A good name is about to get bigger and better. The 24th
annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum
will convene March 1 in a new dual home – Augsburg College and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs – and with a new strategy for engaging more students, scholars, global leaders and globally-minded Minnesotans in the pursuit of peace.
The forum’s new executive director is Maureen Reed, a physician and former chair of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents who may be best known as the Independence Party’s 2006 lieutenant governor candidate. Reed is a dynamo who is taking the formerly itinerant forum to a new level.
Since 1989, when it was founded by the Norwegian Nobel Institute as its only affiliate outside Norway, the forum’s site rotated among five Upper Midwest colleges founded by Norwegian-Americans – St. Olaf, Augustana (Sioux Falls), Concordia (Moorhead), Luther and Augsburg. It didn’t stay in one place long enough to take root and grow.
That problem has been solved. My guess is that its next problem will be finding meeting rooms big enough for the participants the forum’s star power will attract. The featured speakers on March 3, the final day of the three-day forum, will be 1993 Nobel Peace prizewinner F. W. DeKlerk of South Africa and Naomi Tutu, a human rights activist and daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The first two days will explore how business, education and the arts can help create conditions conducive to peace.