Confirmed speakers and program

On February 13, the Stockholm Free World Forum (Frivärld) in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung hosted
the mini conference Information Warfare and the Weaponization of Democracy in Stockholm. 

The program can be found here.

Participants (listed in alphabetical order):

Anders Lindberg is an editorial writer at Aftonbladet. He has previously worked as political adviser to former Swedish Foreign minister Laila Freivalls and as political secretary for the Swedish Social Democratic Party in the defense committee.

Anna Wieslander is Director for Northern Europe at the Atlantic Council and concurrently serves as Secretary General of the Swedish Defence Association. She is also the Vice Chairman of the Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP) in Stockholm. She was previously Deputy Director at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI). Anna Wieslander has held positions as Head of the Speaker’s Office in the Swedish Parliament, Secretary of the Swedish Defence Commission and Deputy Director of the Swedish Defence Ministry. She has also served as Communications Director in the private sector. She holds an IB exam from United World College of the American West (1987), a BA degree in journalism from Gothenburg University (1990), and a MA degree in political science from Lund University (1995). She is a PhD candidate in international relations at Lund University, and has pursued doctoral studies at University of California at Berkeley. She is a 2015 alumni of the Georgetown University Leadership Seminar. Her expertise is in security and defence policy, Baltic sea security, NATO and partnerships, the transatlantic link, and issues affecting the defence industry.

Edward Lucas’s expertise includes energy, cyber-security, espionage, Russian foreign and security policy, and the politics and economics of Eastern Europe. Formerly a senior editor at The Economist, the world’s foremost newsweekly, he is also a senior vice-president at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). He writes a weekly column in the London Times. As well as working for the Independent, the BBC and the Sunday Times, he also co-founded an English-language weekly in Tallinn, Estonia: the Baltic Independent. His undergraduate degree is from the London School of Economics and he speaks five languages — German, Russian, Polish, Czech and Lithuanian.

Eva Burman is editor in chief at Eskilstuna-Kuriren and Strengnäs Tidning. Eskilstuna-kuriren is a Swedish newspaper that has done several investigative storys about troll factories and extremist groups in Sweden. The latest story is about ‘Granskning Sverige’, a troll factory that a reporter infiltrated under several months. After that the paper also has investigated the biggest hate speech-group on Facebook ’Stå upp för Sverige’. For The Swedish troll factory the reporter have been nominated to Stora Journalistpriset in Sweden, and it can be read here.

Gunnar Hökmark is the chariman of Stockholm Free World Forum. Previously Gunnar was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), for the Moderate Party,  served as Secretary of the Moderate Party from 1991 to 1999, was a Member of the Riksdag (MP) for Stockholm County from 1982 to 2004, and was the vice Chairman of the EPP Group, the largest group in the European Parliament.

Henrik Sundbom is an independent media consultant and researcher. He is an Associate fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, where he currently is researching Influence Operations in the Eastern Partnership Countries, editor in chief of the news portal Idagora and former editor in chief of Frivärld Magazine.

Jessikka Aro is an awarded investigative reporter with the Finnish Broadcasting Company’s social media project Yle Kioski. Aro is specialized in Russia, extremism and information warfare, and she became the target of a still ongoing international propaganda and hate speech campaign while revealing pro-Kremlin social media trolls in her series of articles starting in 2014. Aro is currently writing an investigative book about Russia’s information warfare and training a variety of audiences to recognize and counter online disinformation.

Katarina Tracz is the director at the Stockholm Free World Forum. She possesses wide experience in foreign and security policy analysis, focusing particularly on security in the Nordic-Baltic region. She is an active contributor to the debate on foreign and security policy in Swedish and international media, and has published several reports, articles and OP-EDs in major Swedish newspapers. Besides working for SFWF, she is an International Research Fellow at the McCain Institute for International Leadership in Washington DC. Katarina is the author of the book The Sea of Peace? Increased Tensions Around the Baltic Seawhich was released in June 2015. In 2017, Katarina was awarded with The Marshall Memorial Fellowship.

Martin Kragh is Head of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. Kragh’s research interests include Russia’s economy and history, but also the political development in Russia and the former USSR. Martin Kragh holds a PhD from the Stockholm School of Economics (2009) and is associate professor (docent) at the Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies. Kragh is also research leader for the Uppsala Forum on Democracy, Peace and Justice, member of the board of the Sverker Åström Foundation and a former member of the board of directors of Transparency International Sweden (2012-2016).

Mikael Tofvesson is acting deputy head of Coordination and Operations department at the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB). He is responsible for MSB activities to identify and counter information influence activities and leads the agency’s efforts to protect the Swedish election 2018 from influence operations.

Patrik Oksanen is a political editor and an award-winning editorial writer in the MittMedia Newsgroup focusing on security and defence. He has been writing extensively on Information warfare and Russian influence operations both in MittMedia, but also for Expressen and Svenska Dagbladet. Oksanen also contributed to Frivärld’s anthology “Trolltider” in 2016.

Peter Pomerantsev is a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Institute of Global Affairs at the London School of Economics, an author and TV producer. He specialises on propaganda and media development, and has testified on the challenges of information war to the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the UK Parliament Defense Select Committee. He writes for publications including the Financial Times, London Review of Books, Politico, Atlantic and many others. His book on Russian propaganda, Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, won the 2016 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, was nominated for the Samuel Johnson, Guardian First Book, Pushkin House and Gordon Burns Prizes.