Marc Benioff, James Mwangi and Felicitas Pantoja

are the winners of the 2020 Oslo Business for Peace Award More than the bottom line: winners see business as a tool for change

09.09.2020, Oslo – Today, the Business for Peace Foundation announced the 2020 Oslo Business for Peace Award winners. The Honourees are: Marc Benioff, Founder, Chair and CEO of Salesforce; James Mwangi, Chairman and CEO of Equity Group Holdings and Felicitas “Joji” Bautista Pantoja, Co-Founder and CEO of Coffee for Peace.

The Oslo Business for Peace Award is given annually to business leaders, as individuals, for their outstanding businessworthy accomplishments; leaders who apply their business energy ethically and responsibly, creating stronger economic and societal value.

An independent Award Committee of Nobel Laureates in Peace and Economics has selected the three outstanding leaders to receive the Award this year. This is following a global nomination process through Business for Peace’s partners: International Chamber of Commerce, Principles for Responsible Investment, United Nations Development Program and United Nations Global Compact. Past winners include Paul Polman, Ouided Bouchamaoui, Richard Branson and Durreen Shahnaz. The 2020 winners (Honourees) will be celebrated at the Business for Peace Summit in May 2021. 

Each of the 2020 Honourees transformed their businesses, industries and communities through positive change, inspiring other leaders to follow suit. Benioff established the ‘1-1-1 model,’ whereby a company contributes one percent of profits, equity, and employee hours back to the communities it serves. Mwangi enabled 96% of the unbanked population in Kenya opportunities for broader economic participation. Pantoja provided sustainable livelihoods for indigenous and migrant groups in rural areas, enabling over 880 farmers to escape poverty and build their coffee production capacity.

“In a world of various complexities such as globalization, polarization and environmental struggles, this year’s Honourees have led by using business as a tool for change. They are role models to society and their peers, have earned stakeholders’ trust, and stand out as advocates,” says Per Saxegaard, founder of the Business for Peace Foundation. “Through their business activities they have made substantial contributions towards reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 8: helping to achieve sustained, sustainable and inclusive growth and decent work for all.”

“With ten years left until we need to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and at a time when the world is looking for a clear direction, the Business for Peace Honourees show real leadership and the invaluable efforts from the business community. I am proud that Oslo, for the twelfth year, is hosting the business community’s own award for ethical and sustainable business. It is an example of how to create value for both stakeholders and shareholders,” says Raymond Johansen, Governing Mayor of Oslo. 

About the Honourees 

Marc Benioff, Chair and CEO and Co-Founder of Salesforce (United States)

Marc Benioff is Chair, CEO, and Co-Founder of Salesforce and a pioneer of cloud computing. Salesforce is the #1 provider of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software globally. Benioff established the ‘1-1-1 model’ of corporate philanthropy, whereby a company contributes one percent of technology, equity, and employee hours back to the communities it serves. Today, Salesforce is a Fortune 500 company with 54,000 employees and 150,000 customers worldwide.  He is an outspoken advocate for business leaders supporting causes such as LGBT rights, education inclusion, wealth reallocation and alleviating homelessness. Benioff is leading a revolution in the tech sector to create a more equal, fair and sustainable way of doing business.

“It is a great honour to be recognised by the Business for Peace Foundation, which recognises that businesses have profound responsibilities to all our stakeholders, including our communities and our planet,” said Benioff. “As more companies embrace stakeholder capitalism and commit to meeting the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, we see that business is the greatest platform for change.”

James Mwangi, Managing Director and Group CEO of Equity Group Holdings (Kenya)

Dr. James Mwangi is one of Africa’s most renowned entrepreneurs. He is credited with democratizing financial access by giving the unbanked population opportunities for broader economic participation. He has led Equity to become an integrated financial services group operating in 6 African countries with a client base of over 14 million. Dr. Mwangi’s ability to merge economic theory to the practical realities of village life enabled him to revolutionise the banking industry in Africa. Today, Equity is one of the most inclusive banks in the world with clients across the socio-economic spectrum including youth and women.

“I dedicate this Award to our staff and to the millions of our customers who have continuously inspired us by trusting and believing in our common purpose and dream, that together we can solve our problems by seeking innovative solutions anchored on shared value and prosperity,” said Mwangi. “I share this award with our micro, small and medium entrepreneurs who wake up every day to create wealth and opportunities for our society. This Award is a great inspiration to all Africans to believe in their dreams and to pursue them with dedication and conviction that together, we can change our continent within our lifetime.”

Felicitas “Joji” Bautista Pantoja, Co-Founder of Coffee for Peace (Philippines)

Pantoja has dedicated her career to building peace in conflict zones and improving the lives of marginalized groups through economic stability. Based in the Philippines, Coffee for Peace uses coffee production as a tool to address the economic, environmental and peace issues prevalent in conflict-affected communities. Today, Coffee for Peace provides sustainable livelihoods for Indigenous and migrant groups in rural areas, enabling over 880 farmers to escape poverty and build their coffee production capacity. The company’s focus is on sustainable agriculture, peace and reconciliation between religious groups, environmental protection and entrepreneurship. 

“This recognition brings hope. It affirms the dreams and aspirations of our small farming partners, micro-enterprise partners, impact investors, and employees that there are respectable people in the business world who believe in and serve as ‘cheerleaders’ for us who struggle for economic justice. This recognition affirms that inclusive development can be a reality through social enterprise,” says Pantoja.


August 10, 2020


The Anakpawis Partylist and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) have condemned the killing of Randall “Randy” Echanis, a veteran peasant activist and peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF.) Echanis, 72, along with a still unidentified neighbor, were killed in a rented house in Novaliches, Quezon City in the wee hours of August 10, initial reports said. 

He was also the deputy secretary general of KMP and he spearheaded nationwide campaigns for genuine agrarian reform, including the free land distribution to Filipino farmers. 

Echanis was instrumental in crafting the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) repeatedly filed in Congress since 2007 and became Anakpawis’ third nominee in the 2010 partylist elections. 

As a long-time consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and a member of the NDF Reciprocal Working Committee on Socio-Economic Reforms, he actively participated during the 2016-2017 peace talks with the Duterte administration that tackled the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER.) Echanis was arrested and detained three times during the Marcos, Aquino, and Arroyo regimes.

Despite this, he continued his advocacy work advancing peasant’s rights after his release in 2010. Former Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao said that Echanis “was undergoing medical treatment and was unarmed when suspected state agents raided his house.” “Our anger is beyond words. This is a culture of extrajudicial killings (EJKs) with impunity under the Duterte regime.

This is a declaratory act that national leaders of legal-democratic movement are now targeted to be killed by the Duterte regime. The entire civil society, human rights advocates and freedom fighters must totally denounce this criminal act,” Casilao said in a statement.Moreover, Anakpawis said that the Duterte’ regime’s “anti-terrorism law” furthers human rights violations and unlawfull killings against democratic activists, amid persisting “state terrorism” victimizing legal activists. 

In a separate statement, the KMP “condemned state forces for killing Echanis.” “While the country is bearing the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, state-backed mercenaries and death squads remain on the loose and wreaking havoc on activists and freedom fighters,” Rafael Mariano, KMP Chairperson emeritus said in a statement.

 “Duterte has already signed the death order of activists and peace consultants upon the enactment of the anti-terrorism law. We will seek justice for Echanis and other victims of state-sponsored killings, at any cost,” Casilao concluded.


August 21, 2020


An autopsy conducted by pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun has established that a solitary stab into the aorta instantly killed peasant leader Randy Echanis at dawn on August 10, 2020.

The examination also showed that after a killer inflicted the fatal wound on the sleeping Echanis, the other assassins used ice picks and knives to stab him at the back and shot him twice in the head.

Pinned down by a murder squad comprised of eight people, the ailing Echanis could not struggle to free himself from the butchers, said Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) secretary-general Jerome Adonis.

“Pinagsasaksak ng ilang beses – isang barbariko at brutal na pamamaraan ng pagpapahirap at pagpaslang sa isang walang kalaban-laban (Stabbed several times—it was a barbaric and brutal method of torture and murder of someone who was defenseless),” was how Adonis reacted to the results of the forensic investigation conducted by Dr. Raquel Fortun.

       “Pinatitibay ng sinabi ni Dr. Fortun ang kawastuhan ng mga sinasabi ng pamilya at kasamahan ni Ka Randy hinggil sa brutalidad ng mga pumatay sa kanya (What Dr. Fortun found out during the examination proved the correctness of the statements of the bereaved family and Randy’s colleagues about the brutality of his killers),” he added.

Adonis also echoed the sentiment of Echanis’ widow Linda Echanis that only state forces have the motive to assassinate someone like Ka Randy, who is an advocate for agrarian reform and national industrialization.

       “May direktang kamay talaga ang gobyernong Duterte sa naganap na pagpaslang. Pakitang-tao pa silang gumagawa ng imbestigasyon pero hindi nga mailabas ng SOCO ang resulta nito. Napakakupad. Mayroon talagang pinagtatakpan (The Duterte government truly has a direct hand in this murder. They are conducting what purports to be an investigation but the Scene of Crime Operation (SOCO) agents could not produce any result. They are too slow. They are really engaged in a cover-up),” the KMU leader argued.

       Adonis slammed the government’s investigation, saying it is intended to whitewash the assassination and reduce it into a common crime and just another addition to the thousands of murders instigated, coddled and whitewashed by President Duterte and his minions.

“Gusto nilang ibaon sa limot ang madugong kamay ng rehimeng Duterte sa pagpaslang na ito. Pero kaming mga kasama at pamilya ni Ka Randy, alam naming ang totoo at hinding-hindi malilimutan ‘yan ng mamamayan. Mananagot sila (They would like to bury the bloody hands of the Duterte regime in this murder into the grave of collective amnesia. But we, the comrades and relatives of Ka Randy, along with the Filipino people, know the truth and will never forget it. They will pay),” Adonis vowed.