Michael Funch

Head of Communications

Broad background in public affairs and international relations, with a special focus on green growth, bioeconomy, climate and environmental issues. Extensive experience with editorial management and social media development as well as a seasoned moderator and presenter.

Michael is a member of the Editorial Board of Nordregio News and the management team at Nordregio.

Academic qualifications
M.A in Public Communication, American University, Washington D.C.

Master of European Studies, University of Copenhagen

Master of English and Anthropology, University of Copenhagen

Languages
Danish
English
Swedish
French
German

Prior positions
Founder and freelance director, Nordikom Communications, specialized in public affairs related to sustainable development and the green economy.

Senior Advisor/Communications at the Nordic Council of Ministers, responsible for communication strategy and branding of activities under green growth, bioeconomy, climate and environmental issues.

Communications and Project Coordinator at Stop Aids, an NGO dealing with HIV prevention and safe sex campaigns.

Director of the Information Resource Center, Embassy of the United States of America in Copenhagen, part of the Press and Cultural Affairs Section.

Program Director and hosting coordinator at AFS Interkultur, dealing with international youth exchange and organizational management.

Communications manager at DAKIV – Danish Kibbutz Friends.

Michael Funch‘s spatial story

From Copenhagen to Bruxelles to Israel to…

In keeping with traditions at the time, my “spatial journey” started after graduating from grammar school back in 1984.

In fact, it started much earlier with a long series of childhood holidays spent near Norwegian lakes and Swedish forests, as part of a truly Nordic upbringing which supplemented by children’s programmes on the television probably accounts for why I speak Swedish today, despite never having studied it. Anyways, back then, requirements were not as harsh as now and one was almost expected to drop out of the education system for years, which was really quite a relief.

So, fresh out of school, I went off to conquer the world as a jeune homme au pair in Bruxelles. I managed to get through two families in three months before deciding that my future did not lie in household chores. But I stayed on in the capital of Europe, working in a youth hostel with youngsters from all over the world and slowly beginning to understand the value of international cooperation with both head and heart.

The coming years saw me hitchhiking in France, picking grapefruits in Israel, lounging in London, taking a comstruction course in my hometown of Hjörring and working as a receptionist in Nuuk, Greenland, before I finally settled down in my “native” town of Copenhagen to study anthropology in 1987. I figured I needed a topic as broad as possible to be able to give my contribution to saving the world. But I soon realized that although anthropologists may study the world at large, they often have quite small minds. So I settled for the more mundane study of English, but with the whole Empire as backdrop, of course.

This took me first to a year in Scotland studying Liberal Arts and later on as part of a very international Fulbright group to an M.A. in Public Communication in Washington D.C. Both places made me feel even more as a citizen of the world, with homes in many places.

Later on, when I finally hit the labour market at the ripe age of 31, I started using all my previous experiences in a series of very different jobs. I travelled from teaching American Studies at the university, to facilitating stays in Israeli kibbutzes and youth exchanges all over the world, and from a position at the US Embassy in Copenhagen to the Nordic Council of Ministers, returning to the outset, so to speak.

Two of my favourite places along the way have been Bruxelles and Washington D.C. – both centers of federal regionalism with an international horizon and much hated by many nationalists or other primitive peoples, maybe well worthy of an anthropological study. To me, they are places of insight and outlook, keeping in mind the wider context and the bigger picture. So I am glad my spatial journey took me there to better understand how places connect and people interact.



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