Program and speakers

Against firearm-related violence in Sweden gathers researchers, decision-makers, civil society actors and public servants for two days filled with lectures, panel talks, discussions and a vibrant exchange of ideas and knowledge. Click on the button to read the program, or read more about our speakers below.

Meet our speakers!

Mehdi Adnan Mossa
Mehdi Adnan Mossa
Juliana Buzi
Juliana Buzi
Dragan Bozanic
Dragan Božanić
Maja Brancovic
Maja Brancovic
James Densley
James Densley
Arin Karapet
Arin Karapet
Balqis Lamis Khattab
Balqis Lamis Khattab
Ardavan Khoshnood
Ardavan Khoshnood
Anders Kompass
Anders Kompass
Rasmus Ling
Rasmus Ling
Erik Nord
Erik Nord
Karin Olofsson
Karin Olofsson
Joakim Palmkvist
Joakim Palmkvist
Mustafa Panshiri
Mustafa Panshiri
Porträttbild av Alexandra Pascalidou
Alexandra Pascalidou
Amir Rostami
Amir Rostami
Ann Sigvant
Ann Sigvant
Sigrun Sigurdsson
Sigrun Sigurdsson
Linn Wiklander Josefsson
Linn Wiklander Josefsson

Open space leaders

Below are the people who will lead a discussion on a chosen topic during the open space session of the first day. This list is preliminary and grows longer as we get closer to the conference. 

Paulina Brandberg
Paulina Brandberg
Non-violence project logo
Non-violence Project
Mehdi Adnan Mossa

Mehdi Adnan Mossa

Author, visionary and survivor

Mehdi Adnan Mossa is an activist and visionary who strives to change young people’s image of the criminal life – as well as the society’s attitude towards young people from marginalized areas. He has experienced himself how it is to arrive in Sweden as a child, only to face segregation and bullying. This led him to follow a criminal path for a while, before he brought himself out of it. Today he works towards making a better future for other young people with similar experiences of exclusion and frustration.

Presentation brief:

I know – this is how I grew up
Mehdi shares his story about arriving in Sweden as a young boy, falling into a criminal lifestyle and then leaving it to inspire other young people like himself to make better choices. What could have stopped him from becoming a criminal? How can the society help young people in similar conditions? 

Juliana Buzi

Juliana Buzi

Regional cooperation specialist, UNDP SEESAC

Juliana Buzi joined the UNDP SEESAC team in March 2014 and is primarily responsible for coordinating SEESAC’s regional cooperation and arms control policy related activities as well as overseeing SEESAC’s activities related to the coordination and monitoring of the Western Balkans Roadmap. She has studied at the University of Tirana as well as the Albanian Diplomatic Academy, and has previously worked for the NATO Support Agency – NSPA (former NAMSA), the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), the Mine Action and Hotspots Clearance Programme in Albania, Implementation Support Unit for the AP Mines Ban Convention with matters regarding disarmament and demining.

Presentation brief:

The monitoring of armed violence in western Balkan
Juliana and Dragan Božanić’s shared presentation provides insight into the support that SEESAC is providing to the authorities in Southeast Europe in developing and implementing evidence-based policies on arms control, which address the needs of women, men, boys and girls. The presentation will also show some of the key trends of armed violence in southeast Europe as well as the key measures taken by the region to address the misuse and illegal possession of firearms.


Panel discussion: On different strategies, their results, pros & cons
What strategies for work against armed violence and gang crime have been chosen in different countries and how successful have they been so far? What more do we want from decision makers and relevant authorities? What is missing today?

Dragan Bozanic

Dragan Božanić

Gender and research project officer, UNDP SEESAC

Mr. Dragan Božanić is the Gender and Research Project Officer at UNDP SEESAC where he is leading the gender and SALW portfolio. His current focus is on increasing capacities of institutions in South East Europe to mainstream gender in SALW control through coaching, training and research. He is the author of SEESAC’s Gender and SALW in South East Europe study. Prior to joining UNDP SEESAC in 2016, Mr. Božanić served as Gender Advisor in public administration in the Republic of Serbia.

Presentation brief:

The monitoring of armed violence in western Balkan
Dragan’s and Juliana Buzi’s shared presentation provides insight into the support that SEESAC is providing to the authorities in Southeast Europe in developing and implementing evidence-based policies on arms control, which address the needs of women, men, boys and girls. The presentation will also show some of the key trends of armed violence in southeast Europe as well as the key measures taken by the region to address the misuse and illegal possession of firearms.

Maja Brancovic

Maja Brancovic Djundic

Gender equality portfolio manager, UNDP Serbia

Maja Brancovic Djundic is Gender equality portfolio manager at UNDP:s country office in Serbia. Her role is to manage projects focused on gender-based violence and equality through cooperation with government bodies, civil society and the media. She has over 15 years experience of working against gender-based violence.

Presentation brief:

United Nations Development Programme’s project of work on combatting misuse of firearms in domestic violence
Violence against women is the most globally widespread and persistent problem in human history. Normalization of gender-based violence impacts not only its identification and early responses to it, but also lowers the willingness of individuals to report acts of violence, as well as the ability to recognize the risk factors that may result in acts of violence, or even femicide. From 2010 to 2019, at least 307 Serbian women were murdered by their husbands or partners, and the media in Serbia plays a powerful role in shaping the public attitude toward this phenomenon. In this context, UNDP in Serbia has established the group Journalists against Violence, gathering over 30 female journalists and media editors who stand up against gender-based violence in an organized, public and outspoken way. In 2020, the group conducted the Analysis of media coverage of firearm misuse in violence against women committed by men. This analysis is meant to serve as a baseline for the future work of Journalists against Violence on this issue and to engage the media in raising awareness and reducing firearm misuse in violence against women, domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence. In this presentation, Maja will tell us more about the UNDP project so far.

James Densley

James Densley

Professor and department chair of criminal justice, Metropolitan State University, and co-founder of The Violence Project

James Densley, DPhil, is Professor and Chair of the School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice at Metropolitan State University, part of the Minnesota State system (USA). He is also co-founder and co-president of The Violence Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research center. Densley has received global media attention for his work on street gangs, criminal networks, violence, and policing. He is the author of six books, including the award-winning, How Gangs Work (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), over 40 peer-reviewed articles in leading social science journals, and more than 70 book chapters, essays, and other non-refereed works in outlets such as CNN, The Guardian, LA Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. Densley earned his doctorate in sociology from the University of Oxford.

Presentation brief:

Strategies against firearm-related violence in the UK and the US
This presentation examines the theory of change and pros and cons of some of the most popular (and successful) gun and gang violence intervention programs implemented in the United Kingdom and United States, including focused deterrence models, Cure Violence street outreach and “interrupter” approaches, and hospital-based interventions that leverage pull factors away from gangs (e.g., education and employment), when push factors are heightened, after someone is violently victimized or arrested. Glasgow, Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit and public health model will also be discussed in the context of the pushes and pulls of gang membership. The presentation will further examine how and why interventions fail and the need for sustained funding, robust evaluation, and community partnerships in order to promote longstanding change.

Panel discussion: On different strategies, their results, pros & cons
What strategies for work against armed violence and gang crime have been chosen in different countries and how successful have they been so far? What more do we want from decision makers and relevant authorities? What is missing today?


Arin Karapet

Arin Karapet

Swedish parlamentarian (M)

Arin Karapet (M) is a Swedish parlamentarian since 2018, as well as a member of the social committee and the committee on justice, among others. He is often heard in media and has often criticized the Swedish system regarding segregation and the attitude towards marginalized individuals.

Participates in:

What must the Swedish government do to defeat firearm-related violence and gang-related crime?
Rasmus Ling and Arin Karapet meet on the stage to discuss what Swedish politicians and decision-makers must do to stop the spread of gang crime and firearm-related violence, and what the Swedish government and parliament should do to handle these issues.

Balqis Lamis Khattab

Balqis Lamis Khattab

Founder of Möllans Basement

Balqis Lamis Khattab is Malmö born and raised, and has worked with Swedish public television, youth recreation in Malmö and other areas. Moreover, she has 10 years worth of experience of meeting young people who are at risk of being exposed to crime. Through her efforts she has helped over 300 young adults to find employment and an alternative to a life in crime, accomplishments for which she has been honoured with several awards. 

Watch Balqis’ introduction film:

Watch the film about Möllans Basement:

Presentation brief:

Break out session: Möllans Basement
Möllans Basement provides help and advice to young people, for example in writing a resume and finding employment through a wide network of contacts. It is similar to a youth recreation center, with the aim to find employment and a sense of purpose for young adults who lack the resources to get there by themselves. The founder of Möllans Basement, Balqis Lamis Khattab, has received several awards for her initiative and has so far contributed to finding employment and alternatives to crime for over 300 young adults. 

Ardavan Khoshnood

Ardavan Khoshnood

Criminologist, researcher, emergency physician and docent in emergency healthcare

Ardavan Khoshnood has a rich experience from a multitude of areas. He is an associate professor of Emergency Medicine at Lund University, and holds an advanced degree in Criminology and Political Science at Malmö University, as well as a degree in Intelligence Analysis from Lund University. Ardavan’s research focus have been severe violent crimes, offender profiling, criminal intelligence and foreign intelligence organizations.

Presentation brief:

The increase of firearm-related violence in Sweden: what does the research tell us?
The number of shootings and fatal shootings in Sweden has increased significantly in the last decade. The police’s many efforts over the years have had various results. In addition to the fact that these shootings cause enormous suffering for all involved and not least society, this increase in violent crime can also have serious implications for Sweden’s security.

Panel discussion: On different strategies, their results, pros & cons
What strategies for work against armed violence and gang crime have been chosen in different countries and how successful have they been so far? What more do we want from decision makers and relevant authorities? What is missing today?


Anders Kompass

Anders Kompass

Anders Kompass, former UN official, former Swedish ambassador to Guatemala and chairman of the board of IM Sweden

Anders Kompass is a former Swedish diplomat and United Nations official. In 2014 he received global attention after his reveal of several incidents of sexual child abuse conducted by UN employees in Central African Republic. After serving as Swedish ambassador to Guatemala since 2017, Anders Kompass has retired from his duties in 2020. In 2021 he took on the role of chairman for the board of IM Sweden.

Presentation brief:

What can Sweden learn from the work against firearm-related violence in Central America?
Gang crime and gun violence have deep roots in the countries of Central America. Central America has been long suffering from firearm-related violence. This presentation will focus on how the governments in Central America are working against such issues and what Sweden could learn from their work.

Rasmus Ling

Rasmus Ling

Swedish parlamentarian (Mp)

Rasmus Ling (Mp) comes from Mamö and is a member of the Swedish parliament since 2014. He is migration policy spokesperson and member of the green party’s board, as well as a member of the parliamentarian justice committee, constitution committee and more.

Participates in:

What must the Swedish government do to defeat firearm-related violence and gang-related crime? 
Rasmus Ling and Arin Karapet meet on the stage to discuss what Swedish politicians and decision-makers must do to stop the spread of gang crime and firearm-related violence, and what the Swedish government and parliament should do to handle these issues.

Erik Nord

Erik Nord

Chief of police in the greater Gothenburg area

Erik Nord grew up in Gothenburg and has been a police officer since 1982. Starting in 2014, he is chief of police in Gothenburg and has been designated as the city’s most powerful man. He is often quoted in media and has been interviewed by foreign journalists about gang crime in Sweden.

Participates in:

Panel discussion on different strategies, their results, pros & cons
What strategies for work against armed violence and gang crime have been chosen in different countries and how successful have they been so far? What more do we want from decision makers and relevant authorities? What is missing today?

Karin Olofsson

Karin Olofsson

Secretary general of Parliamentary forum on small arms and light weapons (PFSALW)

Karin Olofsson is Secretary General of the Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons. She has worked in the field of peace, security and development for more than 15 years. During 10 years she worked at the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida, including positions at the Swedish Embassies in Colombia and Guatemala and formerly within civil society organisations. Karin has an academic background as political scientist, Master’s Degree.

Presentation brief:

Karin Olofsson’s speech topic will be added soon.

Joakim Palmkvist

Joakim Palmkvist

Crime reporter, journalist and author

Photographer: Sofia Runarsdotter

Joakim Palmkvist is a swedish journalist and author that has received national attention for his reports on severe gang criminality and other crimes such as murder. He is currently working as a crime reporter for Sydsvenska Dagbladet and has written the book Maffiakrig (mafia war) about gang criminality in Malmö and how it has affected the city’s identity.

Presentation brief:

The development of criminal networks in Sweden: a 100 year perspective
Joakim Palmkvist gives an overview of gang crime in Sweden from a 100 year wide perspective. He analyzes the factors that have driven the three waves of organized crime that have hit us in the past, and talks about the coming fourth wave. The lecture is rich in examples and and anecdotes from Joakim’s long experience as a crime reporter.

Mustafa Panshiri

Mustafa Panshiri

Public speaker and former police officer

Mustafa Panshiri is a former police officer who has visited more than 250 municipalities and spoken to ten thousands of newcomers. His own background of arriving in Sweden as a young immigrant is an inspiration to everyone listening, including politicians and decision-makers.

Presentation brief:

The importance of learning the codes and values of a new home country
Mustafa Panshiri highlights the importance of addressing young immigrants and children of immigrants about Swedish culture and values. How does one become part of a society? What is the “racism of low expectations”, and how should one approach people who don’t want to become integrated into the Swedish community?

Porträttbild av Alexandra Pascalidou

Alexandra Pascalidou

Author, journalist and human rights champion

Photographer: Thron Ullberg

Alexandra Pascalidou is a multiple award-winning media personality and human rights champion. Over the years, she has worked as a journalist, TV- and Radio-presenter and producer, playwright, actress, speaker, moderator, board member etcetera. Alexandra is a storyteller who aims to highlight human values through her books, articles, documentaries, plays and lectures. Human dignity and diversity is always at the core of her struggles.

Presentation brief:

The mothers
Throughout history all mothers – From Mother Earth to Virgin Mary and Mother Svea – have had one thing in common: they rarely have spoken. Until now. In this presentation you meet mothers living in Sweden’s poorest, most marginalised and stigmatised suburbs, known as no-go zones. These mothers come from all corners of the globe and weave a fabric of the world in Sweden. Meet mothers who carried their children closest to the hearts and woke up in the middle of the night by policemen announcing that their children were murdered. It brings up violence, grief, and struggle – but most of all, a mother’s love for her children. It’s time to listen to the mothers!

Amir Rostami

Amir Rostami

Docent and associate professor in criminology

Amir Rostami holds a PhD in sociology from Stockholm University and is associate professor and senior lecturer in criminology at the University of Gävle. He is also researcher at the Institute for Futures Studies and Research Fellow at Rutgers University, Miller Center for community protection and resilience. Rostami has previously served as a superintendent in the Swedish police force and is also a seated member of the IACP Homeland Security Committee. Rostami’s main research interest is the social organizing dimensions of criminal phenomena such as organized crime and violent extremism. 

Presentation brief:

Organized antagonism in Sweden: where violent threats intertwine 
Over the past 30 years, Sweden has witnessed a growth in criminal gangs and violent extremism. Gun violence and the use of explosives in criminal conflicts are also on the rise. In a comparative perspective, the rate of gun homicide victimization among males 15 to 29 years old is higher in Sweden compared to other Western European countries. Simultaneously Sweden is among the European countries with the highest number of foreign fighters per capita who have joined terror organizations such as Al-Qaeda and Daesh. Criminal gangs, gun violence and violent extremism are prevalent, partially overlapping phenomena that constitute serious social challenges. This presentation is focusing on the development of serious violent threats in Sweden and its consequences for policy and practice.

Ann Sigvant

Ann Sigvant

Operations manager, Boost by FC Rosengård

Ann Sigvant is the operations manager of Boost: an NGO founded by FC Rosengård, one of Sweden’s most famous soccer teams. Boost is a successful example of how to get individuals from high risk areas more active and included in society by offering alternative life choices and occupation. 

Watch Ann’s introduction film:

Watch the film about Boost by FC Rosengård:

Participates in:

Break out session: Boost by FC Rosengård
Boost is an NGO founded by one of Sweden’s most famous soccer clubs. Boost has made great progress working with young people in exposed areas in Malmö by supporting them to find sustainable alternatives to crime and gun violence. After years of hard work, Boost’s good results might give us a clue to what the key factors are in defeating firearm-related violence and gang crime.

Sigrun Sigurdsson

Sigrun Sigurdsson

Chairwoman of Malmö Tigers Wrestling Team

Sigrun Sigurdsson is the chairwoman of Malmö Tigers Wrestling in Rosengård, Malmö: a wrestling team that offers young people a meaningful and active spare time activity and a sense of social inclusion. She has a 15-year experience of finding ways to include young people in employment and studies, previously by working at Fryshuset and the Swedish employment agency. She has also been a reference person to the project Sluta Skjut (Stop the shootings) in Malmö.

See Sigrun’s introduction:

See the film about Malmö Tigers Wrestling Team:

Participates in:

Break out session: Malmö Tigers Wrestling Team
Malmö Tigers Wrestling is located in Rosengård, Malmö, which is one of Sweden’s most vulnerable areas. The club gives young people a sense of social inclusion, at the same time as having a zero tolerance policy against crime, drug use and violence. However, they face significant challenges in keeping their young members, since they are competing with criminal networks that constantly try to recruit more young people. Sigrun’s take on this is that they must be better at recruiting than the gangs, which requires that they build trust and openness with the youth as well as with their parents.

Linn Wiklander Josefsson

Linn Wiklander Josefsson

Youth councelor, Nacka Municipality support center for youth exposed to crime

Linn Wiklander Josefsson is a behavioral scientist and criminologist who is currently employed as a youth councelor in the municipality of Nacka, Sweden. As councelor she gives support to young individuals who have encountered crime in various ways. For example, they can be the victim of a crime, be at risk of getting involved in or committing crime, or be suspected of committing crime.

Presentation brief:

Support Center for youth exposed to crime in Nacka
Nacka municipality has developed a support and assistance platform for victims of crime, who are often themselves involved in crime. Many support initiatives focus on legal issues, this support center offers psychological help, help in contacts with authorities, mediation etc. What are the key factors to their good results?

Paulina Brandberg

Paulina Brandberg

Prosecutor and columnist

Paulina Brandberg is a prosecutor at the Swedish Prosecution Authority’s National unit against international and organized crime in Stockholm. Apart from this, she often participates in the public debate about justice policy, for example as an independent columnist in the Swedish newspaper Expressen. She is also an active member of the Swedish political party Liberalerna. 

Paulina Brandberg will participate in the Open Space session on the first day on the topic: What can we do to stop the recruitment of young people to criminal gangs?

Non-violence project

Global non-profit organisation

Non-violence project is a global NGO with the mission to inspire, motivate and engage youth to understand how to solve conflicts peacefully. They have educated and trained more than 8 million students, teachers and sports coaches in over 30 countries since 1993, and are now operating in 11 countries on 5 continents. They own and cherish the rights to the sculpture Non-Violence by artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd, one of the world’s most best known symbols for peace with its original placed outside the UN Headquarters in New York. 

Non-violence project will participate as discussion leaders during the open space session. Their discussion topic will be announced soon.

 

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For general questions about the conference, please contact:
Yi-Wen Chen, project manager
yi-wen.chen@piku.se

For inquiries about partnership, please contact:
Ingrid Haraldsson, CEO of Piku
ingrid.haraldsson@piku.se
+46 733 53 00 94