In English

Arena Idé is a progressive, non-partisan think tank based in Stockholm, Sweden. We focus on issues related to the labour market and education, economic policy, welfare and democracy. Arena Idé is part of Arenagruppen and our fundamental values are equality, democracy and freedom. 

We are funded by Swedish trade unions, mainly by the blue-collar Swedish Trade Union Confederation LO and its three largest members Kommunal, IF Metall and Handels, as well as unions within the white-collar confederations TCO and Saco

We carry out research and do advocacy, mainly by producing and publishing reports, articles, podcasts and books. We host seminars, conferences, round-tables, workshops and other events. 

Our work is carried out by our own team or in collaboration with an extensive network of researchers, journalists and writers.  

Our team presently consists of Lisa Pelling, German Bender, Håkan A Bengtsson and Helena Eitrem.

Lisa Pelling is the head of Arena Idé since 2021.

Lisa Pelling has a doctorate in political science from the University of Vienna. She regularly contributes to the daily digital newspaper Dagens Arena and has a background as political adviser at the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Lisa has also worked as Secretary General of the International Union of Socialist Youth. 

– Arena Idé is the only Swedish think tank that enjoys broad support both from blue-collar and white-collar trade unions. This allows us to have an important impact on policy formation and the political debate. 

– As a research-based think tank we are a respected actor with significant impact on decision makers and a leading voice in the political debate.

Get in touch with Lisa at or +4673-654 13 16.
Download press images on Lisa Pelling.

German Bender is Chief Analyst since 2021, focusing particularly on labour market and education policy.

German Bender is also a PhD candidate at Stockholm School of Economics, specialising in industrial relations, wage formation and the influence of social partners (trade unions and employer organizations) on algorithms. He was previously Senior Research Officer at the Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees (TCO) and speechwriter at the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO).

– As chief analyst, I want to focus on two things: emphasize our trade union perspective and further strengthen the solid research base in our work.

–  In the coming years, algorithmic technology and artificial intelligence are going to have a deep impact on jobs and on the labor market in general. Trade unions are key stakeholders in this process, so it is a strategic priority for us to gain a deeper understanding of these changes in order to shape them for the better.

Get in touch with German at or +4670-202 31 11.
Download press images on German Bender.

Håkan A Bengtsson is CEO of Arenagruppen and works with progressive thinking on economics, working life, democracy and the welfare state.

Get in touch with Håkan at or +4673-654 13 00.

Helena Eitrem is the head of communication and has many years of experience in political communication.

Get in touch with Helena at or +4673-654 13 13.

For over almost 20 years, the think tank has developed a large international network, mostly in Europe. 

As the Swedish representative for the Innovation in Politics Institute, we help identify and develop innovations in politics and facilitate best practice exchange across borders and party lines. 

Here are some of our other partners:


Collaboration partners through Innovation in Politics Institute: