You can read Sahra-Josephine Hjorth’s introduction speech here and view it in the embedded video below, alongside the speech made by President Obama:
Transcript of the speech given by Sahra-Josephine Hjorth, June 11th, 2022, at 4 PM in Copenhagen, Denmark.
“One of my earliest childhood memories is of my Danish mother teaching a vibrant group of Somali, Iraqi and Turkish women gymnastics. My brother and I grew up with our mom in an impoverished, small community called Gellerup here in Denmark.
Under the guise of only teaching gymnastics, and in a room filled with laughter, she spoke with the women about their sexual and reproductive rights, domestic violence, and what it means to live in a democracy.
During those early years, I would have never imagined that I, building on my mother’s work, would dedicate my life to connecting people with critical information.
I work as an entrepreneur at the intersection of technology and education with more than 120 NGOs.
I work as an entrepreneur at the intersection of technology and education with more than 120 NGOs. Our brave partners work in the sphere of sexual and reproductive rights, democracy, and the sustainable development goals, and they connect young people with trusted information and learning experiences about these issues and others.
Spaces like these have become critical in addressing some of the collective failures of our generation and those before us. I stand before you to appeal to you with a sense of urgency: While the increasing use of smartphones and social media first came with a whisper of a new era of democratic participation, fake news and misinformation dominate the digital landscape and result in the erosion of the fabric of truth and polarization.
The young people on our learning platforms are concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the lack of advancement on climate change.
The young people on our learning platforms are concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the lack of advancement on climate change. We expect technology giants to enter a new era where digital ethics and transparency are a baseline, not an extravagance.
There is much to be solved still, yet my sense of hope remains intact.
Throughout my experience as an Obama Foundation Leader, President Obama and my peers taught me that it’s okay for a young woman to have big dreams and to articulate those big dreams with a sense of pride. They have shown me in pursuit of those big dreams, the path is challenging, but that we are all the change we have been waiting for.
It takes true courage—even for a President—to have your legacy built not only by your own actions but by the actions of others leading through your example. What shall be our collective legacy as we leave Copenhagen?
Who better to facilitate the exploration of the most pressing issues of our time and how we may solve them, than President Obama.
Please join me in welcoming him to the Copenhagen stage”.