Former President of Iceland—and the world’s first democratically elected female president—Vigdís Finnbogadóttir will turn 80 on April 15.
Former President of Iceland Vigdís Finnbogadóttir. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
In celebration of this event, the conference “Preserving the Future: Sustainability of Language, Culture and Nature” which will take place in Reykjavík, April 15-17.
The conference is held by the Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages at the University of Iceland; the former president is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Languages.
The conference will consist of keynote and plenary presentations as well as parallel sessions. The sessions are organized by the different languages within the institute in addition to individual presenters.
According to the conference’s website, keynote speakers include: Former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari, Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova, Professor Bernard Comrie, Director of the Department of Linguistics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Professor Claire Kramsch, Director of the Berkeley Language Center, University of California, Berkeley and Professor Páll Skúlason, former Rector at the University of Iceland.
A special birthday celebration will be held in, Háskólabíó, the University of Iceland Cinema on April 15 at the invitation of various institutions which Finnbogadóttir has worked with in the past years.
The program includes speeches and music. The house opens at 3:30 am and the celebration will be broadcast on television from 4:30 to 6 pm.
Those who would like to participate in giving the former president a birthday present are welcome to support an international project which she has relentlessly worked on in the past years, establishing a World Language Center in Iceland.
Click here to read more about the project and the upcoming conference.