The nominees for the inaugural ‘Mikhail Gorbachev: the man who changed the world’ awards have been revealed today (March 10 2011) at a ceremony in Moscow.

Among the nominees are Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, musician and philanthropist Bono, and Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google.

The Gorbachev Awards have been set up by the former Soviet leader, who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 for his role in ending the Cold War, to mark his 80th birthday this year.

The nominees were named at a ceremony at the British Ambassador’s Residence in Moscow in the three award categories: Glasnost, Perestroika and Uskorenie.

The categories have been chosen by Mr Gorbachev to reflect the reforms he made, which changed the world, and will recognise people whose achievements have similarly changed the world and continue to do so.

At today’s ceremony, British Ambassador to Russia, Anne Pringle, praised Mr Gorbachev’s achievements and delivered a message of thanks from Baroness Thatcher, prime minister of the UK when he was the Soviet leader, for his contribution to the world.

  • GLASNOST: contribution to the development of the culture of an open world.

Ted Turner

  • Ted Turner (USA) – businessman who founded CNN and philanthropist. His creation of the CNN international TV channel in 1980 transformed the world’s media. Also founder of the Goodwill Games

Steven speilberg

  • Steven Spielberg (USA) – film director and producer who created Schindler’s List, ET, Jurassic Park and Amistad. He established the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, a non-profit organization to record testimonies from Holocaust survivors and witnesses.


  • Bono (Ireland) – lead singer of world-famous rock group U2 and philanthropist who has supported and led initiatives to tackle poverty and disease for more than 20 years.

  • PERESTROIKA: contribution to the development of global civilization


  • Sir Timothy Berners-Lee (UK) – in 1989 he invented the World Wide Web which has completely changed the way the world stores and shares information, driving development around the world

martin cooper

  • Martin Cooper (USA) – engineer and inventor whose work in telecommunications brought us the mobile phone. He made the world’s first mobile phone telephone call in April 1973 and changed the way the world communicates. Cooper worked on developing portable products,


  • Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Brazil) – rose from humble roots to become president of Brazil between 2003 and 2011. Revived his country economically and laid the foundations for the BRIC alliance which has driven new development around the world.

  • USKORENIE: contribution to the development of modern science and technology.

sergei brin

  • Sergey Brin (USA) – scientist and businessman. An iconic business figure thanks to his role in co-founding the Google search engine which has spread knowledge and united people across the world


  • Jurgen Habermas (Germany) – philosopher and social scientist. Author of concepts of “communicative rationality” and “public sphere”. The philosophical theories for practical solutions he has developed for many of the world’s problems has changed the way we think and work


  • Evans Wadongo (Kenya) – engineer. In 2004, aged 18, he invented a solar power lamp which gives people free, clean and healthy light. He has distributed thousands of free lamps and changed the world for countless people in his country.

The Gorby80 line up is subject to change. © Gorby80 Ltd 2011