The Thorvald Stoltenberg Seminar 2020


Are you you young and involved in activities promoting diversity and equality? Do you wish to exchange experiences with other young people on challenges and opportunities during the covid-19 pandemic? The European Wergeland Centre and Utøya now invite young people living in Norway to apply for the Thorvald Stoltenberg Seminar 18.-20. november 2020 at Utøya.

Information in Norwegian

The European Wergeland Centre (EWC) and Utøya invite youth workers and youth leaders living in Norway to the Thorvald Stoltenberg Seminar at Utøya 18. -20. november. At the seminar, participants will cooperate with participants from other places in Europe, via digital platforms.

The aim is to support and promote ongoing initiatives in Europe to foster co-existence, trust and dialogue among young people in diverse societies during the covid-19 pandemic.

Apply here by 23rd October

What is the Thorvald Stoltenberg Seminar?

Former Norwegian Minister of Defence, Minister of Foreign Affairs and diplomat Thorvald Stoltenberg was a pioneer for Norwegian peace diplomacy and put great value in dialogue, often exemplified by his “kitchen meetings”, where he would invite state leaders and foreign ministers to his home to enjoy a cup of coffee, relax and have a talk at his kitchen table.

Thorvald Stoltenberg passed away in July 2018. In his memory, and to honour his strong belief that knowledge and tolerance could overcome xenophobia and hate, the Thorvald Stoltenberg seminar at Utøya is an annual international meeting place for young people engaged in democracy and human rights.

About the seminar

The aim of the Thorvald Stoltenberg seminar is to support and promote ongoing initiatives in Europe to foster co-existence, trust and dialogue among young people in diverse societies during the covid-19 pandemic.

Through this year’s seminar, participants will

  • exchange experiences and discuss opportunities and challenges connected to diversity and equality during the covid-19 pandemic.  
  • explore how living remembrance can motivate young people to contribute to building open and inclusive societies
  • be introduced to concrete tools that can be used in digital or physical arenas to promote diversity and equality.
  • Explore possibilities for cooperation and networking after the seminar.

The residential seminar at Utøya will last for 3 days (18th – 20th November), and bring together participants living in Norway, selected through and open call. The training will be facilitated by experienced trainers with extensive experience in education for human rights, democratic citizenship and intercultural understanding.  

The seminar is aimed at young people who are:

  • living in Norway, in one of the following regions: Oslo, Viken, Innlandet, Vestfold-Telemark
  • involved in activities promoting diversity and intercultural understanding
  • wish to develop competences through work with practical educational tools and through exchange of experiences with other young people in Norway and Europe.
  • committed to organize activities to engage others in intercultural dialogue after completing the training.

At the training, youth workers and youth leaders living elsewhere in Europe, will participate and contribute through digital platforms. Participants situated at Utøya and digital participants will work in groups, according to field of interest.   

Practical information

There are no participation fee and travel, meals and accommodation are covered by the organisers. Bus transport will be organized, so that participants do not have to take public transport.

The working language is English.

We are following national and local infection protection guidelines. Here are some of the measures we have put in place, for a safe seminar. We will:   

  • Only recruit participants living in Oslo, Viken, Vestfold-Telemark and Innlandet, and organize bus transport for all participants to and from Utøya, in order to avoid the use of public transport.
  • Make sure that all our trainers are familiar with current infection protection guidelines.
  • Inform all participants about infection protection before the seminar, including information about the fact that persons that have symptoms of airways infection, have been in close contact with someone infected by covid-19 or have been on travel in countries or areas marked as red zones by Norwegian authorities cannot participate.
  • make sure that everyone can keep one meter distance, and limit the sharing of materials during the seminar.
  • Have increased focus on hygiene and cleaning, particularly in sanitary areas and contact surfaces that are often used.
  • Put up information posters about hand washing routines and coughing routines.
  • Make sure that there are sufficient possibilities for hand washing, with suffienct soap and towels at all toilets and hand washing stations, and anti-bac where hand washing is not possible.
  • Plan for how to isolate and follow-up persons that develop symptoms during the seminar, and for extra washing in areas where the person has been.
  • Save lists of participants for 14 days after the seminar, in order to be able to contribute in infection tracing.

Apply here by 23rd October

Contact information and about the organizers

The organisers

The European Wergeland Centre (EWC) is a resource centre on education for democratic citizenship, human rights and intercultural understanding. It was established by the Council of Europe (CoE) and Norway in 2008, with a mandate to support member states implement CoE policies in practice. EWC designs and offers trainings and educational programmes to educational professionals and civil society actors all over Europe. EWC is a partner of Utøya and the 22. July Center on educational programmes on 22. July and education for democratic citizenship and human rights. www.theewc.org

Utøya is an open and accessible arena for commemoration, learning and engagement. It is the site of the terror attack on 22 July 2011. As part of the rebuilding of Utøya following 22 July 2011, the new memorial- and learning center, Hegnhuset, was completed during the summer of 2016. The learning center at Utøya offers a unique opportunity for young people to reflect on what democracy means for them, what are the challenges and threats to democracy, and how they as active citizens can promote democracy in their everyday lives. Utøya is managed through Utøya AS. www.utoya.no

The seminar is financed by the Norwegian National Commission for UNESCO.