What is a Nordic Talk?

Nordic Talks is a series of live talks and podcasts addressing the biggest global challenges. Through conversations with some of the brightest minds in the Nordics and their counterparts from around the world we want to inspire each other to act – for a better, more sustainable future.

Nordic Talks is designed to provide a space for contemplation and to share inspiration on how to take action on sustainability issues in our everyday lives. All Nordic Talks are dedicated to addressing the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and all talks provide specific ideas on how we as citizens can take concrete action starting today.

A Nordic Talk can take place anywhere in the world and anyone with a good idea for a talk can apply for funding. We welcome both online and offline events, and encourage both independently organized talks as well as plug-ins to existing events, such as festivals or conferences.

These four dogmas form the backbone of a Nordic Talk:

Dogma #1: Address the Sustainable Development Goals

Both the topic and the event must reflect the SDGs and their message. We want to inspire action and should lead by example. Think about this when choosing your venue, transportation, catering and before you print marketing material.

Dogma #2: Inspire to act!

How can we act on this issue? Your talk must provide the audience with tangible actions that they can implement in their daily lives starting right now.

Dogma #3: Facilitate dialogue

We believe that action and inspiration thrive in a setting that facilitates open and curious conversation. So a Nordic Talk is a moderated dialogue between the Nordics and the World with a maximum of three speakers, with at least one being a Nordic citizen and at least one holding a passport from outside the Nordic Region. Lectures and PowerPoint presentations should be saved for another time.

Dogma #4: Based on the Nordic values

The Nordic values* act as our guidelines and must be incorporated in all aspects of a Nordic Talk:
• Openness and a belief in everyone's right to express their opinions.
• Trust in each other and in the leaders in society.
• Innovation and new ways of thinking.
• Sustainable management and development of natural resources.
• Conviction that all people are of equal value.

* as described in the Nordic Council of Ministers' Strategy for International Branding


As a Nordic Talks host you will provide your audience with knowledge, inspiration and advice on how to act on important, global issues.

By joining Nordic Talks as a host, you will become part of a global community of people who want to make a difference on global sustainability issues. The most important part of being a host is that you are just as enthusiastic about the sustainability agenda and as dedicated to inspiring change as we are.

Our hosts are handpicked because they have a unique take on one of the SDGs or an idea for a conversation that offers new perspectives. They either work on a specific sustainability issue or have come across experts, activists and innovators who offer solutions and context to our shared challenges - and they want to provide these thinkers and doers with a platform. If selected, your talk will reach an even broader audience through the globally distributed Nordic Talks podcast.


1. Find an issue or topic that fascinates you

2. Keep an eye out for our open calls by signing up for our newsletter here

3. Get approval and funding

4. Start planning your Nordic Talk (see deliverables & tools)

5. Send the completed playbook to us (see deliverables & tools)

6. Send the PR & Communication document to us (see deliverables & tools)

7. Host your Nordic Talk and record the audio

8. Send the recorded audio material to the Nordic Talks team as soon as
possible after the event (see deliverables & tools)


Become part of Nordic Talks

Interested in doing your own thing with the Nordic Talks framework? 
The handbook takes you through all the steps needed to plan and host a successful Nordic Talk.

Step by step guide


Is it a match?

Watch the two films to get a feel of the Nordic Talks universe. Ask yourself:

  • Can you see your idea in a similar setting? Decide whether your idea can appeal to a wide audience. Nordic Talks can be definitely be “nerdy and niche”, as long as you have a skilled moderator who can make it accessible to a wider audience.
  • Are you able to tick off all four principles? (see “What is a Nordic Talk?”)
Read more

Apply for funding

If you think your idea fits the Nordic Talks framework, fill out the application form as fully as possible. The more information we get from you about your idea, the better.

Read more

Get approved

Once your application is approved, it’s time to get going!

  • You will get access to a Google Drive that gives you all the guidance you'll need, including contact information for LEAD Agency/the Secretariat, who can answer any questions you may have.
Read more

Produce and deliver

Read the Nordic Talks Handbook thoroughly and follow the checklist – it covers everything from tips to picking speakers and a moderator to finding the right venue. Consider it your production bible.

Host your live Nordic Talk and record the audio using equipment that meets the specifications given in the technical rider.

Read more

Final approval

Submit the required material, including audio recordings, for review to receive final approval.

Read more

A professional podcast based on your live Nordic Talk

If the Secretariat selects your live Nordic Talk for editing, we will start working on it as soon as possible after receiving the audio files. We'll let you know once it’s done, so you can share it with your network. All podcast episodes will become available on all preferred platforms.

Read more

Digital Talks


All speakers, including the moderator, must connect to the video conference call via a computer. Each speaker, including the moderator, then uses their own smartphone to record their own voice.

Everyone should use headphones when on Zoom or similar audio conferencing platforms. The video conference tool (Zoom etc.) is used for communicating with the host, but each speaker must also record their own voice using their smartphone.

Zoom is the best platform that we have used so far. For moderators: Try to select a platform that enables you to record the audio from the call (Zoom for professionals allows this. A monthly subscription is not expensive).


  • Sit in a small, quiet room rather than a large one. This will lead to better acoustics.
  • Make sure you have a stable internet connection
  • Use headphones if possible
  • Use a computer for connecting to the conference call
  • Only use your smartphone for recording your voice during the talk
  • Remember to press the record button on your phone and let it record for the entire duration of the talk
  • Do your best to fulfill the points above as the sound quality is extremely important
  • Download the recording app before recording the talk. Some phones may already have a voice recorder app installed. Get acquainted with this app before the call.
  • For moderators - Do remember to press the recording button on Zoom to create a backup sound file


  • Don’t sit in a large room with hard surfaces and background noise
  • Don’t stop the recording on your phone during the talk, even when you’re not speaking
  • Don’t think of this as a telephone interview - instead think of it as a live radio recording where the sound quality is very important
  • Don’t use your phone for anything else than recording your own voice during the Nordic talk

Please remember to send all recordings to info@nordictalks.com immediately after the talk.


In this video, Rasmus demonstrates how to record your own voice while being interviewed for a podcast via an online conference call service like Skype, Hangouts, Zoom etc.



All Nordic Talks are dedicated to addressing the SDG challenges. We want to inspire thinkers and doers to talk to each other and ultimately inspire each other to act – for a better, more sustainable future.

Nordic Talks is brought to you by The Nordics, a project under The Nordic Council of Ministers.