2013 Program in Copenhagen

May 31

Day of Arrival

  • Welcome Dinner with Senior Fellows

June 1

Welcome to the Fellowship

The morning will start with breakfast and welcoming notes by Anders Jerichow, Chairman of Humanity in Action Denmark. Following his welcome, we will start the day by learning about the overall theme of this year’s Fellowship, “Freedom and Equality.”  Politicians and members of the Board of HIA Denmark, Søren Pind and Yildiz Akdogan, will present their case for why freedom and equality as concepts, values, and goals are so important today. After lunch, TV anchor and journalist Clement Kjersgaard will give the first lecture of the Copenhagen Fellowship, which focuses on Denmark’s current political situation and system. The day will end with a canal tour of Copenhagen, dinner and HIA buddy presentations. 

  • "Welcome to the Copenhagen Fellowship,” breakfast and presentation by Anders Jerichow, Chairman of Humanity in Action Denmark
  • “The Case for Freedom and Equality,” debate between Humanity in Action Denmark Board Members Yildiz Akdogan and Søren Pind. 
  • “Introduction to the Danish Political System,” Clement Kjersgaard, Danish TV anchor, columnist and public speaker
  • Canal tour of Copenhagen
  • Dinner with Humanity in Action buddy presentation

June 2

Welcome to the Fellowship

The day will begin with an introduction to the Copenhagen Fellowship. Following this, Tali Padan will join us and facilitate a Betzavta workshop. The workshop will relate principles of democracy to everyday decision making. The Betzavta method enables an experiential way to learn about democracy. The principles and concepts behind democracy – equality, freedom, majorities, and minorities – are applied in a group context, allowing the individual to reflect on his/her role in a group process. Rather than learning about democracy as a theory, Betzavta allows us to practice it, challenging each person on the difference between what they say and how they behave.

  • “Introduction to the Fellowship,” Magnus Harrison, National Director of Humanity in Action Denmark. 
  • “Freedom in a Group,” Betzavta Workshop – Part I, facilitated by Tali Padan.
  • “The Necessity of a Contract,” Betzavta Workshop – Part II, facilitated by Tali Padan.
  • Fellows travel to host families

June 3

Understanding Freedom and Equality

The concepts of freedom and equality have been the subject of political discussion since the Antiquity. In Denmark, the political scene from one end to the other has long debated whether to prioritize freedom or equality. This discussion has been deeply connected to the welfare state, in which decisions must be continuously made to either expand government interventions in favor of more equality, or to limit them in favor of more freedom. But are the two mutually exclusive? In order to have a common understanding of freedom and equality, we will explore how freedom and equality are interlinked and how they affect the way the society is built.

The day will begin with an overview of how power is distributed in Denmark and what consequences this distribution has to the freedoms and equalities of the people residing in Denmark. Afterwards, Associate Professor Poul Lübcke will give an introduction to the concept of freedom; this will be followed by a presentation on the concept of equality by Ph.D. Student and Part-time Lecturer Martin Marchman Andersen. We will end the day with group discussions on how we perceive the two notions, and how we want to use these concepts throughout the Fellowship

  • “Influence and Interests: The Distribution of Power in Denmark,” Ove K. Pedersen, Professor of Comparative Political Economy and Founder of the Department of Business and Politics at Copenhagen Business School
  • “Freedom and Human Rights,” Poul Lübcke, Associate Professor in the Department of Media, Cognition and Communication at the University of Copenhagen
  • “An Introduction to the Concept of Equality,” Martin Marchman Andersen, Ph.D. Student at the University of Copenhagen and Part-time Lecturer in the Department of Culture and Identity at Roskilde University
  • “Our Perception of Equality and Freedom,” group discussion among Fellows

June 4

Human Rights

As Humanity in Action focuses on human rights and minority issues, we will spend today examining some fundamental questions concerning human rights, and how freedom and equality correlate and collide within this spectrum. Which forms of human rights issues are at stake in Bosnia, USA and Turkey? What is Denmark’s relationship to human rights and how does it correlate with the international spectrum? We will start the day with a presentation by Birgit Lindsnæs, who will discuss the role of freedom and equality within the human rights debates and issues in Denmark. Afterwards, each Fellow will present in a group discussion the human rights issues or violations that they find the most pertinent to address in their respective countries. This will serve to create a mutual understanding among the Fellows and inspire a discussion about the universality of human rights. After lunch, Arnold de Fine Skibsted, the future Danish Ambassador to the Council of Europe (whose bodies include the European Court of Human Rights), will talk about his career and the obligations and dilemmas regarding some of today’s most essential human rights issues. At the end of the day, we will watch and discuss a documentary on the unaccompanied minors residing at the Asylum Centre Jægerspris (now Vipperød), which we will visit on a later occasion during the Fellowship.

  • “Theory and Practice of Human Tights,” Birgit Lindsnæs, Senior Advisor at the consultancy group COWI
  • “Human Rights Issues in Bosnia, Turkey, Denmark and the USA,” group discussion among Fellows
  • “Human Rights Obligations and Dilemmas: A Practitioner’s Perspective,” Arnold de Fine Skibsted, Danish Ambassador of Human Rights
  • “No Man’s Land,” viewing of Michael Graversen’s documentary on unaccompanied minors from Asylum Centre Jægerspris (now Centre Vipperød) 

June 5

The Next Supermodel?

On multiple occasions, Denmark has been praised as one of the best governed, most equal, least corrupt and most efficient nation-states in the world. At the centre of the Danish state is the welfare state, which provides Danes with a broad spectrum of benefits ranging from free healthcare and education to various social entitlements and benefits. But the Danish welfare system and the national government’s responsibilities are changing rapidly. The deepening of the financial crisis with the outburst of the European debt crisis has led politicians to enforce austerity measures and public sector reforms across the board. Thus, the crisis has become an uncomfortable wake-up call and a focal point for political reforms. The current government is thus implementing reforms in all political areas – even areas that only a few years ago were considered sacred to Danes and therefore untouchable. The financial crisis has thus given leeway to new thoughts and opinions on how comprehensive the Danish welfare state is. The first speaker of the day, Bo Lidegaard, is one of Denmark’s most influential people, and he has been a strong voice for national as well as European Union reforms, also before the financial crisis hit. The second speaker, Claus Juul, who is Legal Consultant at Amnesty International, will discuss how freedom and equality complement each other, and where they collide with one another in Denmark. Later on, we will take part in celebrating Denmark’s constitutional day and enjoy a social evening with the Board of Humanity in Action Denmark. 

  • “Challenges to the Danish Welfare Society: Who is it for and How will it Develop?” Bo Lidegaard, Editor-in-Chief at Politiken, historian, author and former Advisor on Foreign Policy to the Danish Prime Minister
  • “How the Perception of Freedom Affects equality in Denmark,” Claus Juul, Legal Consultant at Amnesty International
  • Travel to Røde Plads Nørrebro
  • Celebrate Constitution Day at Røde Plads Nørrebro
  • Travel to Anders Jerichow’s home by train
  • Dinner and social evening with members of the Board of Humanity in Action Denmark 

June 6

Limiting Freedom in Denmark

It is said that Denmark is a country that facilitates real freedom by enabling people to freely choose their way of life. However, Danish legislation and regulations on the lifestyles and behaviors of people residing in Denmark, such as the anti-terror law, have stirred debate on whether or not the state is actually facilitating real freedom or gradually taking it away. 

The day will start with an excursion to Vestre Prison, where we will get an insight into the Danish correctional system and discuss confinement and the loss of freedom. After the lunch break, Eva Smith will discuss how the Danish state is limiting its citizens’ choices and freedoms through laws that were recently passed. Finally, Bjørn Elmquist will give a presentation, drawing on his background as a defense attorney, in order to reflect on what these national laws mean for the freedom and equality of people suspected of terror and other crimes. 

  • Inside the Danish Correctional System,” excursion to Vestre Prison
  • “Restricting Freedom: Visitation Zones, Danish Anti-Terror Law and ‘Lømmelpakken,’” Eva Smith, Professor of Law the University of Copenhagen
  • “The Government’s Power to Influence Denmark’s Freedom and Equality,” Bjørn Elmquist, Defense Lawyer and Chairman of the Danish Legal Policy Association 

June 7

Freedom Under Pressure

Today, we will continue the discussion about personal freedoms in Denmark. We will take a look at freedom from different perspectives as we discuss the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion and the freedom of information. Over the last decade, Denmark has engaged in fierce debate about the freedom of speech; fueling this discussion have been instances of hate speech, verbal attacks on multiculturalism, and physical attacks on cartoonists and critics of Islam. The latest act on public information (which is still pending) has raised questions about the act’s implications on the public’s ability to control and monitor those in power. In recent years, a debate about religious equality has also emerged in the academic and religious spheres. At the heart of this debate is the question of why Lutheran Christianity should be constitutionally favored over and above other religions, thereby limiting the equality between religions in Denmark. The day will begin with a presentation by Associate Professor Sune Lægaard who will examine the relationship between the freedom of religion and religious equality in Denmark. Next, Eva Maria Lassen, Deputy Chairman of the Board of HIA Denmark, will discuss the relationship between human rights and how they relate to some of the greater challenges in the 21st century. Hereafter, Professor Sten Schaumburg-Müller will talk about the freedom of speech and the Danish legislation on this issue. After a short time on your own, journalist Jesper Tynell will introduce the new act on public information and discuss its consequences for public access.

  • “Freedom of Religion or Religious Equality?” Sune Lægaard, Associate Professor in the Department of Culture and Identity at Roskilde University
  • “A Holistic Approach to Human Rights,” Eva Maria Lassen, Ph.D. and Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Humanity in Action Denmark 
  • “Freedom of Degrading Speech," Sten Schaumburg-Müller, Professor in the Department of Law at Aarhus University
  • Keynote: “The New Act on Public Information,” a presentation by Jesper Tynell, journalist and winner of the Cavling Award 2009 

June 8 & 9

  • Free Days 

June 10

October 43: A Lesson in Civil Action 

Today, we will focus on a historical example of civil action and civil responsibility: During the occupation of Denmark in WWII, roughly 7,000 out of 8,000 Jews managed to escape to neutral Sweden in October 1943. This was in large part due to the great amount of help that they received from other Danish citizens. Today, we will examine this event and try to understand why so many Danes helped defend their fellow citizens from persecution. The day will start with a viewing of the documentary film “Theresienstadt”, which details the deportation of six Danish children to the concentration camp Theresienstadt. Solvej Berlau, Project Coordinator at the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) will then discuss different aspects of the remembrance of the events of October ‘43. After the lunch break, Cecilie Stokholm Banke, Head of the research unit on the Holocaust and genocide at DIIS, will discuss the Danish welfare state in the 1930’s and its refugee policy up until WWII. Lastly, Therkel Stræde, Associate Professor at the University of Southern Denmark, will give a presentation on the civil action that was initiated to help the Danish Jews escape to Sweden. 

  • "Theresienstadt,” viewing of a DIIS documentary followed by a talk and discussion moderated by Solvej Berlau, Project Coordinator at the research unit on the Holocaust and genocide at DIIS
  • “Exclusion Through Equality: The Refugee Policies of the Danish Welfare State in the 1930’s,” Cecilie Stokholm Banke, Ph.D. in History, Senior Researcher and Head of the research unit on the Holocaust and genocide at DIIS
  • “Civil Action and the Holocaust: The Escape of the Danish Jews,” Therkel Stræde, Associate Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Southern Denmark 

June 11

A Real Danish?

Today we stray from our usual focus on society and politics in order to discuss different aspects of Danish culture. We will be exploring examples of art, volunteerism, and Danish ways of life. Firstly, popular TV host Adrian Hughes, who is well versed in Danish culture, will give a presentation on ‘artistic’ Danish culture and its current development. Secondly, we will hear a presentation by Annette Jørgensen from Roskilde Festival, which is the biggest music festival in Northern Europe. Roskilde Festival is exceptional due to the great amount of volunteer work that goes into making the festival a reality. In this way, it is an ideal representation of the high level of volunteerism and community service in Danish society. After the break, we will visit Kunsthal Charlottenborg to view the final exhibition of the graduating class of 2013 of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ Schools of Visual Arts. 

  • “What Defines Danish Culture and How is it Developing?” Adrian Hughes, journalist and TV host. 
  • “Volunteerism: The backbone of Roskilde Festival,” Annette Jørgensen, Organizational Developer at Roskilde Festival
  • Viewing of AFGANG 13: The final exhibition of the graduating class of 2013 of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ Schools of Visual Arts
  • Group discussions at the non-profit Café Retro  

June 12

Equality in Denmark

Denmark, together with the rest of Scandinavia, is known for its welfare system which works to raise and strengthen the standard of living for all groups of society. However, once having had the lowest inequality rate in the world, the inequality between the rich and the poor in Denmark has grown heavily in the past decade, and Denmark has been surpassed by several other European countries in the race to become an ‘equal society’. Thus, despite the intentions of the welfare system, economic inequality and the social inequality that is closely related thereto have led to the exclusion, and often stigmatization, of certain groups in the Danish society. But who are these excluded groups, and what is being done to prevent their marginalization? To answer these questions, the day will start with a lecture on social exclusion and poverty in Denmark by Associate Professor Peter Abrahamson. After this, we will take a more in-depth look at some of Danish society’s marginalized groups. Firstly, Helle Jacobsen from Amnesty International will talk about discrimination against Roma people, who experience continuous hatred and prejudice throughout Europe. Next, we will discuss the rights of women to make decisions about their own bodies as Susanne Møller speaks about sex work. At the end of the day, we will split into smaller groups and visit different organizations working with vulnerable women, homeless people and other marginalized and excluded groups.

  • "Social Exclusion and Poverty in Denmark,” Peter Abrahamson, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Copenhagen
  • “Discrimination Against Roma people,” Helle Jacobsen, Campaign Manager at Amnesty International Denmark
  • “Working in the Sex Industry,” Susanne Møller, Sex worker and Spokesperson for Sexarbejdernes Interesseorganisation (SiO)
  • “Working with the Marginalized and Excluded.” Group visits to: Center LivaRehab, Gam3, Projekt Udenfor, Indvandrerkvindecentret and CePI 

June 13

Gender and Identity

Humans are, among other things, categorized by their biological sex. This categorization has shaped the basis for social identity. It also means that people who feel differently about their sex or gender – and voice this – are often viewed as outsiders, suffer from discrimination and cannot enjoy the same rights as those who conform to gender norms. Why is a person viewed differently when he/she breaks the cultural laws that govern ideas of gender? How is this “breaking of laws” viewed in society today? On the catwalk, androgyny is becoming a form of fashion, yet why is this not accepted on the sidewalk? At Copenhagen Pride Parade and Christopher Street Day, which are annual LGBT celebrations and demonstrations, people of all genders and non-genders fill the streets and forget categorizations and labels. However, once the events have finished, people seem to fall back into old patterns, resulting in unconscious discrimination and gender divisions.  

The day will start with a presentation by Karen Sjørup, Associate Professor at Roskilde University, who will discuss where the field of gender identity stands today. Afterwards, artist Peter Voss-Knude will discuss contemporary issues of gender and identity, thereby including parts of his artwork. After the lunch break, Lisa Rasmussen from Køn i Pædagogik (Gender in Pedagogy) will take a critical view upon gender norms and include a workshop into her presentation. Then, we will split up into small groups and visit organizations that work in different ways on the issue of gender and identity. 

  • “Gender: Where we Stand and What we are Heading Towards,” Karen Sjørup, Associate Professor at Roskilde University
  • “Oscillating Identities,” Peter Voss-Knude, artist 
  • “Norm-Critical Perspectives of Gender in Pedagogy,” Lisa Rasmussen from Køn i Pædagogik (Gender in Pedagogy)
  • “Gender Nonconformity,” group visits to: Transvestite Association, Sabaah, Kindergarten Jordkloden, LGBT  

June 14

Action Project Workshop

Humanity in Action has a long-term vision of change. Our approach focuses on engaging emerging leaders who are active in their communities today, but whose greatest potential may be only unleashed years down the road. HIA Senior Fellows from Denmark have created projects that strategically address, discuss and raise awareness about various social conditions and issues. We call these “action projects”. This day is going to be all about action projects. Two of the Danish action projects that have been created previously deal with children and adolescents: Free2Choose and You Also Have Rights. Two other projects are of a more cultural character: Stories from the World and A Song for Copenhagen. Another project involves the organization of an event: Speed-Date a Politician ’09, which serves to promote civic engagement. The purpose of the first half of the day is to learn what an action project is and how to execute one. Action groups will be formed based on an initial brainstorming on topics of interest. 

  • "What is an Action Project?” Magnus Harrison, National Director of Humanity in Action Denmark.
  • “Brainstorming on Topics”, a group exercise
  • “Group Formation”, a group exercise
  • “Planning your Action Projects”, a group exercise
  • Keynote with reception: “Challenges to European Fundamental Rights,” a presentation by Morten Kjærum, Director of the European Fundamental Rights Agency
  • Optional Friday night dinner at The Trampoline house 

June 15 & 16

  • Free Days 

June 17


During the first decade of this century, the former Danish government enforced Europe’s strictest asylum and integration policies. These policies were debated fiercely, especially in regards to the treatment of asylum seekers and Denmark’s obligations to adhere to international conventions. The current government has been blamed for loosening the reins and making way for an increase in the number of refugees receiving asylum and thereby threatening the Danish welfare state. However, despite changes in the asylum system, the number of refugees coming to Denmark is not nearly as high as in several other European and Nordic countries. The humanitarian philosophy that is a central part of the Danish way of life is thus challenged by the country’s asylum policy and its practical management of asylum seekers.  

The day will begin with insights into asylum and refugee protection, presented by Dorte Smed from the Danish Refugee Council, which was recently voted the world’s top refugee organization. Next, Professor Jens Vedsted-Hansen will introduce the Danish asylum system and Denmark’s obligations under international law. This will be followed by a presentation by Erik Hansen on his personal experiences with flight and refuge during WWII, and his involvement with asylum seekers in Denmark. Finally, we will visit the youth asylum centre Centre Vipperød to get a glimpse of the daily life of asylum seekers who are unaccompanied minors. Here, Patrick Wymer will elaborate on the work of the Danish Red Cross asylum unit, focusing particularly on its youth centres.

  • "Asylum and Refugee Protection,” Dorte Smed, Senior Legal Advisor in the Department for Protection and Repatriation at the Danish Refugee Council 
  • “Welcome to Limboland: An Introduction to the Danish Asylum System,” Jens Vedsted-Hansen, Professor of Law at Aarhus University 
  • “On the Run for Life,” Erik Hansen from Grandparents for Asylum
  • Transport by bus to Centre Vipperød (youth asylum centere)
  • “Unaccompanied minors,” Patrick Wymer, Head of Department at Centre Vipperød
  • Tour of the youth asylum centre
  • Various activities with the unaccompanied minors at Centre Vipperød (soccer, “king’s game”, softball/roundball) 
  • Transport by bus to Copenhagen 

June 18

Migration Management

Millions of people flee war, conflict, natural disasters, poverty and non-democratic regimes in the hope of finding a better life somewhere else. Globalization means that more people have the potential to move from one country to another. Thus, the question of migration flows and migration control has reached the top of the international agenda, fueling debates and political arguments towards stricter border control. The nexus between freedom of movement and advanced border control due to security matters has prompted a dilemma, not least within the European Union. How can we respect the freedom of others to seek better conditions whilst still maintaining the established order? In receiving countries, migration has traditionally been seen as a threat to the established order as these countries face new challenges with regards to social provisions and cultural identity. But are these migrants in fact threatening the established order by crossing borders? And what are the consequences of stringent migration management for these migrants?

We will start the day with a presentation by Bjørn Møller on how the question of migration has been turned into a matter of security. After the lunch break, Nauja Kleist will share the findings of her recent research project on migration management, and she will be followed by Søren Hviid Pedersen, who will discuss border security in relation to the Danish nation-state.

  • “Securitization of Migration,” Bjørn Møller, Associate Professor at Aalborg University. 
  • “Deportation and Forced Return to Ghana,” Nauja Kleist, Ph.D. and Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies
  • “Securing Borders and the Nation-State,” Søren Hviid Pedersen, Associate Professor at the University of Southern Denmark 

June 19

Global Freedom and Equality

The following two days will be dedicated to discussing international perspectives on freedom and equality. The world is witnessing rapid changes in supply chains, production hubs, foreign direct investments, mobility, labour, the media, retail, competition, finance, the climate, and in soft and hard power relations. International norms, conventions and institutions – such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the responsibility to protect (R2P) initiative, the Convention of the Rights of the Child, UN procedures and many more – belong to a world order that no longer exists, so what and how will a changing world perceive and act upon 20th century norms and values? The first day will focus on the changes we expect to witness in this century. The first lecture of the day will be on the emergence of a global economy, and we will discuss whether the world is financially moving towards being more free and equal. The second lecture will discuss the path forward from the UN Millennium Development Goals and ask what new goals the world ought to set for itself. After lunch, we will discuss foreign aid and whether it is supporting systems or people. Finally, we will change focus and discuss securitization, which is a new paradigm that has emerged as a direct consequence of globalization. 

  • “The Emergence of a Global Economy: Towards a More Equal and Free World?” Laura Horn, Associate Professor at Roskilde University
  • “The Post-2015 Development Agenda: Reducing inequality,” Lars Engberg-Pedersen, Ph.D., Senior Researcher and Head of the research unit on politics and development at the Danish Institute for International Studies
  • “The Value of Foreign Aid: Supporting Systems or People?” Stig Jensen, Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen 

June 20

Global Focal Points

Following yesterday’s lectures, we will today focus on specific areas of interest in relation to equality from a global perspective. Some of the UN Millennium Development Goals aimed at achieving gender equality and the advancement of women through access to education. To some extent, the success of the UN Millennium Development Goals has been considered a leap forward, but how does gender play a role in civic and political participation across the world, and should we trust the future steps that will be taken to eradicate gender inequality? The first lecture by Helene Horsbrugh will present the Danish Youth Council’s work and youth as a global phenomenon. In the following lecture, Ida Nicolaisen will focus on the future plight of indigenous people in the future. Often neglected and displaced because of globalization, trade patterns and the need for natural resources and agricultural products, indigenous people face a world that is increasingly smaller than the one they were originally part of. Finally, we will meet the new U.S. Ambassador to Denmark, Stephen A. Christina, and engage in a discussion about the need for public diplomacy in a world where hard power alone is insufficient.

  • “Working with Youth: Challenges and Opportunities,” Helene Horsbrugh, International Director of the Danish Youth Council
  • “The Future of Indigenous People,” Ida Nicholaisen, Senior Researcher at the Nordic Institute for Asian Studies at the University of Copenhagen
  • Work in groups on Action Projects
  • “The need for public diplomacy” a meeting with the United States Chargés d’Affaires a.i. to Denmark, Stephen A. Cristina  

June 21 & 22

Action Projects – Group Work

Fellows will work on Action Projects in groups 

June 23

Action Projects – Group Work

  • Fellows will work on Action Projects in groups
  • Sankt Hans celebration with Senior Fellows 

June 24

Action Projects - Group Work

  • Fellows will work on Action Projects in groups 

June 25

Finale: Presentation of Action Projects


Today, each of the groups will present their action projects. Following the presentations and lunch, Tali Padan will return to finalize the Copenhagen Fellowship 2013 with two closing group workshops. We will spend the evening having a final dinner together.     

  • Presentation of Action Projects
  • “The Chocolate game,” a workshop facilitated by Tali Padan
  • “Evaluation,” a closing workshop facilitated by Tali Padan
  • Written evaluations, wrap-up and picture time
  • Social evening 

June 26

  • Day off 

June 27



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