17 projects will promote the Nordics globally

24.10.19 | News
Crowd at concert
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Nordic trust in Russia, equality in Argentina and China, Nordic films in Morocco, and Nordic rock stars in a US desert. These are just some of an array of projects that have received financial support from the Nordic Council of Ministers to promote common Nordic values around the world.

The Nordics - Traces of North is a project under the Nordic Council of Ministers. Its objective is to use many small and large projects, ideas and movements to promote and show how the Nordic region has left traces in other parts of the world, stemming from the values of openness, trust, innovation, sustainability and equality.

High-quality projects

One of the activities to promote the Nordic region is to support projects that, in different ways, can help to build up the Nordic brand in the rest of the world. In this year’s open call for applications to The Nordics – Traces of North, around 80 applications were received. Seventeen projects on four continents have now been awarded grants.

“It’s really pleasing to see that there are so many creative and dedicated people working to spread Nordic values in other countries. The 17 projects awarded grants are really high quality,” says project manager Tobias Grut at the Nordic Council of Ministers.

It’s really pleasing to see that there are so many creative and dedicated people working to spread Nordic values in other countries. The 17 projects awarded grants are really high quality

Tobias Grut, project manager at the Nordic Council of Ministers


There can be little doubt about the breadth in the theme. Can Russia learn something from the trust that Nordic inhabitants have in their authorities? How can Nordic experiences regarding equality be used to promote sustainability and innovation in Brazil and Argentina? Can women in China inspire climate action and happiness? How can Nordic films spread Nordic values in Morocco? And what about a podcast series where famous Nordic artists, thinkers, innovators and founders talk about the 17 sustainability goals in the middle of a desert in the US?

The following 17 projects have been awarded funding:

Días Nórdicos Latin America 2020. Latin America, November – December 2020

A long Nordic week in Latin America with focus on equality, innovation, sustainability and curiosity, the importance of small associations, willingness to cooperate, and the Nordic Model in general. This is the basic theme for the planned Días Nórdicos 2020 in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Sao Paulo, Brazil, which will use the Nordic narrative more than ever, with women’s experiences and opinions as a key element.

Eat Nordic. Italy, November – December 2019

In November 2019 VisitDenmark and Innovation Norway, in collaboration with Nordic food companies and in partnership with La Cucina Italiana, will launch the Eat Nordic initiative, aiming to boost awareness of the Nordic food culture, its values, products and links to the Nordic region.

Festival of Cool: The Arctic. Toronto, December 2019

The second Festival of Cool at Toronto’s Harbour Front Centre will explore artists and ideas from the Arctic through contemporary music, films, visual arts, cuisine, and storytelling. Aligning with the United Nations General Assembly’s declaration that 2019 is the Year of Indigenous Languages, the festival will focus on artists who are helping to keep indigenous languages alive and thriving through their art.

Future Talks – Nordic voices. China, April – May 2020

The Nordic embassies in Beijing have joined forces to launch a three-day forum filled with talks, panel discussions, live streaming and dialogue events under the title, Future Talks – Nordic Voices – Dialogue Matters. There will be a special focus on women who inspire sustainability, climate change, happiness, and reduction of food waste.

New Nordic Solutions, Europe. October 2019 – January 2021

How and why your country will benefit from making an Innovation Barometer for the Public Sector.

Nordic Dialogues. India, December 2019 – March 2020

This project creates a collaborative Nordic branding platform in India through intercultural dialogue, using art and literature as vehicles for cross-cultural engagement around SDGs. By working with a Nordic value-based toolkit, this project actively promotes creative thinking and bottom-up solutions to challenges relating to trust, equality and sustainability at high-profile cultural events in India.

Nordic Film Weeks in Morocco. November and December 2019

The Nordic Film Weeks (NFW) in Morocco is a collaborative project between the Nordic embassies and local partners. The project aims to use films to spread Nordic culture to a Moroccan audience, and promote active discussions on particular themes reflecting the Nordic countries, their societies, values and culture.

Nordic Jazz Harvest. Buenos Aires, December 2019

BLACKFOREST in Buenos Aires was started in 2019 as new type of venue to listen to jazz vinyl records played loud on high-end audio equipment. The concept has proved very popular, and BLACKFOREST is now a permanent platform on which the next steps can be taken to connect Nordic jazz with that in Buenos Aires and Latin America. BLACKFOREST will be launching the first edition of Nordic Jazz Harvest a weekend of Nordic jazz in Buenos Aires on 5-7 December 2019.

NORDIC LIGHTS. Edinburgh, November 2019 – September 2020

The main purpose of the project is to create Nordic storydoing and storytelling, focusing on values like collaboration, creativity and dialogue at the Edinburgh Arts Festival and Edinburgh International Book Festival.

NORDtalks 2.0. Korea, October 2020

Demand for Nordic inspiration and the Nordic Model are on the rise in Korea. The highly successful NORDtalks, launched in 2019, will therefore continue. NORDtalks has enjoyed extensive online reach and media coverage and leveraged multilateral cooperation and partnerships, such as with Seoul Metropolitan Government, Nordic companies in Korea, and a variety of Korean private and public organisations.

Nordic Talks 17. Los Angeles, November 2019 – March 2021

NordicLA will be hosting 17 discussions with notable thought leaders, innovators, artists and creators, where they share their stories, inform and inspire our community, and also shed light on the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Nordic Talks 17 will be both a live series as well as a multimedia series including a film and podcast version.

Nordic Talks at UC Berkeley, January – September 2020

Nordic Talks at Berkeley is a high-profile, speaker series at the University of California, Berkeley. Topics discussed will be the pillars of the Nordic values, i.e. openness, trust, innovation, sustainability, and compassion. Each Nordic Talk will culminate with a desired ‘action’, with a particular focus on Nordic-inspired actions that may be tested in the state of California.

PN1. Buenos Aires, October 2019 – September 2020

PN1 is the first major design collaboration between the Nordic region and Argentina this century. PN1 is aiming to take five young Nordic designers to the cultural metropolis of South America, Buenos Aires, to collaborate with creative designers from the city’s booming design scene. The outcome will be a collection of five design objects, created by the Nordic and Argentinian designers and craftspeople. The collection will be exhibited in Buenos Aires, Reykjavik and Milan, and supplemented by a catalogue and a series of public events.

Sexess. January 2020 – October 2020

Societal norms, media, dating apps and the porn industry influence young people, giving them an unhealthy view on sex and sexuality. This is problematic, both for young people’s wellbeing and the ambition to achieve gender equality in society. This project will focus on other aspects of sexual health, such as sexual identity, a positive body view, and perception of consent and communication with sex partners. The project is a cooperation between youth organisations in the Nordic countries and eastern Europe.

The Nordic Children's Book Flood. Latvia, February 2020 – March 2021

The purpose of the project is to introduce classical and contemporary Nordic children’s literature to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and to compare it with children’s literature in those countries. The project will use interactive methods involving children and young readers, as well as professionals working in the publishing industry, educational sector and library field in all three Baltic countries.

‘Traces of North’: Nordic Film Programme at Victoria Film Festival, February 2020

Social media campaign and talking events relating to 7 new films from independent Nordic filmmakers, to be screened at the 26th annual Victoria Film Festival in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

TRUST – The Basis for Wealth and Happiness of the Nordics. St Petersburg, November 2019 – June 2020

TRUST (in Russian ДОВЕРИЕ, in Danish TILLID) in state institutions, authorities, justice and civil society in general is sadly lacking in Russia. Therefore, the mutual trust between, state/society and citizens in the Nordics is a powerful engine for spreading influence and inspiration between the Nordics and Russia. The project focuses on TRUST as a culture code and important social value of the people of the Nordic countries.