World leading philanthrophists honoured with Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy

October 18, 2013

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The bi-annual award, often referred to as the ‘Nobel Prize of philanthropy’, recognises those who use their private wealth and business acumen for public good.

This year’s recipients are: Scotland’s first home-grown billionaire, entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter; Dr James Harris Simons – the American mathematician who founded one of the world’s most successful hedge fund companies, along with his wife, economist Dr Marilyn Simons; Dr Dmitry Zimin, the founder of the second-largest telecom business in Russia. The Wolfson family, founders of the Wolfson Foundation; and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science Community Development and one of Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women, are also medal recipients. The Wolfson’s medal was accepted by Dame Janet Wolfson de Botton DBE, chair of The Wolfson Foundation and granddaughter of the Foundation’s founder Sir Isaac Wolfson. Her Highness’ daughter Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani accepted her medal on her behalf.

Now in its 12th year, this year’s awards ceremony included a key note speech by Pierre Omidyar, the entrepreneur and philanthropist best known as the founder and chairman of eBay, himself a recipient of the 2011 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. The event was presented by broadcaster Kirsty Young.

The ceremony was held at the Scottish Parliament.  It was only the second time the bi-annual event has been held outside the United States – both times in Scotland – having been last hosted by the Scottish Parliament in 2005. This year’s event also marks the centenary of the establishment of the Carnegie UK Trust.

Angus Hogg, Chair of the Carnegie UK Trust, organisers of this year’s award ceremony, said:

“Today the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy is the most celebrated award in global philanthropy, designed to honour its name-sake, Andrew Carnegie, The award is inspired by his desire to reinvest his wealth in a way that would, in his words, ‘do real and permanent good in this world’.

“Those receiving this year’s award have wholeheartedly embraced his philosophy. Their philanthropic efforts span education, science, entrepreneurship and the arts. We are deeply honoured to be presenting these individuals with this medal, and congratulate them once again on their significant tributes to great causes across the globe.”

Photograph by Alan McCredie. From left (seated), Dmitry Zimin, Dame Janet de Botton, Sir Tom Hunter, Marilyn and Jim Simons. Standing, the Presiding Officer Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP.