When advocates for freedom of expression from around the world gather in Lillehammer on May 27-28, profiles Sigrid Sollund and Espen Aas from NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) will introduce and lead the discussions.

The World Expression Forum (WEXFO) serves as a meeting place and catalyst for global collaboration to safeguard freedom of speech and democracy for future generations. Annually, WEXFO brings together voices from across the globe for a conference in Lillehammer. The overarching theme for this year’s conference is ‘The Free Speech Recession – and How to Fight It?’.

Dedicated presenters

“I’m looking forward to everything that will happen on and off the stage at WEXFO, particularly the insights into the state of freedom of expression around the world. It will be very interesting to identify and connect trends across national borders”, says Sigrid Sollund.

Sollund will take the stage, joined by her NRK colleague, Espen Aas, who is equally eager to undertake the role of master of ceremonies:

“In a time where we seem to constantly worry and discuss the future for freedom of expression globally, I really look forward to meeting such an interesting group of people, and hearing their thoughts and opinions”, says Aas.

Urgent topics

Over 50 speakers from more than 20 different countries are ready to contribute with lectures, panel discussions, and workshops on urgent topics, including freedom of expression, propaganda in war and conflict, democratic development, trust between authorities, media, and people, and the rise of artificial intelligence.

Managing Director of WEXFO, Kristenn Einarsson, emphasizes the need for the conference:

“This year’s World Expression Forum is the third of its kind and will be the most significant so far. Freedom of expression is under threat from various quarters, and conflict levels are rising in many places around the world, including Europe. Increased polarization and disinformation contribute to a more challenging climate for debate. Access to free information and literature is restricted for many. Freedom of expression is the key to regaining trust and strengthening the development of democracy.”

The World Expression Forum takes place at Scandic Lillehammer Hotel on May 27-28.

Photos of Sollund/Aas: Agnethe Brun/Julia Maria Naglestad