Registration for the World Humanist Congress 2023 is now open

  • Date / 6 December 2022

Join us in 2023 for the World Humanist Congress to explore the theme: “Building better democracies through humanist values”

The congress will take place at the Scandic Copenhagen Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark from Friday 4 August 2023 to Sunday 6 August 2023, with optional pre-congress events taking place in the days leading up (see the program below). This is the first time humanists will meet for a world congress since 2014 in Oxford, UK.

The congress is being organized on behalf of Humanists International by the following five Nordic humanist organizations:

  • Danish Humanist Society (Humanistisk Samfund) (host)
  • Norwegian Humanist Association (Human-Etisk Forbund)
  • Humanists Sweden (Humanisterna)
  • Humanists Iceland (Siðmennt)
  • The Union of Freethinkers, Finland (Vapaa ajattelijat)

Find out more about the WHC2023

What is the World Humanist Congress?

The World Humanist Congress is the largest gathering of humanists from around the globe.

The theme of the 2023 congress is “Building Better Democracies Through Humanist Values”. Democracy is one of the core values of humanism. These are the very first words of Humanist International’s Minimum Statement: “Humanism is a democratic, non-theistic, and ethical life stance”.

Democracy is threatened on many fronts in the world today. We will examine some of the threats but first and foremost we will focus on how humanist values and practices can contribute to building and supporting strong and well-functioning democracies.

You can read more about the subject of the congress here.

Who is speaking at the WHC2023?

Speakers include:

  • Sandi Toksvig, Danish-British women’s rights and LGBTQ+ activist, and prominent writer, comedian and broadcaster on British radio, stage and television, known from QI and The Great British Bake Off.
  • Nazila Ghanea, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion and belief and Associate Professor in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Kellogg College.
  • Abid Raja, Chair of the steering group of The International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief (IPPFoRB). Member of the Norwegian Parliament and former minister of Culture and Equality.
  • Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe 2009-2019, former Prime Minister of Norway, President of the Norwegian parliament, and chair of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee.
  • Lars-Fr. H. Svendsen, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Bergen, Norway, whose books are translated into 30 languages. In 2022 he received the prestigious German Philosophical Book Award for A Philosophy of Loneliness.
  • Hulda Thorisdottir, Associate Professor in the Psychology and Political Science Departments at the University of Iceland. Political psychologist who studies conspiracy theories.
    Sofia Näsström, professor political science Uppsala universitet, Sweden. Author of “The Spirit of Democracy: Corruption, Disintegration, Renewal” (Oxford University Press 2021)

There will be a long list of other speakers and panelists from within and outside of the humanist movement, including Andrew Copson, Elizabeth O’Casey, Trond Enger, Lois Lee, Atko Remmel, Babu Gogineni, Vikas Gora, and many others, waiting to be confirmed.

Though humanists have met online and on regional and local levels since 2014, this is the first time in nine years we will come together as a movement. We need to consolidate ourselves in a changing world. And we need a humanist conversation on who we are going to be as a movement in the world of today – and tomorrow.

Thus we have made it a priority of the congress to mainly use speakers from within the movement – to facilitate that humanist conversation, and to reacquaint us as a global movement with at least some of the aspects that make us who we are.

The program will be updated on a rolling basis here.

Who can attend the WHC2023?

Anyone who identifies with the humanist life stance is welcome to attend, including:

  • Delegates from Member Organizations and Associates of Humanists International
  • Individual supporters of Humanists International
  • Members of non-affiliated groups and organizations who identify with the humanist life stance
  • Other individuals who identify with the humanist life stance
  • Young humanists

It will be possible for delegates from Member Organizations to apply for travel grants through Humanists International.

The majority of the program is open to all attendees, with the exception of the Humanists International General Assembly, which is for appointed delegates only. A separate registration is required for the General Assembly.

Program at a glance


  • 31 July, Monday to 3 August, Thursday: Social activities in Copenhagen and at our community house. Read more about the social program here.
  • 3 August, Thursday: Optional European Humanist Professionals workshops: Ceremonies, education, chaplaincy (separate registration at a later date)
  • 3 August, Thursday: Humanists International General Assembly (for appointed delegates only – separate registration required)
  • 4 August, Friday: Congress opening. Plenary sessions and two six-part breakout sessions on different topics.
  • 5 August, Saturday: Congress continues with plenaries and two six-part breakout sessions on different topics. In the evening: Congress dinner and awards.
  • 6 August, Sunday: Congress closes with three plenary sessions.
  • 6 August, Sunday: Humanists International General Assembly part 2 from 14:00. (for appointed delegates only – separate registration required)

Check out all recent developments to the program on our website: WHC2023.com

“We are very much looking forward to this. It has been nine years! We hope to see a wide variety of humanists joining us in Copenhagen”

Gary McLelland, Chief Executive of Humanists International

Register today

You can find out more and book your place for the 2023 World Humanist Congress through the dedicated congress website (opens in a new window). If you have any queries, please email: [email protected]

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