Ålands fredsinstitut
The Åland Islands Peace Institute

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AX-22100 Mariehamn, Åland, Finland
Tel. +358 18 15570
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The Kastelholm talks of 2018 will discuss the topic "Media, power and courage – on credibility and trust in the public discourse". The Kastelholm talks are talks on peace issues, yearly held on the Åland Islands under the patronage of former President of Finland, Tarja Halonen. The talks are this year held on 22 March.

The Kastelholm talks are held in Swedish and consist of two parts. First there is a panel discussion in the castle of Kastelholm with Kjell-Åke Nordquist as moderator. Secondly, a roundtable discussion is held in nearby restaurant Smakbyn with moderator Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark.

The panel in the first discussion consists of Merete Mazzarella, writer, essayist, journalist and professor of literary studies; Olof Ehrenkrona, Ambassador and Consul General of Sweden in the Åland Islands, Anders Mellbourn, Political Scientist, Journalist, former Editor-in-Chief of newspaper Dagens Nyheter, previous Director of The Swedish Institute of International Affairs and University Professor as well as Britt Lundberg, politician from Åland who was the President of the Nordic Council in 2017, former Speaker of the Åland Parliament, former minister and Deputy Head of the Åland government.

At the roundtable discussion, three commentators contribute with further insights based on their reflections and impressions from the first panel discussion. Martha Hannus is chairperson of Association Regnbågsfyren and Sustainability Officer at Emmaus Åland. She has previously worked on issues of extremism and racism. Janne Wass is Editor-in-Chief of magazine Ny Tid in Helsinki. He has previously worked as foreign reporter at newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet and as reporter at Public television Service, Yle. Barbro Sundback, is a politician and former Speaker of the Parliament of Åland. She was former Chairperson of the Board of the Peace Institute, and holds the position of its Honorary Chairperson.

Invitations have been sent out to guests. There are a few open seats.


The topic of the Kastelholm talks 2018 "Media, power and courage – credibility and trust in the public discourse" focuses on two key changes to the prerequisites for public discussion: firstly the rapid and comprehensive leaks of classified information to the public through the intervention of individuals and secondly the denial of the importance of truth, relevance and credibility of persons that make public statements. The trust in media, that has been the media's own historical goal, has been questioned by individuals with their "own access to facts" and who may spread (false) statements in a widely and fast way. This becomes a challenge for those societies that build their social model on informed democracy. The societies where power defines truth has on the other hand another starting point in this regard. Confidence is seen as a central explanation for why democratic countries in practice never go to war with each other. Theories of deterrence and balance of power are based on a fundamental consensus about the current situation, in short what is true or false. Premature or fake information can, in an already tense environment, increase the risk of war.

Information on how to register will be available at the Swedish version of this webpage from 26 February.

Merete Mazzarella (photo: Teemo Rajala/CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), Olof Ehrenkrona (photo: Kristian Pohl/Regeringskansliet), Anders Mellbourn (photo: privat) and Britt Lundberg (photo: Magnus Fröderberg/Norden.org).