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Speakers

Meet our Phenomenal Speakers for
the 2024 Diversify Nordics Summit.

Scaling Hope           Join Us!           27 • 09 • 2024           Oslo
Scaling Hope           Join Us!           27 • 09 • 2024           Oslo

Scaling Hope           Join Us!           27 • 09 • 2024           Oslo             

Scaling Hope           Join Us!           27 • 09 • 2024           OsloScaling Hope           Join Us!           27 • 09 • 2024           Oslo

Melanie Coffee (She/Her)

VP of PR and Communications

Mette Buhl Christoffersen (She/Her)

Strategy Director and D&I Lead

Justin Hester (They/Them)

Managing Partner

Fadzi Whande (She/Her)

Chief of Section - Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
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And many more to come...

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Chisom Udeze photo

Chisom Udeze (She/Her)

Economist | Founder of Diversify, Diversify Consult and HerSpace

Chisom is an Economist, a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Strategist, and a 3 times founder of impact driven companies. She has over 14 years of experience working with organizations like the European Commission, The United Nations, ExxonMobil and The Economist Group. Chisom is analytical and a data enthusiast. She is passionate about interrogating the cross-sectoral relationship between society’s inhabitants, resources, production, technology, distribution and output. She efficiently and effectively unlocks complex systems, interprets data, forecasts socio-economic trends and conducts research.

Having lived and worked in 7 countries across 3 continents, she is highly adaptable to different circumstances and people, and thrives in uncertain environments.

As the founder of Diversify and Diversify Consult, Chisom and her team work with companies, institutions, governments and civil society to develop sustainable DEIB strategies and embed measurable diversity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace and society. In addition, in 2022, Diversify launched the Diversify Nordics Summit, the largest conference in the Nordics that gathers cross-sectoral stakeholders to amplify DEIB in the Nordics and beyond.

In 2020, she founded HerSpace, a diverse and inclusive co-creation community for all genders, with particular focus on women and non-binary people. In 2022, HerSpace launched HerTech, Women in Tech incubator, for women-led companies, with a focus on the inclusion of diverse founders.

Chisom is a thought-leader in DEIB and a passionate advocate for mental health and wellness. She writes often on DEIB and justice related topics, some of her work is published on Forbes. 

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Lina Daouk-Öyry

Lina Daouk-Öyry (She/Her)

Associate Professor of Organizational Psychology at BI Norwegian Business School

Lina Daouk-Öyry is an Associate Professor of Organizational Psychology at BI Norwegian Business School, where she teaches DEIB and Responsible Leadership across multiple programs at the graduate level. She is also a visiting researcher at Aalto University, Finland and an Adjunct Professor at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. As a Scholar-Activist, Lina is interested in bridging between academia and practice and utilizing academic knowledge in the service of society. Her research lies at the intersection of people, management, organization and society and her approach to research is inter-disciplinary and translational, focused on partnering with researchers and practitioners across fields and creating multiple forms of scholarly outputs to better integrate research and societal impact.

Lina is an advocate of women’s and LGBTQ+ rights and has been active in advancing workplace inclusion of women and minority groups. She served as a Women in Data Science (WiDS) Ambassador for 5 years, a worldwide actionable community, incubated at Stanford University, on a mission to change the field of data science across the globe by elevating and empowering women. Currently, Lina is serving as co-PI, on the SAWI Project, a multi-million USD project funded from the U.S. Department of State Middle East Partnership Initiative, which focuses on mobilizing organizational decision makers and leaders for building more inclusive workplace cultures & HR systems across 8 countries in the Middle East. Lina is the recipient of the 2020 Distinguished Scholar Award from the Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development and her scholarly activism work with her colleagues in the aftermath of the devastating Beirut blast in 2020 was also recognized by Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) as innovations that inspire.

James Armando Dickson

James Armando Dickson (He/Him)

Project Manager of Educational development at Skeiv Kunnskap

James Armando Dickson is a project leader in FRI Oslo and Viken’s educational department Skeiv kunnskap (Queer knowledge). He is responsible for the development of their course material and quality mark, Regnbuefyrtårn (Rainbow Lighthouse) which focuses on increasing an intersectional awareness and understanding of gender and sexual diversity within the work place. He is also the project leader for workplaces in health and social sectors. Prior to this, he has ten years of experience as a queer activist in Norway, both in organisational work and creating social arrangements for queer youth. Originally from Scotland, he has an MA from the University of Edinburgh, and an MPhil from the University of Oslo.

Amy Baker pic

Amy Baker (She/Her)

Ambassador Designate of Canada to Norway

Amy Baker is Ambassador Designate of Canada to Norway. She comes to this role after four years as Canada’s Deputy Ambassador to France, serving also as Head of Mission for over a year during this time period. Previously, Ms. Baker was Director General of Health and Nutrition at Global Affairs Canada. In this role, she represented Canada on Multilateral Boards including The Global Fund, Gavi (the Vaccine Alliance) and the World Bank’s Global Financing Facility, among others. She also led Canadian organization of the Women Deliver 2019 Summit. Ms. Baker’s work history is marked by her passion for questions of gender equality and her experience in international development. She has overseas as Senior Director for Ethiopia and Pan Africa Development Cooperation, and as the founding Chief Operating Officer of the Queen Rania Foundation in Amman, Jordan. Since joining the Government of Canada in 2000 as a Management Trainee, Ms. Baker has occupied numerous roles including Chief of Staff to the President and Director of Human Rights at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and various senior positions at the Department of Justice, Status of Women Canada and Human Resources Development Canada. Ms. Baker holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Dalhousie University and a Master in Public Administration (MPA) from Queens University, where she received the Queen’s Award for Academic Achievement.

Maria Utsi picture

Maria Utsi (She/Her)

Sámi Cultural Leader

Maria Utsi, born in 1981, is a Sámi cultural leader from the Norwegian side of Sápmi. Her roots trace back to Deatnu/Tana, and she currently resides in Tromsø.

Between 2012 and 2015, she held the role of Artistic Director at Varangerfestivalen in Finnmark. Following that, she took on the position of CEO at the Arctic Arts Festival (Festspillene i Nord-Norge) from 2015 to 2019. Utsi’s involvement in the cultural sector has been diverse, including her roles as Chairwoman of both the Sámi National Theater Beaivváš and Davvi – Center for Performing Arts.
 

Utsi’s influence goes beyond the artistic sphere and extends into the realms of policy and advocacy. Since 2016, she has been a member of the Norwegian Arts Council and was appointed Deputy Chair in 2020. In 2017, she founded the Arctic Arts Summit, a biennial international cultural political platform that brings together policy makers, artists, and stakeholders from all Arctic countries and nations.

Currently, Maria Utsi serves as a consultant with a specific focus on promoting diversity strategy and development within the Norwegian and Sámi art and culture domain. Her clients include noteworthy national and international institutions. In recent years, Utsi has also been particularly involved in preparation for and follow up of the Norwegian Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report that was delivered 1st of June this year.

Rosa Lois Balle Yahiya picture

Rosa Lois Balle Yahiya (She/Her)

Founder and CEO at Another Life

Rosa Lois is the founder and head of organisation in the award-winning non-profit association Another Life, that works with representation, mental health and discrimination in Danish music and cultural life.

Jessica Petersen picture

Jessica Petersen (She/Her)

Equity and Justice Coordinator at In Futurum

Jessica Petersen is an experienced researcher and project coordinator with a background in global governance studies. She is specialized in the embedded social and climate injustices of contemporary sustainability practices, and hereof Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She provides a critical, intersectional approach to deal with environmental issues and questions what global solidarity and equity means for the contexts we find ourselves in.

Kristine Beitland picture

Kristine Beitland (She/Her)

Director and Government Affairs Lead at Microsoft Nordics

Kristine Beitland is the Director and Government Affairs Lead for Microsoft Nordics and is part of the management of Microsoft Norway. She is a lawyer with a strong passion for the point where technology and society meet, with a strong belief that technology and knowledge are crucial to achieving the UN’s sustainability goals. Beitland is a board member of the Norwegian Center for Information Security, GoForIT, AmCham Norway, and a member of the advisory board for the research project “Governance of Health Data in Cyberspace”, and the Norwegian Association of Lawyer’s Tech Forum. She has previously been a member of the government’s Vulnerability Committee (Lysne I), director of the Business Security Council, and 16 years in the police as head of Organized Crime in the Police Directorate, department director in the Police’s Immigration Unit, head of prosecution at the Oslo police district, and prosecutor at the Oslo, Follo and Trondheim police chambers.

Qivioq Nivi Løvstrøm picture

Qivioq Nivi Løvstrøm (She/Her)

Chair of the Human Rights Council of Greenland (HRCG)

Qivioq Nivi Løvstrøm is the Chair of the Human Rights Council of Greenland (HRCG), and lectures at Ilisimatusarfik, the University of Greenland, as an assistant professor. She has her Master’s in Cultural- & Social History from Ilisimatusarfik. She has experience in working for the HRCG, and the Foreign Ministry of Greenland as a Head of Section with the areas: Asia, Climate, Trade, Human Rights, and Indigenous Peoples Rights. She is a former Focal point and later on Co-chair of the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus (GIYC) under the UN, and is currently their advisor. Qivioq is also in the Advisory Board of Arctic Circle.

Stine Aksnes

Stine Rebekka Aksnes (She/Her)

Director of Sustainability at Sopra Steria

Aksnes is Director of Sustainability at Sopra Steria with responsibility for the development, implementation and reporting of the company’s overall sustainability strategy. Sopra Steria Group today receives international recognition for the work in reducing the company’s greenhouse gas emissions, is “A-listed” and has also achieved top score for environmental work within the company’s supply chain. Aksnes sits on the steering committee of GoForIT, Norway’s leading arena for collaboration between academia and business, with the goal to develop it to become the leading arena for the intersection of Technology and Sustainability.

Previous positions includes Consultancy and Managerial roles within Sustainability and Corporate Communications at firms such as Grant Thornton, Telenor Norge, First House, Eksfin, Gambit Hill & Knowlton, Finans Norge etc . Her solid expertise lies in the intersection between sustainability, strategy and corporate communications.

Shazia Majid picture

Shazia Majid (She/Her)

Op-ed columnist at Verdens Gang AS

Shazia Majid is an award winning journalist in Norway’s largest daily VG. She is also an award winning author of the non fiction: Ut av Skyggene. In 2020 Shazia conducted a study on the representation of ethnic minority women in media at Oxford University.

Klara Ljungqvist

Klara Ljungqvist (She/Her)

Founder & CEO of People Heart Business

The business world is mostly built by engineers and economists, fantastic in so many ways, yet almost all CEOs says people are the most important asset. But who has a deep understanding of people in the business world and why are these people’s influence and power often limited when their knowledge could turn both top performance and wellbeing upside down?
 
In 2020, in the middle of the pandemic and when she was planning to have her second child Klara decided to start People Heart Business. A company with the humble ambition to revolutionize the business world to more human centric and with diversity of thought to be the link between business and people. The team consists of engineers, economists, and psychologists. Since the start, People Heart Business has been trusted by CEOs and executive managements of Unicorns, international Large Cap Organizations and NGOs. People Heart Business support CEOs in uniting the organization around the complex challenges and make sure they achieve societal impact, business performance and base these achievements on the true potential and wellbeing of people. The purpose is to unite people in solving the unsolvable, something the world desperately needs in times of great opportunities but also severe challenges.
 
Klara has supported leaders internationally for 15 years, with a background as psychologist, management consultant and elite athlete and a big heart for top performance and wellbeing. She is radical in how she, together with the team, has built People Heart Business, to truly see people as the most important asset for business success and societal impact.
Kaveri Sinhji picture

Kaveri Sinhji (She/Her)

Head of Global Diversity and Inclusion at Telia

Over Kav’s 25 years of professional experience, she has combined her passion for Culture and Communication to develop powerful strategies that will enable leaders to achieve sustainable business goals while keeping a clear commitment to impact beyond short-term monetary gains. Today, she is the Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Telia, working closely with leaders within the company as well as industry peers, joining hands to raise the bar of DEI, find ways to boost belonging and retention and set ambitions for equality through equitable measures.

Helga Aune picture

Helga Aune (She/Her)

Head of Sustainability services at Ernst & Young Tax and Law

Helga Aune, PhD, is partner at EY Tax & Law, Head of Sustainability services.

Helga has a dual career background, having worked both as a lawyer for 12 years and for 15 years as a researcher at Faculty of Law, University of Oslo. She received the YS Prize for her extensive work for equality in 2013. Helga has spent her entire career working for human rights in everyday life, including in education and work life. She sees the law as a tool to ensure systematic and proactive work to secure equal rights.

Lene Hodge picture

Lene Hodge (She/Her)

Investment Manager at Nysnø

Lene Hodge started in Nysnø in 2019, and is an Investment Manager and Board Member at portfolio companies Tise and Metizoft. Lene has led our work to integrate ESG and sustainability into the investment process for companies and funds – and is our go-to for our portfolio companies on sustainability issues. She has previous experience with energy and climate policies from NGO Bellona, where she worked with energy efficiency, green public procurement, and electrification of the transport sector. Lene has also worked at the Norwegian Energy Agency on EU policy for renewable energy, climate, and energy efficiency. She holds a Master of Science in Renewable Energy from NMBU and has studied project management at Emergence School of Leadership. Lene enjoys working at the intersection between policy, technology, and sustainable finance – and is passionate about value creation that benefits people and the planet.

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Sagar Chandna (He/Him)

Sr. Partner & CTO at RunwayFBU

Sagar Chandna is a Sr. Partner & CTO at RunwayFBU where he invests in early-stage Industrial Software startups across Europe and is developing Nordics’ next epicenter of Industrial Software development ecosystem at Aker Tech House.

With a background in software development, sales & marketing and leadership experience he has previously created value for 350+ million users at Opera Software and actively supported investments and founders at 100+ startups at Katapult and EXP Group.

Karin Heri picture

Karin Heri (She/Her)

Country Director at Tent

Karin is Country Director at Tent, responsible for its operations in Sweden.

Prior to joining the organization, she was Head of Sustainability and Social Responsibility at Swedish football club Malmö FF. She led initiatives battling unemployment, racism, and segregation, as well as initiating the first partnership in Sweden between a sports club and the United Nations’ Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

She has also worked as National Coordinator for Employability and Public Affairs at the Swedish Professional Football League, and as Project Manager for a national capacity building project to drive social entrepreneurship.

Karin began her career in Switzerland, where she studied International Hotel Management. She has also studied at EFL Lund University (Sweden), the Probana Business School, and the Stockholm School of Economics.

She is Vice Chair of the Swiss Chamber of Commerce.

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Vibeke Hartkorn (She/Her)

Founder of Hartkorn Communication

Nigerian-Danish businesswoman and Chairperson Vibeke Hartkorn is co-founder of harassment prevention and psychological safety consulting company NavigateMetoo.

Formerly a journalist and national news-anchor at Danish Broadcasting Company (DR) she founded a leadership and communication agency 16 years ago, nominated for the Management Consulting Award 2023, and has since worked with executive leaders, business founders and Board of Directors building their stakeholder communication strategies.

Author of several business books about career choice and leadership communication Vibeke Hartkorn, has also been a contributor to books about the tech revolution, business negotiation for women and psychological safety in the workplace.

Vibeke Hartkorn is a strong advocate for diversity and equality at executive level, and building the leadership pipeline and company culture for it to happen. She will talk about her client cases for psychological safety and prevention of harassment in the workplace, and her own experience as a careerwomen in a male dominated media industry.

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Kirstine Eiby Møller (She/Her)

Cultural researcher, heritage professional and archaeologist

Kirstine Eiby Møller (she/her) is a Kalaaleq (Greenlandic Inuk) cultural researcher, heritage professional and archaeologist. Having grown up as the product of a cultural encounter (Kalaaleq Inuk and Dane), she has nurtured an interest in identity narratives, entangled histories, cultural encounters, and colonialism in the Arctic throughout her academic career. She has worked in the museum field since 2009 and, specifically, with intangible cultural heritage and the UNESCO 2003 convention since 2017. 

She actively works to be part of a safe space for discussing complex histories, living heritage and identity. Her current research focuses on anticolonial practices in heritage management as part of her PhD project called “Colonial Encounters”. The overall aim of the project is to rehumanize the colonial history of Kalaallit Nunaat by uncovering how daily life was affected in the complex contact zone.

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Nivi Katrine Christensen (She/Her)

Museum Director at Nuuk Art Museum

Since 2015, Nivi Christensen has been the museum director at Nuuk Art Museum in Kalaallit Nunaat / Greenland. She holds a Master’s degree in Art History from the University of Copenhagen, where she specialized in art from and about Greenland. She is a regular writer and commentator on Art from Greenland both locally and internationally.

Christensen is a member of a number of boards, including the Greenlandic Museum Board, the board of the Association of Greenlandic Museums NUKAKA, she is the curator of numerous exhibitions, an advisor on major art projects both in and outside Greenland, and a regular guest lecturer at Ilisimatusarfik – University of Greenland.

Christensen works strategically to create a better framework for Greenlandic art and to strengthen the connections between indigenous peoples working with culture across the Arctic.

Henri Terho photo

Henri Terho (He/Him)

Head of Arts Support at Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike)

Henri Terho is the Head of Arts Support in Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike), in which he is responsible for the funding schemes and developmental projects. Taike is a governmental agency to promote artists and arts organizations with grants, subsidies and various projects. Terho has also worked as the chair of Finnish State Art Commission and as an independent researcher of arts, culture and urban studies.

Karolina Carlsson

Karolina Carlsson (She/Her)

Campaigner at Greenpeace

Karolina is a climate justice activist and artivist with an academic background in political science, sociology and global studies. With experience in grassroots movements organising political work in the Swedish parliament, she works as a campaigner at the NGO Greenpeace in Sweden. As a campaigner, Karolina focuses on people empowerment and working together with indigenous Sámi communities to transform the current extractivist Swedish forestry and expose the industry’s colonial violations.

Ida Faldbakken

Ida Faldbakken (She/Her)

Co-Founder, curator, and creative lead of Katapult Future Fest at Katapult Foundation

As a Co-Founder, curator, and creative lead of the Katapult Future Fest conference focusing on impact investing, exponential technology, and consciousness, Ida constantly questions the state of (ethical)tech, new media, and socio-economics topics in our cultures.

Over the last 7 years, she has built a community of ‘Katapulters’ that range from entrepreneurs, investors, and change-makers, aiming to make the world more equal and regenerative so all humans may thrive within planetary boundaries. 

Ida loves to unite people behind a common cause and has spearheaded grassroots movements for over two decades. She has a genuine drive to develop comprehensive business plans and ensure seamless project coordination to create novel and fun new concepts and community brand strategies. Her approach is managing ideas in fast-paced environments that are characterized by honesty, transparency, and directness; her extensive experience and interdisciplinary approach, spanning from non-profit organizations, public/political processes, academic studies, and research, and think tank platforms to accelerators and startups, enables her never to get ‘stuck’ and move beyond and between structures forming impactful projects, partnerships and coalitions that drive meaningful change.

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Åsa Simma (She/Her)

CEO of the Sami Theatre

Åsa Simma was born into a nomadic reindeer herding family, migrating between north Sweden and Norway depending on the season. She was taught the traditional Sami singing called “yoik,” during that time yoiks were forbidden. She was part of the movement to diminish the yoiking ban. She left for Denmark where she took an actor’s education.

Åsa Simma has been very active in the global indigenous peoples movements. She has toured among Australian Aboriginals, lived with Inuits from Greenland and Native American Indians, and worked as a film dramaturgist and script developer at the International Sami Film Institute. Presently she is the CEO of the Sami Theatre.

Jesica Equinor

Jesica Altamirano (She/Her)

Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Equinor

Jesica Altamirano is currently working at Equinor as the Head of Diversity & Inclusion. She has worked in several Human Resources roles as a strategic advisor in different locations, having spent the last four years working for Equinor in Brazil, Canada and Norway. Her passion to make a positive impact is at the core of her role, providing a diverse perspective to the Corporate decision making processes, celebrating diversity, fostering equity, and advocating for inclusion and belonging in the workplace.

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Karen Spens (She/Her)

President of BI Norwegian Business School

Karen Spens is president of BI Norwegian Business School. She received her PhD from Hanken School of Economics in 2001 and became professor of supply chain management and corporate geography in 2007. She has since held several administrative positions at Hanken and in 2015 became the rector of Hanken. She has mainly taught supply chain management and has primarily published in the field of humanitarian logistics.

In 2008, Spens co-founded an institute for humanitarian logistics with Defence University in Finland. Today, the HUMLOG Institute is one of the leading research institutes in the field of humanitarian logistics, with a broad network of industry partners, NGO partners, and universities. The Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, now the premier journal in this field, was started at the institute, with Spens as a co-editor. She has been invited to the membership of the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters.

Katrine Haugaard Petersen

Katrine Haugaard Petersen (She/Her)

Nordic Marketing Director at Bain & Company

Katrine Petersen brings over 15 years of experience in brand building and storytelling within the professional services industry. As the Marketing Director at Bain & Company in the Nordics, Katrine plays a pivotal role in positioning the company as a prominent advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

One of her notable contributions is through the Female Force initiative, which strives to eradicate the gender gap in leadership positions. Drawing on her extensive background in employer branding, Katrine possesses a deep understanding of the importance of trustworthy communication and messaging. She is passionate about ensuring that the company’s communication efforts resonate both internally and externally, cultivating an inclusive environment rooted in both diversity and equality.

Moussa Mchangama

Moussa Mchangama (He/Him)

Senior Advisor & Co-founder at In futurum

Moussa Mchangama is Senior Advisor & Co-founder of the strategic consultancy and change-making agency In futurum. He has a background in media and strategic communication and has vast expertise on the intersection between consumer culture, social justice and DEI, sustainability, and value-based and strategic leadership. He works to ensure that companies and organizations take full and just responsibility for their impact – and communicate in ways that both translate publicly and elevate their commitments. He is a much-used board member and an expert, speaker and moderator on topics that connect lifestyle, culture, arts and consumption to diversity, equity, feminism and justice.

Pierre Escaich

Pierre Escaich (He/Him)

Neurodiversity Talent Program Director at Ubisoft

Pierre is the Neurodiversity Talent Program Director of Ubisoft. As a father of neurodiverse children and a professional with 25 years’ experience in the video game industry, Pierre has seen firsthand the powerful connection between neurodiversity and creativity. In 2021, he created an Employee Resource Group focused on neurodiversity that brings together more than 450 employees from 20 different countries to provide peer support and raise awareness. In his current role in Ubisoft’s Global Talent Team, Pierre oversees the Ubisoft Neurodiversity Talent Program, which aims to empower current and future neurodiverse employees and give them the support they need to realize their full potential at work.

Barbara Prendota

Barbara Prendota (She/Her)

Manager People at CSR Europe

Barbara is passionate about DEIB and driving change. With a diverse background across 5 countries, an MBA, and 13 years of corporate and startup experience, she is now working for an NGO dealing with corporate social responsibility (CSR). One aspect of DEIB Barbara finds especially important is belonging, and she is dedicated to fostering positive change everywhere she goes.

Dennis Soendergaard

Dennis Soendergaard (He/Him)

Innovation Manager, Disability & Assistive Technology at UNICEF Supply Division

Dennis has worked with public sector innovation within health and inclusion for fifteen years, both nationally in Denmark and internationally. For the past five years Dennis has been leading UNICEFs global efforts to increase access to assistive technology in low and middle income countries (LMIC). 

Assistive products are essential pre-requisites for education, the labor market and basic social inclusion. However, in LMIC only between 3-10% of people in need have access to the basic assistive products they so desperately need. The campaign to increase access to assistive technology includes market shaping through global tendering, demand generation, piloting, training and implementation. 

UNICEF currently reaches around a quarter million children with disability with life changing assistive technology each year. This number is not nearly enough and needs to significantly increase in the year to come to ensure we leave no child behind.

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Yasir Ahmed (He/Him)

Chief Consultant at Experis Norge AS

Yasir is currently working as a Chief Consultant at Experis, charting the D&I initiatives. Apart from his main work engagement, he’s a Chairperson for an organisation that aims to support people from minoritised groups to integrate in the Norwegian society. In 2022, Yasir was nominated as the Business voice of inclusion and equality.

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Benedicte Teigen Gude (She/Her)

Chief of Staff at Wilhelmsen Holding ASA

Benedicte Teigen Gude joined the Wilhelmsen group in 2005. Part of the group management team since 2010, Benedicte is responsible for strategic HR, ESG, legal and compliance, IT and cyber as well as corporate communications. She also holds several board positions including Ships Service, Port Services, Ship Management, Wilhelmsen Chemicals, WilNor Governmental Services and Olavsvern Group. Benedicte is also the chair of the nomination committee in Edda Wind ASA.

Benedicte is a seasoned climber, summiting Mount Everest as only the 11th Norwegian woman to complete the feat in 2019, and together with her husband aims at being the first Norwegian couple to climb the seven summits and ski to the South and North Pole.

Benedicte has a Masters degree in Political Science from the University of Oslo from 1996 and has later taken language studies at the University of Oslo and Bergen, as well as PR and communications at the BI Norwegian Business School.

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Flemming Kehr (He/Him)

Global Practice Lead, Sustainability Services at Mercuri Urval

Flemming helps organisations around the world to outperform through effective sustainable and transformational leadership using a precisely tailored, factful and systematic approach to Leadership Acquisition and Advisory. At Mercuri Urval, he has been co-leading the further developing the MU Advisory Services.

Flemming has a strong strategic background and proven track record from assisting boards and top-management teams in market leading regional and international companies, US Fortune 100 companies as well as innovative start-ups and industry confederations. His expertise spans across purpose- and value-driven transformational leadership, DEIB-leadership, sustainability leadership audits, 360 gap analysis on sustainability capacity and capabilities as well as on how to embed sustainability and DEIB as a leadership imperative. He also has extensive experience as board and advisory board member.

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Rina Mariann Hansen (She/Her)

Vice Mayor for Business Development and Public Ownership

Rina Mariann Hansen is the Vice Mayor for Business Development and Public Ownership in the City of Oslo.

Vice Mayor Hansen holds a degree in international political science from the University of Oslo. She was a member of the Oslo City Council between 2003 and 2015.

Vice Mayor Hansen has previously held the positions as deputy leader of the Oslo Labour Party and leader of the Oslo Labour Party’s youth division.

Rina Mariann Hansen was appointed as the Vice Mayor for Business Development and Public Ownership on February 9, 2023.

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John Landy Bentham (He/Him)

Head of Employee Development at Farmforce

With over 20 years of experience in human resources, business development, and strategy, John has worked with building and developing teams across various industries, cultures, and nations. He works with professional development, recruiting, and cross-cultural communication.

At Farmforce since August 2020, he has recruited an international team from diverse backgrounds and fostered a culture of trust and collaboration. Previously, as a business owner, John provided Mindfulness classes and courses for the business communities in Europe and Asia.

From 1997 until 2005 John was a co-owner of Ground Zero Filmworks based in New York City, during which time he worked on over 300 Music videos, nearly 100 commercials, and a dozen feature films, collaborating with notable directors such as Spike Lee, Arthur Jafa, Stephanie Black, Malik Sayeed, Sanaa Hamri, Randy Redroad, and Hype Williams.

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Øystein E. Søreide (He/Him)

CEO at Abelia

Øystein Eriksen Søreide is a Norwegian business leader and former politician. He was the city councilor for health and social services in the municipality of Oslo. Søreide worked for several years at the industrial company O. Mustad & Søn, where he served as the marketing director for the EMEA region. He has also been the marketing director for several non-profit organizations such as UNICEF Norway, CARE Norway, and SOS Children’s Villages. From 2002 to 2008, he was the chief secretary of Oslo’s Conservative Party.

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Degmo Daar (She/Her)

Founder NoorD Consulting & DEIB Business Designer

As the solo founder and DEIB Business Designer at NoorD Consulting, Degmo Daar has positioned herself at the intersection of innovation, design, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB). She leverages Liberatory Design principles to co-create inclusive business strategies that promote sustainable growth and societal benefits. Her multifaceted approach prioritizes not only financial success but also significant societal impact.

Alongside NoorD Consulting, Degmo contributes as a Learning Experience Designer and Facilitator at Emmstech. This organization aims to bolster the representation of Women of Colour in the Nordics’ tech scene. Here, Degmo utilizes Inclusive Design methods to challenge power dynamics and remove barriers.

Equipped with a Master’s degree in Digital Management, her thesis on Inclusive Design offers a comprehensive study of its inherent tools and biases. This research underscores how addressing these biases can unlock untapped potential, thus stimulating inclusive innovation, a principle she continues to apply in her roles.

Degmo underscores the importance of DEIB work within the larger sustainability conversation and advocates for its inclusion in ESG reporting as a key marker of social responsibility. Through her commitment to these principles, she encourages organizations to view social sustainability as an operational imperative.

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Marianne Egelund Siig (She/Her)

CEO at Mannaz

Marianne Egelund Siig is a recognised strategic leader and facilitator, dedicated to creating value and purpose for people, businesses, and society as a whole. Marianne is an expert and thought leader in gender equality, diversity, and inclusion. For more than 20 years, Marianne has led successful business transformations in the fields of leadership, team, talent and organisational strategies and development.

Prior to Mannaz, Marianne held leading roles in Nordea, the first Scandinavian Bank, as the Head of Diversity & Inclusion (2014-2018), the Head of Leadership Development & Talent Management (2010-2014), and the Head of HR, Savings & Asset Management (2006-2010). Marianne was CEO of KaosManagement, a Nordic Consultancy Firm for 8 years.

Marianne is the author of the book “Gid Vi Gad” (Wish we would), a collection of blog posts that she has written in the past 10 years on Gender equality, Diversity, and Inclusion. She is also the author of “The Nordic Mystery”, a blog in which she tackles issues pertaining to leadership, gender equality and inclusion. Now she is blogging for POV International. Marianne contributes pro-bono to a large number of initiatives in relation to the 2030 agenda and gender equality, diversity and inclusion.

Furthermore, Marianne is part of the steering committee for Copenhagen Business School’s “Diversity and difference platform”. She is chair of the Danish Standard “Sustainable workplaces” work group, as well as being part of various boards and networks.

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Mari Luukkainen (She/Her)

Principal at Icebreaker.vc

Mari is a Principal at Icebreaker.vc with a portfolio of 100+ startups in the Nordics and Baltics. Ex-growth operator of a 15% profitable MoM startup. Founder of a non-profit creating tech jobs for immigrant women Herizon.io. Investor of the Year in Nordic Women in Tech Awards 2022 and Diversity Role Model of the Year in Nordic Startup Awards 2023.

Mari thrives particularly in the exciting early stages of a venture, helping businesses successfully navigate from inception to securing seed or series A funding. She has found her niche in the fast-paced, constantly evolving universe of global tech startups. Simultaneously, she devotes time to train immigrant women in growth hacking at my non-profit organization, Herizon. If you are familiar with the contemporary buzzword ‘growth hacking’, it’s been an integral part of her career since the late 90s, and continues to fuel her passion to this day.

Mari’s mission is to use her skills to help startups that actually wish to make things better and be good companies for the people. She believes in Nordic values of work-life balance and equality at work.

Tina Gaardsøe Albrechtsen

Tina Gaardsøe Albrechtsen (She/Her)

Director Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at Ramboll

Tina has for a long time been the creative Center of Excellence Lead at Ramboll, currently becoming the Director for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. She has a strong drive and flair for pushing the boundaries of current thinking.

Leading the global work on Equality, Diversity, she prefers to work across functions, organizations and business and thrives working with leadership and developing strategies for the future. She has a strong focus on people and stakeholder management. Her point of departure is always to lead the strategic people agenda that supports the right outcomes for the business.

She has many years of experience within consulting including HR advisory work for business units and organizations undergoing significant transformation as well as operational change.

Her primary focus today is within Equality, Diversity & Inclusion but she has a strong background in Leadership Development and Learning.

Abel Buko

Abel Buko (He/Him)

Sustainability Manager at Zimpler

After spending nine years in university studying philosophy, feminist theory, and linguistics (+ a brief fling as a technical trainer at Apple), Abel then spent the following nine years in advertising in NYC and Stockholm.

In the fall of 2021, Abel then returned to his roots and now works as the Sustainability Manager at Zimpler. In this role, he aims to drive real change where it matters by discovering how the business affects its surrounding environment /society and then asking where our responsibilities are.

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Ama Afrifa-Tchie (She/Her)

Global DEI Specialist Adviser at Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
Culture & Inclusion | People Experience & Engagement Specialist, The Inclusion Agilist

Ama Afrifa-Tchie is a valiant cultural builder, whose specialism spans across people experience, workplace culture, diversity & inclusion, mental health and wellbeing and corporate responsibility. She is experienced in leading the design, analysis, and implementation of people-centric products/services, inclusion & wellbeing initiatives.

She works with senior leadership, management teams, and employee engagement to embed and integrate organisational culture through behaviour, processes and systems, and seeks to promote a positive, inclusive, supportive work environment and company culture by developing and evolving programmes and initiatives that support the organisation’s mission and values.

As Global DEI specialist Adviser for NRC, she is responsible for leading Council’swork to become an even more inclusive and diverse organisation and  for defining and implementing policies and measures to promote and embed an organisational culture that embraces and promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion. This includes designing, creating and implementing plans to promote diversity and inclusion within the organisation and to ensure a common understanding amongst managers and employees about what diversity, equity and inclusion mean throughout NRC’s country and regional offices, representative offices and at the Head Office.

Ama has built her career and expertise (over 15 years ‘experience) within different industries such as start-ups, tech, professional services, legal, financial services, media & entertainment. She is the founder of The Inclusion Agilist (a culture and inclusion consultancy).

Ama has an LLB in Law and a MA in Public Relations and Public Communications. She is a Fellow of The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce UK.

As well as serving on MAC-UK’s Board of Trustees as vice-chair, she is also a Governor on the Board of The Boxing Academy. Previous Board roles also include former Mentoring Chair of Women in Cable & Telecommunications (WITC UK), and Trustee Board member at Artswork.

Ama’s passions and interests include travelling, fitness, outdoors activities, theatre and movies, animation, and interior decor. She is an avid foodie and loves spending time with her family and socialising with friends.

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Navid Ostadian-Binai (He/Him)

Head of Green Vessels & Fuels at Maersk Tankers

Navid Ostadian-Binai helps drive the green transition, while advocating for freedom and equitable opportunities for all. He has spent his career at top-tier corporates, global technology startups as well as innovation consultancy firms. In his role as Head of Green Vessels & Fuels at Maersk Tankers, Navid explores new opportunities to work with customers and partners on accelerating pathways towards commercialisation and scale of green shipping.

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Sarah Reynolds (They/Them)

Chief Marketing Officer at HiBob

Sarah Reynolds (they/them) is a creative, award-winning marketing executive and advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB). A veteran of the HR software market, Sarah is currently Chief Marketing Officer at Hibob, where they bring their deep industry knowledge, passion for storytelling, and keen eye for performance insights to bear in scaling HiBob’s global reach.

A proud champion of inclusive, people-centric growth strategies, Sarah has a strong track record of delivering transformative results. Prior to joining HiBob, Sarah was Chief Marketing Officer at Udacity, where they led global brand, marketing, and communications across the Company’s consumer, enterprise, and government go-to-market motions. Previously, they were Head of Commercial Marketing at PTC, where they focused on pipeline generation, value-driven messaging, marketing operations excellence, team culture, and talent development, and Vice President of Marketing at Salary.com, where they oversaw global marketing.

An openly non-binary executive, Sarah writes and speaks widely about diversity and inclusion, pay equity, the future of work, and the intersection of bias, ethics, and technology. They have contributed to Forbes, Campaign US, Yahoo Finance, Training Industry Magazine, and the Society for Human Resources blog, and frequently speak at live and virtual events hosted by the National Association of
Manufacturers, the Manufacturing Leadership Council, the Manufacturing Institute, WorldatWork, SHRM, HR Dive, AICPA, and more. You can find them shouting about equality, equity, and inclusive language on Twitter @fairpaymonster.

Thomas Henriksen

Thomas Henriksen (He/Him)

Client Partner – Head of Leadership Development at Korn Ferry , Assessment & Succession, Nordics

Thomas is an experienced leader and partner for C-suite and CHROs in aligning HR’s value creation towards meeting business imperatives and has designed and delivered Succession Planning, Talent Management, People Analytics and Executive assessment / -development processes for mid size and large global organizations.

His experience includes business sectors like retail, energy, life sciences, industry, professional services and public services.

Thomas is passionate about documenting value add and utilizes new research, technology and science to design and develop state of the art solutions that push boundaries and enable organizations to win.

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Geert De Wael (He/Him)

Co-Founder & Managing Partner at The Forge

Geert’s career started in the media where he soon became director of a trilingual TV channel. Cross-cultural communication was daily business. In the meantime, his good friend Michaël Van Damme was doing his PhD on how teams/companies can optimally cooperate. It turned out there was a big difference between what science indicated as the best idea and what occurs in practice. After 15 years in the media, he decided together with Michaël to found a spin-off of Ghent University (Belgium) to bring this scientifically based knowledge to the business world in a comprehensible way. 
Because behavioural change is not at all obvious, they developed a number of games in order to create a positive affect about sustainability, diversity and inclusion, among other things. For their SDG Game, they are creative partner of United Nations Regional Information Center for Western Europe. 
With The Forge, they have guided about 100+ companies in their cultural transformation process over the past years. In addition, they also provide science-based advice to entrepreneurs in building their businesses with a sustainable culture in the broadest sense. 
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Michaël Van Damme (He/Him)

Co-founder & Managing Partner at The Forge

Michaël Van Damme is an experimental psychologist. In context of his PhD at Ghent University he studied and experimented on innovation and creativity in teams. Michaël has a unique expertise on the science of innovation in teams and organizations, group dynamics, charisma, humor and behavioural change.
Michaël is also an experienced Keynote speaker throughout Europe (eg. TEDx, the London BA Conference Europe, Technopolis Science Comedy Night, …). For the last seven years he has been delving more specifically into group dynamics and how to get the full potential out of diverse teams. 
 

Marlon Brown (He/Him)

Co-Owner/Consultant at Racial Equity Consultants LLC

Marlon Brown is a black man with over 13 years of professional experience leading and facilitating workshops, conversations and cohorts in Racial Equity and Social Justice. As a certified Equity and Social Justice practitioner, Marlon specializes in leadership coaching, facilitation/training and organizational development with an emphasis on racial equity and customer service. Marlon is also very skilled and experienced in “change agent” mentoring, racial caucusing and policy development/implementation as well as creating and advising equity committees/teams and anti-racist curriculum development.

Marlon is skilled in developing lasting relationships with staff and leadership, unionized and at-will workforces. Relationships are vital to change work in any capacity. Marlon’s ability to coach clients through developing better relationships with their coworkers and teams allows for a greater impact.

Marlon wears many hats – spouse, business owner, activist, singer, radio show host, strategist, board member and 20-year career in IT to name a few. Marlon has a wealth of knowledge and life experience that informs his practice.

Racial Equity Consultants LLC is expanding, opening a business in Sweden as Anti-Racism Consultants AB to continue the work with firms, companies, organisations or groups in Sweden and Europe who are interested in becoming more inclusive and anti-racist.

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Sarah Freiesleben (She/Her)

Digital Transformation Lead at Ramskov Consulting Group

Sarah Freiesleben helps purpose driven organizations sustainably innovate by harnessing and applying human insights to technology development. With an advanced degree in linguistics and 15 years working on global, cross functional enterprise tech projects in a wide variety of industries, she has come to believe that tech needs the humanities to develop tech for humanity. Her passion is shaping more holistic ecosystems so groups of people who want to bring change into the world can find the coherence & agency to be able to do so. 

She works as a consultant at Ramskov Consulting Group and as an Industry Fellow at DTU. Sarah contributes to the diversity conversation by exploring the role variety plays in fostering dynamic quality. As an autistic woman, working in a male dominated industry, she observes patterns of failures that occur due to prematurely ordering complex matters by systematically excluding non-dominant narratives. 

She has recently written about her intersectionality in The Art of Active Allyship, by Dr. Poornima Luthra and enjoys connecting the conversation about diversity and inclusion with conversations around collaboration, innovation, organizational design and product design.

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Chanel Björk Sturludóttir (She/Her)

Diversity advocate, Broadcaster and Co-founder of Her Voice

Chanel Björk is a diversity advocate and broadcaster with a passion for raising awareness on the challenges facing people of foreign origin in Iceland. With a BA degree in International Media from the University of Nottingham, Chanel developed a passion for diversity matters, equity, and mediating stories of marginalised groups. 

She is the co-founder of the organisation Her Voice, which aims to increase public awareness about the status of foreign women in Icelandic society. She also runs the educational platform Mannflóran and visits schools and workplaces to give lectures on multiculturalism and anti-racism.

Chanel is currently working on the production of a TV series called Mannflóran, set to air on RÚV in the spring.

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Ulkar Aghayeva (She/Her)

Sustainability Consultant and DEI -specialist at DNV, Chair of Fem-R

Ulkar is a Sustainability Consultant at DNV. She has an extensive knowledge of Human rights policies and due diligence, diversity and inclusion work. Ulkar has worked on various diversity-focused projects that promote an inclusive and diverse society. Prior to joining DNV, Ulkar has worked at the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, The Peace Education Institute, and MEP Heidi Hautala’s cabinet at the European Parliament.

Ulkar has been involved in various volunteer and leadership positions, including as Chair of Fem-R and Vice-chair of The Finnish League for Human Rights. With a passion for making positive change, she has dedicated her career to advocating for anti-racism, DEI and sustainability issues, and has gained a reputation as a well-known public speaker and trainer on these topics. She has also organized and facilitated various events related to human rights, anti-racism, diversity and inclusion.

Ulkar is multilingual and holds an MA degree in Social Exclusion from Åbo Akademi and a BBA degree from Haaga Helia University of Applied Sciences.

Hatem Ben Mansour (He/Him)

Director of the Norwegian Center against Racism/Antirasistisk Senter

Director of the Norwegian Center against Racism/Antirasistisk Senter, established in 1983.

Ben Mansour has a law-degree from the University of Oslo, specialized in the field of International Human Rights Law, International Criminal Law and International Refugee Law. He has broad experience in Human Rights Law and anti-racist work as board-member, professional and essayist.

Michael Watson (He/Him)

People Business Partner at Nordea, Large Corporates and Institutions

Michael’s original background is in banking, finance and trading. For 20+ years has was a senior leader in Nordea’s Capital Markets Division, leading teams across Nordic countries and international capitals. Inspired by Gestalt psychology he later changed career priorities and the latest 15+ years he has been People Business Partner in Nordea’s Capital Markets Division, working with leadership, culture, wellbeing, psychological safety and D&I.

Michael is passionate about the interaction between people that – if done well – can inspire each other to develop and to live life to the fullest, also in a business context.

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Emil Novák-Tót (He/Him E/Em)

Founder and Consultant at In It For Change

Emil Novák-Tót (he/him or e/em) is a researcher and DEIB practitioner with about seven years of experience in linguistic and socio-psychological research in speech, stereotypes, charisma, power, belonging and related workplace dynamics.

He is founder and consultant at In It For Change, a Copenhagen-based consultancy helping mission-led teams to tie culture and social impact together. As a researcher, e was involved in building the theoretical foundations of Develop Diverse’s flagship inclusive writing software as well as its consulting services from its founding. He has contributed to designing, writing and delivering inclusive language workshops at universities and global companies alike. E has also been dedicated to contributing to employee-led initiatives and advising leadership on DEIB, both internally and as an external advisor at CBS.

At the dynamic and ever-changing overlaps of various marginalised and privileged identities (white, trans, immigrant, disabled, neurospicy), Emil strives to combine lived experience expertise and research in ways that are ethical and sustainable. E tries eir best to approach topics of DEIB with bias-consciousness, an open and inquisitive mindset, radical honesty, and from a place of critical sensitivity to how today’s inequalities have been shaped by a still ongoing history of violent Western colonisation.

Eir current fixation is trans liberation and why it’s one of two major prerequisites to gender equality. (The other one is anti-racism, and the short answer is “because of white supremacy”).

Gabriella Bossman

Gabriella Bossman (She/Her)

Operations Specialist and Founder

Gabriella is a strategic thinker who takes a people centred approach to problem solving and solution design in transformational delivery.

With experience in the public, private and third sector respectively, she has held programme and leadership roles internationally, placing people and authentic relationships at the centre. Gabriella is driven by seeing people and programmes, especially those with evident potential and planned benefits to society, achieving their goals. 

Gabriella has worked towards this both in her professional career but also as a mentor for many young people, a trustee on various charitable boards and as a host and speaker at international events. She is committed to being an active contributor and change agent in any community she is in and strives towards creating curious and inclusive teams. Gabriella is a start up leader in sustainable fashion, building a product to change the way we shop online!

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Sirine Fodstad (She/Her)

Partner at Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

Sirine is a partner at Boston Consulting Group where she leads the People & Organization Practice (POP) area in Norway. She has 25+ years of international work experience and has spent 17 years living abroad in 7 countries.
She has deep expertise in the People Agenda and Large-scale Transformation programs delivering major change and significant profit improvement with focus areas that include People Strategy, Performance, Change and Talent Management; Communication & Stakeholder Engagement; Diversity & Inclusion; and Leadership. In this regard, she has supported a broad client base in the public and private sector in cross-sectoral industries such as oil & gas, finance,  asset management, shipping, aquaculture, airlines and retail. In these capacities, she has held leadership and management positions up to CEO level.
Her hobbies include some retail therapy especially within the pink sections of fashion stores, cooking, downhill skiing, tennis and golf. She enjoys spending time with loved ones over food and wine.
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Salamatu Kamara (She/Her)

Special adviser and activist | Kamara’s Utopia

Sally lights up when talking about the things she is most passionate about: disabled rights, anti-racism and women’s rights. Originally from Sierra Leone, Sally was raised in Norway from the age of three where she has always been outspoken about the things that are most important to her.

Through her business “Kamara’s Speech” she also works as a motivational speaker and most recently spoke at the 2022 Global Disability Summit about disability rights.

At the age of 13, she established her very first business, called “No Boundaries”. A physical education class for able-bodied students to experience the daily obstacles faced by wheelchair users. The program toured several secondary schools in Oslo and more than 400 students took part in the program.

In 2018, she independently published her first book “What do you Wear Under your Clothes?”. For many years she has been a champion and advocate in the disability rights movement, as well as a board member of the Norwegian Association of Disabled (NAD).

Since 2021 she has been a news anchor on Supernytt on NRK Super TV channel, a part of the Norwegian Broadcasting Cooperation, in 2023 she joined the team at Medvind Assistanse.

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Frances Partridge (She/Her)

Co-Owner/Consultant at Racial Equity Consultants

Fran Partridge is a white woman from the USA with 30 years of experience facilitating conversations about Racial Equity with an intersectional lens. For 20 years, she worked in Seattle Public Schools to support educational leaders to become anti-racist. She also worked at SPS to ensure that educational practices and educational policies were becoming anti-racist. She holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Policy and Administration (M.Ed.).

Fran has facilitated over 300 professional development sessions, workshops and racial caucuses focused on historical and systemic racism, implicit bias, racial identity, micro-aggressions, and organisational change. Fran is co-founder of Racial Equity Consultants LLC and since 2016 has impacted cultural change in many companies and organisations by designing and facilitating high quality culturally responsive professional development based on adult learning principles.

Fran is interested in learning about and contributing to the discussion of anti-racism in the Nordics, because Racial Equity Consultants LLC is moving to Sweden. They are opening their business as “Anti-Racism Consultants AB”, and Fran will be moving to and consulting with firms, companies, organisations, or groups in Sweden who are interested in becoming inclusive and anti-racist.

Fran is particularly passionate about working with people and groups who society racialises as white. She supports white people to recognise, unpack and deconstruct our internalised racism, and at the same time collectively work with the broader community to become effective co-conspirators in creating a healthier, inclusive, anti-racist society.

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Nico Blier-Silvestri (He/Him)

Partner at Dreamcraft Ventures

With close to 20 years experience in HR, including 10 years in fast growing startups/scaleups Nico has held Leadership roles in 6 Unicorns. He is also the ex-founder of Platypus.io (now Valuebeat.io) turned VC building P&C & platform for Dreamcraft Venture as a Partner.

Originally from France, Nico has been based in Copenhagen since 2012 after living on 3 different continents. He is a father of 2 and the husband of Danish/Italian Wonderwoman. Living in a home that is a bit of a tower of Babel with 4 languages being spoken on a daily basis.

He finds zen when cooking, building Lego, practicing rugby with his LGBTP+ team in Copenhagen or playing Civilization on the computer.

Nico is driven by creating a personal and professional world where diversity and equity are the norm.

Mark Ivan Serunjogi

Mark Ivan Serunjogi (He/They)

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager - Europe at Bitly

Mark Ivan is a specialist in DEI branding and change management, exploring how management processes affect organizational cultures and employee attraction value and retention power. His point of departure is that an authentic employer brand is built from employee experiences and that an attractive workplace is inclusive at worst and equitable at best. 

With a MSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes from Copenhagen Business School, Mark Ivan has 15 years of experience in strategic communications & marketing, employee representation, and empowerment of marginalized groups in business and products.

Uduak Amimo (She/Her)

Founder of Uduak Amimo Coaching & Consulting

Uduak Amimo is the founder of Uduak Amimo Coaching & Consulting. As an executive coach and facilitator,  she works with individuals and organisations to advance social impact. Her career started in the media and spans over 20 years as a journalist and broadcaster with Reuters, the Voice of America, the BBC and Citizen TV in Kenya, the United States, the United Kingdom and Ethiopia. 

She founded Ramani Life Group to offer career guidance to students in low-income secondary schools in Kenya. She is also the founder of The Comms Table, a professional development program for young communicators. Uduak has an MA in Communication and Public Affairs and a BA in International Relations (cum laude). She is currently pursuing an MA in Business and Organisational Psychology. She is a a BMW Foundation Responsible Leader, Tutu Fellow, a Bloomberg ALI Media Fellow, Aspen Global Leadership Network Fellow, a Boehm Media Fellow and a Global Social Impact Fellow. She is the chairperson of the Advisory Board of the Baraza Media Lab and a board member of the Junior League of Nairobi. 

Miriam Hardarson (She/Her)

Agency Director and LGBT+ lead at Sopra Steria

Miriam Hardarson is a trans woman, a mother of two children, a leader, and an activist for LGBT rights. At the consulting firm Sopra Steria, she is a director and part of a management team responsible for over 1.000 consultants and technology experts. She is also the leader of the company’s LGBT+ network across Scandinavia and involved in many initiatives centered around diversity and inclusion. 

She transitioned in 2021 and has quickly become a trailblazer for trans rights and trans representation in Norway. Miriam has been featured in national business news and national television because of her openness and approach to using the workplace as a safe space for galvanizing her gender expression while building the courage to transition. She has also been featured in documentaries, interviews, and podcasts, and has inspired organizations in Norway by telling her story. 

In 2022, she enabled Sopra Steria to be the first company in Norway to guarantee paid welfare for absences due to gender-affirming care for all transgender employees. As a result, Sopra Steria became the only private company to be invited to engage with government officials to create a more inclusive society for LGBT+ individuals in Norway.

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Aminkeng A Alemanji (He/Him)

Program Director and Senior Lecturer for the Master of Social Exclusion at Åbo Akademi University

Aminkeng A Alemanji (Amin) researches race, racism, antiracism and antiracism education in Finland. His research focuses on developing different strategies and methods of antiracism education in and out of schools. In January (2022) he released Finland’s first Antiracism mobile App – Finland without Racism, available for download on the Google play store and iOS store. Besides being a Docent in Sociology with specific expertise in Studies in Diversity, he is currently the Program Director and Senior Lecturer for the Master of Social Exclusion at Åbo Akademi University.

Aaron Kroon (He/Him)

Founder & CEO of Black Batman

Aaron Kroon is one of Sweden’s most influential people in the field of diversity and inclusion. He has more than 20 years of experience in leading organizational and cultural change journeys at companies such as ICA, Vattenfall and now at Schibsted where he is Nordic HR director. In 2022, he was named one of the top three role models in Sweden and has also been praised for  creating Sweden’s most inclusive workplace.

Torstein Lerhol (He/Him)

Regional Head, East Norway at Medvind Assistanse
Torstein Lerhol has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and he was given a life expectancy of 2 years. But with a well-developed health care system, and a strong will, he has defied all expectations and odds.
Today, the 36-year-old, is a local politician, a public speaker all while working full-time at the private national health company, Medvind Assistanse AS, that provides user-controlled personal assistance, as the branch manager of eastern Norway.
Vanessa Akpore

Vanessa Akpore (She/Her)

Director, Capital Project Portfolio Lead, Small Molecule OpU at Takeda

Vanessa Akpore is a Director of Capital Projects and Portfolio Management at Takeda Pharmaceuticals.  In her role, she supports global engineering teams across South America, Europe, and Asia to successfully implement technology solutions for the manufacture of treatments for rare and chronic diseases.

Vanessa holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering, is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) and received her MBA from Johns Hopkins University.

Throughout her career, she has made it a personal priority to dedicate her time to encourage and uplift the next generation of minority engineering leaders; from her regular speaking engagements at the Society of Women Engineers on topics such as mentorship and leadership, as a mentor through the Johns Hopkins Diverse Leadership Mentoring Program, to serving as Chair of the Engineers Without Borders Project Management Standing Content Committee. This same passion also extends to her professional sphere where she serves and counsels on her organization’s DE&I team to build awareness of DE&IB through training, best practice sharing, and open dialogue.

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Guðrún Hildur Ragnarsdóttir (She/Her)

Former President for BEAM EMEA at Expedia Group/Founder of Keeps

Guðrún Hildur Ragnarsdóttir served as a President for I&D group, BEAM, which stands for Black Expedia Allied Movement at Expedia Group. Through her work, she is dedicated to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion within the travel industry and beyond.

After leaving the company in 2021, she continued her work in Iceland, by promoting DEI at her current workplace Controlant and has become one of few experts on this matter in Iceland. Resulting in her becoming a public speaker about DEI. Guðrún has also founded her startup, Keeps, and has insights into funding statistics that female founders are battling against, although awareness has been raised.

Justin Hester (They/Them)

Vice President of Customer Value, Insights, & Industries at Cognite

Justin Hester (they/them) is Vice President of Customer Value, Insights, and Industries at Cognite, leading a global team that empowers industrial companies to view data through the lens of business outcomes, with a specific focus on helping executives effect strategic change and drive top-line and bottom-line improvements across their organizations. 

Prior to Cognite, Justin led a global team at PTC that consulted on digital transformation strategies, leveraging their 17+ years of manufacturing innovation and leadership experience to provide hands-on recommendations resulting in $1B+ in new revenues and cost improvements for partner firms. Justin is passionate about intersectional workplace inclusivity and LGBTQIA+ issues, and is a firm believer that everyone should work in a team and environment that allows them to freely be their authentic self at work. Justin holds an MBA, a Master of Industrial and Systems Engineering, and a BS in Computer Engineering & Industrial Robotics.

Miriam Petra Ómarsdóttir Awad (She/Her)

Anti-racism educator / Inclusion Officer

Miriam Petra Ómarsdóttir Awad is an Icelandic anti-racism educator and activist. Miriam has lived her entire life in Iceland and has a mixed background, as her mother is Icelandic and her father was originally from Egypt. Her experiences of not fitting into the „mold“ of what it means to be Icelandic has greatly influenced her life. 

During her master‘s degree Miriam studied Nordic exceptionalism, colonialism and the Icelandic national identity in relation with prejudice in Iceland. There, her research subject centered on the effects of racism and prejudice on self-identities of Icelandic women with Middle Eastern backgrounds. Miriam currently works at the Icelandic National Agency for Erasmus+ where she is the agency‘s Inclusion and Diversity officer. 

Since spring 2021 Miriam has hosted workshops and lectures on racism and cultural prejudice in Iceland in her personal time, but as an Icelandic person with a mixed background she draws from my own personal experiences as well as her professional experience working with the subject of inclusion and diversity. Miriam has written for Icelandic newspapers and magazines on the subject of intersectionality, racism and prejudice and has been consulted on national TV on the subject.

Nivikka Witjes (She/Her)

Chief Operating Officer at Siu-Tsiu

Nivikka has a BA in Social Education and a Master of Arts in General Education. For 3 years she has worked at the National Board of Health and Welfare. Her current role, and position for the past two years, is COO at Siu-Tsui -the first registered enterprise in Greenland.

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Mads Qvist Frederiksen (He/Him)

Executive Director at Arctic Economic Council

Mads Qvist Frederiksen is the Executive director of the Arctic Economic Council (AEC) that is located in Tromsø, Norway. The AEC is a pan-arctic independent business membership organization established in 2014. It delivers policy advocacy, networking and outreach related to the Arctic. The organization facilitates Arctic sustainable economic development throughout the Arctic region.

Prior to joining the AEC in March 2021, Mr. Frederiksen worked as a Senior Advisor in the Global Trade and Investment unit at the Confederation of Danish Industry. Here he was responsible for Arctic business development and policy. Before he has worked in manufacturing, communication and as a journalist.

In addition to Arctic policy and trade promotion, his previous work has been within sanctions and export control, development work, foreign investments, communication strategy, journalism, training and capacity building.

Mr. Frederiksen is originally from Denmark. He has an Executive MBA from Harvard Business School, a Master degree in Middle East Studies from the University of Southern Denmark and a Bachelor degree in Journalism and Contemporary history from City University and Queen Mary, University of London.

Mr. Frederiksen has lived and worked in Denmark, Norway, Algeria, United Kingdom, Iran and Afghanistan.

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Umair Shamsi (He/Him)

Vice President People Excellence at Telenor Nordics

Umair Shamsi leads Telenor’s group-wide agenda on Diversity & Inclusion, Performance Mgmt., and Employee Experience Surveys. He has 23 years of experience in various aspects of Human Resources across six industries in North America, Asia & Europe.

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Nathalie Håkenstad (She/Her)

Account Manager & Glamazon co-lead for Nordics

Nathalie Håkenstad (she/her) is an Amazon Web Services Enterprise Account Manager, Glamazon co-lead for Nordics and board member for women@Amazon Nordics and BEN Nordics, driving ID&E discussions and initiatives forward not only internally within Amazon Web Services but also with partners and customers.

With more then 20 year experience within IT, she is also active campaigning for Human Right Rights focusing on LGBTQ+ community and a board member of FossePride, which was founded by her then 14 year old daughter Isabella.

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Chris Hovde (He/Him)

Leadership and Culture Lead at Telia Company

Chris Hovde, is an urban monk who is passionate about his purpose to make people and robots fight together for a better society. His core values are to live integrative, equal and authentic. 

He has broad business experience from various leadership positions and HR in large international companies such as Telia, IKEA and Varner Group, as well as the former CEO of an Oslo based healthcare clinic called Balder. He has been nominated for a number of awards for his work within digitalization, leadership and inclusion.

He is currently working as Leadership and culture lead at Telia Company, Chairman of the Board of Future Leaders Global, Made to Grow, Hagegata 31 and boardmember in HR Norway. He is the Founder of Regenerative Monks and a host of the videocast A Regenerative future on Spotify.

Cecilie Heuch (She/Her)

Chief Human Resource Officer at Telenor Nordics

Cecilie Heuch is the Chief HR Officer of Telenor Nordics and is a member of all the local Boards of Directors of the Nordic Telenor telecoms companies. Previously she has also covered the areas of sustainability and compliance. She has worked with topics like diversity, inclusion and leadership for several decades. Cecilie has more than 25 years of international business experience and came to Telenor from the role as Chief HR Officer in DNV, a role she had for 11 years. Her earlier work experience include managerial roles in Norsk Hydro and Hydro Agri (today Yara). She has lived in France, Italy and in the UK.

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Zuzana Warden (She/Her)

Project and Research Manager at Diversify

Zuzana has a professional background in social work, international development cooperation and project management. Her experience from working with marginalized groups stretches across a number of countries. Besides volunteering with various groups such as homeless people and marginalized members of the Roma minority, she coordinated inclusive empowerment projects aiming to support women and persons with disabilities from rural and slum areas via training in entrepreneurship and vocational skills. As a Project and Research Manager at Diversify she continues to broaden her expertise within organizational work and operation, with high focus on monitoring and evaluation and project management.

Rahwa Tilahun Yohaness

Rahwa Tilahun Yohaness (She/Her)

Editor | Activist | Founder | Public Speaker | Campaign Strategist | Community Builder | Project Designer

Rahwa is a public speaker, activist, social critic, and the founder and director of Manifold Norway. Rahwa has years of experience in community organising and bringing people with diverse backgrounds and experiences together. She practices a policy of “walking the talk” and engages with people who have lived experience in everything she does.

Rahwa is currently running a campaign about “kvitteringsordning” to promote the implementation of a policy to document all police stop and control activities. She was also one of the main organisers behind the “We Can’t Breathe” demonstration in Oslo, which mobilised 15 000 people in June 2020.

Rahwa collaborates with grassroots organisations, academics, artists, and activists in the diaspora to organise and facilitate various events, including panel discussions, educational and artistic workshops, and community gatherings. She currently works as an advisor for the Norwegian Council for Africa, a human rights and solidarity organisation working to increase knowledge about the African continent.

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Ursula Koski (She/Her)

Chief Technical Officer for Nordics Partners at Amazon Web Services

Ursula Koski is a seasoned technology leader with over 28 years of experience in software development, cloud transformation, and digital innovation. As the CTO for Nordics Partners at Amazon Web Services (AWS), she works with partners, governments, and the European Commission to accelerate the growth of the technology industry and strengthen Finland’s position for digital talent and innovation.

She is also a passionate advocate for diversity, inclusion, and human rights, and co-leads the Glamazon Nordics AWS and Amazon LGBTQ+ affinity group. She is the chairwoman of Tivia, the Finnish ICT professionals association, and the first woman to hold this role in its 70-year history. She spearheaded the ‘Future Creators, Digital Resilient Finland’ strategy, aimed at establishing Finland as a hub for digital talent and innovation, and advancing the UN Sustainability Goals. She believes that technology can be a powerful enabler of inclusive growth and social impact, and that Finland must lead in the digital era with a focus on the responsible build and use of tech as an accelerator and equalizer.

Chi Lee

Chi Lee (They/Them)

DEIB Advocate

Chi Lee has a Masters Degree in Museum Studies from Harvard University.  For over two decades, they have been a freelance consultant for design/build studios working with global retail companies. Chi previously worked as a liaison and organizer for Arts for Humanity, a non-profit bringing the arts to underserved communities. They have also served as a translator for Four Seas Group, a Chinese-American non-profit increasing accessibility to the performance arts for local communities.

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Charlotte Jónsdóttir Biering (She/Her)

Global Diversity and Inclusion Specialist

Charlotte Biering is Marel’s first D&I Specialist, based in Iceland but operating across 30+ countries. She brings a multidisciplinary and intersectional approach to her work, drawing from her experiences working across multiple industries and cultures. She spent several years working in international development, disaster response, gender equality and social justice, for organizations such as the Red Cross Climate Center, ActionAid and UN Global Compact, before moving into management consultancy, supporting energy companies in improving their societal and environmental impact.

In 2015, she made D&I the sole focus of her career, first working within male-dominated corporate finance and subsequently co-leading EY’s Women. Fast forward platform.

She is working to develop a culture of inclusion at Marel through education and initiatives; by applying a D&I lens to policies, processes and projects and equipping employees with the tools to be more inclusive.

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