The Prince’s Prize for Innovative Philanthropy is a global initiative jointly developed by The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and The Tocqueville Foundation. Its goal is to highlight projects and initiatives that have triggered innovative activity in the field of philanthropy, seeking out individuals and organizations that inspire others and demonstrate strong impact or potential impact.

The Prize for Innovative Philanthropy results from HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco’s close involvement in the Prince’s Roundtable on Philanthropy, a closed-door discussion of leading international philanthropists which takes place in Monaco every year immediately following the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos. The Roundtable helps philanthropists to exchange ideas, share experiences and collaborate in a confidential environment. Each year the Roundtable examines a subject through the window of philanthropy and invites esteemed speakers to bring their unique perspectives to the discussion.

Many of the members of the Prince’s Roundtable on Philanthropy serve on the Nominating Committee and Jury for the Prince’s Prize, together with a select group of social entrepreneurs, foundation directors, academics and other opinion leaders. The Prize was awarded for the first time in January 2014 at the Prince’s Roundtable to the very deserving Clara Miller, CEO of the FB Haron Foundation. In 2015, the Prize was awarded to a courageous young Indian philanthropist, Amitabh Shah, the founder and leader of YUVA Un- stoppable, for his highly innovative approach to youth engagement in a young and rapidly growing society. —–

Eligibility.Nominees are to be those responsible for projects or initiatives that have triggered new and important activity in the field of philanthropy.

Nomination Process.A Prince’s Prize Advisory Board composed of members from the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Tocqueville Foundation, and the Institut de France reaches out to a select group of leaders in various fields to make up the Nominating Committee, which includes distinguished leaders, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, foundation directors, academics, and previous participants of the Roundtable on Philanthropy. Members of the Nominating Committee are then asked to put forward (a) nominee(s) for the Prize.

2016 Advisory Board & Nominating Committee

2016 Advisory Board

Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation
H.E. Bernard Fautrier | Vice President & CEO
Mr Olivier Wenden | Executive Director

Tocqueville Foundation
Mr Jean-Guillaume de Tocqueville | Founder, Tocqueville Foundation
Ms Juliette Feeney-Timsit | Director, After-FACT
Dr Robert Piret | Professor, ESCP

Institut de France
Ms Leticia Petrie | Director of Administrative Services

Prince’s Prize Director
Brenna Lundström | Tocqueville Foundation

2016 Nominating Committee

Mr Pascal Beucler | Senior Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer, MSL Group
Mr Serge Dumont | Vice Chairman & Chairman Asia Pacific, Omnicom Group
Mr Martin Essayan | Trustee, Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian
Mr André Hoffmann | Vice Chairman, Roche; Chairman of the Board, Mazzellaz SA; President, Fondation Hoffmann
Mr Badr Jafar | CEO, Crescent Enterprises; Founder, Pearl Initiative
Ms Yue Sai Kan | Founder, YSK Productions
Mr Alain Merieux | Founder, Chairman, BioMérieux
Ms Pia Navazo | Program Officer, Globalisation & Human Rights Desk, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
Ms Bénédicte de Saint Pierre | Vice President Europe & Middle East, United Way Worldwide
Mr Duane Silverstein | Executive Director, Seacology
Mr Jean-Marie Solvay | Board of Directors, Solvay
Ms Jane Wales | CEO, Global Philanthropy Forum


Selection Process & Criteria

Five semi-finalists, confirmed by the Prince’s Prize Advisory Board, are submitted to the Prince’s Prize Jury for consideration. After deliberation and a vote, the Jury submits a shortlist to HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, who then chooses who will be awarded the Prince’s Prize. The winner is invited to give a keynote speech at the Prince’s Roundtable on Philanthropy.

The above criteria guide the selection process. Once examined across the five judging criteria, the nominees are considered as a collective group. When selecting semi-finalists, the aim is to identify a collection of initiatives that represent the diverse cultural approaches to philanthropy from around the world, furthering the reach of the Prize as a source of inspiration for other philanthropic efforts.

2016 Prince’s Prize Jury

The Prince’s Prize Jury is composed of the following internationally esteemed philanthropists and former participants of the Prince’s Roundtable on Philanthropy. After careful consideration of the semi-finalists and a vote, the Jury submits a shortlist to HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, who then selects the winner of the Prince’s Prize.

2016 Prince’s Prize Winner

University of the People (UoPeople) is the world’s first non-profit, tuition-free, accredited, online academic institution dedicated to opening access to higher education globally for all qualified individuals, de- spite financial, geographic or societal constraints.
In February 2014 UoPeople received accreditation from the Distance and Education Training Council, a U.S. Department of Education authorized accrediting agency.
Founded in 2009 by educational entrepreneur Shai Reshef, UoPeople is affiliated with the United Nations GAID, the Clinton Global Initiative, and Yale Law School ISP. UoPeople has signed collaborative partnership agreements with New York University (NYU) to accept students; Microsoft for scholarships, internships and mentoring and with Hewlett-Packard (HP), through the Catalyst Initiative, to provide student internship opportunities. UoPeople offers undergraduate programs in Business Administration and Computer Science. About 2,500 students from over 170 countries have been enrolled. Of students polled consecutively each term, 95% would recommend UoPeople to a peer.
With its tuition-free online programs, University of the People is opening access to higher education for all those constrained, as well as building a scalable and replicable model capable of changing the very nature of higher education. The non-profit UoPeople has managed to succeed in cutting down almost the entire cost of higher education, and does not charge for tuition or books/materials. All that is asked is for students to pay a one-time application processing fee ($50) and subsequent modest examination processing fees ($100) levied per course. There are no other fees whatsoever.
UoPeople strives to ensure, in keeping with its mission, that no qualified individual is excluded for financial reasons. To assist students in financial need, UoPeople has dedicated student scholarship funds. Corporate sponsors include Hewlett-Packard’s sponsorship of 100 HP Scholars as part of the UoPeople Women Scholarship Fund; Microsoft’s sponsorship of African students as part of the 4Afrika initiative; Western Union’s sponsorship of students and Intel Foundation’s sponsorship of women students from Haiti.

Honors: Prince’s Prize Finalist

Barefoot College. In 1965 a young post graduate student, Sanjit “Bunker” Roy volunteered to spend the summer working with famine affected people in Palamu District Bihar, now Jharkhand, one of the poorest of India’s states. His urban elitist upbringing had distanced him from poverty and destitution. This experience changed him, and formed the determination to fight poverty and inequality. It became his mission. The idea of the SWRC (Social Works and Research Centre), Tilonia emerged from these concerns.
There was no fixed agenda. In the late 60’s, a very small group of determined educated youth started look- ing for alternative ways of addressing poverty in rural India. This search for working models, approaches and strategies led some of them to live and work in villages. The answer seemed to lie in beginning a dialogue between the specialist and the “farmer” in a relationship born of equality and respect. In 1972, Meghraj from Tilonia village and Bunker Roy a fresh graduate from Delhi University became friends and shared a dream grafting formal urban knowledge on rural wisdom to create a world without want. Anil Bordia the then collector of Ajmer helped lease an abandoned Tuberculosis Sanatorium premises from the Government at Re.1 a month, in Tilonia.
In the beginning the “professionals” were geologists, economists, doctors, social workers, chartered accountants, graduates and post graduates who came to share this dream with concerned villagers. While questioning the system’s sluggish delivery of promised basic services, assumptions of technological competence in development programs were also challenged. For instance, did you need an engineer to repair a hand pump? Cannot midwives be trained to literally deliver better?! Could not the rich traditional folk arts and music be used for development communication? Instead of training women for leadership, could we not identify strong leaders to facilitate their learning about legal and other constitutional rights? Empowering them to question social oppression, the most difficult to confront in any society?
The early 80’s saw a substantial shift in the backgrounds of workers in SWRC. The rural illiterate youth were now the dominant actors, planning, taking charge of activities and initiating ideas. They replaced the urban middle class, transient professional. Gradually, the SWRC became the ‘Barefoot College’. The term ‘Barefoot’ originated in China and its village health workers. The phrase describes the SWRC ‘s concept of an organisation committed to the poor, neglected and marginalized sections of society. Tilonia’s first ‘Barefoot professionals’ were health workers. Then emerged a community of ‘Barefoot teachers’. The Barefoot concept was further strengthened with the rural craft section, supplementing the income of crafts persons and migrant workers, to sell in contemporary markets. All these were a part of the barefoot solutions in the initial years.
Broad based legal education and peoples’ mobilization, led to protests against injustice. Whether it was land rights for dalits, claiming minimum wages on public works, mobilising against reprehensible social traditions like sati, public protest against rape, and caste discrimination, the SWRC played a role.
The management of the SWRC, and later Barefoot College, has been participatory. We designed a participa- tory decision making process to implement the Barefoot College’s six non-negotiable values – 1. Austerity 2. Equality 3. Collective Decision-Making 4. Decentralization 5. Self-Evaluation 6. Transparency and Accountability.

Honors: Prince’s Prize Finalist

Blue Rose Compass (BRC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to giving gifted young refugees the opportunity to develop their talents and become agents of change in the world.
The organization travels to conflict zones in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America to identify young adults – especially, though not exclusively, girls – who have exceptional academic talent and leadership qualities. It helps them to apply to top universities and to find work when they graduate.
Among other criteria, candidates for BRC Scholarships must be either living in a refugee camp or otherwise displaced by conflict, and committed to finding ways in which they can use the opportunity of an education to contribute to peace and rebuilding in their region of origin.
Without BRC’s intervention, the talents of these exceptional individuals would most likely go to waste. The NGOs that work hard to cater to more than 50 million refugees understandably prioritize emergency needs such as safety, food and shelter. Education takes a back seat.
In particular, talented young women in the regions where BRC works tend to be extremely marginalized. They are typically encouraged to marry young rather than to pursue their studies. Often cultural or political pressures keep them away from school.
An education from an elite university can enable an individual to break their entire family’s cycle of poverty, and exponentially increase the impact they can have in their home regions. BRC Scholars are also encouraged to work together on cross-border projects.
As a diploma is only part of the equation, BRC works hard to get its students first class summer internships and jobs with Fortune 500 companies on graduation.
As beacons of hope and positive role models, BRC Scholars remind us that it is possible to create your future and impact the world no matter where you are from.

Honors: Prince’s Prize Semi-Finalists

Peacestartup is an initiative of a business nature which aims to create sustainable business solutions to challenges of building peace through a process of co-innovation challenges that generates entrepreneurial projects based on the use of information technology and communications (ICT). Its founder, Juan Andrés Cano, is Chief Executive Officer of Value4Chain, an organization which helps companies identify areas of improvement in managing ethics, compliance, corporate governance, and generating social and environ- mental value. Value4Chain utilizes the Index SLA, the Index of Sustainability and Environment Legislation, a tool to record, evaluate, and compare the management of CSR (corporate social responsibility) and sustainability of enterprises and supply chains, based on compliance with international norms and standards.

Father Pedro, Vincentian priest in the Congregation of Saint Vincent de Paul, of Slovenian origin, was born in Argentina in 1948. In 1970, he left for the first time to Madagascar to be a mason in the Vincentian parishes Vangaindrano. In 1975, after a 3-year training period in Europe, and after being ordained a priest in Argentina, he returned to Madagascar to be pastor of the parish in Vangaindrano for 14 years. In 1989, he was chosen as director of pedagogy in Antananarivo, to train young seminarians Vincentians to Soavimbahoaka. Faced with extreme poverty and the misery plaguing the capital, he founded the humanitarian association “Akamasoa” in May 1989, in order to contribute to human rehabilitation and social and economic reintegration of poor families to Antananarivo.

Honorable Mentions

SkyTruth, Oceana and Google launched Global Fishing Watch, a big data technology platform that lever- ages satellite data to create the first global view of commercial fishing. On November 14, 2014, a prototype was unveiled at the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia, with a public release version in development. Global Fishing Watch will ultimately give citizens a simple, online platform to visualize, track and share information about fishing activity worldwide. The platform works by analyzing data points from the Automatic Identification System (AIS) network. AIS, basically a GPS broadcast of a ship’s location, was primarily designed as a safety mechanism to avoid collisions at sea, but information about the vessel’s be- havior can be derived by analyzing the identity, speed and direction of broadcasting vessels. Global Fishing Watch will reveal the intensity of fishing effort around the world, one of the stressors contributing to the precipitous decline of our fisheries.

The Small Fishers Federation was set up in 1992 as a development network of small-scale fishers and farm- er’s organizations in Sri Lanka. The short name of Small Fishers Federation is Sudeesa, with a Sri Lankan meaning of “Organization with a better vision.” The Federation is an approved charity and nonprofit mak- ing, non-governmental organization, incorporated under Governement regulations for the Monitoring of Receipts and Disbursement of Funds by NGOs. As an umbrella organization, the Federation conducts advo- cacy, economical, social, and educational and Environmental programmes to strengthen and empower the small scale fishing and farming communities in self-reliance. During last three years the Federation member- ship has been increased rapidly up to 469 member’s organizations.

A look back : 2015’s Prince’s Prize Winner, YUVA Unstoppable

YUVA Unstoppable’s vision is to inspire kindness. Its mission is to act as a catalyst in the development, improvement and growth of youth and children. It is a registered NGO working for the less privileged chil- dren of India through mobilization of youth and resources. Youth account for 50% of India’s population, roughly 1.1 billion or 18% of the world’s population, and YUVA Unstoppable aims to strengthen and empower this important underserved population.
Amitabh Shah, the Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer at YUVA Unstoppable, believes that if the previous era of development belonged to an infrastructure revolution and technology advancement, the next one belongs to youth and child empowerment.
Amitabh decided to launch this volunteer movement at the age of 23 after he discovered the immense suf- fering experienced by an elderly friend when she was abandoned by her family. He gathered friends and began volunteering at homes for the elderly, slums and orphanages. Touched by the stories he encountered every day and inspired by the enthusiasm of young people to volunteer, he founded YUVA Unstoppable as a platform to spread kindness and compassion.
In the past eight years, YUVA Unstoppable has mobilized more than 100,000 volunteers and has benefited 240,000 less privileged kids, and they are continually working towards increasing that number. The or- ganisation has developed a curriculum to spread awareness among less-privileged children about discipline, hard work, morality, health and hygiene. Volunteers spend two hours a week for 12 weeks to teach this curriculum to municipal school kids. At present, this program is running in 60 schools across Ahmedabad, Jodhpur and Gandhinagar, involving more than 1,000 volunteers.
YUVA Unstoppable, in partnership with Microsoft and Intel, has mobilized hundreds of volunteers across 30 cities of India to teach a digital literacy curriculum specially designed by Microsoft and Intel. All curriculum and resources can be found online in open-source for volunteers to easily exchange and access materials.


The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Tocqueville Foundation would like to extend their gratitude to the individuals who have made personal gifts to support the Prince’s Prize for Innovative Philanthropy initiative:

HSH Prince Henri d’Arenberg
Founder, be.Source; Entrepreneur
Mr Michael Hayde
Founding Member, United Way Tocqueville, France; Chairman of the Board and CEO, Western National Group
Mr Badr Jafar
Founder, Pearl Initiative; CEO, Crescent Enterprises; President, Crescent Petroleum
Mr Geoffrey Kent
Founder; Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy; Founder, Abercrombie & Kent
Mr John Rossant
Chairman, New Cities Foundation; Member of the Board, Tocqueville Foundation
Mr Jean-Guillaume de Tocqueville
Founder & Member of the Board, Tocqueville Foundation; Partner, Gide