The annual International Tower Person Award for Consumer Educators has been donated by the former president of the German Association of Consumer Organisations AgV Prof. Dr. Dr.h.c. Heiko Steffens / Technische Universität Berlin in the Millenium Year 2000. The award consists of a token (the blue tower) and a document with the name and merits of the winner.
The international award is awarded to persons, not to institutions. Institutions receive Honourable Mention, if the awarded person works for or has been considerably supported by institutions. The Honourable Mention consists of a document summarizing the merits of the institution.
The donator has established a committee (jury), the members of which functioned from 2000-2017 and were: Victoria W. Thoresen (Assoc. Professor of Inland University of Applied Sciences, Norway), Nieves Alvarez Martin (author, former director of Escuela Europea de Consumidores in Santander/Spain) and the donator himself.
The TOPACE jury for 2018-2020 consists of Victoria W. Thoresen (Assoc. Professor at Inland University of Applied Sciences, Norway), Dr. Sue L.T. McGregor (retired Professor Emerita at Mount Saint Vincent University, Canada) and Gregor Torkar (Professor at University of Ljubljana)
Philosophy and Aims
The idea of the Tower Person Award for Consumer Educators was born in view of the tower of the Palacio de la Magdalena in Santander/Spain, where consumer educators from all parts of Europe assembled at a conference in October 1999. Villages, monastries and castles have often been built around towers. In the history of consumer education since the middle of the 20th century consumer education has been kept alive and promoted by persons, who invested a lot of energy, time and effort into convincing institutions and relevant people of the importance of consumer education, publishing material, organizing conferences and many other valuable activities. As strategic centers of action these persons have attracted recognition and motivated others to join the network of consumer educators in Europe and around the globe. The tower symbolizes the outstanding achievement of dedicated consumer educators and may encourage successors.
The award intends
- to appreciate the commitment of distinguished consumer educators
- to foster the promotion of consumer and economics education
- to improve the quality of this education
- to strengthen european and international cooperation