Ted Turner – 2006 Delta Prize Recipient

The Delta Prize for Global Understanding was established to recognize individuals who by their own initiative have provided opportunities for greater understanding among cultures and nations. Few individuals in the world today can match the achievement of Ted Turner in facilitating communication among the world’s diverse peoples and promoting a healthier and more peaceful global environment.

Ted Turner is a visionary, and a truly prolific visionary. In 1980, Ted Turner inaugurated CNN, to provide live, in-depth, round-the-clock news. In 1985, he launched CNN International. Since then he has created CNN Radio, CNN Airport Network, and CNN en Español, as well as other cable networks.

The establishment of a global news television network is probably the greatest force for globalization, and certainly one of the most significant contributions to international understanding, in the history of the world. CNN International enables the diverse peoples of the world to see into each other’s societies, to hear each other’s voices, and to learn of each other’s interests and values.

In 1986, Ted Turner developed the Goodwill Games to allow athletes to come together in competition regardless of their nationality. The Goodwill Games enabled athletes of all countries—during the Cold War—to engage in peaceful interaction with each other on the playing field.

There is no greater legacy that we can leave our children and grandchildren than a peaceful and safer world.

In 1991, Ted Turner founded the Turner Foundation, which supports clean water and toxics reduction; clean air through improved energy efficiency and renewables; wildlife habitat protection; and the development of equitable practices and policies designed to reduce population growth rates. The Turner Foundation recognizes the importance of a healthy environment to the development of a safer world.

In 1997, Ted Turner pledged $1 billion to the United Nations Foundation, in support of the goals of the UN, to create a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world. The Preamble to the UN Charter sets forth the UN’s purpose: to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war; to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights; to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the 7 obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.

In 2001, Ted Turner established the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a foundation he co-chairs with former Senator Sam Nunn. Its objective is to decrease the threat from nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.

Ted Turner focuses on the world as a whole. He sees relationships among the parts of the interconnected whole, and uses his imagination, wealth, and power to strengthen the whole by strengthening the parts.

He believes that the better the world’s peoples understand one another, the more able they will be to live peacefully together; that peaceful interaction requires social justice; that social justice requires adequate resources, such as energy, for all the world’s peoples;and that the continuing supply of resources requires research and investment in new technologies.

Ted Turner believes that harmonious relationships among individuals and societies grow only in an environment of security. So he works at reducing the danger from weapons of mass destruction. He believes that the health of all humans, and all other organisms on the planet, depends on clean water and clean air, so he invests in the planet’s ecosphere.

With his global vision, Ted Turner has influenced the course of world history.