Join the discussion about the Nordic welfare model and its challenges
3 Apr 2023
The Nordic Welfare Forum 2023 takes place on 2 June in Reykjavik, Iceland and via live stream. The aim is to evaluate and discuss the Nordic welfare model and the challenges it is facing.
The Nordic welfare model has been put under pressure in the past few years and there are many factors causing negative impact: the Covid-19 pandemic, war in Ukraine, cost-of-living crisis, extreme weather, vital ecosystems in decline, illiberal democracy on the rise and poverty deepening in many parts of the world.
In this article we present the topics and several of the speakers at the Nordic Welfare Forum. To participate in the event online or in Reykjavik, follow this link to register.
Building trust to get through perfect storms
At the Nordic Welfare Forum Anders Wijkman, honorary chairman of the global think tank Club of Rome will speak about the challenges to the Nordic welfare model and what is needed to build trust in society.
– When economic and non-economic shocks are entangled the way they are, it is no wonder we speak of a poly crisis or a perfect storm. There are no single fixes. But one thing is clear: social ills are at the core of the problems we face. More than 4 billion people live in poverty in the world and the poverty situation has become worse as a consequence of the pandemic. Parallel to that, inequalities are on the rise all over the world, says Anders Wijkman.
According to Wijkman, to be able to solve the problems we face, we have to start by addressing the social ills. This is needed as a foundation for building trust in society.
– The trust level is low in many societies and when this is the case, there is no way governments can address long term challenges successfully, like climate change and biodiversity loss, says Anders Wijkman.
Understanding the welfare state helps us understand its challenges
Karl Ove Moene, professor at the University of Oslo, will present ways of understanding challenges to the Nordic welfare state.
– The development of the welfare state in the Nordic countries is linked to developments in the Nordic societal model. When we understand how this model works and evolves, we become better able to understand how the welfare state comes under pressure – partly by external factors such as war, energy prices and climate change, and partly by internal conditions such as increasing inequality and a change in the population structure, says Karl Ove Moene.
The presentation addresses these challenges on a broad front.
Softening the consequences of a crisis
Welfare states and crisis management will be the topic when Stefán Ólafsson, professor at the University of Iceland enters the stage.
– The focus will be on the importance of the modern welfare state in times of economic and social crises, based on two recent major international crises: the financial crisis of 2008 and the Covid-crisis of the 2020s. The talk will show how the welfare state softened the consequences of these crises, albeit in different ways, particularly by protecting the more vulnerable and thus equalizing the crisis experiences, says Stefán Ólafsson.
Higher living costs affect the welfare model
The Nordic Welfare Forum will also focus on the rapidly rising cost of living, and how this affects the welfare model.
Tone Fløtten, managing director of the Research Foundation Fafo in Norway will talk about child poverty in the Norwegian and Nordic model.
– The living conditions for children in the Nordic region are better than in many other countries and child poverty is much less common. However, in for example Norway child poverty is on the rise and has been for several years, Tone Fløtten says.
She will focus on the consequences of growing up in poverty, and on which solutions can be used to improve the situation – both immediate actions and future strategies.
Follow the event via live stream
More speakers and a detailed programme will be announced soon.
The event welcomes politicians, researchers, employees in the welfare sector and representatives for the civil society in the Nordic region. Everyone who is interested is welcome to follow the event via live stream. Especially invited to take part in the live event in Reykjavik are Nordic politicians, representatives for ministries and organisations in the welfare sector and representatives for Nordic non-governmental organisations. When registering, please state if you will attend the live event or online.
The Nordic Welfare Centre arranges the Welfare Forum on behalf of the Nordic Council of Ministers. One reason the Nordic Welfare Forum is held every two years is to monitor developments and challenges relating to welfare in the Nordic countries.
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