecting human rights defenders. Human rights defenders as well as civic society at large are essential in protecting and expanding civic freedoms, also in the spaces in which business operates. They play a key role in alerting businesses of potential human rights-related risks, and concerns of affected communities. Moreover, the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders stressed that the 2030 Agenda is “doomed to failure if the individuals and groups on the frontline of defending sustainable development are not protected at the national, regional and international levels”.

Yet, there are grave concerns that many businesses potentially play a role in contributing to attacks against human rights defenders by failing to take action when abuse is revealed. The unfortunate fact is that human rights defenders — especially those who work against business-related abuses — face a rising number of grim and sometimes fatal threats. The organisation Front Line Defenders reported that last year alone 331 human rights defenders were killed around the world, a majority of which were working on land, indigenous peoples’ and environmental rights. Excluding killings, the most reported violations against human rights defenders were detention and arrest (29%), legal action (19%) and physical attacks (13%). In other words, human rights defenders are operating in an increasingly constrained civic space. Such developments ought to prompt serious reflection on the part of businesses as major actors in these spaces — and the role they want to take.

Leveraging the Power of Business to Promote Human Rights

Civil society and businesses alike benefit from a civic space built on accountability, transparency and predictability. These are also key elements of an environment where growth and innovation can flourish. It is thus in the interest of businesses themselves to protect human rights and empower its defenders. To do so, businesses first need to understand their leverage and how to utilise it in the best possible form.

In the context of human rights, “leverage” refers to the ability of a business to effect change in the wrongful human rights practices of others, either by private or public means. Businesses can for example have leverage over suppliers or contractors, or they can use their influence to promote and protect the work of human rights defenders vis-à-vis aggressive governments. Leverage is an ambiguous concept because businesses oftentimes have more leverage than they realise or even want to acknowledge. Many businesses also do not utilise their leverage beyond narrow commercial priorities as acting on human rights violations is perceived as too high risk. In other words, respecting the rights of human rights defenders is simply not seen as a priority.

This, however, is a rather short-sighted view of business that is not beneficial in the longer term. At Business for Peace, we believe that business can both do good and do well at the same time. While advocacy and using leverage might not come naturally to many companies, inaction is to the detriment of both business and civic society. By engaging with human rights defenders and respecting their rights, businesses are more successful in building trust with the communities they operate in and in turn improve the durability of their operations. Human rights defenders are also uniquely positioned to identify risks and offer solutions on how to mitigate them, creating positive outcomes for all parties.

A year-long effort

It is important that businesses sustain their efforts and commitment to human rights and human rights defenders beyond the 10th of December every year. Respecting human rights is a year-long effort and businesses have a fundamental role to play. On this Human Rights Day, let’s celebrate human rights defenders and advocate for better business practices that put human rights at their core.

Nominations for the 2022 Oslo Business for Peace Award now open

Monday, 06 September 2021 09:15

Business for Peace is seeking candidates for the 2022 Oslo Business for Peace Award. 

Candidates can be nominated through the Foundation’s global partners: International Chamber of CommerceUnited Nations Development ProgrammeUnited Nations Global Compact and Principles for Responsible Investment.

The Award aims to highlight ethical and responsible business practices, and is the highest distinction given to a business leader who exemplifies outstanding businessworthy behaviour and accomplishments, creating value both for business and society.

There are three evaluation criteria:

1. Being a role model to society and their peers
The Nominee is acting as a role model to the general public and the business community by showing how to achieve long term success by being businessworthy.

2. Standing out as an advocate
The Nominee is an outspoken advocate for the importance of ethical and responsible business, seeking to solve problems and create value for both business and society

3. Having earned trust by stakeholders
The Nominee has earned recognition and appreciation as a business leader by stakeholders in the communities within which the business is developed and cultivated over time.

Following the nomination process, Honourees will be selected by an independent committee consisting of Nobel Laureates in peace and economics. Current committee members are Ouided Bouchamaoui, Leymah Gbowee, Finn Kydland and Eric Maskin.

As CEO’s, we don’t need to have more, we need to do more. When we have tools and resources to solve problems, we have to use them. – Hamdi Ulukaya, 2019 Honouree and CEO of Chobani

Spotlight Series Programme 2021

Day 1 - Wednesday 26th May

10.00 – 10.30 – Welcome and Introduction

First, hear from Per Saxegaard, Founder of Business for Peace about the 2020 Business for Peace Honourees and their work towards SDG8: Decent Work and Economic Growth. There will also be a special virtual recognition to name them as official Business for Peace Honourees. Next up, we will hear welcoming remarks that inspire the #businessworthy cause from Governing Mayor of Oslo, Raymond Johansen. Then our Managing Director of Business for Peace, Marius Døcker, will open our three-day Spotlight event series focused on Decent Work.


View the Welcome and Introduction here

10.45 – 12.00 – Rethinking Systems of Decent Work

The socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 have been severe, exposing existing vulnerabilities and exacerbating inequalities on a global scale. Those with unstable incomes and little-to-no social protections have been pushed deeper into poverty. Women around the world have been left more vulnerable to job and income losses and are at higher risk of experiencing domestic violence and abuse. School disruption and the disappearance of entry level jobs, internships, and job training programmes have marginalised youth and left them with an uncertain future.

As the world rebuilds in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, hear from leading voices on how governments, private sector actors, unions, and civil society organisations can unite to overcome challenges and re-establish better systems for decent work.


Moderator – Fiona Reynolds, CEO, Principles for Responsible Investment

Paul Polman, Co-founder and Chair at IMAGINE

Guy Ryder, Director General, International Labour Organisation

Felicitas Pantoja, CEO & Founder, Coffee for Peace

Roger Bjørnstad, Chief Economist, The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO)

View “Rethinking Systems of Decent Work” here

15.00 – 16.00 – Stakeholder Capitalism in the Post-Pandemic World: Conversation with Joseph Stiglitz

The current pandemic has shone a light on the importance of stakeholder capitalism and the difference between how our economies have worked in the past versus how we need them to work going forward. The actions of companies toward their stakeholders has come under additional scrutiny. While many companies have prioritised employee safety, community protection, and customer safety, others have only focused on their bottom-lines. 

Research has shown that serving all stakeholders is an ethical good that can be a source of competitive advantage, however, the businessworthy concept remains an ideal rather than an operational goal for many.


Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel-Prize winning Economist and Professor at Columbia University

Kjersti Løken Stavrum, CEO at Tinius Trust and President of PEN Norway

 View “Stakeholder Capitalism in the Post-Pandemic World” here

17.00 – 18.00 – Building Resilient Supply Chains

One of the biggest contributing factors to modern day slavery is a lack of supply chain visibility. According to the new Economist Intelligence Unit research report, over half of companies lack end-to-end visibility of their supply chains because they rely on a picture of supply and demand that is based only on internal data. As a result, the majority of companies are unaware of unethical or slavery practices that are occurring within their supply chains. In the process of building back better, the supply chain ethos needs to be transformed from efficiency and low-cost country sourcing, to supply chain resilience and visibility.


Carrie George, VP Sustainability and Impact, Everledger

Justin Dillon, Founder of FRDM, an enterprise-grade software company

View “Building Resilient Supply Chains” here

Day 2 - Thursday 27th May

09.30 – 11.30 – Inspiring Youth Inclusion and Participation

Access to decent, productive work benefits everyone and paves the way for more prosperous societies. With the right policies in place, young people can be influential actors of economic and social progress. But if we fail to improve their prospects, especially for those the most disadvantaged, both economic and social development could be compromised locally and globally. Join us for our Youth Workshop to explore how stakeholders can ensure youths are included in high-level decision-making processes and make positive change within their communities.


Moderator – Andrada Dugan, Head of Urban Lab, Incubation and Open Innovation, Paris & Co

Danat Tekie, Co-Founder & Chief External Relations Officer, YSI

Kamzy Gunaratnam, Deputy Mayor of Oslo, City of Oslo

Marte Sølvsberg, Business advisor to President, Orkla AS

View “Inspiring Youth Inclusion and Participation” here

13.00 – 14.00 – The Hidden Workforce

Prior to the pandemic, a portion of the global population already within the “hidden workforce” struggled to find stable employment with decent working conditions. According to the Harvard Business Review, the hidden workforce includes individuals with employable skills who are unable to make it into the workforce, for example, immigrants and refugees, the formerly incarcerated, veterans, seniors, caregivers, and people with disabilities. These groups have been largely neglected in government policies and business hiring practices.

 Without social safety nets, they have been pushed deeper into poverty and social exclusion due to the challenges presented by the current pandemic. We’ll be joined by an expert panel including a CEO employing underserved women in Lebanon, a pioneer in the field of digital identity and a leading voice in the academic community.

Join this event for a lively talk on the process of rebuilding, stakeholders need to generate sustainable solutions to remove barriers that marginalize hidden workers and create meaningful space for them in the labour market.


Moderator – Knut Andersen, Global Livelihoods Manager, Norwegian Refugee Council

Alexander Betts, Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs at the University of Oxford

Carlos Moreira, Secretary-General of the OISTE Foundation

Sarah Beydoun, CEO & Co-founder, Sarah’s Bags

Mohamed Abdullahi, Somali-Translator, Proofreader & Web researcher, Ifrika Online

View “The Hidden Workforce” here

15.00 – 16.00 – Role of Governments and Businesses in Building Back Better

The pandemic has highlighted the vulnerabilities within our social and economic systems, particularly our misguided focus on short-term economic growth and efficiency over long-term resilience and sustainability. In building back better, we need to commit to designing economic systems that reduce socio-economic inequalities and tackle global environmental emergencies such as climate change and biodiversity loss. Environmentally destructive activities and unsustainable structures that prevent upward social mobility can no longer be the norm, as we are faced with the opportunity to rebuild more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive societies.

Join us for this one-on-one interview with Sanda Ojiambo, Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact as we discuss how governments and businesses can work together to design recovery policies anchored in the Sustainable Development Goals.


Sanda Ojiambo, Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact

Moderator – Rahwa Yohaness, Founder and Director, Manifold

View “Role of Governments and Businesses in Building Back Better” here

Day 3 - Friday 28th May

10.00 – 10.45 – Ensuring Financial Services for All: Leading Financial Inclusion with Dr. James Mwangi

This interview will focus on understanding the inequalities and challenges faced by unbanked populations and their opportunities for broader economic participation. During this intimate conversation, Dr James Mwangi will reflect on his career championing financial inclusion, and will discuss the role of the financial sector in meeting the SDG Agenda. As a 2020 Business for Peace Honouree, Dr Mwangi will join us in conversation to spotlight his decades-long commitment to inclusive initiatives and his business philosophy to ensure financial services for all.

Dr. Mwangi is a leading example of a business leader working towards SDG Target 8: “Universal access to banking, insurance and financial services.” In this interview, we will cover his continuous commitment to broadening banking to marginalised communities in the Global South and hear about what the future holds for inclusive banking.


Dr James Mwangi, CEO of Equity Group Holdings

Kafui Dey, Television host at Diaspora Network

View “Ensuring Financial Services for All” here

11.30 – 12.45 – Sustainable Investing: The SDG Impact Standards in Focus

In every corner of the globe, the private sector is increasingly seeking new opportunities to make a positive impact – and to make meaningful contributions towards the achievement of the SDGs. However, many are lacking concrete guidance on how to translate intent to action – a longstanding missing link. To this end, the new UNDP SDG Impact Standards for private equity funds are a practical contribution providing a common language and a clear system for integrating the SDGs into business and investment decision-making.

In this two-part session, UNDP SDG Impact will present the new SDG Impact Standards for Private Equity Funds. Following this overview, Fabienne Michaux, Director of SDG Impact, will lead a dialogue with pivotal voices from the private equity sector. In this thought-provoking discussion, key Nordic and global investors will give their professional insights into the inputs and needs of the financial sector to implement the Standards and create measurable impact to meet the 2030 Agenda.


Moderator: Fabienne Michaux, Director, UNDP SDG Impact

Reynir Indahl, Managing Partner, Summa Equity

Christian Sinding, CEO and Managing Partner, EQT

Sir Ronald Cohen, The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment

View “Sustainable Investing: The SDG Impact Standards in Focus” here

14.00 – 15.00 Scaling Sustainable Finance and Economic Growth and Keynote Address by Amina Mohammed

If we are to close the financial gap towards the achievement of the SDGs, now is the time to act, align and harmonise our organisational efforts to scale sustainable finance. Leading global corporate actors agree, in order to finance the SDGs while creating sustainable economic growth (SDG 8) we need urgent action to catalyse private finance. In this panel, Idar Kreutzer, CEO of Finance Norway, will host a deep dive into purposeful corporate governance with Fani Titi, CEO of Investec, and Carine Smith Ihenacho, Chief Governance and Compliance Officer of Norges Bank Investment Management.

Measuring and reporting impact is crucial. In this conversation, our speakers will discuss how their organisations address the most enduring challenges to accelerating sustainable finance. In order to transform corporate sustainability, a larger conversation must be had to cover the collective actions needed to harmonise and collaborate between a multitude of stakeholders.


Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group

Moderator – Idar Kreutzer, CEO, Finance Norway

Fani Titi, CEO, Investec

Carine Smith Ihenacho, Chief Governance and Compliance Officer, Norges Bank Investment Management

View “Scaling Sustainable Finance and Economic Growth” here

15.30 – 16.15 – Roundtable: Making Blended Finance Work for the SDGs

Development finance actors today need private capital to mobilise action towards sustainable development. One approach to achieve this is blended finance, but scaling private and commercial investment towards the SDGs isn’t happening fast enough. In order to breach the estimated 2.5 trillion dollar investment gap in the SDGs in developing countries, we must make better use of blended finance mechanisms. As a flexible approach, blended finance allows organisations with different objectives to invest alongside each other while achieving their own objectives. 

To explore the roadblocks inhibiting comprehensive, blended finance initiatives and discuss solutions, this roundtable will engage leading contributors from the public and private financial sector. What does the private sector need in order to commit funds at scale, and what must donors and governments put in place to make blended finance programming more attractive for private investors? Join us to understand how public-private partnerships could create a new era of blended finance for the SDGs.


Moderator – Ladé Araba, Managing Director, Africa at Convergence Finance

Jean-Philippe de Schrevel, Founder & Managing Partner Bamboo Capital – SDG500

Bård Vegar Solhjell, Director General, NORAD

Lisa Kurbiel, Head of the Joint SDG Fund Secretariat, United Nations

View “Making Blended Finance Work for the SDGs” here

Remembering Hans-Christian Gabrielsen

Friday, 12 March 2021 17:43

We are deeply saddened by the news of Hans-Christian Gabrielsen’s passing. Gabrielsen was the leader of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) and a member of Business for Peace’s Advisory Board. 

Gabrielsen was deeply committed to improving conditions for workers throughout his career. He started as a process operator in the pulp mill Tofte Industrier and later served as secretary for the United Federation of Trade Unions. Additionally, he held board positions for the Labour Party before becoming the head of LO. He was highly respected in all circles and known for building bridges to find fair solutions. The scope of his work reaches beyond Norway into Europe and beyond.

Gabrielsen was caring, generous, honest, and worked tirelessly for a better world. Business for Peace values the contribution he made towards improving workers’ rights and positive business practices. He will be sorely missed.

Our thoughts go out to his wife, daughter, family, and colleagues.

Year in review: 2020

Monday, 28 December 2020 10:58

Building back together

Business for Peace has always enjoyed gathering people and inspiring discussions. We have facilitated discussions at our annual Summit and locally at startup community MESH. We recognised businessworthy leaders with the Oslo Business for Peace Award. Since 2009, global business, global leadership, global gatherings were our core. When March came, we were quick to do two things: ensure the safety and wellbeing of our employees, and cancel physical events.

Our vision is that all business leaders strive to improve society by creating value for all stakeholders in an ethical and responsible way. The mission, therefore, is to recognise, inspire, and accelerate businessworthy leadership. And this is how we did that this year:




We started to accelerate businessworthy leadership through action. In October, we launched a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme, the International Chamber of Commerce, and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation called Future of Business. The Future of Business’s aims, among other ambitions, to inspire, educate, and connect investors with entrepreneurs.

We also gathered our Honourees digitally for the first time ever. Their determination to make sure businesses did good despite Covid-19 was palpable. In fact, their drive and teamwork resulted in a call to action to build back better in the Global South. Twenty-six of our Honourees from around the world signed the call to action, and we are so grateful to them for their commitment to accelerate the call to action.


Through our partnerships and our Award Committee, we still were able to recognise business leaders changing the face of business. This year’s Honourees are three diverse, driven, peacebuilding leaders.

“They are role models to society and their peers, have earned stakeholders’ trust, and stand out as advocates,” says Per Saxegaard, Founder of the Business for Peace Foundation.

We hope to see them next year at our Summit, along with you as well. In keeping with adapting to the new circumstances, we are committed to holding our 2021 Summit, knowing that it will look very different and much of it will be digital-first.With that, we want to make sure you save the dates! 26–27 May 2021, we will once again gather, albeit digitally. We will once again discuss business, celebrate our Honourees, and inspire present and future leaders.Until then, may you have a healthy holiday season.