Arenas Ekonomiska Råd

Arena Idés ekonomiska råds årliga konferens arrangeras för tredje gången. Här finns information om vad som diskuterades den 25 oktober.


The Industrial High Road to Sustainability and Growth

Conference Program
Background and aim
The escalation of the crisis in Europe poses the greatest threat to global prosperity today. To  find a way out of this vicious cycle one needs a comprehensive investment and growth  program. From a progressive perspective such a program needs to develop a stronger focus on the real economy, the modernization of structures, improved competitiveness, increase of  value added, substantially raising the level of sustainability and eventually the strengthening  of European integration.In the current debate, however, competitiveness is often interpreted  in a rather narrow economic understanding with an asymmetric focus on the level of taxation, the nature of labour or environmental legislation as well as qualitative assessments of access to finance, etc. Today, after the debt-fuelled growth model has failed spectacularly and was on top of that mistaken as a symbol of competitiveness, only marginal intellectual departures from the concept have taken place in major parts of the political discourse.Together with global experts and decision makers we aim to discuss a  sophisticated progression of competitiveness,  identify key drivers of  sustainable  competitiveness and industrial policies in various countries as well as within the European and global institutional settings.


Guiding Questions 
» What are the progressive  concepts to increase innovation and develop more comprehensive concepts of competitiveness embedded into the European framework as well as demands from globalization?
» What is a progressive understanding of an industrial renewal against the background of concepts of ecological industrial policies?
» Which instruments and policies can be identified in order to strengthen our countries’ economy as a whole? Which macroeconomic framework is needed in order to support these instruments?


The organizing institutions are the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Arena Group in Stockholm:
Arena Group is one of the premier progressive think tanks in Scandinavia. The Arena Group’s Economic Council is an initiative with the aim of providing space for progressive economic thinking and stimulating independent economic research. The council attracts researchers from a broad range of academic disciplines, journalists as well as an interested public.


Friedrich Ebert Foundation is  an independent NGO, associated  with the German labor movement. With offices and activities in more than 100 countries, FES is dedicated to promoting the values of social democracy.


10:00 » Opening Address
Håkan A. Bengtsson, Arenagruppen,
Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson, LO Chairman.


10:15 » Panel 1 Comparing Models of Comprehensive 
Competitiveness – The Analytical Perspective 
[20 min input each]


 Why Rich Countries got Rich…
Erik S. ReinertTallinn University of Technology and Gunnar 
Myrdal Prize Winner.


What will be the US way to go? 
Jennifer Erickson, Director of Competitiveness and Economic
Growth at the Center for American Progress.


How Germany attempts to builds a New High Road… 
Daniel Buhr, expert for Policy Analysis and Political Economy,
University of Tübingen.


11:15 » Coffee Break
When a country deviates from the High Road – what can be 
learnt from the case of Denmark?
Bengt- Åke Lundvall, Innovation expert at Aalborg University.
“Innovation Policy for Growth and Sustainability 
– Some Swedish experiences and the way forward”


Charles Edquist, expert for innovation processes, innovation
systems and innovation policy at Lund University.


12.00 » Discussion with the Panel and the Audience
Moderator: N.N.


12:45 » Lunch Break (Sandwiches)


13:30 » Panel 2: Progressive Policies Required – The Political 
[15 min input each]


Stefan Löfven, Chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Sweden.

Michael Vassiliadis, Chairmen of the Trade Union IG BCE.

Nick Pearce, Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research

(IPPR), London.
14:45 »  Discussion with the Panel and the Audience
Moderator: Jesper Bengtsson, Journalist.


15.30 » Closing remarks
Gero Maaß, Director Nordic Office, Friedrich Ebert Foundation,


15:45 » End of Conference