Speakers

Arnfríður Guðmundsdóttir (Iceland) Professor of Systematic Theology, with emphasis on Feminist Theology, and Academic Dean, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Iceland. An ordained pastor within the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland and a member of the Constitutional Council. Web page: http://uni.hi.is/agudm/

Mathieu Berger (Belgium) is a sociologist, professor at the University of Louvain (UCL), and affiliated research fellow at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS, Paris). His teaching and research works deal with a semiotic approach of urban dynamics and democratic processes. Mathieu is the general coordinator of MetroLab, a trans-disciplinary laboratory of applied urban research, based in Brussels and funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Þórhildur Þorleifsdóttir (Iceland) is an Icelandic theater, opera, film and television director, actress, dancer, choreographer and politician. She was a member of Parliament from 1987 to 1991, representing the Women’s List political party. She was a member of the Constitutional Council and played a fundamental role in implementing the use of consensus in the council’s methodology. 

Anastasia Watson (Canada) is a Human Ecologist using somatic body-based techniques. Anastasia radically overhauled a life a living with idiopathic epilepsy, into powerful tools of transformation. She is a coach whose work has spanned local and international retreat, conference, and corporate contexts. As a somatic educator, she is a powerful voice for those seeking to integrate the natural intelligence of their bodies in their personal and professional lives, innovating, communicating, and connecting.

Eirikur Bergmann (Iceland) is Professor of Politics at Bifrost University in Iceland and Visiting Professor at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. He served as one of 25 members of Iceland’s Constitutional Council, which drafted and delivered to parliament a bill for a new constitution for the young republic. Professor Bergmann writes mainly on Nationalism, Populism, European Integration, Icelandic Politics and on Participatory Democracy. Further afield are novels published in Icelandic. Much of his work, which has mostly been published in English and Icelandic (a few also in German, French and Russian) is found on his website eirikurbergmann.com.

Gayil Talshir (Israel) Dr. Talshir’s research focus is on democratic theory, the party system and civil society. Her first book, The Political Ideology of Green Parties: From Politics of Nature to Redefining the Nature of Politics 1972-2002, has garnered international praise. She also seeks to integrate her professional interests with practical applications to generate creative solutions to pressing social and environmental needs faced by both the Jewish community and the world at large. She is also a lead author on the International Panel for Social Progress a collaborative writing project bringing together 250 academics and researchers from around the world.

Silja Bára Ómarsdóttir (Iceland) is adjunct lecturer at the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Iceland. Her research mainly focuses on Icelandic society and politics, Iceland’s foreign and security policy and feminism in international relations. Ms. Ómarsdóttir is a women’s rights activist and has served on the boards of the Icelandic Feminist Association, The Icelandic Women’s Rights Association, the UNIFEM National Committee in Iceland, and the Icelandic Gender Equality Council. In the summer of 2011 she served on Iceland’s Constitutional Council and chaired Committee A, addressing human rights and natural resources.

Susanna Fischer (USA) has practiced law on both sides of the Atlantic, as an English barrister and a New York attorney, focusing on the law relating to culture, art, and media, including constitutional aspects. She teaches Constitutional Law, Art Law, Cultural Heritage Law, and Comparative Law, and other courses at The Catholic University of America.

Richard L. Wood (USA) serves as Professor of Sociology at the University of New Mexico. His research and writing focus on the cultural and institutional bases of democratic life, especially those linked to religion. He is the author of A Shared Future: Faith-Based Organizing for Racial Equity and Ethical Democracy. Wood also serves as a pro-bono advisor to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the major anti-poverty and community organizing arm of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; and on the national board of the PICO National Network. Wood teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the sociology of religion, social theory, community organizing, and ethnographic research methods.

Sigridur Olafsdottir (Iceland) is a member of the Board of the Constitutional Society and before that was the vice president of SaNS, the organization that promoted the new constitution before the 2012 referendum. She also works as the Head of the Inspectorate of the Icelandic Medicines Agency.

Samantha Grace von Ende (USA) is an affiliate of the Center for Constitutional Democracy at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law. Sam’s research focuses on mechanisms for and impediments to dialogic democracy (including participatory reform processes, technological advancements, party politics, electoral and voting systems, court procedure and access rules, and autonomy through local governance) in the Middle East and across the world.

Alexander Hudson (USA) is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. Alex was a core member of the team that created Constitute, a large scale comparative constitutions project. His dissertation research investigates the impact of public participation in constitution-making processes, with a particular focus on Brazil, South Africa, and Iceland.

Pasquale Policastro Ph.D. (Poland) is a European scholar and social activist. His scholarly activity deals mostly with the fields of comparative constitutional law, transnational integration, human rights and citizenship. As a social activist he supports initiatives addressed to develop a genuine transnational citizenship based on shared values. He is also a Vice-President of International Association of Lawyers against Nuclear Arms, and the President of “Green Africa for the World”, a N.Y. based charity. He is currently professor of constitutional law and European integration at Szczecin University, in Poland.

Bel Olid (Spain) is an active participant in the movement to promote a democratic process of writing the new Catalan constitution and views Iceland as a great example of participatory process. Bel has been interviewed multiple times on the Icelandic constitution in relation to Catalonian independence. She also teaches languages at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and is the president of Association of Writers in Catalan Language.

Sævar Finnbogason (Iceland) is a Ph.D. student in the field of Political Philosophy at the University of Iceland. His research involves deliberative and participatory democracy. In 2010 he wrote on the question “Should Iceland amend the constitution or write a new one via a Constitutional Assembly?” His research concluded the latter. He now sits as a member of the Constitutional Society.

Cynthia Boyer (France) Cynthia Boyer has taught in the American and British studies program, law degree and master of international relations programs at Institut National Universitaire Champollion since 2006. She also lectures on U.S. constitutional law and British common law in the LL.B. program at Université Toulouse 1 Capitole. Her fields of research include electoral strategies and campaigns, political systems in Britain, France, and the United States, fundamental liberties (UK-USA), and Liberalism.

Hélène Landemore (USA) Associate Professor of Political Science at Yale University. Known as one of the first foreign academics to report on Iceland’s constitutional reform process, Dr. Landemore’s work has been referenced globally as a primary source of information on the aftermath of the Icelandic crisis and the unique participatory elements of the constitution process itself.

Thorvaldur Gylfason (Iceland) is a Professor of Economics at the University of Iceland and a prominent proponent of the new Icelandic constitution. He has been an active figure in the national political discourse on both the economic environment in Iceland and the status of the Icelandic Constitutional Council. His work is commonly cited by journalists and academics globally and has become part of the core reference material on the work of the Constitutional Council.

Notice – Latest updates on COVID-19 policies and resources for the UC Berkeley campus community. — View Details