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Programme and Registration: Cool North – Cultural Diplomacy in the Nordics, 8-9 September 2014, Copenhagen

in BDF Events, News

Join us on 8th and 9th September 2014 as BDF and the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy (ICD) are organizing an international conference on cultural diplomacy in Copenhagen. The event is supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The conference is part of BDF´s work on regional identity and branding of the Baltic Sea region.

The Nordic model has always had a large appeal to many. The Nordic economic and social welfare model has been widely recognized and has proved resistant to globalization and the recent international economic crisis. The Nordic countries have often been seen to punch above their weight in international affairs not least using their “soft powers”.

In recent years, other aspects of the Nordic model have also received increasing attention. This includes many aspects of the Nordic culture including literature (crime novels), architecture, TV-series and movies, cuisine, music and sports have received worldwide recognition. The Nordic has become increasingly “cool”. As branding has come higher up the agenda, the Nordic countries have the ambitions to reach out more globally using the Nordic brand.

The aim of the conference is to explore the Nordic foreign and cultural diplomacy by putting a spotlight on the experiences and strategies that have been successful in the past and analyzing the opportunity for the Nordic countries to make further use of their potentials in international cooperation and development. A special focus is on the regional cooperation with the Baltic States and Russia after the fall of the Berlin wall where the Nordic countries were actively supporting the democratic reform processes using a wide range of tools and instruments both political and economic.

The conference will be opened by the Danish Minister of Culture Marianne Jelved, the Speaker of the Danish Parliament Mogens Lykketoft and the Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers Dagfinn Høybråten. Also, Halldór Ásgrímsson, fmr. Prime Minister of Iceland, Bertel Haarder, MP, fmr. minister of education, development, integration, and Lene Espersen, MP and Chairman of Baltic Development Forum will participate as will many other prominent high-level international speakers. See the full programme below.


Cool North – Cultural Diplomacy in the Nordics

Strategies for Regional Development, Cooperation, Good Neighborly Relations

Conference moderator: Verner Kristiansen, Communication Advisor, Denmark
Venue: Fællessalen, Christiansborg Palace, the Parliament of Denmark

Monday 8 September

12.30 Welcoming addresses
• Halldor Asgrimsson, Former Minister and Secretary General of Nordic Council of Ministers
• Mogens Lykketoft, Speaker of The Danish Parliament
• Marianne Jelved, Minister of Culture, Denmark
• Dagfinn Høybråten, Secretary General, Nordic Council of Ministers

13.30 Plenary session 1: The Power of Culture in International Cooperation, Trust Building and Peace: Nordic experiences

This session will explore the potential of culture as a tool to reinforce international cooperation by building trust within a political and socio-economic framework. Furthermore, this session will present and analyze Nordic experiences in order to unearth best practices in maintaining peace and strengthening ties of cooperation. 

• Ole Wæver, Professor, University of Copenhagen
• Jakob Skovgaard Petersen, Professor, University of Copenhagen
• Morten Traavik, Norwegian Artist and Director

14.30 Coffee break

15.00 Plenary Session 2: Soft Powers of Culture, Media and Creative Industries

The focus of this session will be on soft power, a crucial component of peaceful dialogue and improved intra-national relations. Culture, media and creative industries represent practical means of pursuing these soft power goals and therefore create the possibility for further cooperation from abroad whilst also strengthening the existing bonds.

• Michael Metz Mørch, Ambassador, Director, DanishCultural Institute
• Rasmus Wiinstedt Tscherning, Director, Center for Cultural and Experience Economy
• Dr. Marie-Louise von Plessen, Art Historian & Curator
• Jonas Eder-Hansen, Development Director, Danish Fashion Institute

16:30 Plenary Session 3: Branding and Cultural Diplomacy conflicting or complementary?

This session will explore the relationship between the concepts of nation branding and cultural diplomacy. It will discuss the different strategies used to influence or change the way in which a country or region is presented, and thus perceived, abroad.

• Bernd Henningsen, Professor, Humboldt University
• Marcus Andersson, Partner, Tendensor
• Ole Egberg Mikkelsen, Ambassador, Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
• Geir Helgesen, Director, Nordic Institute of Asian Studies

18.00 Evening reception at Parliament of Denmark


Tuesday 9 September

9.00 Plenary session 4: The Power of Culture in Regional Cooperation, Nordic-Baltic-Russian Cooperation

This session will explore the significant impact of culture on the strengthening of multilateral relations. It will discuss cultural relations between different regions of the world today, with a special focus on the distinctive Nordic-Baltic-Russian relations and cooperation.

• Annika Rembe, CEO, Swedish Institute
• Karina Petersone, Director, Latvian Institute
• Lene Espersen, Chairman, Baltic Development Forum


10:00 Coffee Break

10:30 Plenary session 5: – Can the Nordics do better and Experience archived utilized further
in International Affairs and co-operation?

The final session will analyze the Nordic countries’ potential for further international engagement through a combination of soft power and hard power strategies. It will explore how the resulting ‘smart power’ policies can be implemented more substantially on a wider global stage to promote more effective cooperation with other countries.

• Bertel Haarder, Former Minister, Vice President of the Danish Parliament and Chairman of the Danish Delegation to the Nordic Council
• Halldor Asgrimsson, Former Minister and Secretary General of Nordic Council of Ministers
• Karl-Erik Norrman, Former Swedish Ambassador, Secretary General, European Cultural Parliament, Member of the Faculty, Center for Cultural Diplomacy Studies

12.00 Summing up and final remarks

15:00   Guided Tour of the National Museum of Denmark


To register for the conference please follow the link: Registration

For more information, contact Flemming Stender, Director of BDF,, +45 27 64 80 76
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