GCD 15: Larvik, Norway

Diversity & Immigration

16-20 September 2020

Welcome to GCD 15 in Larvik, Norway! The local hosts for this year are Piotr Pluta, Polish psychologist and colleague here in Norway, and myself. This will be our pleasure. Larvik is my home city. I moved back in 1996 after studies and 10 years of work in Tromsø, Northern Norway. The city of Larvik is on the coast, 130 km (80 miles) south-east of Oslo. 45 000 inhabitants.

Norway is not a part of the European Union. There is as far as I know no visa issues for any of the relevant countries where you leave from. Norway is stretching about 2500 km (1550 miles) from the south to the north-eastern part, implying that weather and temperature is very different in different parts of the country.

Larvik is positioned in the south of Norway. At the lower part you see the peninsula of Denmark where the boat leaves from Hirtshals for those who want to travel by car.

This GCD is hosted by Bjørn Z. Ekelund, and also on behalf of Piotr Piuta. If you wish to attend, please ask by writing to Joel Brown (joel@pneumos.com) or Kelli McCloud-Schingen (kelli@kmsintercultural.com) before 1 June 2020, after which registration will be closed. There will be a restricted number of 25 participants. You will always receive feedback on your mail.

Dates: GCD starts the evening (7pm-ish) of Wednesday 16th Sept – until Sunday 20th lunch /noon.

Flow: Open Space will be the format during the days. The evenings will mostly be arranged with some activities related to the local community.

Topics: In Norway, diversity issues related to immigration, are an important topic – and we will make sure that guests and panel dialogues at Thursday night will be connected to this area of diversity challenges. Hopefully it can lead to a positive learning experiences both ways.

Cost: We estimated 500 Euro – which includes lodging and food for the GCD.

Location: The birthplace of Thor Heyerdahl. Thor Heyerdahl is a world explorer, a man that is known for Kon-Tiki expedition in 1947, the engagement for the pollution of the ocean and the most world known Norwegian person. We will have meeting rooms in the birthplace of Thor Heyerdahl and may visit a nearby innovation house for panel meeting and dinner on Thursday, connecting with people at the local innovation hub. You can read more about the house and Thor Heyerdahl:

 

Accommodation: At the house of Thor Heyerdahl 3 bedrooms for 6 people are available. Others can be accommodated in a hotel/B&B nearby, single/double/triple rooms: https://www.chambres-hotes.fr/chambres-hotes_tollgaarden-gjestegaard_larvik_h2568423_en.htm. Both places are in walking distance (200-400 metres) from the railway station.

More about Larvik: https://www.visitvestfold.com/en/larvik/

Travel: Local railway station connects more than each hour with the following TWO airports:

  • Oslo Airport, (OSL) 35 km north of Oslo: https://www.oslo-airport.com/. There is a train station at the airport where train leaves at least every hour to Larvik. It will last about 2.20 hour and you buy ticket at the train station of at the train for about 5 Euro extra. Train ticket from Oslo Airport to Larvik is about 40 Euro one way.

  • Sandefjord Torp Airport (TRF), The other airport is only 15 km north of Larvik: https://www.torp.no/en/frontpage/?lang=en_GB. There is a free shuttle bus that in 5 min will take you to the train station that in 20 min will bring you to Larvik, every hour. This airport is connected with Star Alliance through Copenhagen and KLM / Air France through Amsterdam + different less relevant airlines). Prices varies a lot due to which days of the week, time of the day and connecting flights.

  • Cars can be rented at airports with all major rental companies like for example Avis and Hertz. In Sandefjord you can search: https://www.discovercars.com/norway/sandefjord?keyword=car%20rental%20sandefjord&network=g&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIiv2vwKLO5wIVVuDtCh1tggNoEAAYBCAAEgLN3fD_BwE

  • For participants that want to drive to Norway from Europe, there is a direct boat from Hirtshals, Denmark to Larvik twice a day that takes about 4 hours.

 

Good to Know:

  • Almost everyone speaks English, as a second language.

  • Cash is rarely used, use standard credit cards. Mastercard and Visa accepted all over, Amex most places. Currency in Norway is “Kroner” (NOK). Today 1  US dollar is about 9.26 NOK, and 1 Euro around 10.02  NOK. All service-related activities and alcohol are very expensive. Public transport is easy accessible in urban areas.

  • Larvik railway station is connected to our national railway system. It takes about 1.45 hour to Oslo, 8 hours to Bergen (one of the most beautiful train trips), 10 hours to Trondheim and 21 hours to Bodø. From both airports there are flights possible in direction of many other airports in Norway.

 

Suggestions for personal activities before and after the GCD: The most frequent tourist activities in Norway include the following below:

 

  • Visit Oslo, look at the Viking museum, Holmenkollen and the sculpture park.

  • Take the train to Bergen, and visit the fjords on the west-coast either with Hurtigruten or by bus and train. If you have time; Hurtigruten take you in 6 days from Bergen throughout the coast to the Russian Border – and back again if you want: https://www.hurtigruten.com.

  • Visit North-Norway; Lofoten, Tromsø (rather expensive and time consuming – but fantastic if you want to see spectacular scenery).

  • Larvik is a place that has been of importance in different periods of Norwegian history. The first city in Norway established here year 790. We will make sure you will be informed and see and visit some of these relevant places if you have more time.

 

Tromsø is the the capital of Northern Norway, 70 000 inhabitants 500 km (300 miles) north of the polar circle. Mean temperature in Sept is 8°C (44°F) (https://en.climate-data.org/europe/norway/troms/troms%C3%B8-71/) .

 

See the location of Tromsø on the left.

 

Larvik, like Oslo and Bergen, is in the country’s southern part and thus much warmer. Mean temperature in September is 14°C (57°F) (https://weatherspark.com/y/68703/Average-Weather-in-Larvik-Norway-Year-Round)

 

*Some of you might want to meet some people and organizations because of your special interests. Please inform us, and we will make sure to connect you to the right people.

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