Live at Lillehammer
Early Bird Discount Offer
Save NOK 600 per ticket
The Global Free Speech Recession – and How to Fight It?
“This is a year in which probably democracy as we understand it will either continue and improve, or it will tip over into something which is no longer recognizable”, historian Timothy D. Snyder told CNN news anchor Christiane Amanpour (4 January 2024).
In 2024, many countries across all continents will hold political elections, which will be a decisive test for democracy and a challenge for freedom of expression.
At our third annual congress, we are again honoured and excited to have a number of high-esteemed speakers, who will comment on the overall question: «The Global Free Speech Recession – and How to Fight It?”
WEXFO Youth will also be an important part of the event. Through different youth programs, more than 110 participants in the age group 18-33 years will attend the congress. More than 1,000 youngsters in the age group 13-18 years will attend the WEXO Youth Lillehammer program, arranged in parallel with the WEXFO conference. On 29 May, the second WEXFO Youth Network Conference will take place at the same location.
The WEXFO conference program will include presentations and discussions on topics such as:
- Freedom of expression – what is the status globally and how to fight the crises of trust?
- AI – threat or tool for freedom of expression?
- Burning religious symbols – expression or vandalism?
- Pillars of trust in electoral processes
- Securing access to information
- The global free speech recession – and how to fight it
The 2024 conference provides great opportunities for in-depth studies and discussions. The entire afternoon of the first conference day is set aside for breakout sessions and workshops, with more space also for networking. There we will discuss:
- The Israel-Hamas war – how to secure the freedom of expression?
- Trust in media – how to build resilient journalism under threat?
- How to protect artists’ freedom and rights? – threat, censorship and self-censorship
- Publishing and access to information, books and ideas – how to advance the freedom to read?
- Fact checking and open sources
- The generation gap in freedom of expression
- Investing in Tech, but forgot about freedom of expression
Enjoy high-esteemed speakers and engage in workshops and in-depth discussions
Optional add-on activities included
At this year’s conference, you will also have the option to extend your participation with an excursion to Utøya (26 May) and a ticket to the WEXFO Youth Network Conference (29 May) – both are included as add-on activities in the WEXFO 2024 conference pass.
- At Utøya, you can take part in an exclusive generational meeting about freedom of expression. Here you will meet 70 young experts from approximately 50 countries.
- The WEXFO Youth Network Conference brings together over 120 participants under the age of 33 to exchange experience and insights, as well as activists and organisations working for freedom of expression and youth issues. Experience how young people get involved in the national and global initiatives to strengthen freedom of expression.
Meet with young experts at Utøya and be inspired at WEXFO Youth Network Conference
“World Expression Forum is the most interesting place to be for everyone who is interested in freedom of expression”
Former Minister of culture and equality
Vision: World Expression Forum will empower and defend the freedom of expression as an absolute precondition for democracy and human progress.
Mission: World Expression Forum unites defenders of freedom of expression in a strong and active global community. As a catalyst for change, we aspire to give new generations the power, the freedom and the safety to express themselves.
Lillehammer – our conference city
WEXFO takes place annually in Lillehammer, Norway, in May/June. Norway is one of the countries in the world with the highest degree of freedom of expression, according to Freedom of expression index (Our World in Data). Lillehammer is a UNESCO City of Literature, an ICORN city of refuge for artists at risk, and is the host of the biggest literature festival in Scandinavia. Both the city, the region (Innlandet) and Norway as a country are committed to supporting freedom of expression around the world.
We all carry a responsibility to make sure that the right to freedom of expression is upheld. Freedom of expression comes with both rights and responsibilities. This is a constant investment in the democratic fabric of our societies.
Laila Bokhari, academic, diplomat and politician, and member of the WEXFO program committe