Queen Silvia of Sweden; photo: Rosie Alm, © Kungahuset.se
Queen Silvia of Sweden; photo: Rosie Alm,
© Kungahuset.se

Theodor Wanner Award 2017

Laureate: Queen Silvia of Sweden

She is committed to disadvantaged and abused children, has founded the World Childhood Foundation and is also the patron of more than 60 associations, projects and events: Queen Silvia of Sweden, has been internationally active in social commitments for decades. Among many others, her dedication to dementia patients and the endowment funds she established for the benefit of research in the field of parasports are inspiring examples of how a personality of the times can prudently and substantively make use of her social position in order to help as many people as possible. 

The extensive social and human rights engagement of Her Royal Majesty was honored on 26 September 2017 at the Allianz Forum in Berlin. Federal Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel delivered the laudatory speech.

Queen Silvia donated the prize money to Sociedade Beneficente Alemã (German Relief Society) in São Paulo. The association offers a qualified holistic care of the elderly with cognitive dependency. In addition, educational and cultural programs are offered in a poor neighborhood of São Paulo for 320 children and young people.

Theodor Wanner

Theodor Wanner (1875-1955) was a Stuttgart citizen, patron of the arts, patriarch and at the same time a busy manager. His name is synonymous with bourgeois, Swabian entrepreneurship. Motivated by his own experience abroad, he founded and established countless cultural initiatives, such as the Württembergische Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften (Association of Württemberg Patron of the Arts) and the Deutsches Ausland-Institut (German Foreign Institute, DAI), the predecessor to today's Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa). Theodor Wanner was the long-year chairman of the Handelsgeographischer Verein (Association of Trade Geography), which gave rise to the Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde (State Museum of Ethnology), today the Linden Museum, in Stuttgart.
Theodor Wanner is an embodiment of lasting, personal commitment to cultural dialogue.


The award was launched on the initiative of the Friends of ifa. The prize money of 10,000 euros is appropriated to a project chosen by the winner. The award winners are honoured in a ceremony. The trophy was designed by Axel Kufus, professor for creation and development in design at the Berlin University of the Arts.


The award winners are selected by a majority vote of the jury, which includes among others the directors of the Friends of ifa and ifa itself. The jury is free to choose as it wishes.

Current jury members include:

  • Ulrich Raulff, ifa President
  • Stephan Brübach, Chairman of the Friends of ifa
  • Bernt Graf zu Dohna, ifa Vice President and Member of the Friends of ifa
  • Otto Ruthenberg, Member of the ifa executive board and Daimler AG
  • Ronald Grätz, ifa Secretary General

Suggestions can be made by among others members of the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa), members of Friends of the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, the advisory boards, and ifa employees.

Former Award Winners

Since 2009, the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa) has conferred the Theodor Wanner Award to those who significantly contribute or have contributed their scientific, social, socio-political, artistic, entrepreneurial or financial expertise to foster dialogue among cultures. The award was launched at the initiative of the Friends of the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen. The patron of the Theodor Wanner Award is the Foreign Minister of Germany.