The 15th annual World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates begins Friday, 13 November in Barcelona, with Mazda returning for the third consecutive year as Leading Partner. “Advocating for Refugees. Achieving World Peace” is the theme of the three-day event. This year’s summit thus brings together Nobel Peace Prize recipients with representatives of international peace-endorsing organisations and other leaders to confront what is one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century.
The laureates attending include Yemeni journalist and human rights activist Tawakkol Karman, Iranian lawyer and activist Shirin Ebadi, and Óscar Arias Sánchez, a former president of Costa Rica. Joining them are representatives of prominent NGOs like the International Peace Bureau, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and the International Labour Organisation.
Aside from providing funds and a fleet of Mazda6s, CX-3s, CX-5s and MX-5s as official transportation to and from the University of Barcelona and Palao de Congressos de Catalunya, the main summit venues, Mazda has again helped organise the event. It will also host a “Modern Tools of Advocacy” workshop on Friday afternoon at Mazda Space, the carmaker’s event hub in Barcelona.
Mazda expects some 200 participants at the workshop, which starts with a keynote address by former South African President F. W. de Klerk, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for helping end apartheid. The session also examines the promotion of peaceful initiatives from a media perspective, featuring distinguished journalists such as the BBC’s Yalda Hakim. Another highlight is the launch of the third-annual Mazda Make Things Better Award, which – in the spirit of the laureates – invites submissions from 18 to 30 year olds, honouring with €10,000 in prize money the project making the best use of modern advocacy tools to make a difference in the world. Past winners were Antti Junkkari, a Finnish medical student striving to curb gun violence in Africa via radio programmes, and Yuka Kawamura, a Japanese international relations student looking to set up a free online tutoring platform to improve educational opportunities for secondary school pupils around the world.
The workshop is part of the summit’s Youth Programme, which aims to empower young people to take action and become tomorrow’s leaders by giving them the opportunity to experience and learn from the laureates first-hand. For Mazda, the event embodies the challenger attitude that serves as the brand’s central inspiration.
“Mazda's history is characterised by challenges that had to be mastered, often by defying conventional wisdom,” says Yasuhiro Aoyama, general manager of Mazda Motor Corporation’s Global Sales and Marketing Division, who will speak at the summit’s closing ceremony on Sunday. “The issues surrounding today’s refugee crises need dedicated souls with imaginative ideas, and we hope we can contribute by sharing our spirit of determination with participants of the summit and, of course, our workshop.”