Bjørn Ihler is an internationally reknown inspirational keynote speaker. He has spoken on stages across the world on topics related to ending extremism and terrorism, through reconciliation, heroism and his own story of survival. His talks are both rooted in his experiences as a survivor of the 2011 terrorist attack in Norway, in his academic work and research, his work and experiences as an activist and his work, experiences and philosophy as an artist.
A key goal for Ihler is to empower individuals to play an active role in making their own communities more peaceful and resilient to violence by inspireing bravery, diversity, human rights, positive identities and constructive means of overcoming ones fears and conflicts.
The Oslo Freedom Forum is a transformative annual conference where the world’s most engaging human rights advocates, artists, tech entrepreneurs, and world leaders meet to share their stories and brainstorm ways to expand freedom and unleash human potential across the globe. Watch my talk from the 2016 Oslo Freedom Forum here.
At the Forgiveness Project's regional talk we were invited to share in the reflections and motivations of two extraordinary people– Arno Michaelis a former far right extremist from the US, and Bjørn Magnus Jacobsen Ihler a survivor of the Utøya massacre in Norway.
The discussion was skilfully led by Vidhya Ramalingam a far right specialist who told of how in her research she had lived amongst far right extremists only to discover that “people who I’d previously thought of as monsters were people like me.”
Bjørn Ihler is an acomplished project manager, consultant, data analyst, researcher, academic and policy writer with experience both from academia, think tanks, the NGO sector, work with UN agencies, political parties and various forms of project development within fields ranging from the technology sector through public policy to the film industry. He also have wide experience in the development of toolkits and resources for other political advisors and policy developers.
Ihler has a strong background within politics, political philosophy and policy development and has consulted, written and participated in the public sphere by shaping the public debate both in Norway and internationally through the development of numerous resources, policy papers, op-eds and other crtiical commentary.
With wide experience Ihler's bacground and expertise in policy development rests within the fields of peacebuilding, conflict management and transformation, security, counter terrorism and counter extremism, as well as in the development of policies concerning the arts, business, and human rights.