Hivos International

Freedom of Expression

Co-authored with Ferdinand Francken, LEAD programme Coordinator, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

As Hivos, we fully believe that freedom of expression and the media is a basic requirement for citizens to stay informed, express an opinion and become civically involved in society. Across the globe, the internet has been growing as a medium of communication, facilitating freedom of expression and economic development. In countries where the internet is free, enterprising people have come up with innovations that have and continue to produce great economic returns, providing not only jobs but new ways of conducting human affairs.

Bringing together thinkers and creative doers from throughout the world: that is what Hivos, Baltan Laboratories and Dutch Design Week's Age of Wonderland programme does. The aim of Age of Wonderland at the Dutch Design Week is to devise innovative answers to problems, like inequality and environmental degradation. Mayan philosopher and spiritual leader Branly Lopéz from Guatemala – one of the six Age of Wonderland fellows - may seem out of place in this circuit. But is that so?