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I think ‘hygge’ is the concept of connecting with human beings in the moment. Living and appreciating the moment

- Rufus Gifford

The Global Denmark Podcast kicks off its inaugural episode with hosts Ed Ley and Thomas Mulhern interviewing Rufus Gifford, the former US Ambassador to Denmark.

They discuss what it means to be an ambassador, the double-edged sword of being “the happiest”, the current political climate, personal vs professional humility and life on Air Force One.


Episode Takeaways

  • What it means to be an Ambassador [02:30]

  • Preparing to come to Denmark and how the pre-existing knowledge about Denmark shifted over time [07:00]

  • The Danish level of trust [10:16]

  • Advice for foreigners coming to Denmark [12:20]

  • Denmark’s position as the happiest country on earth [16:42]

  • Thoughts on patriotism and nationalism [20:30]

  • Key takeaways from recent midterm elections in the United States [22:30]

  • Experience and thoughts on fundraising [28:42]

  • Advantages and disadvantages of jante-law? [32:13]

  • Habits, routines, and rituals to maintain energy for high-level performance [39:38]

  • Self-regulation and counterproductive personality traits [41:00]

  • Favorite failure [43:30]

  • Mentors [44:56]

  • Computer games, McDonald's and other fun facts about Rufus Gifford [48:24]

  • What Denmark and the United States can teach each other [50:20]

  • Book recommendations and closing comments [53:39]

Published Media

Book Recommendations


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