The UK Nordic Baltic Summit, first of its kind, brought together Prime Ministers, policy innovators and entrepreneurs from the nine countries to discuss how best to boost economic growth, enterprise and job creation while improving people’s wellbeing. Mari Kiviniemi, Prime Minister of Finland, regarded the summit as a promising initiative.
A British initiative, the UK Nordic Baltic summit took place between the 19-20 January at Whitechapel Gallery in East London. The dominant theme of the meeting was the promotion of overall wellbeing in conditions of strict economic policies and slow economic growth. Discussion points were grouped under three headings: innovations; green technology; and labour market, family and equality.
Delegates were asked to share examples of policy and business innovation during the Summit. One of the Finnish presentations heard at the Summit was about how the Nokia Technopolis Innovation Mill converts thousands of Nokia’s unused innovations into hot new start-ups and hundreds of new jobs.
Maria Kaisa Aula, Ombudsman for Children in Finland and one of the three Chairs at the Summit, stressed the importance of education in her address. “If you want to empower people, you have to take a close look at primary schools”, Aula summarised. “Schools teach our children not just maths, but most of all citizenship skills. Happy children make the best entrepreneurs.”
How the issues of jobs, family and gender equality have been resolved in the Nordic countries is something the UK is very much interested in. “This summit has shown how much Britain can learn from other countries, especially when it comes to family-friendly entrepreneurship, proportion of women in workforce and well-being of children”, UK Prime Minister David Cameron concluded.
Primes Ministers of Finland and UK also had a bilateral meeting during the summit where current EU and economical affairs were discussed.