Meet the new President of Reykjavík Pride: A fun program this year

Gunnlaugur Bragi Björnsson is the new president of Reykjavík Pride and he also recently took office as deputy city councillor in Reykjavík. He’s been active in social work for years, but it all started with the scouts in his hometown of Höfn í Hornafirði when he was a boy.

Gunnlaugur Bragi Björnsson is the new president of Reykjavík Pride.

“I´m interested in so many things and my drive is the urge to be of use to society,” Gunnlaugur says when asked why he is so active. “I want to take part in making our community better so I have been active in all kinds of associations for a long time. It started when I was a boy, growing up in Höfn when I became a boyscout, after that I started working for the Red Cross and it has become more and more as I’ve grown older. I was on the board of the National Queer Organisation, Samtökin ’78, for a while and from there I went to be on the board of Reyjavík Pride, where I was a treasurer til earlier this year when I cecame a chair of the board.”

Besides all of that Gunnlaugur is a new deputy city councillor for The Reform Party, Viðreisn. Why did he choose to get into politics?
“Yes, I’ve only just started acting as a deputy city councillor and I’m really looking forward to tackling the job that that entails,” Gunnlaugur explains. “I wanted to offer my services to the Reform Party, partly to make sure that diverse groups had their represants in the council. We can be proud of the things we have achieved here in Iceland and how the city of Reykjavík has supported diversity and human rights. But we can always do better and it is very important that diverse groups have their say in how these matters progress in the city.”

“I had added the dots and realised who I am before I left, but I didn’t have the courage to come out then. That was to big a step for me at the time.”

Gunnlaugur says that to his best knowledge there has never been a queer person elected to the city council before, though there have been some queer individuals in some of the committees of the city, but after the elections this summer there are two of them.
“Yes, it’s wonderful that both me and Alexandra Briem got elected this summer I’m really happy about that.”

Enough of politics. What about Gunnlaugur’s personal life? What did he for example do for a living before he was elected to city counsil?
“I’ve worked in a bank for the last five years, ever since I finished my business degree from university. I’ve worked in various departments within the bank, for the last year or so as a specialist in their division of communication.”

Gunnlaugur moved to Reykjavík when he was 16 years old and has been living there ever since. Asked if he thinks growing up in a small community has contributed to his interest in pulling his weight to make society better, he says that might well be the case as obviously every individual has more impact in a small town than in a city.

Gunnlaugur and boyfriend Atte Hänninen.

“It’s hard to say exactly what it was that made me who I am today, but obviously being from a small town is a big factor. My opinion is that wherever you live your input is important and one of the things I hope to accomplish in the city council is getting in better touch with the citizens and activate them in making Reykjavík a better place for us all. I have always enjoyed being active in all kinds of associations, I studied music in the music school in my hometown as well as taking part in the theatre group there so obviously I was raised in the spirit of taking part in everything the community has to offer it has become a way of thinking and living for me ever since then. I want to take part in the game, not sit aside and do nothing.”

Being only 16 years old when he left Höfn Gunnlaugur says that he did not experience being “the only gay in the village” and in fact he did not come out as gay til after twenty.
“I had added the dots and realised who I am before I left, but I didn’t have the courage to come out then,” he explains. “That was to big a step for me at the time. Thinking back I don’t understand why I did not come out as gay after I moved to the city and experienced the difference in attitute to being queer. But I think the main reason was that I was not at ease with the thought of being gay at that time and it took some years for me to sort myself out and accept being who I am.”

Today Gunnlaugur is 29 years old and happily gay, in a relationship that has lasted since the end of last year. Does his partner take part in his political expeditions?
“In his way he does,” Gunnlaugur says with a laugh. “My boyfriend, Atte, is Finnish and has only been living in Iceland for seven months so I guess he’s still kind of figuring out our Icelandic community, but in Finland he’s been very active in his field, which is in the theatre and dance community and he is very supportive of my political career. I can honestly say that he is my biggest supporter whether it’s as a politician, president of Pride or as a person.”

“We are really excited about the program, which is bigger and longer than ever before, with more events and new features like workshops that have not been a part of the festival before.”

Gunnlaugur is veruy excited about the upcoming Pride.

The Reykjavík Pride 2018 is almost upon us, will there be any changes in how they are executed with a new person at the steering wheel?
“We won’t make any drastic changes this year although new people always bring new ideas and new ways of doing things. Like previous years we’ll start on Tuesday and the party goes on til the following Sunday. Some of the events have become a fixed point in the celebrations and some are brand new. I advise all those who are interested to get a copy of our Pride Magazine or visit our website, and study the program. We are really excited about the program, which is bigger and longer than ever before, with more events and new features like workshops that have not been a part of the festival before. Some of the events are in English, others in Icelandic so I sincerely hope that locals and tourists alike will find some events that are right for them. I just hope the weather will treat us decently, though some of our best prides have actually taken place in pouring rain. It does not put a damper on the joy and happiness but of course it’s always better when the sun shines on us.”

Blush

    Blush was founded in 2011 when it started selling high quality sex products. The goal from the beginning was to change the market and take the discussion about sex products to a higher level. Today Blush provides professional services in a pleasant environment that fulfills different needs, both for individuals and couples. Blush respects diversity and wants to set a good example in all of its messaging to target audiences. Sexual health and equality in sex is important and Blush wants to focus on those issues through education and open discussion. Blush works in a socially responsible manner for society, their customers and the environment.

    Check out Blush’s website: https://blush.is/

    Omnom Chocolate
    - award-winning chocolate maker

      Omnom Chocolate is an Icelandic craft chocolate company based in Reykjavík. We produce handcrafted chocolate from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. We’ve developed direct relationships to create premium chocolate with fine flavor cacao beans.

      Our creative flavors are carefully crafted by meticulous chocolate makers. The cacao beans are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into melty-smooth chocolate.

      Omnom’s process is one of constant exploration, invention, and experimentation. If it doesn’t please us, if something isn’t absolutely delicious, there’s no reason to be doing it. So, we always start with our taste buds and follow our instincts. Our team searches for the finest ingredients in the world and new ways to improve chocolate. This obsession with knowing where our ingredients come from has led us around the corner to dairy farms in the Icelandic countryside and all the way to rainforest cacao farms of Nicaragua.

      In only a few short years, we’ve grown from our 50 sq. m. petrol station space and become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with our headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, our chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.

      At the end of the day, our goal is to make chocolate.

       

      Nasdaq

         

        Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) is a global technology company serving the capital markets and other industries. Our diverse offering of data, analytics, software and services enables clients to optimize and execute their business vision with confidence.

        With over 4,300 employees in 39 offices around the world, at Nasdaq we all contribute to the success of the company and its culture, and each one of us has the ability to make a difference. When it comes to our core mission and values, we embrace the role of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) as a fundamental driver of our corporate growth, workplace culture and market development. We strive to create a culture that embraces the power of different perspectives—a culture where people’s unique backgrounds and different experiences helps us fuel innovation and support our clients around the world.

        Our unique position at the center of the capital markets allows us to see firsthand how these values have redefined corporate culture and success, deepening and accelerating our own commitment to champion inclusive growth and prosperity, as we strive to create more equitable opportunities to help people of all backgrounds reach their full potential. Most notably, we published our diversity statistics for the first time in 2020. These metrics serve as a quantitative assessment of where we are today and help determine what strategies we need to adopt to enhance diversity in the workplace. We recognize that we have much work to do, but we are steadfast in our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive culture—one that reflects the communities in which we live, allows all employees to be their true, authentic selves and fosters individual growth and achievement.

        As we move forward together, we will continue advancing diverse ideas and perspectives that help fulfill the promise of a more inclusive and prosperous world. We aim to set the pace for rethinking capital markets and economies anywhere and everywhere. To learn more about the company, technology solutions and career opportunities, visit us on LinkedIn, on Twitter @Nasdaq, or at www.nasdaq.com.

        Blue Lagoon
        - One of the 25 Wonders of the World

        Named by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, the Blue Lagoon is a shimmering expanse of warmth, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Its unique geothermal seawater
        comes from 2.000 meters within the earth where seawater and freshwater converge in a tectonic realm of porous lava and searing heat. Propelled by extreme pressure, the water ascends to the earth’s surface, emerging enriched with silica, algae, and minerals—the elements that endow Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater with its radiant, healing properties.

        From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing two hotels, three restaurants, three
        geothermal lagoons, a subterranean spa, a renowned line of skin care, a thriving research center, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

        Achieving harmony with the volcanic landscape, the lagoon and its surrounding architecture embody the unification of the man-made and the natural, and adhere to the highest principles of sustainability.

        The Blue Lagoon. A wonder of the world. A world of wonder.

        Landsbankinn
        - leading financial institution
        Landsbankinn

        Landsbankinn is a leading Icelandic financial institution. It offers a full range of financial services and is the market leader in the Icelandic financial service sector with the largest branch network.

        The present bank was established on 7 October 2008 but the history of its predecessor dates back to 1886. The bank is owned by the National Treasury of Iceland, which holds 98.2% of its share capital, and other shareholders who own 1.8%.

        Landsbankinn’s strategy is to provide comprehensive financial services that meet customer’s needs. It emphasizes providing exemplary service to customers, developing e-banking for their convenience, increasing the efficiency of support functions, modernizing its technology and ensuring effective utilization of its balance sheet.

        The bank’s vision is to be exemplary and its role is to be a trusted financial partner.

        Special emphasis is placed on promoting a performance-oriented culture in the bank. To follow up on the implementation of this strategy, the bank has defined key goals which are measured regularly to determine progress. These goals include, for example, customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, cost efficiency and the correlation between risk appetite and employee satisfaction.

        Landsbankinn wishes to lead the development of a sustainable society in Iceland by integrating economic, social and environmental concerns in its operations. The Bank aims to ensure that both its owners and society at large benefit from its activities.

        It intends to achieve this aim by building solid infrastructure and a strong team of 1.100 employees, by listening to its customers and by respecting and encouraging its employees to actively participate in their community. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa, a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

        Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of the Reykjavik Pride since it was first celebrated in Iceland.

        Dohop
        - get inspired
        Dohop

        Dohop allows people to find the cheapest flights available with just one click. Founded in Reykjavik in 2004, it is the only Icelandic company of its kind and quickly became the go-to tool for finding cheap flights among the locals. Dohop finds the best deals among hundreds of different airlines and online travel agencies, to make sure that the user is getting the cheapest price. Dohop also offers hotel and car rental search engines, so users can make all of their travel bookings from a single website.

        Dohop‘s specialty is finding so-called “self-connect” flight options, which can save travelers money by booking a ticket through two or more different airlines. The ability to look for these self-connect option is what sets Dohop apart from its competition, as it can save people hundreds of dollars on certain routes.

        More recently, Dohop has developed a unique product called Dohop Go!, which allows users to check for the cheapest available flights from their home airport. This tool is perfect for those who are looking for travel inspiration but are not willing to overpay for their flight ticket. Dohop Go! is now available in the Dohop Flights App, both for Android and iOS, along with its traditional flight, hotel, and car search engines. “

        VSÓ Ráðgjöf

           

          VSÓ Ráðgjöf er alhliða ráðgjafar- og verkfræðifyrirtæki sem leggur áherslu á trausta og faglega þjónustu sem tryggir viðskiptavinum hagkvæmustu lausnir hverju sinni, skilar raunverulegum árangri og stuðlar að samkeppnisforskoti.  Á skrifstofum VSÓ í Reykjavík og í Noregi starfar yfir 80 manna samhentur hópur verkfræðinga og annarra tæknimenntaðra starfsmanna.

          Macland
          - for all your Apple needs
          Macland

          From starting out as a proper startup with only a good idea and the need to change things, to becoming an established company with 6 employees. Starting from scratch and expanding organically has allowed us to love our expansion and take our customers on the ride with us.

          Macland is located at Laugavegur 23 (101, Downtown Reykjavik)
          For all your Apple needs. We are here.

          Ísey skyr
          - once tasted never forgotten

          Our Story
          Once upon a time, 1,100 years ago in fact, Nordic settlers began arriving in Iceland. They brought with them the skills and knowledge for producing skyr. As time passed, the know-how and recipe for this nutritious food slowly faded out elsewhere in the Nordic region. Luckily, the Icelandic skyr-making tradition continued.

          For centuries, Icelandic skyr formed a cornerstone of the national diet, helping to keep people strong in living conditions that were often harsh. On family farms countrywide, it was the women who nurtured this dairy and passing on both the recipe and the original Icelandic skyr cultures from mother to daughter.

          Ísey skyr builds on this remarkable legacy. It was some of those very same women, the recipients of their mothers’ expertise, who, around 90 years ago, taught Icelandic dairy scientists the art of skyr-making. The production process is more high-tech these days, and the quality standards more rigorous. However, the basic recipe and the use of original cultures to ferment the skimmed milk remain the same. Protein rich, fat-free, creamy and delicious – Ísey skyr is as relevant to consumers now as it was all those centuries ago.
          This is our secret and you are in on it

          You can read more about Ísey skyr on our website.

          Contact Us


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