The Foreign Affairs News The Leading News Portal
Jan 10, 2024

Crystal Award Winners 2024 announced

Avatar photo
FA News Desk

Architect and educator Diébédo Francis Kéré, Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme and Oscar-winning actor Michelle Yeoh, and producer, guitarist, composer and humanitarian Nile Rodgers are the recipients of the 30th annual Crystal Award, the World Economic Forum announced.

The winners will be honoured at the opening session of the Forum’s Annual Meeting 2024 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, on the evening of Monday, 15 January. The award celebrates the achievements of leading artists who are bridge-builders and role models for all leaders of society.

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024 convenes 15–19 January 2024 the world’s foremost leaders under the theme, Rebuilding Trust

The Crystal Award is presented at Davos each year by Hilde Schwab, Chairwoman and Co-Founder of the World Economic Forum’s World Arts Forum.

The cultural leaders receiving the 2024 Crystal Award were chosen for their ability to connect us to each other, help us reflect on the human condition and provide visions of the world that can cut through the limitations of short-term or linear thinking.

Diébédo Francis Kéré

Kéré receives the 2024 Crystal Award for his exemplary leadership in providing the Gando community with the means to create a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable future through projects that focus on education, health and the environment.

Kéré is a native of Burkina Faso and studied at the Technical University of Berlin. Parallel to his studies, he established the Kéré Foundation to support the development of his home village. In 2005, he opened the architectural office Kéré Architecture. His architectural practice has received national and international recognition, including the Pritzker Prize (2022), the Praemium Imperiale (2023) and the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (2004), awarded for his first building, the Gando Primary School in Burkina Faso.

He is currently working on the Benin National Assembly, the Goethe-Institut Senegal in Dakar and a mausoleum for Burkinabè revolutionary Thomas Sankara in Ouagadougou.

He has held professorships at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Swiss Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio. Since 2017, he is professor at TU Munich and Yale University (2019).

Michelle Yeoh

For over four decades, Yeoh has built an iconic career that has made her one of the most prominent Asian actors in Hollywood.

In 2023, she made history becoming the first actor of Asian descent to win the Academy Award for Best Actress.

She has starred in over 60 films, including the James Bond Tomorrow Never Dies; Oscar-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Memoirs of a Geisha; Sunshine; The Lady; Crazy Rich Asians; Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings; and sci-fi franchise TV series Star Trek: Discovery. Through her work, she has challenged the traditional views of Asian women by creating strong female roles. 

Appointed in 2016 as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the Sustainable Development Goals, Yeoh is committed to raising awareness and mobilizing support for the SDGs, sustainable fashion and disaster-preparedness.

In addition, she is a strong advocate for road safety and has recently participated in a UN campaign #StreetsForLife with JCDecaux to raise awareness in response to the global road safety crisis. 

Her appointment as a member of the International Olympic Committee in October 2023 has given her the power to promote global understanding and goodwill through sports.

Nile Rodgers

Nile Rodgers receives the 2024 Crystal Award for his extraordinary efforts to make the world a more peaceful, equal and inclusive place through his music, his exemplary commitment to fighting systemic racism, inequality and injustice, and by championing innovative youth voices to decision-making tables.

Rodgers is a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement winner, Apple Music Producer-in-Residence, Songwriters Hall of Fame Chairman, and Hipgnosis Songs Co-Founder. With CHIC, Rodgers pioneered a musical language with hits like “Le Freak” and sparked hip-hop with “Good Times” and “Rapper’s Delight”.

His work in The CHIC Organization – including Sister Sledge (“We Are Family”) Diana Ross (“I’m Coming Out”), David Bowie (“Let’s Dance”) and Madonna (“Like a Virgin”) – has led to sales of 500+ million albums, while his Grammy Award-winning collaborations with Daft Punk (“Random Access Memories”) and Beyoncé (“Renaissance”) are at the vanguard of contemporary hits.

Rodgers’s activism began as a teen Black Panther in New York. He participated in Live Aid in 1985 and the Concert for Ukraine in 2023. After 9/11, he co-founded the We Are Family Foundation, promoting cultural diversity while empowering young people to change the world.