Humanity in Action Fellowship in Copenhagen: 2015 Agenda

May 30

Welcome to the Fellowship

Topics of the day

Welcome to the Copenhagen Fellowship! This weekend is dedicated to learning about human rights and popular movements in Denmark and to learning about working together in a group. Anders Jerichow will welcome you all to the Fellowship and Magnus Harrison will give you an introduction to the program. After lunch, René Karpantschof will talk about popular movements and their influence on Danish democracy. Then, Trine Bendix Knudsen from the Danish Adult Education Association will tell us about DAEA’s work. Finally, we will end the day with a canal tour of Copenhagen and dinner at Vartov where we will meet Senior Fellow Andreas Sampson. 

Program for today

  • “Welcome to the Copenhagen Fellowship”, by Anders Jerichow, Journalist and commentator at the Danish daily newspaper Politiken, Chairman of the Board of HIA DK.
  • “Introduction to the Fellowship program”, by Magnus Harrison, National director of Humanity in Action Denmark.
  • “Popular movements, democracy, and human rights in Denmark, 1815 - 1915 - 2015”, by Dr. René Karpantschof, external lecturer at Copenhagen University.
  • “Danish Adult Education Association”, a presentation by Trine Bendix Knudsen, Secretary General of DAEA
  • Canal Tour of Copenhagen 
  • “Life as a Senior Fellow”, Andreas Sampson, OSCE Observer and Senior Fellow
  • Dinner & HIA buddy presentation

May 31

Welcome to the Fellowship
Topics of the day
Today we will focus on group work and group dynamics, which will be of great importance for the rest of the Fellowship. The day will consist of a Betzavta workshop facilitated by Tali Padan, who is an expert in the field of conflict management. The Betzavta method offers an experimental way to learn about democracy through practice, challenging the way we speak and the way we behave in groups. The various principles and concepts behind democracy, such as equality, freedom, and the concept of minorities and majorities are applied in a group context. In order to sufficiently work and discuss together, Tali Padan will provide you with the tools to cooperate. The way in which the principles are applied in a group context allows for the individual to reflect on his/her role in group dynamics. 
After the workshop, Isabella Smith will talk with you about the host families you will be staying with throughout the Fellowship and what to expect when living with a Danish host family. 
Program for today
  • “Freedom in a group”, Betzavta workshop - Part I, facilitated by Tali Padan.
  • “The necessity of rules”, Betzavta workshop - Part II, facilitated by Tali Padan.
  • “Staying with a Danish host family”, by Isabella Smith
  • Travel to host families

June 1

Democratization and Human Rights

Topics of the day

Denmark has since its first ‘democratic’ constitution democratized all parts of society through educating, organizing, and seeking to include various groups and minorities in the political decision making process. Denmark developed a unique, multilevel, and somewhat uniform notion of democracy based on civic duties, civil society, and strong state institutions. Our first speaker of the day, Bo Lidegaard, will discuss how groups within society had to organize in order to be deemed responsible enough to hold political power. This will be followed by Michael Böss who will discuss the democratization of Denmark after WWII. Then, we will focus on the emergence of global human rights after WWII with an introduction by Steven Jensen. We will end the day with a presentation by Christoffer Badse on the European approach to human rights. 

Program for today


  • “Democratization of Denmark and the inclusion of farmers, workers, and women”, a presentation by Bo Lidegaard, Editor in chief of the daily newspaper Politiken
  • “Democratization after WWII”, a presentation by Michael Böss, Associate Professor of History, Director of the Canadian Studies Centre at Aarhus University
  • “The emergence of global human rights after WWII”, a presentation by Steven Jensen, Ph.D in History and researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights 
  • “Human rights violations and the European approach to human rights”, a presentation and workshop by Christoffer Badse, Head of Monitoring at the Danish Institute for Human Rights

June 2 

Democratic and Non-Democratic Movements


Topics of the day

Today we will discuss and qualify our understanding of democracy and democratic movements. Clement Kjersgaard will start the day by discussing the biggest democratic problems he sees in Denmark today. After this, we will look at three cases of democratic and non-democratic movements and discuss their influence on their respective countries. Terkel Stræde will discuss whether the participation of the Danish SS-soldiers in WWII can be considered a popular movement. Kirstine Sinclair will then discuss how Hizb ut-Tahrir use democratic means to combat democracy itself. Steffen Gram will discuss the nonviolent struggle of the civil rights movement in the U.S. Finally, we will hear from Yehuda Shaul - an Israeli soldier from the organisation Breaking the Silence. 

Program for today

  • “The biggest democratic problems today”, a presentation by Clement Kjersgaard, Danish TV anchor, columnist, and public speaker
  • “Danish SS-soldiers - A popular movement during WWII?, a presentation by Therkel Stræde, Associate Professor at Syddansk University (SDU) 
  • “Hizb ut-Tahrir - anti-democratic change by democratic means”, a presentation by Kirstine Sinclair, Associate Professor at Centre for Contemporary Middle East Studies, University of Southern Denmark
  • “The civil rights movement”, a presentation by Steffen Gram, Journalist and radio host at Danish Broadcasting Corporation
  • “Breaking the Silence”, a presentation by Yehuda Shaul, former Israeli soldier and Foreign Relations Director of Breaking the Silence.  

June 3

The Limits of Democracy: The Case of Denmark

Topic of the day

While it may seem out of place to question whether Denmark has reached some sort of democratic limit when looking at the idyllic picture often drawn of Danish democracy. It is nevertheless a topic often discussed in Danish public discourse. We will start the day with Lars Bo Kaspersen who will give an introduction to the history of the Danish welfare society with a critical view on the condition of the welfare society today. Then, we will look at the power structure in Denmark. According to Christoph Houman Ellersgaard and Anton Grau Larsen, the power elite in Denmark includes only 423 persons. If this is true, what are the democratic consequences of this? Finally, we will meet Jørn Vestergaard who will talk about the issues concerning the anti-terror legislation in Denmark and whether it poses a threat to democracy. 

Program for today

  • “The limits of democracy in the Danish bureaucracy/welfare state”, a presentation by Lars Bo Kaspersen, Head of department, Professor at the Institute for Political Science, Copenhagen University
  • “The 423 - How Wide Is the Distribution of Power After All?”, a presentation by Christoph Houman Ellersgaard, external lecturer at the Department of Sociology, Copenhagen University and Anton Grau Larsen, PhD student at Department of Sociology, Copenhagen University
  • “Anti terror acts and the legal framework to combat terrorism”, a presentation by Jørn Vestergaard

June 4

Woman, Fight For Your Right!
Topics of the day
On account of the 100-year anniversary of women’s right to vote in Denmark we will take a closer look at gender equality. The first speaker is Ane Krestine Larsen who will give us an introduction to the history of women’s liberation and talk about the Danish women’s movement and how it has been influenced both by other feminist movements around the world and the global fight for human rights. Afterwards, we will hear from Helena G. Hansen who we have invited from The Danish Women’s Society to tell us about their current campaign called: ”Everyday sexism”. Next, Caroline Due, the editor of “Kvinde kend din krop” (“Woman know your body”) will discuss where the women’s movement is headed and discuss some of the issues women are facing today. In the evening, we will see the documentary “India’s daughter” together with director Leslee Udwin who will also join us for a discussion after the movie. 
Program for today 
  • “The history of women and women’s liberation movements since the beginning of the 20th century”, a presentation by Senior Fellow Ane Krestine Larsen, faculty member at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad
  • “What are the key challenges that women’s movements face today?”, a presentation by Caroline Due, Editor of “Kvinde kend din krop” (“Woman know your body”)
  • “Everyday sexism”, presentation by Helena G. Hansen associated with Danish Women Society (Dansk Kvindesamfund)
  • Keynote: “Daughters of India”, film screening and Q&A with Leslee Udwin, the director of the documentary. 

June 5

New Gender Perspectives 

Topics of the day

He, She, Zie, Hir, They, Em or Eir? In one current discussion concerning gender, many different suggestions have been made concerning new gender neutral pronouns that one could use either when one doesn’t know the gender of another person or when a person doesn’t define his/her/hir/their gender identity within the traditional binary categories of man-woman. The issue of creating a language that can include different gender identities is just one issue among many concerning new gender perspectives. Today we will focus on different issues pertaining to gender and gender identity. The first speaker is Normstormerne who will tell us about their project and how they try to give pupils in the Danish elementary schools a more nuanced perspective on gender and sexuality. This is done in order to prevent bullying, to encourage a change in societal attitude, and ultimately to prevent the occurrence of hate crimes. Following this, Lars Henriksen will discuss his work with Copenhagen Pride and how we can create the most inclusive Pride. Finally, Birgitte Schepelern Johansen will discuss the concept of ‘hate crimes’. The day will wrap up with a dinner at the home of Isabella M. Smith, where Fellows, Senior Fellow, host families and board members are invited.

Program for today


  • “Creating a nuanced understanding of gender and sexuality”, a presentation/workshop by XX and XX from Normstormerne
  • “Creating the most inclusive Pride in the world ”, a presentation by Lars Henriksen, president of Copenhagen Pride
  • “How to understand and perceive hate crimes”, a presentation by Birgitte S. Johansen, assistant professor and Ph.D from Copenhagen University
  • Transport to Isabella, dinner and a social evening


June 6 - 7 

Free time

June 8

Recognizing Racism and Discrimination - a Prerequisite For Combating Racism
Topics of the day
To recognize the existence of racism and discrimination is a prerequisite for addressing racism and discrimination and ensuring that everyone is included on equal terms. We will start the day with a general introduction to a discussion of racism and the concept of ‘white privilege’ with a special focus on Denmark by Helle Stenum. We will continue the day with Jacob Mchangama who will discuss whether affirmative action and laws like the Danish “racismeparagraffen” (the racism section in the Danish penal code) are the best way to ensure the inclusion of minorities. Following this, Sune Lægaard will discuss multiculturalism and the relationship between multiculturalism and human rights. To end the day, we will focus on the way we perceive and categorize people, as well as the consequences of such categorization. We will do this through a workshop, facilitated by Stine Thuge, aimed at challenging our own perceptions, stereotypes and categorisation in general and in particular concerning the Roma population in Europe.
Program for today 
  • “Racism and white privilege”, a presentation by Helle Stenum, Part-time lecturer at the Department of Culture and Identity, Roskilde University
  • “Affirmative Action and “Racismeparagraffen””, a presentation by Jacob Mchangama, Director of Justitia
  • “Multiculturalism and human rights”, a presentation by Sune Lægaard, Associate Professor at the Department of Culture and Identity, Roskilde University
  • “People in Boxes”, a workshop facilitated by Stine Thuge, Project Manager, Holocaust and Genocide Education, Danish Institute for International Studies

June 9

Inclusion in Practice
Topics of the day
Yesterday we discussed the importance of recognizing the fact that racism and discrimination exists in our societies in order to address these issues. We will follow this up with a focus on the problem of structural discrimination and so-called “everyday discrimination” and how societies can address these issues and work to include minorities. The inclusion of minorities (and the ways to do it) remains a work in process and continues to elicit discussion: Is the way forward to treat everyone equally or treating them the same - and does this mean the same? We will start the day by hearing from Mira Skadegaard Thorsen who will discuss structural and everyday discrimination - a largely hidden problem, Except off course for those who are the victims of this kind of discrimination. The next speaker is Morten Nielsen, the originator of the anti-racist project Through Different Eyes, who will discuss how we can address racism and discrimination by experiencing different identities ourselves. We will end the day with splitting up into smaller groups and visiting various organizations which work, in different ways, with inclusion in practice.
Program for today
  • “Structural and everyday discrimination”, a presentation by Mira Skadegaard Thorsen PhD Fellow at the Department of Education, Learning, and Philosophy, Aalborg University
  • “Through Different Eyes”, a presentation by Morten Nielsen actor and project manager at Through Different Eyes
  • “Inclusion in practice”, site visits to Game Denmark, Shezone, Muhabet, Sabaah. Wrap up in site visit groups

June 10 


Topics of the day

It can be difficult to know where to begin when we consider the task of fighting radicalization. Should we teach anti-radicalization in the public schools, enforce state surveillance of the internet, or expand and strengthen our criminal laws? Today we will take a closer look at different aspects of radicalization and anti-radicalization, terrorism, and counter-terrorism in order to get a better understanding of the different issues linked with radicalization and terrorism and the different approaches to avoid radicalization and combat terrorism. The question is, how can we as a society work towards a more inclusive social, economic, and political system for marginalized and excluded individuals? And what can be done for those who in turn reject the society within which they live? We will start the day with an introduction to VINK, the anti-radicalization unit in Copenhagen. We will then, discuss how to combat radicalization through inclusion and dialogue. Afterwards, Matias Seidelin will talk about the so-called Danish foreign fighters or holy warriors. The last speaker today is Magnus Ranstorp, who will discuss how we can prevent radicalization and terrorism in Denmark. We will end the day with a visit to Politimuseet (The Police Museum) to see the exhibition on “Wehrwolf”, Hitler’s secret terror network in Denmark. 

Program for today

  • “How to combat homegrown terrorism”, a Presentation by Satnam Singh, VINK
  • “Danish holy warriors”, a presentation by Matias Seidelin, journalist at the daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten
  • “Wehrwolf - Hitler’s secret terror network”, site visit to The Police Museum. A guided tour by the museum Director and Ph.D Frederik Strand. 

June 11

Workshop - Follow-Up

Topics of the day

Today, we will focus on group work and group dynamics as we did the second day of the Fellowship with a follow-up workshop facilitated by Tali Padan. The workshop will among other things focus on democracy and the idea of freedom in a group, allowing for the individual to reflect on his/her role in group dynamics.

After today’s program we will travel to Bornholm to participate in the “People Meeting”, a political festival where people and politicians meet to debate current political issues. Remember to bring everything you will need until we get back from Bornholm on Sunday. 

Program for today 

  • Betzavta Workshop, part III, facilitated by Tali Padan
  • Betzavta Workshop, part IV, facilitated by Tali Padan
  • Walk to Copenhagen Central Station
  • Travel to Allinge, Bornholm

June 12

The People Meeting - Bornholm
  • “Political morning meeting” with MP Lisbeth Bech Poulsen
  • Morning dialogue about the Middle East (Danish Youth Council, DUF) 
  • Debat: Hvor står briterne i EU? (“Debate: What position does the UK have in the EU?”)(Politiken and the British Embassy) 
  • Hvad skal du i dag? Find inspiration i Det Globale Telt (“What are you doing today? Find inspiration in the Global Tent”)(CISU) 
  • En flygtning møder den franske ambassadør (“A refugee meets the French ambassador”)(Politiken) 
  • Partners in the Arctic - The Canadian ambassador (Rotary) 
  • Forfølgelse af Falun Dafa i Kina (“The persecution of Falun Dafa in China”) (Foreningen for Falun Dafa i Danmark)  
  • Trade agreement on green goods - Challenges and Opportunities (Europahuset + Dansk industri)
  • Hvorfor er USA rigere end Danmark (“Why the US is richer than Denmark”) (Dansk erhverv)
  • 3 milliarder flere i middelklassen - grøn energi til alle? (“A growing middle class - Green energy for all”)(Udenrigsministeriet + FN Byen) 
  • Why we need a transatlantic trade agreement (Europahuset)
  • Leaders for Interreligious Understanding (Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute)

June 13 

The People Meeting - Bornholm 

  • Debate meeting: Flemming Rose + Geert Wilders (held by Trykkefrihedsselskabet)
  • Walk in Model United Nations (FN-forbundet) 
  • Hvad skal du i dag? Find inspiration i Det Globale Telt (“What are you doing today? Find inspiration in the Global Tent”) (CISU) 
  • International nationalism anno 2015 (Danskernes Parti)
  • DEDI and the Work in the Field of Media (Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute)
  • Dansk-arabisk ungdomsdialog om demokrati og værdier (“Danish-Arab youth dialogue about democracy and values”) (Danish Youth Council, DUF) 
  • Arktis i nyt farvand - hvordan navigerer vi i det? (“The Arctic in new waters - How do we navigate in it?”) (Norden i fokus + Folketinget + Forsvarsakademiet) 
  • Hvad truer ytringsfriheden - og hvordan forsvarer vi den? (“What is a threat to the freedom of expression - and how do we defend it?”) (Trykkefrihedsselskabet)
  • En flygtning fortæller om sin rejse over Middelhavet (“A refugee tells the story of his journey across the Mediterranean”) (Amnesty International) 
  • Kan kineserne være innovative? (“Can the Chinese be innovative?”) (IT-Branchen) 
  • DEDI and the Work in the Cultural Field (Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute)
  • Danmark som rumfartsnation (“Denmark as a space nation”) (Lockheed Martin + Gom Space + Terma) 
  • Fra Ghana til Allinge - Mød fairtrade-bonden Monica Gyan (“From Ghana to Allinge - Meet the fair-trade farmer Monica Gyan”) (Fairtrade Mærket Danmark)
  • Cairo Downtown Passages project (Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute)
  • Anna Logas Salon. Invitation til digital frigjort samtale (“Anna Loga’s Salon. Invitation to a digitally liberated conversation”)
  • DEDI and the Work in the Political Field (Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute)
  • Tamale Youth Home Cultural Group (Ghana) (Hammershus Fairtrade) 

June 14

The People Meeting - Bornholm

Travel from Allinge to Copenhagen Central Station

June 15

Human Rights

Topics of the day

As human rights are an integral part of Humanity in Action’s work and values, we will spend this day discussing some fundamental questions concerning human rights and clashes of rights. Eva Maria Lassen will begin by introducing the dilemmas that can occur when human rights clash. Then, she will facilitate a workshop that will give us the opportunity to discuss different cases where there is a clash of rights. Following this, Marie Juul-Pedersen will talk about the relationship between human rights and religion and discuss the universality of human rights. The The day will end with an Action Project workshop. 

Program for today 

  • “Clashes of rights”, a presentation by Eva Maria Lassen, Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights
  • “Clashes of rights”, workshop facilitated by Eva Maria Lassen, Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights
  • “Universal human rights and religion”, a presentation by Marie Juul-Pedersen, Post Doc at the Danish Institute for Human Rights
  • “Workshop - Action Project”  


June 16

Religious Minorities in Denmark
Topics of the day
Religious minorities are a part of the Danish community - but to what extent have they been successfully integrated? Today, the Muslim minority is the biggest religious minority in Denmark, and there are numerous religious communities which have been approved by the state. We will focus on how religious minorities are treated in Denmark and the European tradition of religious satire. Brian Arly Jacobsen will talk about the way in which the Jewish and Muslim minorities have been represented in the political and public debate in the 20th and 21st century. Taking a closer look at one of the Danish religious minorities Cecilie Felicia Stokholm Banke will discuss the rise in anti-Semitism in Europe today. Dennis Meyhoff Brink will introduce us to the European tradition of religious satire and discuss how this tradition affects the way in which religious satire is done, perceived and discussed in Denmark today. We will end the day with an Action Project Workshop. 
Program for today
  • “The Jewish and Muslim minorities in Denmark”, Brian Arly Jacobsen, Associate Professor at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, Copenhagen University
  • “Anti-Semitism in Europe: An Antipathy on the Rise”, Cecilie Felicia Stokholm Banke, Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies. 
  • “Religious Satire - A European Tradition”, Dennis Meyhoff Brink, Part-time Lecturer at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, Copenhagen University
  • Action Project Workshop

June 17

Boat Refugees 

Topics of the day

The number of boat refugees coming to Italy and Europe from the coast of Africa has exploded the last couple of years, but how are we dealing with the growing number of immigrants? During WWII Danes were praised for their efforts to help the Jews hide and escape from the Nazis. This is especially true in the case of the fishermen who helped almost 7000 Jews escape to Sweden. Since then, the Danes have shown a growing hostility towards refugees and religious minorities, and today Denmark have some of the toughest immigration laws in Europe. Why is it that we treat refugees from Africa so poorly when during WWII we were often seen as a safe haven for Jews? Solvej Berlau will talk about the rescue of the Danish Jews during WWII and why Danes were willing to risk their own life to help. Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen will discuss the Danish and international refugee laws and policies with a special focus on the increasing number of boat refugees. Then, we will see the documentary “Days of Hope”, which portrays the refugees and their hopes for a better life in Europe. We will end the day with an Action Project workshop.

Program for today


  • “The rescue of the Danish Jews during WWII”, a presentation by Solvej Berlau, Project Manager, Holocaust and Genocide Education, Danish Institute for International Studies
  • ”Boat refugees from Africa and refugee management in Denmark”, Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen, Research Director at the Danish Institute for Human Rights
  • “Days of Hope”, screening of the documentary directed by Ditte Haarløv Johnsen 
  • Action Project Workshop

June 18

Online Activism and Social Media

Topics of the day

What significance does social media have in the development of our democracy? The media has dramatically changed our perspective on the way we communicate today, and it has an immense impact on us when we, for instance, are almost instantaneously able to gain knowledge of some of the atrocities against humanity that occur on the other side of the world. Today, we will look closer at social media and online activism and what possibilities and pitfalls it brings with it, but more importantly, we will discuss how online activism brings social movements to life. What consequences do digital and social movements have on totalitarian regimes or democratic states? The first speaker today, Vincent Hendricks, will discuss how social and digital media, and the almost unfiltered access to information which the internet provides, can both support and undermine democracy. Our next speaker will take us on an online journey and explore the difference between activism and slacktivism, shining light on the ways in which social media is not alway a tool for the better. Sandra Hyo points out that we risk turning active activists into passive slacktivists and passive “likes” on Facebook. The last speaker today is Frederik Preisler who will show us how to avoid slacktivism and how to instead convert an idea into reality - the hard part of turning an online movement into real life activism. Lastly, you will spend time forming groups which you will work with in formulating an Action Project.

Program for today

  • “Collectively rational or socially stupid?”, a presentation by Vincent Hendricks, Professor at the Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, Copenhagen University
  • “Online activism - Activism or Slacktivism?”, a presentation by Sandra Hyo, Web and Communication Associate at Cepos
  • “From idea to reality”, a presentation by Frederik Preisler, Partner and Creative Director of Mensch
  • Action project group formations

June 19 - 22

Action Projects - Group Work

You will work on your Action Projects in groups

June 23

Presentation of Action Projects

Today, each group will present their Action Projects for a maximum of 20 minutes per presentation. The presentations will be given to both a panel of Senior Fellows and the other groups, who will judge each project. After the Action Project presentations, there will be an evaluation and group photo. We will spend the evening having a final dinner together.

Program for today

  • First round of Action Project Presentations
  • Second round of Action Project Presentations
  • Evaluation and group photo
  • Dinner

June 24 

Free time

June 25 

Travel to the Sixth Annual Humanity in Action International Conference

June 25 - 28 

Sixth Annual Humanity in Action International Conference

June 28

Travel back to home country  


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