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Governments around the world are exploring ways of getting citizens more involved in making complex policy decisions. Can this trend toward "deliberative democracy" lead to braver decisions for a more sustainable world? To find out, Nordic Talks spoke to a democracy activist and a political researcher and discovered some of the innovative ways that individual citizens can get involved in democratic decisions in their own communities.

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Putting sound to global challenges

‘Nordic Talks’ is a series of talks and podcasts addressing the biggest global challenges. 

Through conversations with some of the brightest minds in the Nordics and their counterparts from around the world we want to provide a space for contemplation and to share inspiration on how to take action on sustainability issues in our everyday lives. All Nordic Talks are dedicated to addressing the UN's Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) challenges.

NORDIC TALKS is brought to you by The Nordics, a project under The Nordic Council of Ministers.


Thinkers and doers from around the world who are concerned about the planet we all share.

hans bruynincx

Dr. Hans Bruyninckx (Belgium)

Executive Director of the European Environment Agency since 2013. In 1996 he completed a PhD in international environmental politics at Colorado State University and for the past 20 years he has conducted research in more than a dozen countries, in areas including environmental politics, climate change, and sustainable development.

Fred Yang

Fred Yang (China)

Founding director of the Urban-Rural Bridge International Consultancy and Founder and Board Chairman of the Dingjia Rural Community Development Co-op. Fred is a farming advocate working to reduce food waste by helping farmers plan their production and to grow crops in natural settings without chemicals.

Erik Void

Erik Vold (Norway)

Organizational and business development project leader at MatVett. Matvett is a non-profit corporation owned by the food industry in Norway, that aims to prevent and reduce unnecessary food waste by working with the food value chain and the government while sharing information with media and consumers to raise awareness.

Afton Halloran

Afton Halloran (Canada/Denmark)

Host of the Nordic Talks podcast. As an independent consultant and a transdisciplinary scientist, Dr. Afton Halloran has worked on sustainable development issues with organizations such as the World Bank, World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Sustainable Cities International. Afton is also an External Consultant to the Nordic Council of Ministers and a researcher at the University of Copenhagen. Originally from Canada, Afton has lived and worked in Norway, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Japan and Thailand. She currently resides in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Robert Reich

Robert Reich (U.S.)

Professor Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, which introduced 12 weeks' unpaid family leave, the first legislation of its kind in the States.

Robert Strand

Robert Strand (U.S.)

Executive Director of the Center for Responsible Business and Lecturer at the Berkeley Haas School of Business. PhD. Robert Strand researches and teaches in corporate social responsibility, the SGDs and Nordic sustainable business.



All Nordic Talks are dedicated to addressing the SDG challenges. We want to inspire each other to act – for a better, more sustainable future.

In August 2019 The Nordic Council of Ministers set the ambitious goal for the Nordic Region to become the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030. Read the council's 'Vision 2030' here.