New in Iceland | Trust and Access to Information

Joanna Marcinkowska, the project manager of New in Iceland, came to Torgið to discuss with us the services New in Iceland provides. The aim of pilot project is to assist immigrants to feel safe, to be well-informed and supported while living in Iceland. In just six months New in Iceland had over thousand service requests on living in Iceland without the Icelandic citizenship. We asked Joanna, how did they managed to gain the trust of users in such a short time?

„The key factor is the knowledge and experience of our team of experts, who often not only share the same language as the users but also similar experiences as the users as immigrants in Iceland. We provide counseling in eight different languages. Users can all, send an email and a request on the website live chat or just show up with their questions at our offices“ says Joanna.

„One of the main values of New in Iceland is empowerment. Joanna describes her work in the following manner: „We work with the abilities of each person and how they gain access to resources and information. The communication method selected depends on the personal situation of each users and the nature of the request. It can be an individual counseling but we also provide a platform for people to share knowledge and experience.“

Participants agreed that there is a need for public spaces that serve as a venue for information and discussions, with the freedom of self-determination of all. Like one user mentioned: It is good to have an open space where the exit is also visible, it is accessible for all to enter and to leave as you see fit, like in Torgið in Grófin.“

Reykjavík City Library will continue to develop it´s the democratic platform with open meetings at Torgið. Next meet-up is responds to the user´s needs discovered by New in Iceland. „There is a need for a platform to access information on the housing and labor market.“


We thank those that took part in the discussion and we look forward to see new as well as familiar faces at our next Torgið open discussion organized in co-operation with New in Iceland:

Access to housing market on 21st of September

Access to labor market on 19th of October

Wednesday August 25th 2021