I’ve always thought George Soros deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for the work of his Open Society Foundations.
Here’s a good video on the work of this network, which I had the chance to look at up close in Central and Eastern Europe some years ago.
When the central totalitarian governments in that region began to collapse in the late 1980s a huge void in governance was created, hastened and filled in by an emerging and energized civic sector.
- OSF-supported book stores in most major cities supplied books, videos and other literature to daring walk-in customers — on democracy in thought and practice, historical and current, from Western Europe and America.
- OSF-supported radio stations supplied audiences with informative programs and interviews with pro-democracy respondents (I was one), news on current civic events, giving good coverage to the work of local non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
- OSF-supported scholarships, fairly easy to obtain, allowed students to travel to the West and learn first-hand of the work of democracy on-the-ground and bring those lessons home.
- OSF-supported grants stimulated the rapid growth and deepening capacities of human rights, community-focused, civic-minded, and social justice NGOs throughout Central and Eastern Europe.
- OSF-supported grants helped bring in other pro-democracy foundations to stimulate the development of community, private, and corporate philanthropy in those countries.
I don’t know how a Peace Prize nomination gets placed or gains momentum, but hopefully some of my readers do.
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Steven E. Mayer, Ph.D. / November 16, 2012 / Effective Communities Project