Beautiful singing, talented speakers and dedicated young people made the Thor Heyerdahl International Day 2019 an exciting and successful event.

In collaboration with the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), the Norwegian Soloist Choir, Jotron and the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, we hosted The Thor Heyerdahl International Day 2019 at the University of Oslo on October 20th. The theme for the evening was “Celebrate the ocean”. We wanted to focus on various themes related to the ocean and international agreements. Over 50 countries were represented at the conference.

Marianne Borgen, the mayor of the European environmental capital city of Oslo,  welcomed and opened the event. The speakers included Yngve Kristoffersen, professor emeritus at the University of Bergen. Kristoffersen shared his exciting story of how he froze himself in ice in an air bag boat for a whole year and drifted across the North Pole. Then Marine biologist Nina Jensen was interviewed by Dag Hareide about REV Ocean, the world’s largest research vessel, of which she is the leader. The ship will be used by scientists and innovators to find new solutions related to CO2 emissions in the ocean, plastic pollution and non-sustainable fishing. 

Further in the program, Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide held an engaging speech about the challenges related to the ocean. Søreide focused on Thor Heyerdahl’s values as environmental protector and on the conference “Our Ocean” which was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs two days later. Finally, Secretary General of WWF Bård Vegar Solhjell, presented his thoughts on challenges and solutions for the environment of the future.

Prior to International Day 2019, pupils in Norwegian secondary schools participated in our “Living Ocean” competition. The prize was a Thor Heyerdahl’s scholarship of 50,000 Norwegian kroner. Students were encouraged to submit contributions such as videos, photos, illustrations and animations. The winners of the competition were presented during the event. Elvebakken High School and Thor Heyerdahl High School shared first place, and Firda High School came in second place.

At International Day 2019, Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide held an engaging speech about the challenges of the sea

Dag Hareide interviewed Nina Jensen about the research vessel REV Ocean.

The winners of the «Living Ocean» competition.