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Özlem Cekic

Speaker, Author, Former Nurse & Politician
Country: Denmark

Keynote speaker Özlem Cekic is highly sought-after for her insights into integration of immigrants and diversity in the workplace. She rose from humble beginnings to become a nurse, politician and well-known debater. Now a keynote speaker Özlem Cekic draws from her personal and professional experiences to deliver her clear message of breaking down barriers and creating understanding across cultures – with practical tips so audience members can take action.

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As an author and speaker Özlem Cekic is passionate about helping people break down barriers and build connections between cultures. For several years in a row, Özlem has been named a debate thought-leader by Denmark’s political newspaper. Her insights are influential and widely valued. She has a social media following of over 85K individuals and has been featured on bbc.

Özlem has, for many years, had a direct influence on the political agenda in Denmark. Firstly as a psychiatric ward nurse, when she became the first individual with a minority background to be elected onto the Danish Nursing Association’s board. Then as an elected member of parliament, where she became well known for sticking to her essential values – despite meeting resistance. Speaker Özlem Cekic may have left the world of politics, but she believes she can make even more of a difference now that she is free from party-politics.

Speaker Özlem Cekic’s talks are always well-received by her clients and audience members. In particular, audiences appreciate her intimate and personal speaking style – and her ability to see eye to eye with her audience whether they be students, leaders or employees. Wherever she is, she truly listens to and understands people – private individuals, schools and public workplaces alike. A talk by Özlem reflects her well-rounded perspective on cultural diversity in her personal experiences across both the workplace and in the healthcare system.

    Speaker Özlem Cekic Keynote Topic

    How can we build bridges across cultures?

    • The world is experiencing a wave of refugees – and the number of immigrants is increasing. Never before has there been such a strong need for common understanding between communties within a country. We need to create understanding despite differences.
    • Özlem’s motto is that despite our differences, we have more that brings us together than pushes us apart. In her experience, conflicts arise due to the absence of a democratic debate between people. Talking things through is how Özlem believes we will find common ground between different cultures.
    • Staying true to her motto Özlem Cekic has visited a variety of people – both ones with common values and those she had completely opposite beliefs from. She calls it a ”discussion cafe” where the goal isn’t to convince the opposition of your point, but to listen, understand and get a discussion going. In the end you can create solutions that work for everyone and create a common understanding.
    • Lets build bridges instead of digging graves. Özlem tells the story of how she met with right-wing extremists, immigrants who refuse to integrate, islamist extremists and conservative christian priests. The thing all they have in common is that most people don’t want to talk to them, and most people choose to ignore their arguments because they are tough to listen to.
    • Speaker Özlem Cekic provides ideas for how schools, as well as public and private workplaces can build bridges between cultures and help individuals rise in society.
    • Possible angles: 1) How can you give boys with a minority background a positive future? 2) Headscarf – freedom or oppression? 3) How can we get immigrants to vote?

    Social Integration in the Workplace – How can we build bridges between employee groups?

    • Due to an increasing number of immigrants in both private and public workplaces, there are more employees with diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds than ever before.
    • It’s essential for both employees and managers to have a common understanding bridging any cultural differences, so they can enjoy the many benefits of a culturally diverse workplace.
    • This talk contains practical ideas for how public and private institutions can build bridges between their employees and create more individuals who rise from their beginnings and contribute to society. In addition, Özlem gives great advice for how workplaces create a common understanding between employees with different cultural backgrounds and, not least, how to break down cultural barriers and have everyone become more responsible.
      This talk is ideal for workplaces, both employee and leader group, wishing to improve the cultural integration of their employees. Özlem provides advice on how workplaces can gain benefits from diversity in their workplace. To achieve this, they need to learn conflict-handling and building bridges.

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Özlem Cekic’s Keynote Speaking Topics