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On the push for equity, direct democracy and a basic universal income by Iceland’s Pirate Party

For today’s Humanosphere podcast, we are talking with Halldóra Mogensen, an MP with Iceland’s Pirate Party.

For those who may not be aware of the Pirate Party as a serious political movement – it’s not about dressing up with an eye patch – let’s just say at the outset that this political party exists by name in some 40 countries worldwide and was started more than a decade ago largely to protect personal freedom and promote institutional transparency in this new digital age.

Halldóra Mogensen

The use of the word “Pirate” was ironic, aimed at challenging some in industry who wanted to label some uses of the web and sharing of information technologies as ‘piracy.’ Iceland is a global leader in and hub for the information technology industry, as many may know, and also historically a global leader in democratic government with one of the world’s oldest legislative assemblies in the world – the Althing.

It’s the smallest country in Europe and perhaps one of the most interesting due to its location, volcanic geology and wonderfully friendly people. What interests Humanosphere, in addition to all that, is how the Pirate Party came to be in Iceland, what its primary political goals are and how this tiny, isolated rocky island nation in the north Atlantic may provide an example of how to deal with inequity.

But before we talk with Mogensen, myself and correspondent Joanne Lu look at the stories from this week, such as one about mining oversight in Haiti. We also talked about the implications of the U.S. retreating from its international commitments by defunding the U.N. Population Fund and cutting aid budgets amid the East African drought crisis.

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About Author

Imana Gunawan

Imana Gunawan is Humanosphere's social media manager and podcast producer. A University of Washington graduate in journalism and dance, Imana's interests include underrepresented communities, the intersection between politics and culture, global-local issues and the arts. She can be reached at @imanafg on Twitter or