It is fifty years since the members of the Migros Community gifted the sum of 200,000 Swiss francs to its founder, Gottlieb Duttweiler, to mark his 70th birthday on 15 August 1958.

The idea was that he would use the money to establish a Gottlieb Duttweiler Award. Duttweiler subsequently transferred responsibility for administering the money and the award of the prize to his "Im Grüene" Foundation, to which the GDI belongs.

According to the deed of foundation, the Gottlieb Duttweiler Award should go to people who have made "outstanding contributions to the well-being of the wider community and to a cultural, social or economic environment in which everyone can realize their potential and play an independent part in its development".

The award-winners include Václav Havel (1990) and Joschka Fischer (2004). The 2008 Gottlieb Duttweiler Award went to Kofi A. Annan.


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Tim Berners-Lee awarded the Gottlieb Duttweiler Prize 2015

The GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute has honoured Berners-Lee for his pioneering invention of the World Wide Web. Sir Tim accepted the distinguished prize on 29 April 2015 in the presence of invited guests at the institute in Ruschlikon/Zurich.

The Gottlieb Duttweiler Prize was presented to Sir Timothy Berners-Lee at a formal ceremony on the evening of 29 April 2015. The founder of the World Wide Web was honoured at the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute in Rüschlikon near Zurich in the presence of around three hundred invited guests from the fields of politics, business, science and culture. Professor Urs Gasser from Harvard University gave the eulogy.

Sir Tim was awarded the prestigious prize for his huge contribution to the most powerful means of communication known to humankind – as well as inventing the enabling technologies behind the web, he has worked tirelessly to ensure the internet is open to all. As part of his commitment to this cause, he has waived all potentially profitable patents.

"Today we honour the uncompromising, radically democratic actions of a man whom we can only admire," said David Bosshart, Head of the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute (GDI). "Far more important than the technological aspect of this development is the social impact," stressed Fabrice Zumbrunnen, a member of the Migros Executive Board and President of the Foundation Im Grüene (which is part of the GDI).

Sir Tim considers the social and democratic aspect of the web to be under threat. The risk of fragmentation, which he warned of as far back as 1999, continues to spread: nations and companies are working with increasingly closed networks and not even half of the world’s population has access to the internet. "Over 25 years ago, Sir Tim gave us a tool to communicate, cooperate and create a better world," said Urs Gasser, Professor at Harvard University and native of Switzerland, in his speech. "Now it is our turn to shape the future of the web together."

Ernst Fehr receives 2013 Gottlieb Duttweiler Prize

The economics professor is awarded for his pioneering research on the role of fairness in markets, organisations and in individual decisions. The ceremony will take place in Rüschlikon/Zurich on 9 April 2013.

For almost two decades Ernst Fehr has been carrying out detailed and cutting-edge research into the social behaviour and economic preferences of people. In doing so, he has revised the traditional concept of man as «homo oeconomicus». Based on a number of experiments, Fehr has been able to document the «fairness preference» of people beyond cultural boundaries, in other words the fact that we are often driven not by selfishness but by a desire for fairness.

As one of the most influential economic scientists in the world, Fehr has made an important contribution to the «psychological turnaround in economics». Thanks to his transdisciplinary research approach he has managed to link economics with psychology, biology and neurosciences. The study areas of the award-winning researcher are diverse, ranging from the limits to the self-regulation capability of competitive markets to the role of the neuropeptide oxytocin in confidence-building and how to prevent female circumcision.

The politically independent Gottlieb Duttweiler Prize is awarded at irregular intervals for outstanding contributions to the community. Previous prize-winners include Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, former UN Secretary General and Nobel Prize winner Kofi A. Annan and the last president of Czechoslovakia, Václav Havel.

Ernst Fehr is yet another prize-winner whose work aims to create a better world. The presentation of the prize, worth 100,000 francs, will take place on 9 April 2013 at the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute in Rüschlikon/Zurich in front of invited guests. Professor Dan Ariely, lecturer in behavioural economics at Duke University, will pay tribute to his research colleague. The ceremony will mark the high point of the anniversary year of the GDI, which was founded in 1963.


The Gottlieb Duttweiler Prize was presented to Jimmy Wales on 26 January 2011. The founder of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia accepted the award at the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute in the presence of some 300 invited guests from the arts, politics and business fields. The laudatory speech was delivered by Roger de Weck, Director General of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation.

Jimmy Wales was awarded the prestigious prize for his services in making access to knowledge more democratic. The award, which is endowed with 100,000 Swiss francs, was presented by Gisèle Girgis, member of the Executive Board of the Federation of Migros Cooperatives. In her speech she evoked the name of the encyclopedist of the Enlightenment, Denis Diderot, and compared Jimmy Wales with him: «Both of them have faith in the power of the critical public.»

Claude Hauser, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Migros Cooperatives (MGB), emphasised the parallels between the non-profit encyclopedia and Gottlieb Duttweiler's non-profit-oriented organisation, the Migros Culture Percentage.


Nobel Peace Prize winner and former UN Secretary General Kofi A. Annan was presented with the old-established Gottlieb Duttweiler Award at a formal ceremony held in Rüschlikon on the evening of 8 September 2008.

The event was attended by some 300 guests from the worlds of business and politics. The award, which is endowed with 100,000 Swiss francs, was presented to Kofi A. Annan by Gisèle Girgis-Musy, president of the "Im Grüene" Foundation. Swiss President Pascal Couchepin delivered an address on behalf of the Swiss Government, while the eulogies were delivered by two of the laureate's friends: former Swiss minister Adolf Ogi and the British-African entrepreneur Mo Ibrahim. Top management of Migros was represented on the platform by Herbert Bolliger, CEO of Migros Cooperative Federation (MGB), and Claude Hauser, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Migros Cooperative Federation (MGB). Daniela Lager, anchorwoman of Swiss Television's late-evening news programme, moderated the event.

Award-winners since 1970:

1970 Prof. Bramstedt, Würzburg, nutritional scientist, efforts to combat dental decay
1972 Prof. Egon Kodicek, Cambridge, nutritional scientist
1975 Dr. Paul Fabri, nutritional scientist, efforts to combat obesity
1988 Lisbeth and Robert Schläpfer, St. Gallen, entrepreneurs in the textile sector
1990 Vaclav Havel, President of Czechoslovakia
1993 Dr. Esther Aufa Ocloo, Ghana, businesswoman and nutritional scientist
1998 Dr. Roger Schawinski, Zurich, radio and television pioneer, Radio 24, Tele24
2004 Joschka Fischer, German foreign minister
2008 Kofi A. Annan, UN Secretary General, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize
2011 Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia
2013 Prof. Ernst Fehr, internationally renowned behavioral economist
2015 Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web