The 2020 Reinhard Mohn Prize on "Fostering Innovation. Unlocking Potential" is being awarded to Nechemia ("Chemi") Peres, Chairman of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation. In bestowing the prize, we are recognizing the entrepreneur for his outstanding efforts to promote innovation that serves both business and society. Due to the corona pandemic, the award ceremony will take place in 2021.
Chemi Peres, son of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, is being awarded the Bertelsmann Stiftung's 2020 Reinhard Mohn Prize. As Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tel Aviv-based Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, the successful entrepreneur has demonstrated considerable drive and vision in his efforts to promote innovation and economic progress in Israel. The 61-year-old is thus representative of Israel in its role as "innovation and start-up nation," we say in the statement announcing the award. At the same time, Peres has played a leading role in shaping the discourse on innovation and its positive potentials.
With great foresight and a broad international network of partners, he has been through the work of the Peres Center fostering innovation in key areas such as entrepreneurship, health, business, the environment and sports. The impact of his efforts will be expanded through the branch office that the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation hopes to open in Berlin.
Commitment to technological progress and the common good
Through his work, considerable diplomatic skills and empathy, Peres is continuing the legacy of his father, Shimon Peres. The latter founded the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in 1996 to encourage innovation and economic progress in Israel. The Center also promotes shared-living between all of Israel's citizens and lasting peace between Israel and its neighbors in the Middle East.
In his position as head of Pitango Venture Capital, among other roles, Chemi Peres has also paved the way for numerous young enterprises which he has championed, supported and helped achieve success even beyond Israel's borders. His fundamentally humane belief – that innovation promotes peace while contributing to social development – and the actions resulting from it have had an impact far beyond the Middle East.
Brigitte Mohn about Chemi Peres: "A role model as a person and an entrepreneur"
In 2018, Peres also opened the Israeli Innovation Center at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, to considerable international acclaim. Last year, the visitor's center, the first and largest of its kind, welcomed more than 75,000 guests from around the world – including government representatives, business leaders, members of the public and founders – who wanted to learn from the Israeli innovation model.
"Chemi Peres shows how innovation can help people experience more prosperity, both individually and on a societal level, and how it can contribute to the peaceful development of societies. As a person and an entrepreneur, he is a role model for all those who act on the belief that business also bears a responsibility to society," said Brigitte Mohn, member of our Executive Board, commenting on the announcement of the prizewinner.
About the Reinhard Mohn Prize
The Reinhard Mohn Prize is given in memory of the Bertelsmann Stiftung's founder, Reinhard Mohn (1921–2009). It is awarded to an internationally renowned individual who has played a key role in developing forward-looking solutions to social and political challenges. The prize is awarded based on a global search for innovative approaches and exemplary solutions to the challenges that will have a decisive impact on Germany's future.
This year the prize is dedicated to the topic "Fostering Innovation. Unlocking Potential." Due to the corona pandemic, the award ceremony will take place in 2021.