I am delighted and honoured to welcome you to Sweden and to this international conference of progressive forces from around the world. This event brings together a substantial number of government and party leaders, influential policy-makers, experts and campaigners from Europe and across the world. The conference has been organised jointly by the international think tank Policy Network and the Social Democratic Party.
You have come to Stockholm at the most optimistic time of the year. The trees are in bloom, the days are getting longer and lighter, and pupils are finishing the school year. A summer of opportunities lies ahead.
We could not ask for a better framing for a conference that will focus on education and skills. In times of growing inequality, the spring of opportunity will only emerge through knowledge and education.
The response to polarisation, protectionism and populism in our time has to be progressive. Young people have the most to gain when our governments offer better policies. As progressives we have a particular responsibility to make sure that the future represents an opportunity for them rather than a threat. Therefore, the topic of this conference is ‘Knowledge is power – education, jobs and equality in the 21st century’.
We have invited leading experts to share their analyses and proposals on how to design successful education and training systems to match the job needs of tomorrow and to tackle inequality. Together, we shall meet the spring of progressive opportunities. A very warm
Prime Minister of Sweden