4: Values & Strategies

4: Values & Strategies

This section includes:

4.1 Inclusion Strategy
4.1.2 #YouAreIncluded
4.2 Fair & Inclusive Play
4.3 Sustainability
4.4 Music Strategy

Copenhagen 2021’s values were based on inclusion, visibility of all, and norm criticism. It was expressed in the desire to always include all people, the desire to improve the living conditions of LGBTI+ people by highlighting the barriers that they meet worldwide, and not least the desire to criticise the notions that limit the ability of people to live and love freely and openly.

We existed by the mantra #YouAreIncluded and our mission was to be fully inclusive in our event and in order to achieve that, we sought to live our own values – every day.

Our entire team had to help each other to ensure the well-being in the workplace, as well as represent the association externally to both our partners. It was therefore important that all employees show respectable behaviour, act professionally and responsibly towards each other, as well as towards partners and participants.

It was expected, and required, that all speak nicely and in a good tone to each other, and just as importantly, about each other. We believe that happy and focused employees ensure a good working environment and help to create a good workplace for everyone, and should misunderstandings or disagreements arise, we highlighted the importance of bringing this to the immediate manager so that the problem could be resolved – honestly, openly, and as quickly as possible.

Therefore, we neither could or would tolerate any form of bullying, exclusion or behaviour that may infringe on the dignity of other people – not in the office, not anywhere. Our values stated that if bullying or harassment was drawn to the attention of the management, they would immediately stop such behaviour. Employees who felt infringed in any form could contact the management at any time, who would treat all complaints seriously and confidentially.

We sought to teach Denmark, Sweden and the world how to be inclusive, and therefore we needed to show that we would include and accept everyone, but just as importantly, we needed to show ourselves and our colleagues that we would go the extra mile to respect and include each other and assure a good work environment – for everyone.

4.1 Inclusion strategy

When establishing our organisation, we fully committed to equality and diversity in all of our activities, including in recruitment of board and staff members and volunteers. We recognised that diversity brings valuable authenticity and experience to our organisation.

We actively opposed any discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, sex, gender identity, disability, appearance, nationality, national or ethnic origin, refugee status, religion or belief, marital/partnership or family status, sexual orientation, age, pregnancy and maternity, social class, educational background, employment status or any other irrelevant factor. Diversity and inclusion were core values for Copenhagen 2021, and we strived for this to be reflected in our team make-up.

We expected all board and staff members and volunteers to reflect this policy in every aspect of their work with Copenhagen 2021.

4.1.2 #YouAreIncluded

YouAreIncluded was the overarching theme for Copenhagen 2021 WorldPride and EuroGames. It was conceived as a direct message to LGBTI+ people around the world that they are included, welcomed, and appreciated in the event. Furthermore, the hashtag became a campaign intended to highlight the situation for LGBTI+ people around the globe.

The idea for #YouAreIncluded came about over a beer at Jailhouse, an LGBTI+ bar in Copenhagen. Paul Brummitt from Pan Idræt was with Peter Hylleberg, the graphic designer behind Happy Copenhagen’s first logo, and the two were trying to come up with a tagline for Copenhagen 2021 to add to the logo. They talked about how ‘love’ had been a theme many years in a row, and not that there is anything wrong with that, quite the opposite. They wanted a tagline that showed that people were included, and then the words just fell naturally into place.

Paul introduced the idea of #YouAreIncluded, to Søren Aare Jensen, Project Manager at Pan Idræt, and Lars Henriksen, chairperson of Copenhagen Pride. They agreed that often it is the simplest things that work and with this slogan, the two owner organisations wanted to send a direct message to people that they wanted them to not only feel loved and included but actually be included.

Worldwide, LGBTI+ people continue to face discrimination, exclusion, and even criminalization of their sexuality, gender identity, or gender expression. Being such a significant LGBTI+ event, we wanted to use our platform to raise the voices of LGBTI+ people everywhere through the #YouAreIncluded campaign. The message was made to ensure that no one feels left out and that all voices are heard – those that are not part of the acronym can still be part of the sense of community by showing their support for LGBTI+ rights. Of course, neither Denmark nor Sweden is perfect, and the Copenhagen 2021 platform was used to give the stage to those who are advocating for improvement both locally and around the world.

One of the messages behind the theme is the importance of everyone being able to see themselves reflected in it – to actually feel included. The conflicts that arise from inside and outside of the community are often based on exclusion, and that needs to change.

The voices and experiences of LGBTI+ people all over the globe needed to be heard, and with Copenhagen 2021 being the most significant global LGBTI+ event in 2021, we felt it was exactly what the platform needed to be used for. These voices added meaning and urgency to the fight for human rights in Copenhagen and brought to life the demands contained in the Øresund Declaration – with ambitious goals for global LGBTI+ equality by 2030.

The campaign also enabled Copenhagen 2021 to reach people who are unable to attend the physical events in Copenhagen and Malmö, whether for reasons related to travel costs, visa restrictions, or uncertainties caused by the pandemic. With this theme and campaign, we wanted to show that no matter where you are, who you love, or how you identify, #YouAreIncluded at Copenhagen 2021.

4.2 Fair and inclusive play

It was Copenhagen 2021’s ambition to create a welcoming and inclusive EuroGames that encouraged people to exercise and be healthy and to create a community fellowship and thus build quality of life for all participants.

The challenges for those groups in society whose sexuality and/or gender identity does not coincide with the majority are still significant. Studies of living conditions suggest that sexuality- and/or gender minorities are over-represented in terms of loneliness, depression, alcohol abuse and smoking. Through EuroGames, Copenhagen 2021 strived to create a safe environment where all participants could meet and compete with like-minded people.

Copenhagen 2021 affirmed and supported the rights of athletes to compete as their true selves and to compete in the gender category that accords with their gender identity. Male categories are open to all who identify as male, and female categories open to all who identify as female. We recognise that a binary definition of gender excludes people who are non-binary, and so in those sports where there are different gender categories, we opened a third category for non-binary athletes.

Read: Fair Play Policy

EuroGames 2021 aimed for full inclusion, but without fairness and trustworthiness we ruin the spirit of the game. Fairness is an essential and central part of successful involvement, promotion and development in both sport and life, and can teach people tolerance and respect for others. Through fair play in sport, we aimed to give hope, pride and identity, and to unite all groups at EuroGames 2021.

EuroGames 2021 were built on these mantras:

  • Fair competition: To enjoy the fruits of success, it is not enough to win. Triumph must be measured by absolute fair means, honesty and fair play.
  • Respect: For every athlete, playing by the written rules for the particular sport is mandatory and respecting the unwritten ones is a must. Fair play demands unconditional respect for opponents, fellow players, referees and spectators.
  • Friendship: Rivalry on the field does not exclude friendship. On the contrary, friendship can grow from noble rivalries.
  • Team spirit: Individuals can be strong on their own, but they are much stronger in a team. Sharing the moment of victory with your team as well as opponents are instrumental to fair play in EuroGames 2021.
  • Equality: Competing on equal terms is essential for EuroGames 2021. Otherwise, performance cannot be measured properly. We acknowledge all identities, while all still must compete on equal and fair terms.
  • Integrity: Being honest and participating with strong moral principles are essential to fair play. Practicing sport within a sound ethical framework is vital for all participants in EuroGames 2021.
  • Solidarity: It is important to support each other, and mutual support brings mutual success on and off the court. We therefore show solidarity with our opponents and accept differences.
  • Tolerance: The willingness to accept behavior or decisions you might not agree with strengthens fair play. All participants must therefore show tolerance towards decisions made by judges, umpires, heads of competition and other officials.
  • Joy: Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Olympic Games said: “The important thing in life is not the triumph, but the fight. The essential thing is not to have won, but to have fought well.”

Competition can be intense, but we asked all participants in EuroGames 2021 to always first look for joy when competing at any of the sports. Also, never to forget about fair play even in the heat of the competition.

Furthermore, EuroGames 2021 was aligned with the Anti-Doping Policy of Anti-Doping Denmark. Read: Anti-Doping Policy

4.3: Sustainability

Copenhagen 2021 was delivered with focus on making the event environmentally sustainable. This was done, among other things, through:

  • the planning and execution phase, focus on environmental sustainability and incorporating solutions that are possible and that contribute positively to the event.
  • the development of handouts of merchandise, having focus on sustainable production, reusability, recyclability and recycling solutions
  • the support of initiatives that contribute to the reduction of garbage and waste
  • Together with the City of Copenhagen having focus on sorting waste.

Working with LGBTI+ rights is an ethical agenda that goes hand in hand with the climate agenda. We must all take care of each other; we must take care of our planet and we must work together on the common responsibility it is to take care of our beautiful cities throughout the event. Copenhagen 2021 has developed a sustainability strategy for the event, which aims to ensure that the event is environmentally ambitious. With a project of this size and impact, nationally as well as internationally, it is important that the opportunity is used to talk about and act on the climate crisis.

Copenhagen is well-known internationally for its bicycle culture, wind turbine energy, recycling and waste sorting. Copenhagen 2021 wanted to support the efforts to place Copenhagen among the world’s most sustainable capitals. This was done through a proven strategy we call the green rainbow.

The six green shades of the rainbow represent six focus areas:

  1. Transport
  2. Food
  3. Packaging
  4. Merchandise
  5. Communication material
  6. Energy consumption

The six areas have been selected to implement sustainable strategies and set standards for how to run large-scale events in a sustainable way.

In Copenhagen 2021, we delivered this strategy through objectives that demanded:

  • Food and beverages at official events and backstage all had vegetarian / vegan options.
  • Volunteers, athletes and conference participants were offered tasty, nutritious, organic and vegetarian / vegan meals.
  • Food waste agreements were entered into, where surplus food is given to the city’s homeless, among others
  • Cycling in all its forms was integrated into the event’s logistics, where possible, e.g. safety managers using bikes to patrol the different venues in Copenhagen.
  • Electric cars were preferred when bicycles are not useful means of transport, e.g. we used ShareNow, a carsharing service with electric cars.
  • Forms of communication that did not require printed material were preferred.
  • Recycled paper was used where printed material was needed.
  • The use of non-degradable plastic were minimised and replaced with recyclable materials

Sustainability was a focus throughout all stages of the event, from planning, through delivery, to the closing down of the project post event. At all times asking ourselves the question “can we do this in a more sustainable way?”

We employed a waste management company to assess our waste plan and ensure that we were well prepared to deal with the added consumption an event of this scale naturally brings. They looked at all areas and made sure that items going to be incinerated were kept to an absolute minimum across all sites. This was briefed out to the whole staff team, all volunteers and also food and beverage vendors, we had a team of ‘clean and green’ volunteers throughout the event whose sole task was to keep all areas tidy and separate all recycling.

To avoid paper waste and overburdening paper recycling, we produced a limited number of printed Guides and instead referred people to the comprehensive information on more than 1,300 events that was included in our smartphone app. QR codes to the app were included on posters and other materials across the cities.

For our branded merchandise we choose to have a few key items that people will keep and reuse, the packaging was kept to a minimum and we used cardboard instead of plastic where possible. All other items purchased for resale were generic products in the colours of the LGBTI+ flags with a view that they can be resold in future years or to other similar events and were not specific to Copenhagen 2021.

In our bars we set out with the aim to not use single-use plastic, and so we investigated various solutions and settled on having reusable cups printed in flags that represent the different sections of the LGBTI+ community and hired a company to provide collection bins across the entire footprint so that people could return the cups to be washed and delivered back to us to be reused. Having them printed discouraged people from throwing them away and ensured that they would be an item people would want to keep and use again and again.

Transport was an area of focus and something we knew we needed to get right to minimize our environmental impact. We started by engaging the transport companies and putting plans in place to make it as easy as possible for everyone attending to use public transport where possible. We kept a section on our website constantly updated with the latest travel advice and encouraged people to make the most of the multiple green transport options available. We had three electric MATE.bikes that our team used to get around the city alongside a Bullitt bike to transport boxes and bulkier items around. One of our partners, Viggo, used their fleet of exclusively electric vehicles and promoted a code to give people a discount if they used this option. Viggo also rainbow-wrapped a Polestar car that was used by key members of the management team to get between the venues when time did not allow cycling.

4.4: Music strategy

The music strategy was created in a collaboration between the Director of Culture and Identity, the Director of WorldPride and the Show Producer. The strategy worked across the event, and it was important it allowed for creative spaces and gave an overall framework for all musical acts. The strategy also reinforced the objectives of a truly inclusive musical program.

In the strategy, everyone involved in curating, planning, or booking artists for any stage at Copenhagen 2021 as a whole is called a Producer. Producer refers to anyone who created events where there are people who in one way or another enter a stage or other platform on behalf of Copenhagen 2021. Artists refer to performers, speakers, hosts and anyone else who, on behalf of Copenhagen 2021, represented us during the event.

  • Every Producer in Copenhagen 2021 must strive for the greatest possible diversity and widest possible representation in the individual event, taking into account the theme or genre of the event.
  • All producers in Copenhagen 2021 must illustrate and verify, well in advance of the deadline for the finished line-up, that diversity is present across evenings/stages. This means that at a single venue or evening it could be curated more narrowly for thematic reasons such as at Drag Night, and special themed venues such as Fluid Festival and Huset 2021.
  • The Copenhagen 2021 producers ensure that there is representation among hosts for events and that all hosts have undergone a sensitivity conversation and that the host is prepared to work accordingly, as well as under Copenhagen 2021’s values. The aim is further for the hosts to be self-identified LGBTI+ people.
  • Producers across stages/venues/events in Copenhagen 2021 must work together to ensure that every evening/space/concert/event is not considered separately, but that the overall stage program in Copenhagen 2021 is viewed holistically.
  • The producers across Copenhagen 2021’s stages/venues coordinate with each other, at least 75% of the front figures who are on stage during the week are self-identified LGBTI+ people.
  • In the work with representation and diversity, the focus is on both identities and musical genres. Copenhagen 2021’s audience is versatile, and a similar versatile music offering must be sought.
  • Copenhagen 2021 is a global event, which is why it is desired to focus on ensuring geographical distribution when selecting artists, so that those who stand on stage reflect the global nature of the event.
  • Every producer in Copenhagen 2021 is responsible for ensuring that any artist booked for Copenhagen 2021 is made aware in writing of the points on how to ensure greater inclusion and avoid abusive behaviour and with their signature declare themselves willing to work according to them. Special efforts must be made to involve groups that are often underrepresented.

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