Democracy threats engage young grant applicants

Vasemmalta Angutitsiaq Isbothsen, Jack Hancock ja Eetu Leinonen.

The Norden 0-30-experts gathered for the second decision meeting in 2024. From the left Angutitsiaq Isbothsen, Jack Hancock and Eetu Leinonen. Photo: Sidsel Emilie Eskesen

Applications related to peace, democracy threats and security issues were prominent in this year’s second round of the Norden 0-30 grant programme.

“It is clear that this round reflects the tense world situation and the extreme right-wing movements currently taking place in society. There is a clear interest in creating counter-forces and reclaiming the beauty of Nordic unity that these forces are distorting”, says Jack Hancock, chair at the Norden 0-30 expert group’s meeting on 17 June.

The expert group granted funding to nine projects totalling just over €212,000, with a grant percentage of 20 per cent of all applications.

Examples of granted projects

As an example of granted projects, Jack Hancock highlights Northern Security Dialogues: Tackling Threats Across Borders. The project aims to bring together young people in Norway, Sweden and Finland to discuss regional security issues. Three consecutive conferences in each country will address relevant topics through lectures, discussions and social activities to foster solidarity between future Nordic leaders.

One peace-related project that received support was Peaceday 2024 on Youth Island. The project invites young people from all over the Nordic region to participate in a gathering of futurists, innovators, artists and indigenous elders on the occasion of the UN International Day of Peace. The event will take place on Youth Island – a former sea fortress in Øresund outside Copenhagen’s UN City.

Jack Hancock also highlights Ittoqqortoormiit, a theatre workshop and performance for young people about choosing life. The event, organised in Greenland, raises the issue of suicide and aims to show examples of how, regardless of circumstances, life is always the better choice.

Opening up to more languages

Jack Hancock hopes that the new Nordic language convention approved by the Nordic Council of Ministers in May 2024 will open up the discussion on language usage in the Nordic countries. Applications for Norden 0-30 can be submitted in Scandinavian languages, Finnish, Icelandic, Faroese, and Greenlandic.

“Some applications suffered from limited language skills in the language in which the application was submitted. This is unfortunate, as it can affect the decisions and the assessment. The idea can be good, but if it’s not clear what the project is about, it’s difficult to give it money,” he says.

“Everyone should be able to express themselves in their Nordic mother tongue and be proud of their origins. It feels both practically and ideologically important.”

The last Nordic 0-30 round of the year runs from 9 September to 9 October 2024.

See all granted projects in this round of Norden 0-30