WEXFO 2023


22th of May

Hosts: Yama Wolasmal, journalist and correspondent NRK and Ingeborg Volan, CEO, De Norske Bokklubbene.

08.30-09.00 Registration and Coffee

09.00-10.30 Baseline: What is the Status of Freedom of Expression in the World?

Opening Ceremony
35 Years of Fighting for Rights in Iran – What did we achieve?
Shirin Ebadi, Human Rights Lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
Woman, Life, Freedom – Iran Speaks Out
Masud Gharahkhani, President of the Parliament of Norway, Fatemeh Ekhtesari, Author, Forouzan Jamshidnejad, Actor. Moderator: Yama Wolasmal.
The State of Freedom of Expression
Staffan Lindberg, Professor and Director V-Dem Institute, University of Gøteborg and Arne Jensen, Special Advisor, Norwegian Editors Association.
The International System of Human Rights Protection is Broken. How can we fix it?
Oleksandra Matviichuck, Head of the Center for Civil Liberties.

10.50-12.15 Addressing Economic Inequality and Gender Disparities: How Can We Invest Wisely in Freedom of Expression?

505 – The Cost of Freedom of Expression in Myanmar
Thinzar Shunley Yi, Activist and Magnitzky Human Rights Award Winner.
Money Talks!
Johan H. Andresen, Chair Council on Ethics for the Government Pension Fund Global, Marianne Neraal, Public Policy Manager Meta Nordic, Vladislav Kaim, Expert Consultant on Youth Engagement, UNDP, Bård Vegar Solhjell, Norad Director and Board Member of Fritt Ord Foundation. Moderator: Ingeborg Volan.
Repression of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly of Women Rights Defenders and LGBT Defenders Worldwide
Aarti Narsee, Civic Space and Gender Rights Expert.
Silenced and Marginalized?
Gvantsa Jobava, Vice-President, International Publishers Association, Nazifa Jalali, Human Rights Activist, Özgür Gür, Executive Director, UniKuir. Moderator: Charlotte Harder, Head of Communications and Press, Danish Union of Journalists

12.15-13.15 Lunch


13.15-14.45 When Rights Clash

Where freedom of religion meets freedom of speech – can both rights co-exist?
Anine Kierulf, Lawyer and Advisor at Norwegian Institute for Human Rights.
Can religion and freedom of expression peacefully co-exist?
Imam Seyran Ates, Human Rights Activist and Founder of the Ibn Rushd - Goethe Mosque in Berlin, Mohamad Usman Rana, Head of the Norwegian Muslim Think Tank WASILA. Moderator: Knut Olav Åmås, Director Fritt Ord Foundation.
The Morality Debate in USA
Caroline Janney, Professor and Director John L. Nau Center for Civil War History.
Drawing the Line
Lola Shoneyin, Author, Caroline Janney, Professor and Director John L. Nau Center for Civil War History, Leandro Demori, former Editor of The Intercept. Moderator: Jakob Nielsen, Editor in Chief of altinget.dk

15.05-16.30 Youth and Freedom of Expression: Encouraged and Threatened?

The Revolution will not be Televised; It will be live-streamed
Koleka Putuma, Theatre Practitioner, Writer and Poet.
Getting a Place at the Table
Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi, Founder of Pakistan Youth Alliance, Khudi, HIVE and Dil Say Pakistan, Arizza Nocum, Co-Founder and President of KRIS, Kristian Kampmann, Co-Owner and Partner at Dalberg Media, Najwa Wheba, Spokeswoman for the Libyan Presidential Council. Moderator: Aya Amead, Co-Founder Ijaz Media Libya
Digitizing Democracy: Social Media and Their Growing Role in Arbitrating Freedom of Expression
Felicia Anthonio, Access Now Campaign Manager, Marianne Neraal, Public Policy Manager Meta Nordic, Marlon Julian Nombrado, Co-founder of Out of The Box (OOTB) Media Literacy Initiative. Moderator: Khaled Emam, Executive Director of Justice Call.

23th of May

09.00-09.20 Opening Ceremony

Wexfo Youth Lillehammer

12.30-13.15 Lunch


13.15-14.40 The High Cost in Defending the Freedom of Expression and Democracy

Standing Up for Facts in an Age of Fake: The OSINT Revolution
Has Russia’s Aggression Against Ukraine Divided the World?
Pankaj Mishra, Author, Søren Liborius, Senior Diplomat in the EU's External Action Service, Ine Eriksen Søreide, Member of The Norwegian Parliament.
The Depth of Unfreedom in the Assad’s Regime
Karam Nachar, Executive Editor and Director of AlJumhuriya.
Publishing and Editing in Extreme Situations
Rasha Al-Ameer, Publisher Dar-al Jadeed, Burhan Sönmez, Author and President of PEN International, Karam Nachar, Executive Editor and Director of AlJumhuriya. Modeator: Jakob Nielsen, Editor in Chief of altinget.dk

15.05-16.15 Strengthening the Framework of Freedom of Expression: Where Do We Go From Here?

Saving Democracy by Limiting Freedom of Expression?
Jacob Mchangama, Director of Justitia, Sasha Havlicek, Founding CEO of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue. Moderator: Ingeborg Volan.
How to go from Autocracy to Democracy?
Natalia Pinchuk
Rising to the Challenges
Anette Trettebergstuen, Minister of Culture and Equality, Joanna Krawczyk, Deputy Director East at the German Marshall Fund of the US, Obama Leader, Golden Pen of Freedom Award Laureate 2022, Henry Elkus, CEO and Founder of Helena Group. Moderator: Aage Borchgrevink, Head of Center for International Justice at The Norwegian Helsinki Committee.
Sustainable Societies Presupposes Freedom of Expression
Irene Khan, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion.
Wexfo 2023 Summarized – Our Takeaways