The recipients of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy, including Scottish entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter, will receive their medals at a prestigious ceremony today (Thursday 17th October) at the Scottish Parliament.
The bi-annual award, often referred to as the ‘Nobel Prize of philanthropy’, recognises those who use their private wealth and business acumen for public good. This is only the second time the ceremony has been held outside the United States, the first being in 2005 when once again it was hosted by the Scottish Parliament.
This year’s recipients are:
- Scotland’s first home-grown billionaire, entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter, knighted in 2005 for his services to entrepreneurship and philanthropy, who established The Hunter Foundation.
- Dr James Harris Simons, the American mathematician - along with his wife, economist Dr Marilyn Simons -. He is the driving force behind Math for America and together with his wife, founded The Simons Foundation.
- Dr Dmitry Zimin, the founder of the second-largest telecom business in Russia. In 2002, he founded the Dynasty Foundation, the first modern philanthropy family in post-Soviet Russia.
- The Wolfson family, founders of the Wolfson Foundation which has awarded more than £750 million in grants to some 10,000 projects over the last 58 years.
- Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science Community Development. The Foundation’s work includes Education City, which covers 14 million sq m and houses renowned international universities and institutions. She has been a driving force behind education and social reforms in her country.
The Wolfson’s medal will be accepted by Dame Janet Wolfson de Botton DBE, chair of The Wolfson Foundation, while Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani will accept Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser’s medal on her behalf.
Speaking ahead of the event, the Presiding Officer, the Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP said:
“Earlier this week, the Parliament opened an exhibition exploring the legacy of Andrew Carnegie’s philanthropy over the past 100 years. Today, we are welcoming modern philanthropists to our Chamber, people who have followed in Carnegie’s footsteps and used their wealth to make a positive difference to society. I am sure Carnegie would have enjoyed today’s ceremony and I hope the stories of the medallists will help inspire the next generation of philanthropists.”
Now in its 12th year, this year’s awards ceremony will include a key note speech by Pierre Omidyar, the entrepreneur and philanthropist best known as the founder and chairman of eBay, himself a recipient of the 2011 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. The event will be compered by broadcaster and presenter, Kirsty Young.
This year’s event also marks the centenary of the establishment of the Carnegie UK Trust. Angus Hogg, Chair of the Carnegie UK Trust, organisers of this year’s award ceremony, said:
“Today the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy is the most celebrated award in global philanthropy, designed to honour its name-sake, Andrew Carnegie, The award is inspired by his desire to reinvest his wealth in a way that would, in his words, ‘do real and permanent good in this world’.
“Those receiving this year’s award have wholeheartedly embraced his philosophy. Their philanthropic efforts span education, science, entrepreneurship and the arts. We are deeply honoured to be presenting these individuals with this medal, and congratulate them once again on their significant tributes to great causes across the globe.”