Helle Hygum Espersen works with civil society, volunteers and cross-sector collaboration between municipalities, regions, civil society and social economy enterprises. Therefore, she has knowledge of the many forms and roles of civil society in society at large, as well as organisation and value creation in collaborations with civil society and volunteers. In addition, she works with the new paradigm new public governance. A focus of this new paradigm is how ordinary citizens, civil society and private companies are involved in solutions as equal partners. She also works with citizen participation in municipalities and with innovation in the public sector.
Helle Hygum Espersen works with participant observation, qualitative interviews, focus groups, literature studies, and evaluation and process support. She also contributes to quantitative investigations.
Prior to her employment in the former KORA in 2014, now VIVE, Helle Hygum Espersen worked for the Municipality of Copenhagen for seven years, in collaboration with civil society. In this capacity, she was affiliated with Frivilligt Forum, which was the representative organisation of the voluntary social organisations. Moreover, she has been involved in master plans for social housing, been head of interviews in a market research company and has reviewed fiction and non-fiction in the press. Helle Hygum Espersen often gives lectures to municipalities, ministries, civil society organisations, unions and educational institutions on the subjects of, for instance, civil society and cross-sectoral collaboration (co-creation, co-production and partnerships), and active citizen participation in municipalities. In recent years, she has also lectured in co-creation as a form of production in various contexts. For instance, at Roskilde University, Copenhagen Business School and University College Copenhagen.