Each June, on the island of Bornholm, on the eastern outskirts of Denmark, politicians and citizens come together for four days of talks, debates and workshops: this is called Folkemødet - the People’s Democratic Festival. People from all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds discuss issues both large and small, profound and personal with those who represent them at regional, national and international levels. There is full freedom to challenge politicians in a shared space, in contrast to the remoteness of Parliament at other times of year.
Alongside political parties, government ministers, mayors and councillors, many NGOs and activist groups also present at Folkemødet. In 2019, Social Cities 2030 was part of a programme of activities organised by Kirkens Korshær. We examined exclusion and inequality in Denmark through a workshop that encouraged participants to challenge preconceptions of homelessness and migration, and to brainstorm social solutions.
As part of this workshop, we led a ‘Privilege Walk’, which highlights the level of advantage accorded to some in our society but not others, and the extent to which life chances are unequal from childhood. This exercise was inspired by Sustainable Development Goal 10: Reducing inequality in and between countries.