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Conversations with Claes: A Dialogue with Claes Nobel, Senior Member of the Nobel Prize Family

March 30, 2017 / by / 0 Comment

Good Earth! Good Earth! Good Earth!

The phrase became a chant and then a refrain, as a little under three hundred people, among them Professor Peter Mathieson, HKU Student Ambassadors and HKU alumni, stood side by side, both arms aloft in the victory sign, echoing Mr Claes Nobel’s call to action.

Inspired by the legacy of his grand-uncle Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize, Mr Claes Nobel, a senior member of the Nobel family, now seeks to “empower and validate young men and women to peaceful action” with his “urgent SOS message of Good Earth”.

His talk at HKU on the 23rd of March, ‘World Betterment through Youth Empowerment’, aimed to push young people to “learn, lead and change the world” through “zealously [living] in glorious, unconditional love”, a path that will ultimately lead to both personal happiness and more broadly, sustainable development. “The Good Earth [greeting] is as powerful as the three sweet words of ‘I love you’” he said and encompasses far more, for it is a cry for “protection and healing to the suffering earth”, a protector and benefactor that he believes we “treat like dirt”. This same concern about the fundamental lack of Earth Ethics, a moral code he believes underpins our peaceful relationship with each other and with Mother Earth herself, has led to the “needless grief, fear, pain, intimidation, illness and death”.

At 87, he now seems an unlikely protestor in this war against ‘the extinction of humankind’, however, looking back, one can see the long path he has taken in real action: founding organisations like the National Society of High School Scholars and United Earth, which advocate for education, as well as drafting “The Nobel Laureates Declaration on the Survival of Man Kind,” in 1974 and the “Global Declaration of Earth Ethics in 1985

So perhaps it is time to put down what Mr Nobel calls “smartphones for dumb people” and embrace our role as “World Transformation Activists” as he has in speech and in action. Good Earth to you, Mr Nobel!

A Dialogue with Claes Nobel also included a talk by Mr James Lewis, President of the National Soceity of High School Scholars as well as a panel to address the topic “How Your College Choice Impacts Your Career” with sharing from renowned business leaders, Mr Yuxin Hou and Mr Julian Gaertner, both HKU alumni.


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