The newly created World Expression Forum held its constituting shareholder meeting in August, welcoming its first shareholders, establishing its board of directors and a programming Committee ahead of the first edition of the Forum on 30-31 May 2022.

The new board is chaired by Norwegian publisher, Mads Nygaard, and has appointed Kristenn Einarsson, Chair of the IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committee, as its Managing Director. 

To build on the 49 associations and enterprises that are already shareholders, WExFo will start contacting publishers associations in the coming weeks. In addition to the IPA, publishers associations in Germany, Italiy, Norway and Sweden have already joined with  Swedish publishers Bonnier Books and Norstedts and nine Norwegian publishing houses also buying shares.

WExFo aims to ensure and empower global free speech based on high level guidance, best practice, and high-quality analysis. WExFo will be a common arena for those with a firm belief in freedom of expression as a prerequisite for a global sustainable development. Our ambition is that the WExFo will be as important for the development of freedom of expression as the World Economic Forum is for the development of world economics. 

The need for a forum where the challenges to freedom of expression can be discussed and debated is greater than ever. But we also need to showcase progress. Free media, literature and other art forms are fundamental preconditions for freedom of expression. They provide knowledge, and are central to constructive, critical debate. They challenge entrenched notions, shape our self-understanding and are at the same time taking care of the memory of society. 

Freedom of speech is necessary for trust and openness, both between people and between people and social institutions. Freedom of speech is a prerequisite for a society for all.


WExFo shall: 

-               be an inspiration internationally, nationally, and locally. 

-             be a hub, the central international meeting place for everyone who is concerned with  
              freedom of expression. 

-               influence developments through reports and projects, discussions in the Forum and               
              summary afterwards. 

-               share experiences, but especially search for best practices for improvement.

-               seek cooperation with others to develop offers of Forum gatherings elsewhere as well.

-               participate in developing the local cooperation in the region on freedom of expression, with 
               institutions such as Norwegian Literature Festival, UNESCO Literary City and ICORN.

-             reflect diversity in the work and in the organization.

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