In the midst of WWII, in 1940 a group of important people within Danish culture, science and politics founded the Danish Cultural Institute as a private institution. The idea behind the organization was a counter reaction to the dark political discourse dominating Europe in the 1930s. The Danish Cultural Institute is founded on the belief that dialogue, cooperation and intercultural understanding are completely fundamental.
The creator of the Institute, Folmer Wisti, first named the organization, The Danish Company. Just like today the goal was to work with intercultural understanding through information about Denmark and exchange of culture, ideas and experiences. The first institute was inaugurated in 1947 and in 1989 the organization changed its name to The Danish Cultural Institute.
Since its foundation, the Danish Cultural Institute has focused on local presence through departments in other countries. Today, the Danish Cultural Institute is present in Beijing, Copenhagen, New Delhi, Riga, St. Petersburg and São Paulo.