2012 Speakers and Featured Guests

The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize Forum brought together a truly diverse and inspiring group of world leaders, business leaders, artists and other changemakers.

Watch 2012 keynote presentations in our Video Archive

F.W. de Klerk
Former President of South Africa, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

President de Klerk, who won the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela, was the last State President of apartheid-era South Africa, serving from 1989 to 1994. He is best known for engineering the end of apartheid, South Africa’s racial segregation policy, and for supporting the transformation of South Africa into a multi-racial democracy.  In recent years, his passion for peace continues through his work addressing the complex challenges of the 21st century, such as building multicultural societies, rethinking immigration policy, and understanding global economic forces.

[Read Nobel Peace Prize address (1993)

Dr. Alf Bjørseth 
Chairman of Scatec AS, Renewable energy technologies

Throughout his career, Dr. Alf Bjørseth has been a major player in the field of renewable energy innovation. He has started a number of companies that eventually merged into one holding company, Renewable Energy Corporation (REC), where Dr. Bjorseth served as President and CEO from the start. Today REC covers the whole value chain for solar energy and is one of the largest solar energy companies in the world. Dr. Bjørseth currently serves as Chairman of his private business, Scatec AS, which establishes new companies based on the latest technologies in the areas of renewable energy and advanced materials. Additionally, Dr. Bjørseth is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and The Norwegian Academy of Technical Sciences, and has been honoured as Commander of The Royal Order of St. Olav.

Joe Cavanaugh
Youth Frontiers, founder and CEO

Joe Cavanaugh is a nationally-known advocate promoting timeless values and personal character to audiences of all ages. With over 25 years of experience working with young people, he is one of the foremost communicators to youth on the topics of respect, integrity, courage and compassion. In 1987, Joe founded Youth Frontiers, Inc., a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization whose work has impacted more than one million students and educators and has received national acclaim by providing powerful retreats with the vision of changing the way young people treat each other in every hallway, lunch line, and classroom of every school in America so that today’s young people can make tomorrow’s world better.


Dessa 

Writer, Rapper, and Speaker

Dessa is an essayist, a rapper, and a proud member of Doomtree, Minneapolis’ ascendant hip-hop collective. She is nationally respected as an artist with a dark, fertile imagination, an agile sense of humor, and very keen aim. The Utne Reader called Dessa “a one-woman powerhouse,” and she has been similarly received by NPR, the Chicago Tribune, URB, and AM New York.

Dessa currently serves as Artist in Residence for McNally Smith College of Music and is now traveling with Doomtree on a 45-city North American Tour.
 

Adam Hochschild
Author, Journalist, and Teacher 

Adam Hochschild has written for The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine and The Nation. His books include King Leopold’s Ghost, a National Books Critics Circle Award finalist and winner of Mark Lynton History Prize, and The Mirror at Midnight, A South African Journey. His most recent book, To End All Wars, is a gripping narrative of the moral drama surrounding World War I.  He teaches at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California Berkeley, has consulted for the BBC, and has taught writing workshops for working journalists in the U.S., Britain, Zambia, South Africa and India.

LaJune Lange
Honorary Consul for South Africa and Founder, International Leadership Institute 

Judge Lange is an internationally recognized expert in human rights and international development. After retiring as a State of Minnesota Trial Court judge, she started the LaJune Thomas Lange International Leadership Institute, which develops legal, health, and education programs while facilitating economic and intercultural exchange. She was a United Nations Development Program (UNDP) advisor during the Nigerian elections, provided intervention during the election crisis in Kenya, and is the first American Judge invited to participate in a judicial education program in Morocco. Today, she also serves on the Board of Regents of her alma mater, Augsburg College, and as Honorary Consul for South Africa, representing South Africans in Minnesota fostering partnerships and economic development.

Libby Larsen
Composer 

Libby Larsen is one of America’s most performed living composers.  She has created a catalogue of over 400 works spanning virtually every genre from intimate vocal and chamber music to massive orchestral works and over twelve operas. Grammy Award winning and widely recorded, including over fifty CD’s of her work, she has established a permanent place for her works in the concert repertory. In 1973 Larsen co-founded the Minnesota Composers Forum, now the American Composer’s Forum, which has become an invaluable aid for composers in a transitional time for American arts. A former holder of the Papamarkou Chair at John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress, Larsen has also held residencies with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony and the Colorado Symphony. 

Sakumzi (“Saki”) Macozoma
Business leader and former Member of the South African Parliament

After spending five years in prison on Robben Island during South Africa’s apartheid era, Macozoma emerged as an influential African business and political leader. In the 1990s he served as a Member of the South African Parliament, after which he worked with a number of organizations, including the South African Council of Churches, the ANC, and South African Breweries. He currently serves as Chairman of Liberty Holdings, Deputy Chairman of the Standard Bank Group, Non Executive Chairman of Safika Holdings, and Chairman of the Council of Wits University. He is also President of Business Leadership South Africa, Chairman of the Presidents Big Business Working Group. Mr. Macozoma has worked with all three South African Nobel Peace Prize Winners:  Nelson Mandela on Robben Island and with the ANC; Archbishop Tutu at the South African Council of Churches and currently at the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation, and Pres. F.W. de Klerk in the Economic Advisory Panel of the King of Swaziland.

Andrew Slack
Executive Director, The Harry Potter Alliance

Andrew is a teacher, social organizer, human rights activist, comedian, actor, and writer. In 2005, he co-founded the Harry Potter Alliance, an organization that uses lessons from the Harry Potter books to inspire young people to make a difference in the world. The alliance boasts more than 100,000 members. Andrew has also co-written, acted in, and produced online videos that have been viewed more than six million times and continues to perform stand-up comedy in the Boston area.

Watch Andrew’s recent TEDxRome talk about “Transmedia Storytelling

Follow @AndrewSlack on Twitter 

Naomi Tutu
International human rights advocate and daughter of Archibishop Desmond Tutu

The challenges of growing black and female in apartheid South Africa led Nontombi Naomi Tutu to become an activist for human rights. Growing up the ‘daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’ has offered her many opportunities and challenges. Most important of these has been the challenge to find her own place in the world. Naomi Tutu earned her master’s degree in international economic development from the University of Kentucky. Her professional experience ranges from that of a development consultant in West Africa, a program coordinator for race and gender at the University of Cape Town and at Fisk University, and an ambassador of Join My Village, an online social change initiative facilitated by CARE with financial support from General Mills and Merck. She has led Truth and Reconciliation Workshops for groups dealing with different types of conflict. She has channeled the opportunities and challenges that she has been given to raise her voice as a champion for the dignity of all.

Jonathan Mann
Correspondent, CNN International

Jonathan Mann is an anchor and correspondent for CNN International. Based in the network’s Atlanta headquarters, Mann has more than 20 years experience in print, radio and television journalism. Every December Mann hosts “The Prize for Peace,” a discussion with the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, live from Oslo, Norway. For sixteen years Mann has studied these Laureates and brought their work to the world’s attention. He currently anchors World Report and hosts Political Mann, CNN International’s weekly, half-hour show focused on bringing international viewers an insightful and irreverent look at politics in the Barack Obama era. In addition to extensively covering the U.S. presidential election in 2008, Mann has covered a multitude of international news events, from the fall of the Berlin Wall and the last days of apartheid in South Africa to the release of Nelson Mandela from prison and the rise of Vladimir Putin as President of Russia. Mann has reported on the war in Iraq, the Middle East conflict, and the September 11th terrorist attacks.