The Thorolf Rafto Challenge

An annual lecture at the Norwegian School of Economics, in commemoration of Professor Thorolf Rafto

Tomorrow’s leaders need to be better prepared in order to both understand human rights risks and how they can be managed, as well as to harvest from the opportunities connected with conducting business in a socially sustainable way.

The Thorolf Rafto Challenge is a lecture held annually at the Norwegian School of Economics in commemoration of prominent human rights defender and Professor of Economic History at NHH, Thorolf Rafto. This lecture is an arena where Presidents and CEOs of leading business corporations are invited to share knowledge and experience from real and painful human rights challenges, in order to help educate future leaders. Former Thorolf Rafto Lecturers include Sigve Brekke (2017), Svein Tore Holsether (2018) and Eldar Sætre (2019).

By organizing this memorial event, we underline that corporate respect for human rights must be at the core of the sustainability agenda. Our mission is to stimulate awareness and interest among business students about the responsibility to respect human rights and the importance of implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights as a core element of the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN Global Compact, the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises, IFC, GRI and other leading international standards.

Among the companies who are best skilled to manage human rights risk today, are those who have experienced the harsh and complex realities in many parts of the world. The Thorolf Rafto Challenge will give leading business corporations an opportunity to inspire future leaders to educate themselves and to acquire tools and competences needed to take active part in the sustainability shift. The trend shows that students expect future employers to care about people and the planet, and as the next generation of leaders, they want to play a positive role in shaping society.


Therese Jebsen

Senior Advisor
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Phone:415 11 390
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