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Press Releases

LUI Che Woo Prize Announces 2018 Laureate Continues to Catalyse the Development of World Civilisation

24 Aug 2018

(Hong Kong, 24 August 2018) – The LUI Che Woo Prize – Prize for World Civilisation today announced the three laureates of the 2018 LUI Che Woo Prize. Awarded in recognition of their extraordinary efforts to overcome the most significant issues facing the world, the 2018 laureates are:

  • Pratham Education Foundation, winning the Positive Energy Prize
  • World Meteorological Organization, winning the Welfare Betterment Prize
  • Hans-Josef Fell, winning the Sustainability Prize

The 2018 LUI Che Woo Prize laureates were unveiled at a press conference held earlier today. Honourable guests in attendance included Dr Lui Che-woo, Founder & Chairman of the Board of Governors cum Prize Council of the LUI Che Woo Prize; Dr Moses Cheng Mo-chi, member of the Board of Governors of LUI Che Woo Prize Limited; and Professor Lawrence J. Lau, Chairman of the Prize Recommendation Committee.

From left : Dr Moses Cheng Mo-Chi, Member of the Board of Governors, LUI Che Woo Prize Limited; Dr Lui Che Woo, Founder & Chairman of the Board of Governors cum Prize Council, LUI Che Woo Prize; and Professor Lawrence J. Lau, Chairman of the Prize Recommendation Committee, LUI Che Woo Prize at the announcement press conference.

The 2018 Positive Energy Prize – which this year had the Specific Area of Focus Elimination of Illiteracy – was awarded to Pratham Education Foundation. Dedicated to improving quality of education and contributing to literacy attainment, Pratham directly helps one million children attain basic literacy and numeracy annually. Profoundly wedded to evidence-based models, it is now one of the largest NGOs in India and focusses on high-quality, low-cost interventions which address gaps in the education system. Through replicable, scalable models that emphasises on result-driven accountability, Pratham is able to achieve lasting and widely influential success in India’s educational landscape and beyond, creating an adaptable demonstration model for governments.  

Dr Rukmini Banerji, CEO of the Pratham Education Foundation, said, “We are both surprised and delighted to have won the LUI Che Woo Prize! Our own values and vision of making the world a better, more positive place are very similar to that of the Prize, and this generous honour from an international award will greatly support the work of Pratham in continuing to promote quality education to the children who are most in-need.”

Pratham’s programmes to teach Indian’s underprivileged children basic literacy and numeracy in the Learning Camps

The 2018 Welfare Betterment Prize – with Reduction of the Impact of Natural Disasters being this year’s specific area of focus – was awarded to World Meteorological Organization (WMO). WMO sets worldwide standards and provides the framework for international cooperation by supporting its 191 member states and territories to implement the adopted policies, leading to better monitoring, forecasting and communication of meteorological hazards on a global scale. Its persistent effort is pivotal in the tenfold reduction in global loss of life from extreme weather, climate and water-related events observed over the past half-century.

Professor Petteri Taalas, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization, said, “We are honoured to be recognised by the LUI Che Woo Prize for the Organization’s long-term efforts in mitigating disaster losses related to extreme weather, climate and water events. As always, our top priority is to support our members in tackling weather, climate and water-related challenges. With the LUI Che Woo Prize, we will no doubt be even better positioned to lend our leading expertise and crucial support.”

World Meteorological Organization provides the framework for international cooperation at a global scale that is essential for the development of meteorology, climatology and operational hydrology as well as to reap the benefits from their application.

The 2018 Sustainability Prize – this year with the Specific Area of Focus Development of Renewable Energy – was awarded to Hans-Josef Fell. Internationally recognised as a founding figure of the global renewable energy movement, Mr Fell has been an environmental pioneer since the 1970s. He founded the world’s first energy community to produce solar power in 1994, transforming the market for renewable energy, and successfully fought for the adoption of the Renewable Energy Act in the German Parliament. This law has since been replicated over 100 times around the globe, contributing to changes in renewable energy practices worldwide. Building on his huge success in bringing Germany to be the world's first major renewable energy economy in 2000, he has since then been sharing best practices and negotiating with governments and parliaments worldwide to accelerate the global transition to 100% renewable energy, extending his impact to the global level.

Mr Hans-Josef Fell said, “Promoting sustainable energy with the goal of transitioning to 100% renewable worldwide has been my life’s work. Being awarded the LUI Che Woo Prize is a great honour and will strengthen my future activities to energise people for a sustainable and peaceful world. Thank you very much.”

Mr Hans-Josef Fell, renowned as “the father of the green electricity legislation” law in Germany, is the 2018 laureate of the LUI Che Woo Prize – Sustainability Prize. That law is largely responsible for sparking Germany’s renewable energy boom, and has been copied around the world.

Dr Lui Che Woo, Founder & Chairman of the Board of Governors cum Prize Council of the LUI Che Woo Prize said, “This year’s laureates have contributed tremendously in enhancing sustainability, welfare of mankind and bringing about positive energy, and are unanimously selected by the Prize Council. I am truly grateful for the concerted effort of the Prize Council, Prize Recommendation Committee and the Selection Panels to make the recognition of such outstanding laureates possible. Congratulations once again.

Dr Lui Che Woo thanks everyone in helping to shape the LUI Che Woo Prize for the past three years, and urges for continual support from the public and beyond to join hands in making the world a better place for all.

“The Lui Che Woo Prize is sowing seeds of goodwill, hoping to spread the positive energy to a broader audience; yet your support to the Prize and its laureates on carrying on their meaningful works is what is truly instrumental to further broaden its influence.”

Professor Lawrence J. Lau introduces the Prize laureates of this year and the respective selection panels which screen through all applications to choose the single most worthy laureate that impacts the whole world in their respective fields.

Looking ahead, the Prize will continue to evolve and to further widen its scope of each prize category, enabling the nomination of more individuals and organisations which have made outstanding contributions across a broad array of diverse arenas.

The nomination period for the 2019 LUI Che Woo Prize will begin in September this year. The process of nomination is by invitation only. The LUI Che Woo Prize will send invitations to more than 1,000 nominators, including heads of universities, academic institutions and professional organisations. Nominations will be considered regardless of race, religion and nationality (for individuals), or place of establishment (for organisations).

To find out more about the LUI Che Woo Prize, please visit the official website

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