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Shaping a New Future: Katrin Oddsdottir

When Iceland’s economic crisis hit in 2008, young human rights lawyer Katrin Oddsdottir was one of the first to speak out against the government leaders that had failed to prevent the crisis. The Pots-and-Pans Revolution, as the protests came to be known, resulted in the resignation of the government and the creation of a coalition government, lead by Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir. One of the first moves the new government made was to revive the balanced values that had made Iceland successful in the first place by creating a new constitution.

Katrin was one of 25 citizens from various backgrounds elected to facilitate the constitution’s creation. Using social media, they took suggestions from people around the country on what they would like to see included. The protection of Iceland’s natural resources was given high priority, along with sharing and protecting Iceland’s language, arts and history. There was also a lot of emphasis on human rights, securtiy and equality. The theme of balance was woven throughout the discussions. As Katrin stated, “I think we were looking for a way to go back to the time when there was more gender balance.” The new constitution was posted on the Internet for further debate, and was approved in a country wide referendum in late 2012.

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