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Wawira Njiru, founder and executive director of Food for Education, accepts the 2018 Global Citizen Prize for Youth Leadership at Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 on Dec. 2, 2018 in Johannesburg.
Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Global Citizen
Citizenship

Everything You Need to Know About Global Citizen Prize: Celebrating the World’s Most Inspiring Activists


Why Global Citizens Should Care 
The Global Citizen Prize is the first major event in Global Citizen’s 2020 campaign, Global Goal Live: The Possible Dream. The 2020 campaign will work alongside, and in support of, the United Nations — calling on governments, philanthropists, and the private sector to step forward and take responsibility for achieving the UN’s Global Goals to end extreme poverty by 2030. Join the movement by taking action here to help achieve the Global Goals. 

This December, Global Citizen will be celebrating the world’s top activists at the Global Citizen Prize — a ceremony to honor the individuals who have dedicated their lives to tackling extreme poverty. 

Think the Grammys, the Academy Awards, the BRITS — the broadcast moments where the world comes together to celebrate leading musicians, actors, directors, and artists. But the Global Citizen Prize instead celebrates the remarkable people driving social change in their communities and around the world. 

Taking place at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Dec. 13, the show will be hosted by John Legend and feature special musical collaborations from some of the world’s leading artists. It will also broadcast in the UK and the US later in December. 

As well as musical performances and calls-to-action for Global Citizens everywhere, the program will feature powerful, inspirational stories of people taking action to positively impact their communities — to serve as a reminder that every one of us is capable of achieving great things. 

Here's what you need to know: 

Who's performing? 

The artists performing at the inaugural Global Citizen Prize ceremony include Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Raphael Saadiq, Sting, Stormzy, and special guests Chris Martin and H.E.R. 

What are the Prize categories? 

At the Global Citizen Prize in December, we’ll award the Global Citizen Prize for World Leader, Artist, Business Leader, Global Citizen of the Year, and the Cisco Youth Leadership Award.

The Cisco Youth Leadership Award will celebrate an individual aged 18-30 who has contributed meaningfully toward the goal of ending extreme poverty. The award, sponsored by Cisco, includes a $250,000 prize paid to the organization through which the individual has achieved impact. 

You can find out more about the Cisco Youth Leadership Award and each of the five extraordinary finalists here.

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The Artist award celebrates a creative individual or group who uses their platform to create change, not just through conversation but through meaningful impact. 

The Business Leader award will go to an individual in the business community who has combined business goals with positive human impact. 

The World Leader award will be presented to an individual in the political or advocacy space who has advocated for and implemented policy changes that have actionably improved the lives of those suffering from the effects of poverty. 

Finally, the Global Citizen of the Year Award will celebrate an individual who has proven exceptional and sustained impact towards the goal of ending extreme poverty. This individual’s body of work must be extraordinary in its scope. 

How can I get involved? 

As with all Global Citizen events, Global Citizens based in the UK could earn their place in the crowd by taking action with us and voting for the Cisco Youth Leadership Award.

There were 500 pairs of tickets up for grabs for our Global Citizens in the UK, including a pair of tickets for one lucky winner that will also come with a return train trip to London and one night stay in a hotel for two. 

UK-based Global Citizens who voted for their favourite Cisco Youth Leadership Award finalist here will automatically have been entered into the prize draw. Public voting has now closed. 

Can I watch it on TV as well? 

Yes! Global Citizen Prize will also be broadcast around the world later in December, so you can tune in and celebrate along with us. 

Stay tuned for more details about when, where, and how you can tune in. 

How do you decide the winners of the Global Citizen Prize? 

With the exception of the Cisco Youth Leadership Prize, which has a different nomination process, members of the prize selection committee submitted up to two nominations each for individuals to be considered for the prize.

These nominees were then vetted by independent researchers against the judging criteria for each award, and the researchers then prepared briefs on the nominees against the criteria.

Selection committee members then reviewed these research briefs and selected their first, second, and third choice for winners. Their votes were then tallied to determine our final winners. 

For the Cisco Youth Leadership Award, there was an initial round of applications, with applicants judged against the award criteria by a group of representatives from Global Citizen, Cisco, and independent experts to create a list of semi-finalists. 

The semi-finalists were then judged by a panel of representatives from Global Citizen, Cisco, esteemed social enterprises, youth leaders, UN Agencies, businesses, and other leaders in the international development field, to create a shortlist of five candidates. 

The five finalists are now moving forward to a final round of judging. The public voting launched on Nov. 12 and closed on Nov. 26. You can find out more about each of the five finalists here.  

Each of the finalists will attend the award ceremony in London in December — where the final winner will be announced. 

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Is Global Citizen Prize a new thing? 

The Prize was actually launched in 2018, for the categories of World Leader and Youth Leadership and was presented live on stage at Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 in Johannesburg in December 2018. 

Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg was presented with the World Leader prize; while Kenyan nutrition activist Wawira Njiru collected the Cisco Youth Leadership prize. 

Related Stories July 12, 2019 This Activist Is on Track to Feed 100,000 Kenyan Schoolchildren

It’s truly a life-changing opportunity for the young winners of the Cisco Youth Leadership Award, and you can find out more about how receiving the 2018 award has impacted Njiru’s life here

The Artist Prize, meanwhile, has its origins in the George Harrison Global Citizen Award — an award to honor a musician who has demonstrated excellence in music and activism in the course of their career. 

In 2016, its inaugural year, the award was presented to George Harrison himself, in recognition of his decades of tireless work to support the world’s most vulnerable and marginalized. 

In August 2017, the award’s next recipient was Annie Lennox, who’s both a world-renowned musician and a global humanitarian. 

But this year, we’re going even bigger — as the first time that the Prize will be presented across all five categories, at an awards ceremony solely focused on celebrating these extraordinary change-makers. 

How does the Global Citizen Prize continue Global Citizen’s mission? 

Global Citizen campaigns on the UN’s Global Goals, a 17-step roadmap to ending extreme poverty by 2030. 

As well as the hard work from individuals, organizations, and governments around the world that’s necessary in that mission, it’s also important that we take stock of the progress that the world has already made — and celebrate the people behind that progress. 

Since 1990, the number of people living in extreme poverty has fallen from nearly 1.9 billion to about 650 million in 2018. Now, as we head into the 10-year countdown to 2030, it’s more important than ever than we celebrate the world’s progress and carry that momentum forward into the next decade. 

How does the Global Citizen Prize relate to Global Citizen’s 2020 campaign, Global Goal Live: The Possible Dream? 

The Global Citizen Prize is the first major event of Global Citizen’s 2020 campaign, Global Goal Live: The Possible Dream

Global Citizen, in partnership with Teneo, the global CEO advisory firm, is conducting a year-long campaign to get the world back on track to achieve the UN’s Global Goals by 2030. 

Working alongside, and in support of, the United Nations, the Global Goal Live campaign will call on governments, philanthropists, and the private sector to step forward, take responsibility for the goals, and provide the $350 billion needed annually for people and the planet to achieve the Global Goals in the poorest countries.


Proud partners of the Global Citizen Prize include Comcast NBCUniversal, MSNBC, Cisco, Johnson & Johnson, Citi, Live Nation, Reckitt Benckiser (RB), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Motsepe Foundation. 

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