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About the Esalen Prize

Q: What is the Esalen Prize?

A: The Esalen Prize is an award for leadership in the field of human potential and for outstanding achievement in bringing about social transformation for the greater good. It’s awarded to individuals who have shown exceptional leadership in the field of human potential and as a result have brought about positive social transformation in their field and have acted as a catalyst for change in key social issues.

Q: What is human potential?

A: Human potential is the concept of cultivating the extraordinary potential—of mind, body and spirit—that lies largely untapped in all people. The term is derived from the philosophy and teachings of Aldous Huxley around “human potentialities,” which functioned as the working mission statement of early Esalen Institute. Through the development of human potential, individuals can experience an exceptional quality of life filled with happiness, creativity, fulfillment and contribution. Those who begin to unleash this potential often find themselves directing their actions within society toward assisting others to release their potential. The net effect of individuals cultivating their potential will bring about positive social change at large.

Q: Who can receive the Esalen Prize?

A: Any individual or individuals who exemplify the mission and values of Esalen: they embrace their own human potential and actively cultivate it in others—thus sparking social change and creating an enduring cultural shift by integrating the values of human potential into people’s daily lives.

Q: How often is the Esalen Prize given?

A: Every two years

Q: When and where will the Esalen Prize be given?

A: At the Esalen Benefit Weekend in 2016 at Esalen Institute. The Prize will be presented during a special ceremony during the Benefit Weekend celebrations.

Q: How are nominees/recipients chosen?

A: Esalen Institute leadership and board members nominate and vote on individuals they believe personify Esalen Institute’s values.

Q:  Does a nominee/recipient have to be active in the Esalen community?

A: Not necessarily. Nominees and recipients are individuals whose own mission and values are aligned with that of the Esalen Institute; they are individuals who have embraced their own human potential and have also gone beyond it to impact large-scale social transformation.

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