Thor Halvorssen is a man of big accomplishments, but they aren’t the kind of accomplishments you’d find in either the business or technology world, although he does work with teams of computer experts in many cases. Halvorssen’s accomplishments have been exposing corruption and police states all across the world and working to give people whose rights and freedom of speech have been encroached on. He founded the Human Rights Foundation to help organize and fund operations that involve getting stories and press releases out about oppression, and in some cases smuggling and organizing demonstrations against tyrannical governments. The Oslo Freedom Forum is a gathering where people share their stories of escaping authoritarian governments and awards prizes to those who have shown non-violent civil disobedience.
Thor Halvorssen is an unusual mix of Norwegian and Venezuelan and he’s seen a lot of things happen with his family that drove him to do what he does. His father spoke out against Venezuelan government corruption in the early 1980s and was imprisoned, and his mother was later shot but survived during an anti Hugo Chavez protest. Halvorssen first began his career in human rights endeavors back in London when South Africans were protesting the apartheid. But he’s been all around the world traveling the remote regions of Vietnam where he once heard the story of an oppressed Buddhist priest, and was recently part of an effort to free Ali Abdulemam from a Bahrain prison.
Halvorssen likes to operate by keeping a low profile. For example, you won’t find a lot of social media or digital footprints about his whereabouts. He’s been known to come and go without making grand appearances. He has spoken at many universities and summits to raise awareness of liberty and its importance across the globe. He’s also produced many films both as documentaries and movies to bring out people’s stories.