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Oslo Freedom Forum

Oslo Freedom Forum
Oslo freedom forum.jpg
Official Logo
Founded 2009 (Oslo, Norway)
Organised by Human rights foundation

Oslo Freedom Forum (OFF) is a series of global conferences run by the New York-based non-profit Human Rights Foundation under the slogan “Challenging Power.” OFF was founded in 2009 as a one-time event and has taken place annually ever since. One of the key objectives of the conferences is to bring together notable people, including former heads of state, winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, prisoners of conscience, as well as of other public figures in order to network and exchange ideas about human rights and exposing dictatorships.

The main OFF conference is held annually in central Oslo, Norway while satellite events have been held in San Francisco and on college campuses in the United States. OFF talks are live-streamed and consist of lectures and panel discussions taking place in front of a live audience.

According to Wired Magazine, "If the global human-rights movement were to create its own unified representative body, it would look something like this." They also later wrote, "The power of the event -- whose sponsors include Sergey Brin's and Peter Thiel's charitable foundations -- lies in the seamless mix of grassroots activists, many of whom have risked their lives to speak out, and the top-level policymakers and influencers who can act on what they learn."

OFF was founded by human rights activist Thor Halvorssen.

The inaugural Oslo Freedom Forum, titled “The Nobility of the Human Spirit and the Power of Freedom,” featured more than 30 speakers with an emphasis on the importance of literature in advancing the cause of freedom. Participants included Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel; Czech playwright and politician Václav Havel; Kurdish rights advocate Leyla Zana; and Tibetan former political prisoner Palden Gyatso.

Norwegian daily Klassekampen called the conference an “impressive assembly of people.”The Wall Street Journal described OFF as “unlike any other human-rights conference,” the emphasis was on promoting basic rights in all nations at all times."

The 2010 Oslo Freedom Forum, organized around the theme “From Tragedy to Triumph,” featured participants from more than 40 countries and six continents. The event focused on the progress made in the realms of civil liberties and freedoms over the past century, while highlighting the innovation of modern-day advocates—activists, policy makers, world leaders, and media entrepreneurs.



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