Norway-based Business for Peace, an international foundation aiming to support, inspire, and recognize global business leaders, has announced Lori Blaker as one of three recipients of the 2018 Oslo Business for Peace award. Blaker is president and CEO of TTi Global, a staffing, recruiting, and consulting firm in Bloomfield Township that operates on five continents and has more than 2,000 employees.
The three recipients of this year’s award have focused on peacebuilding through business and have created economic opportunities in Kabul, Afghanistan (TTi Global), the Putumayo Jungle in Colombia, and both sides of the Irish border.
Blaker, an advocate of inclusion and gender equality, was recognized for her work in the U.S. and abroad in developing economies in India and Afghanistan. In 2016, Blaker created job opportunities for both men and women in Kabul by opening a retail automotive service center and training center.
Additionally, to train women with the management skills they would need, she developed a special training program for local women to learn skills in an industry that they traditionally are barred from.
“Businesses can be crucial in identifying issues and challenges in their communities both socially and economically,” says Blaker. “It’s important, especially in today’s political climate, that we use this knowledge to drive change and growth in our world. To me, this recognition is a validation of the effort and conviction that TTi Global has indeed been on the right path.”
Edgar Montenegro of Colombia, who is founder and CEO of Corpocampo, and Martin Naughton of Ireland, who is founder of Glen Dimplex Group, were the other business leaders recognized. Recipients in the past include Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group, Elon Musk of Tesla, Paul Polman of Unilever, Jennifer Riria of Kenya Women Holding, and Dureen Shahnaz of Impact Investment Exchange.
The award is given annually to business leaders who use their business energy ethically and responsibly to create economic and societal value. Following a global nomination process through the International Chamber of Commerce, United Nations Global Compact, United Nations Development Programme, and Principles for Responsible Investment, the winners are chosen by an independent committee of Nobel Prize winners in Peace and in Economics.
The award committee is made up of Shirin Ebadi of Iran, Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, Finn Kydland of Norway, Ouided Bouchamaoui of Tunisia, and Eric Maskin of the U.S. Criteria includes being a role model to society and peers, having earned stakeholder trust, and standing out as an advocate.
The three recipients will receive their awards during a ceremony on May 16 at Oslo City Hall as part of the annual Business for Peace Summit. Building Trust: Accelerating Climate Leadership is the theme of this year’s summit. Speakers announced include Jamie Oliver, chef and business leader, and Christiana Figueres, a key architect of the Paris Agreement and former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.