This year in Davos we celebrate the 22nd Annual Crystal Awards. The awards, which Klaus and I conceived of together with our late friend, the violinist and conductor Lord Yehudi Menuhin back in the early 90’s, recognize artists who have shown exemplary commitment to improving the state of the world.
Given the geopolitical realities of the time when we launched the award, its purpose was at first to recognize artists who were inspiring cross-cultural understanding and trust across nations. While this remains as true as ever, as the world has changed so too has the award evolved to also embrace those exceptional artists who deal with some of the other major global issues, including the environment, social inclusion, health, education, food security and peace-making. Through the years there have been more than 80 recipients of the Crystal Award, including artists such as Andrea Bocelli, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Christo & Jeanne Claude, Matt Damon, Peter Gabriel, Shirin Neshat, Sidney Poitier, Mario Vargas Llosa and many others.
The 2016 group of awardees is as exceptional as ever. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to this year’s awardees: actors Yao Chen and Leonardo DiCaprio, artist Olafur Eliasson, and musician and entrepreneur will.i.am.