Geographies in Depth

Denmark has a 4-day festival where people meet with political leaders

A Danish flag is pictured in Copenhagen, Denmark April 19, 2017.  REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

The festival was founded in 2011 and celebrates it's 50th anniversary this year. Image: REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

Alex Gray
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Geographies in Depth?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how European Union is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

European Union

Politicians often stand accused of being out of touch with ordinary people.

But in Denmark, things are a little different.

For four days a year, Danes can rub shoulders with politicians, and even the prime minister, at Folkemødet (The People's Meeting).

Image: Bornholm.info

Festival vibe

Each June, members of the public mingle with politicians, policymakers, local government officials and leaders of companies and non-governmental organizations at the festival on Bornholm, Denmark's easternmost island in the Baltic Sea.

All the political parties attend, and have the chance to give a major speech and debate current issues.

In 2018, over 100,000 festival goers took part in over 3,000 events, including lectures, debates, workshops and performances. Everything is free, and all events are within walking distance.

The festival, founded in 2011, was inspired by the Swedish Almedalen Week, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2018.

As well as talking politics, many business leaders attend to discuss things like infrastructure, climate change, energy and social issues.

Polite debate

Despite the chilled-out ambiance, festival-goers don’t shy away from asking politicians difficult questions.

In 2016, Justice Minister Søren Pape Poulsen was forced to defend harsh new laws for immigrant “ghettos”.

The New York Times reported that the most popular topics in 2018 were health, democracy and youth.

In addition, 82% of attendees said they had gained new knowledge of political issues, and 62% said that the festival had inspired them to become more active in politics.

Have you read?
Loading...
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Geographies in DepthArts and Culture
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Talent trends in Asia: How to boost workforce productivity and well-being

Peta Latimer and Catherine Li Zhaoqi

June 20, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum