Short and sweet with H.E. Mr. Lars Backström

The first ever EU-Australia Leadership Forum was held on 2 – 6 June 2017 in Sydney. I had the pleasure of attending the Welcome Dinner on Sunday, 4 June.

I was very pleased to see that so many of our Finnish experts were in attendance, including Elina Grundström (Chair, Finnish Council for Mass Media), Dr. Jari Lavonen (Professor of Physics and Chemistry Education, University of Helsinki), Dr. Antti Vasara (President and CEO, VTT) and Dr. Katri Kallio (Head of Strategy, VTT).

The Leadership Forum is a great one because it connects senior leaders and up and coming leaders from Europe and Australia, and gives them an opportunity to sit together and discuss topics of importance in today’s world. At the 2017 Leadership Forum, topics included: Global Shocks, Overcoming the Crisis in Politics, Paths to Prosperity, Brexit, Migration and Society, Trade and Investment, Climate, Energy, Environment, Security, Foreign Policy and Development amongst many more.

We live in a world where cooperation is the only way forward and we need to tackle these challenges together. The European Union in cooperation with Australia seeks solutions to these challenges.

I very much look forward to the results of the Forum which should be forthcoming in written form in a month or two. I would have liked to participate in the Forum myself, but I was not able to do so at this time. However, as it is a three year project, I hope to be able to join in 2018 and 2019.

Our world is facing global issues of crucial importance for the future of the whole planet. That is why the need for cooperation is more pressing than ever.

This post marks the opening of the Embassy of Finland’s new blog, Finland Down Under. I hope that in the months and years ahead, we will be able to produce thought provoking texts to increase interest in what Finland is doing, both in Australia and globally.


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