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May-06-2011 19:24printcomments

2011 Oslo Freedom Forum to Extend Global Impact

Story includes a full schedule of events.

Top to bottom, left to right; Ali Abdulemam, Izzeldin Abuelaish, Lubna Al-Hussein, Diego Arria, Julian Assange, George Ayittey, Violet Banda, Lina Ben Mhenni Ahmed Benchemsi
Top to bottom, left to right; Ali Abdulemam, Izzeldin Abuelaish, Lubna Al-Hussein, Diego Arria, Julian Assange, George Ayittey, Violet Banda, Lina Ben Mhenni Ahmed Benchemsi

(NEW YORK) - Globally acclaimed as “a spectacular human rights festival… on its way to becoming the human-rights equivalent of the Davos economic forum,” the Oslo Freedom Forum will be taking place in Norway next week from Monday, May 9th through Wednesday, May 11th. The event will provide a unique venue for pioneers and entrepreneurs in the realms of advocacy, business, academia, politics, media and technology to gather and collaborate on how best to make an impact on the world around them.

Speakers at this year’s forum include former Mexican president Vincente Fox, Iranian Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, revered economist Hernando de Soto, former Colombian President Belisario Betancur, Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist Jody Williams, Ghanaian economist George Ayittey, North Korea expert and journalist Barbara Demick and American neuroscientist James Fallon.

The Oslo Freedom Forum provides a setting for inspiring presentations that magnify the stories of activists and encourage a global exchange of ideas. An exciting addition to this year’s event is the introduction of the interactive elements, allowing for a truly global reach:

Below please find a full schedule of events.

Monday, May 9th

Evening Reception & Opening Remarks from Iranian Nobel Peace Prize Recipient Shirin Ebadi, Mayor of Oslo Fabiel Stang and Thor Halvorssen, Founder of the New York-based Oslo Freedom Forum and the Human Rights Foundation.


Tuesday, May 10th

Tuesday’s schedule features a collection of four inspiring and thought-provoking topics which have utmost relevance in society today:

‘The Anatomy of a Dictatorship’ discussion will feature speeches from American Neuroscientist James Fallon, leading Burmese human rights activist Zoya Phan, Los Angeles Times journalist and author Barbara Demick, Ghanaian economist George Ayittey and former President of Peru Alejandro Toledo.


·            A panel discussion highlighting the ‘Evolution of Censorship’ with insight from award-winning Egyptian analyst and commentator on Arab and Muslim issues Mona Eltahawy, Ethiopian journalist Abebe Gellaw and Dagestani human rights activist Gregory Shvedov. The panel will be moderated by John Ralston Saul, president of PEN International.


·            American author and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Jody Williams, Jamaican LGBT activist Thomas Glave, teenage Malawian journalist and activist Violet Banda, Chinese AIDS activist Wan Wanhai and Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto will convene to discuss Against All Odds.’


·             ‘The Dawn of a New Arab World,’ will bring together Bahraini human rights activist Maryam Al-Khawaja, Libyan Ghazi Gheblawi and Tunisian Lina Ben Mhenni.



Wednesday, May 11th

The last day of the forum features three compelling conversations on pressing global issues:

·         Dispelling Myths,’ will include speeches by South-African Busi Kheswa, Director of the Forum for the Empowerment of Women, John Ralston Saul and Chinese dissident Yang Jianli.


·         Ghanian economist George Ayittey, Craig Johnstone, Deputy High Commissioner for the United Nations Refugee Agency and Zoya Phan, leading Burmese Human Rights Activists will speak to ‘The Aid Debate.’


·         Former Mexican President Vincente Fox, former Colombian President Belisario Betancur, British journalist Justine Hardy and Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee will discuss Peace and Conflict.’


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