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The Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book Prize was awarded for the first time in 2009 at the inaugural edition of the Estoril Conferences. The prize honours the book that the jury believes offers the best analysis and contribution to understanding globally relevant risks and collective action problems. It will address global challenges or case studies of global issues with clear lessons for other countries and regions.

The jury was looking for books that both advance our understanding in one or more of these areas, offer rigorous and well defended conclusions and made clear and positive suggestions for policy in these sectors. The jury was also looking for books that are written in clear and accessible language aimed at wide audiences.

Following these guidelines the international jury presided by Professor David Held has arrived to the following short list of five books: Kwame Appiah, Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers; Nicholas Stern, The Economics of Climate Change - The Stern Review; Muhammad Yunus, Creating a World without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism; Paul Collier, The Bottom Billion e Scott Barrett, Why Cooperate? The Incentives to Supply Global Public Goods.                                 

The Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book Prize 2009  was shared between two books: Paul Collier's "The Bottom Billion" and Muhammad Yunus's "Creating a World without Poverty".

In the judgement of jury, both these books meet the criteria and throw new light on the subject of global inequality and poverty, and ways to surmount them. Both volumes are outstanding contributions to the analysis of global poverty and inequality, and offer clear and distinct ways to move beyond them. The jury considers this emphasis particularly important at a time when the current global financial crisis threatens to erode further the position of the world's poorest peoples and countries. The prize recognizes the significant contribution the books of Paul Collier and Muhammad Yunus have made to helping us avoid this possibility and to transforming the global agenda.

Thank you very much for doing me the honour of this award. I reached the conclusion that opinion needed to be shifted and policy needed to change but above all, the only chance to changing policy was to build a critical mass of informed opinion amongst citizens. And that meant I had to write a book which people would be happy to read. The reason is to build an informed group of citizens about global issues and this seems to match so perfectly with the spirit of the Estoril Prize. So I really commend the Estoril Prize for celebrating serious thinking with attempts to communicate and I look forward to a long succession of these awards to other people building on the step I’ve taken”.  Paul Collier, Awards Ceremony

“Paul Collier’s book "The Bottom Billion" did one thing that was very hard to do – it shifted our terms of thinking about obstacles to development and the ways to move the development agenda beyond the sterile debates of the last 15 to 20 years. It gave us a term – Bottom Billion – which we may have somehow known about before, but which made it utterly clear that policy has to be focused on the bottom billion people of the world if development is to succeed in the longer term. It sets out a series of profound economic, social and indeed philosophical challenges and it’s written in beautifully clear prose.”, David Held, Awards Ceremony

“I’m very delighted that I could get this Estoril Prize. What I’ve tried to do in this book is to draw attention to the leaders about what is going on in the world right now. The financial crisis that we have is getting worst everyday and this is probably the greatest disaster in our lifetime. While it’s a great disaster and a great problem, it is also a great opportunity and that’s the issue that I would like to highlight. This is the time when we can redesign, redo, and rework the all system because the other system didn’t work out the way we wanted. I emphasise that we can create that world very soon if we redesign our concepts. I hope people will pay attention, I’m very happy that you’ve paid attention, you’ve honoured me this great prize and I thank you for that. Thank you for having given me this honour.”  Muhammad Yunus, Awards Ceremony

“Muhammad Yunus is a pioneer, he’s the pioneer of microfinance, and he has a vision of a different conception of doing social business. He has made an outstanding contribution and his book Creating a World without Poverty brings together his wise practical reflections on the significance of microfinance and its role in the development of projects.”, David Held, Awards Ceremony

The awards ceremony took place on the evening of the 7th May at the Estoril Congress Centre. Professor Paul Collier attended the ceremony to receive the prize given by Mr. António d’Orey Capucho, Mayor of Cascais and Mr. Carlos Carreiras, President of DNA Cascais. Due to indelible previous commitments Professor Muhammad Yunus couldn’t attend the conference but sent a video message that was transmitted during the ceremony.