The World Expression Forum (WEXFO) aims to ensure and empower global free speech based on high level guidance, best practice, and high-quality analysis. WEXFO will be a common arena for those with a firm belief in freedom of expression as a prerequisite for a global sustainable development. Our ambition is that the WEXFO will be as important for the development of freedom of expression as the World Economic Forum is for the development of world economics.
The need for a forum where the challenges to freedom of expression can be discussed and debated is greater than ever. But we also need to showcase progress. Free media, literature and other art forms are fundamental preconditions for freedom of expression. They provide knowledge, and are central to constructive, critical debate. They challenge entrenched notions, shape our self-understanding and, at the same time, are taking care of the memories of society.
Freedom of speech is necessary for trust and openness, both between individuals and also between the public and social institutions. Freedom of speech is a prerequisite for a “society for all”.
- be an inspiration internationally, nationally, and locally.
- be a hub, the central international meeting place for everyone who is concerned with freedom of expression.
- influence developments through reports and projects, discussions in the Forum and summary afterwards.
- share experiences, but especially search for best practices for improvement.
- seek cooperation with others to develop offers of Forum gatherings elsewhere as well.
- participate in developing the local cooperation in the region on freedom of expression, with
institutions such as the Norwegian Festival of Litterature , Lillehammer UNESCO City of Litterature and ICORN.
- reflect diversity in the work and in the organization.
WEXFO was established as an ideal joint stock company on August 20th2021. An interim board, serving until the end of the year, and an election committee were elected. The latter will be asked to propose board members for 2022. Members be elected at the general meeting in December. In addition, the board has also appointed a programme committee for the event.
The World Expression Forum is due to take place annually in Lillehammer, Norway, from May 2022. Norway ranks highly on Freedom of Expression indexes. The town of Lillehammer is a UNESCO City of Literature, an ICORN city of refuge for artists at risk and host of the biggest literature festival in Scandinavia. The city, the region (Innlandet) and the country are committed to supporting freedom of expression around the world.
WEXFO wants to inspire progress at all three levels: local, national, and international. If necessary funding could be provided, WEXFO will arrange additional events around the world.