Another award, why?

The need for ‘Enlightenment’ remains necessary, maybe even more so in our ‘modern’ society where ‘change’ and ‘transition’ seems to be part of our daily routine. We as human beings want to improve our Quality of Life but at the same time we are responsible for the direction of this change and the influence it has on the life of all living creatures, the nature around us as well as the future of our Mother Earth.”
“The daily life of this planet seems increasingly to be controlled by a minority of superpowers, both in politics and industry. What is on their agenda however does not always seem to serve the purpose of change for good. At the same time we face the biggest challenges resulting from overpopulation and pollution

Friendly Fighters For Future-proof Fundamentals
Individuals fighting for innovation and development, against dogmas or modern institutions just like the French philosopher Voltaire did, are therefore very urgently needed. We call them the Friendly Fighters For Future-proof Fundamentals. They are an example for us all  with their spirit of persistence, belief, vision, enthusiasm, persuasion and last but not least: action. They go on and continue where others stop, for the benefit of us all. These individuals deserve our attention and warm support.

Introduction video Prix Voltaire International

Nominee criteria

Created by Nyenrode Business University, based on the 17 sustainable development goals initiated by the United Nations.

The nominee:
- has successfully taken the initiative to launch and realise plans which substantially contribute to one or more of the 17 sustainable development goals initiated by the United Nations.

- is regarded to be an example to society, not only by the Prix Voltaire International jury but by a wide audience as well.

- contributes to the connection between theory and able to bring his/her ideas and vision into reality actively.

- has given proof of having the ability to influence the lives of many in a positive way.

- has a highly developed moral compass, well developed identity and originality, is courageous and decisive and has the ability to anticipate disruption.

- is actively taking the lead and asserts responsible leadership for society as well as sustainability in a wider perspective, transcending national borders and interests.

About Voltaire

Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet,1694 - 1778) wanted to call attention to injustice, slander and irrationality. 


With his writing he created a revolution in the way people were seeking knowledge. The people were no longer solely relying on the ruling authorities who often gave them information based on fear or by using the lack of education or development. Voltaire’s writing made the people less sensitive to manipulation. 


This revolution initiated the ‘Enlightenment’ which inspired the intellectuals and led to political changes in Europe. ‘The Enlightenment’ has had a great influence on our contemporary Western society and has caused major changes in religion, philosophy, arts and science.


The Enlightenment lead to a ‘modern society’ through individualism, emancipation, feminism, secularity and globalisation. The principle of equality, human rights and justice for all men found its roots in this movement as well as freedom of thoughts, socialism, classical-liberalism and anarchy.


Voltaire’s influence was immense. He fundamentally changed the views on and opinions about important issues in Europe.

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