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Work hard and do what you love, says global entrepreneur and peace activist


Steve Killelea

Honorary graduate of the University of Bradford Steve Killelea, who founded the Institute for Economics and Peace in 2007, told students to work hard and do what they love.

Speaking after being awarded his doctorate, he said: “It’s very hard to say where your drive comes from, it’s something spiritual. My main advice for graduates is to do what you really enjoy, and if you are keen to work harder than others and pick things you are good at, that creates a virtuous circle of success, because as your career grows, it won’t be hard work, you will just be doing what you love to do.”

He added: “Coming to Bradford for me is an honour - it is home to the first peace centre in the world - to get a doctorate from Bradford is exceptionally pleasing.”

Steve Killelea is a distinguished entrepreneur, philanthropist, film producer and author. Over the last two decades, he has applied his business skills to his many global philanthropic activities, establishing the internationally renowned global think tank, the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), and private family charity, The Charitable Foundation, which now has over three million direct beneficiaries. He is also the Founder of the Global Peace Index, the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness. 

Established in 2007, IEP is a highly impactful non-profit, non-partisan research institute known for its innovative analysis on the relationship between business, peace and economic development. Its research is used by many international organisations, including the United Nations and World Bank.

In 2013, a coalition of Australian Foundations recognised his funding of IEP as one of the 50 most impactful philanthropic gifts in Australia’s history. In the same year, Action on Armed Violence named him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world on reducing armed violence. 

As an entrepreneur in the high technology industry, Steve founded and built one of Australia’s leading publicly listed IT companies, Integrated Research; and in 2001, he founded Smarter Capital, a venture capital company that specialises in investing in unique technologies with global applicability. He currently serves on the President’s Circle for Club de Madrid, the largest forum of former world leaders working to strengthen democracy, and is an Honorary President of Religion for Peace, the world’s largest organisation working on inter-religious challenges.