Uwe Morawetz Biography
|Uwe Morawetz is an artist, promoter, networker, facilitator and producer and the founder and chairman of the board of directors of the International Peace Foundation, a non-political, independent foundation under the patronage of 20 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, based in Vienna.
Early life as an artist
Born in Freiburg, Germany, in 1964, Uwe Morawetz became a soprano singer, piano player and composer of classical music in 1971. He recorded several records and toured European cities with the Freiburger Domsingknaben until his voice broke. This followed in 1977 a vocation as the goalkeeper of the Freiburger FC soccer club until his arm broke. He then became a writer in 1982. Still being a student of German and American language, journalism, philosophy, theatre and education, he published four books of poetry and short prose with 10,000 copies sold, and he wrote for international newspapers, magazines and radio stations, receiving various literary awards and becoming a member of the German Writers Association in 1985. Performances with musicians, actors and dancers brought him to Berlin where he initiated intercultural events between East and West to enhance mutual understanding before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Moved by this historic and personal experience he discovered for himself a new art form: the art of bringing people together for the purpose of building a culture of peace.
Platforms for dialogue
Being a poet, Uwe Morawetz has since then created independent platforms for dialogue where people meet who normally don't meet: people from all walks of life, people who speak different languages even if they speak the same. As politicians speak another language than artists and business and religious leaders another one than scientists, it is seldom that they speak with each other or even work together. It is Uwe Morawetz' belief that the interconnected problems our world faces today cannot be solved only by politicians, only by business, only by scientists or by religion alone, but by working together. It is this search for a novel language of cooperation that has led Uwe Morawetz to the work he has pursued from 1989 onwards until today.
Peace and education programs
Over the years Uwe Morawetz became the founder and chairman of the Network of Cultures, the German Society for Intercultural Relations, the Society of Founders of the International Peace University, the International Peace College Berlin, the International Peace College Switzerland and the International Peace College Vienna. In the course of twelve years he became responsible for the conception, organization, fundraising and realization of more than 700 peace and education programs with 600 keynote speakers, 100,000 participants and 700 staff members in Assisi, Berlin, Brussels, Oakland, Prague, Vienna and Zurich.
With the support of Nobel Laureates and other personages including, among others, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Joan Armatrading, Joan Baez, the Beastie Boys, Roberto Benigni, Bjoern Borg, John Le Carre, Ray Charles, Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Leon Cooper, Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, Ibrahim Ferrer, Milos Forman, Milton Friedman, Allen Ginsberg, Ruben Gonzales, Nina Hagen, Vaclav Havel, Marcia Haydee, Ismael Ivo, Yehudi Menuhin, Joseph Murray, John Nash, Roman Polanski, Iggy Pop, Ilya Prigogine, Robert Rauschenberg, Mary Robinson, Karan Singh, Patti Smith, Wole Soyinka, Jack Steinberger, Isaac Stern, Prince El Hassan Bin Talal, Desmond Tutu, Andreas Vollenweider, Ken Wilber and Jody Williams, Uwe Morawetz has established a worldwide network for the active support of these peace activities aiming to reach out especially to the young generation and to develop new forms of an education towards tolerance as a basis for peace.
Cooperation with sponsors
Uwe Morawetz has also worked with a total of 189 sponsors who helped to realize the programs in Europe and the US, among others the Asia Foundation, Audi, the Austrian Government, the Austrian Trade Union, Bang & Olufsen, BMW, The Body Shop, the City Authorities of Vienna, DHL, DaimlerChrysler, the European Commission, the Federation of Austrian Industries, the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation, Generali Insurance Company, Head Tyrolia Mares, the Heinrich Boell Foundation, Honda, Hugo Boss, IBM, max.mobil, Ogilvy, Palmers, Peek & Cloppenburg, Pfizer, Post & Telecom Austria, Shell, Sotheby's, the Swiss National Insurance Company, Thonet, Toshiba, the Vienna Tourist Association, UNESCO, Unocal, the World Bank and Xerox as well as various airlines, banks, hotels, publishing houses and television and radio stations.
Uwe Morawetz continued to facilitate, produce and publish books, among others "Peace Through Dialogue", "Compassion as a Pathway towards Peace" with the XIV. Dalai Lama and Luise Rinser, "The Consciousness Revolution" with Stanislav Grof, Ervin Laszlo and Peter Russell, and "Project: Peace University - From Confrontation to a Culture of Dialogue" with contributions from Austrian President Thomas Klestil, Chingiz Aitmatov, Kofi Annan, Oscar Arias, Johan Galtung, Henry Kissinger, Frederik De Klerk, Robert McNamara, John C. Polanyi, Liv Ullmann, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and Betty Williams, among others. More recently the book "The Many Faces of Peace" was published in celebration of the 60th anniversary of His Majesty the King of Thailand's accession to the throne. A second edition, "The Many Faces of Peace, Part II", followed in 2011.
CD and TV productions
In 1998 Uwe Morawetz received a golden and platinum CD for his involvement in the project "Encounters" initiated by German musician Peter Maffay and realized with musicians from five continents, and in 1999 he produced, as a joint-venture with BMG Ariola Media, the benefit-double-CD "Voices for Peace" for the victims of the war in Kosovo with contributions of 50 artists and Nobel Peace Prize Laureates including, among others, Woody Allen, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Philip Glass, Michael Gorbachev, John Hume, Elton John, Sophia Loren, Nelson Mandela, Paul McCartney, Shimon Peres, Pink Floyd, Queen, Tom Waits, Lech Walesa and Elie Wiesel.
Uwe Morawetz' work was portrayed in the TV documentaries "The Power of Visions" (3 hours) and "Visions for the 21st Century" (4 hours), and he was the keynote speaker during Jackie Chan's "Love and Peace Concert" with Jay Chou, Lang Lang, Wang Lee Hom and various other artists at the Worker's Stadium in Beijing.
Founding the International Peace Foundation
In 1999 Uwe Morawetz established the International Peace Foundation with the support of a donation by Austrian crystal maker Swarovski in a founding ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Vienna and with founding members including various Nobel Laureates as well as Franz Beckenbauer, Johan Eliasch, Peter Gabriel, Gernot Langes-Swarovski, Edzard Reuter, Wim Wenders and HSH Prince Alfred of Liechtenstein, who became the chairman of the foundation's advisory board and the coordinator of the foundation's ongoing activities in Europe.
Visit to Thailand
When Uwe Morawetz traveled to Thailand in 2000 he discovered the work of Father Joe Maier and his Human Development Foundation in the slums of Bangkok dedicated to improve the living conditions of street children, drug addicts and people living with HIV/AIDS. He decided to support Father Joe's work as a volunteer and through the network of the International Peace Foundation. Fascinated by the encounter with Thai culture he traveled the country extensively, studied Buddhist philosophy at various temples with Phra Phayom, Phra Phayutt Phayuttho and Maechee Sansanee and started to learn how to speak, read and write Thai. He now permanently lives in Bangkok.
"Bridges" events in Thailand
In 2001 Uwe Morawetz was invited by the Thai government to initiate an event series called "Bridges - Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace" as an independent contribution to the United Nations' Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence. The ongoing series of more than 250 events between November 2003 and April 2005 was carried out under the Thai chairmanship of former Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun and former Prime Minister and Privy Councilor General Surayud Chulanont and was presided over by Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana Krom Luang Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra and Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. The events brought 26 Nobel Laureates for Peace, Physics, Chemistry, Medicine and Economics and other personages and artists including Hans Blix, Gareth Evans, the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., Vanessa-Mae, Jessye Norman and Dame Anita Roddick as keynote speakers to all parts of Thailand reaching an audience of 70,000 participants through the cooperation with local universities and other institutions.
ASEAN "Bridges" series in the Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand
After the success of "Bridges" in Thailand, Uwe Morawetz and the International Peace Foundation have been invited by the governments of all ASEAN countries to build further bridges towards peace and international understanding by expanding the "Bridges" program beyond Thailand.
The 1st ASEAN "Bridges" series was held in the Philippines and Thailand from November 2007 to April 2008 under the Philippine chairmanship of Washington SyCip and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and with the participation of Nobel Laureates Robert A. Mundell, David J. Gross, Finn E. Kydland and Aaron Ciechanover.
The 2nd ASEAN "Bridges" series was held in Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand from November 2008 to April 2009 under the Malaysian chairmanship of His Royal Highness Raja Nazrin Shah and Tun Musa Hitam and with the participation of Nobel Laureates Gerardus 't Hooft, Robert F. Engle, Roger D. Kornberg, President Jose Ramos-Horta, H. Robert Horvitz and George F. Smoot as well as of the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
The 3rd ASEAN "Bridges" series was held in Cambodia, the Philippines and Thailand from November 2009 to April 2010 under the Cambodian chairmanship of His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia, and Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen and with the participation of Nobel Laureates Aaron Ciechanover, David J. Gross, Eric S. Maskin, Torsten N. Wiesel, Francoise Barre-Sinoussi and President Jose Ramos-Horta as well as of Jackie Chan, Oliver Stone and Vladimir, Dimitri and Vovka Ashkenazy.
The 4th ASEAN "Bridges" series was held in Vietnam and Thailand from November 2012 to March 2013 under the Vietnamese chairmanship of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and with the participation of Nobel Laureates Prof. Roger B. Myerson, Prof. Harald zur Hausen, Prof. Douglas D. Oheroff and Prof. Sir Harold Kroto as well as of Prof. Ngo Bao Chau and President Romano Prodi.
The 5th ASEAN "Bridges" series was held in Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand from September 2014 to March 2015 under the Singapore chairmanship of the Sixth President of the Republic of Singapore S R Nathan and Education Minister Heng Swee Keat and with the participation of Nobel Laureates Sir James A. Mirrlees, Brian P. Schmidt, Ei-ichi Negishi, Bruce A. Beutler, Mohamed ElBaradei and Ada E. Yonath.
The 6th ASEAN "Bridges" event series was held in Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam from January to March 2017 under the Indonesian chairmanship of the Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia Muhammad Jusuf Kalla and with the participation of Nobel Laureates Eric S. Maskin, Jose Manuel Barroso, Sheldon L. Glashow, Sir Richard J. Roberts, Robert F. Engle III and Peter Agre.
To date 48 Nobel Laureates and 21 other keynote speakers and artists participated in the ASEAN "Bridges" events which reached a total audience of 200,000 participants and which were supported by 202 different sponsors, mainly from the private sector.
The 7th, 8th and 9th ASEAN "Bridges" event series will be held in the years ahead in Laos, Brunei and Myanmar.
Humanitarian visit of Nobel Laureates from Norway, Israel and the UK to North Korea in support of education and peaceful changes
From May 2-6, 2016, Uwe Morawetz brought Finn E. Kydland, Sir Richard J. Roberts and Aaron Ciechanover, three Nobel Laureates in Economics, Medicine and Chemistry from Norway, Israel and the UK, as well as HSH Prince Alfred of Liechtenstein to Pyongyang/DPRK (North Korea) for "Bridges" events which were held in cooperation with the Ministry of Higher Education, Kim Il Sung University, Kim Chaek University of Technology, the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology and the Korean National Peace Committee. Main keynote events were held at Kim Il Sung University, and workshops, seminars and dialogues with students, professors and doctors from different educational institutions were held at Kim Chaek University of Technology and the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.
These first-time "Bridges" events in Pyongyang have greatly inspired the young generation of North Korea and have aimed to strengthen international understanding by building long-term bridges between the visiting Nobel Laureates and the universities and schools of the DPRK to establish common research programs and other forms of cooperation, therefore enhancing science and education as a basis for peace and development. The events have refrained from rhetoric by making political statements, but have focused on dialogue as a tool for silent and science diplomacy. Event topics included economic policy and medical development.
"Listening to and engaging with the young generation of the DPRK served as a gateway to establish a dialogue which has contributed to a wider understanding beyond politics and power play", was Uwe Morawetz quoted, who had been visiting North Korea six times in preparation of the Nobel Laureates' visit in 2016 and who had also been discussing the plan with the Swedish Ambassador in Pyongyang. "Students and scientists in the DPRK are hungry for knowledge, education and international input, and to expose them to the thinking of foreign scientific and thought provoking minds has been well worth the effort. We wanted to give the young generation in North Korea a voice, a voice seldom heard of and listened to, a voice that provides hope for peaceful changes through active engagement," said HSH Prince Alfred of Liechtenstein, who chairs IPF's Advisory Board, after the successful visit.
78 Nobel Laureates, 391 sponsors, 300,000 participants
Uwe Morawetz has personally worked with 78 Nobel Laureates in various projects, and a total of 300,000 people participated in the events organized by him in Europe, the US and Asia since 1989.
Phone (+66-2) 267-3177, Fax 267-3077
CV of Uwe Morawetz as PDF file