Copenhagen Youth Goodwill Ambassador

Posted: October 26, 2010 in Categorized
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So I thought I’d tell you a little bit about a program that I involved with, called the Youth Goodwill Ambassador. Basically, there are 37 students (myself included) from 24 different countries, selected out of an applicant pool of about 100+ students that have been awarded the title, Copenhagen Youth Goodwill Ambassador.

The project is designed to create a network of international students that will promote Denmark and build global relations. Copenhagen Youth Goodwill Ambassador Corps is founded by Copenhagen Goodwill Ambassador Corps in partnership with the Danish Agency for International Education.

Our tasks are to:
1. Support the global branding of Copenhagen and Denmark as a internationally renowned nation of knowledge and education.
2. To become exposed to and work with academic institutions, the business world, government entities and student organizations.
3. To refine or build our talents as future professionals of the global world.

So we have five events that will expand our view of Copenhagen and Denmark and will allow us to fulfill the goals of the Copenhagen Youth Goodwill Ambassador Program. The events are as follows:

9 October: Cultural Day and Social Night
On the Culture Day and Social Night, we had a LONG tour throughout almost most of the Copenhagen Center. We met at the Danish Architecture Center, learned about the Copenhagen X project (Check out this link for more info: <>), went to the Royal Danish playhouse and many other historical sites! We finished off the night with an eloquent dinner and drinks in the Meat Packing Districts.

26 October: Round Table Discussion and Folketinget (Parliament) Tour with Margrethe Vestager, “De Radikale Venstre” Parliamentary Leader
The Folketinget tour and meeting with Margrethe Vestager was such an interesting experience. Basically her take home message was that democracy is VERY important to the Danes and is STRONGLY based on consensus making and shared power. Even the kings throughout Danish history did not possess political power that would overrule the democratic ideals of Danish society. Also, the political atmosphere is designed to be informal and sort of laid back. The offices have a very cozy feel to them, not at all as formal looking as the U.S. Government offices. However, in the debates they usually address each other in the third person as a way to not seem like they are attacking the party’s political beliefs. She basically said that Denmark has such low corruption because of its openness.

We finished off with a Q&A about our own questions for her. Of course, because of my interest in immigration and integration, I took the liberty to ask about, “What does it mean for an immigrant to be integrated into Danish society?” and “Would the Danish People’s Party proposal for a total freeze on welfare benefits to immigrants for their first seven years in Denmark, ever pass? and “Is such a proposal a reflection of Danish society?” Overall, her reply seemed to be based on the premise that, the Danish Social Liberal Party definitely seems to be an advocate for a Danish society with multicultural aspects. She finished off mentioning the stats that there are ONLY 6.8% immigrants in Denmark. This strongly led me to believe that her political party more or less doesn’t think immigration/integration policies are as important in light of other Danish hot topics such as strengthening the labor market and improving education.

4 November: Branding Workshop

24 November: Youth Ambassadors Conference

29 November: Novo Nordisk Company Visit & Meeting with President & CEO Lars Rebien Sørensen

I will explain the other events as they occur. So far, I have been really enjoying this program and I have gained a lot of insight about Denmark that has definitely made me appreciate the different aspects of Danish society.


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