“Never has the title Future Greenland been more appropriate, and never has the conference theme From vision to realisation been more relevant than right now. I'm looking forward to it very much.”
Professor and head curator of Possible Greenland
Welcome to Future Greenland 2013
Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 February at Katuaq, Nuuk
The Employers’ Association of Greenland invites you to attend the third Future Greenland conference, which this time takes the theme From vision to realisation: a conference to promote inspiration, discussion and exchange of experiences, focusing on the major challenges facing the country.
On the basis of the strength and firm anchoring of the Employers’ Association of Greenland throughout the country, we see it as a natural task for us to make use of our efficient conference apparatus to create an ambitious conference as the setting for the necessary debate on values and visions. The central questions are: Can Greenland create a model of society that ensures both democratic legitimacy, involvement and dynamism? And what will this require?
Future Greenland focuses on the challenges, the visions – and the way forward
The aim is both to provide inspiration and to create dialogue, debate and commitment in relation to society – and simultaneously, to identify practical measures that will ensure progress, renewal and action.
One of the principal aims of the conference will be to discuss how we can strengthen society's ways of taking good and effective decisions. The Employers’ Association of Greenland is therefore taking the "helicopter" up from its daily work of providing hearing responses, participating in legislative work, IBA processes, member services, current debates, etc., to look at the big societal challenges, the solution of which will determine the future of Greenland. In other words, the conference will focus on visions – and in particular, on the realisation of these visions.
The broad outlines of Greenland's development will therefore be addressed when the conference presenters focus on such topics as strategic business development, scenarios for growth, the political decision-making processes, the relationship between Greenland, Denmark and the rest of the world, and the conditions for the crucial dialogue between the business community, the organisations and the political system.
There will be a total of eight workshops, working in depth with the following topics:
· Call for papers. The topics will be announced at the end of January 2013.
· The values debate as a foundation for the visions.
· What will China's international expansion mean for Greenland?
· From fishing port to oil industry centre: How was the vision realised in Esbjerg?
· Commercial interests behind sustainable economic development.
· Lessons learned from large-scale projects in the Canadian Arctic regions of Nunavut and Nunavik.
· Sustainable economic and knowledge-related growth.
· The collaborating democracy and digital processes.
In addition to GA's member companies, the conference is intended for politicians, public administrations, interest organisations, NGOs, other decision-makers, and the media in Greenland and abroad.
Several months before the conference is due to take place, great interest has already been expressed in Future Greenland – including outside the country. This is partly due to the strong current international interest in Greenland, as well as the positive publicity that previous conferences have received.
Powerful forces will ensure an exciting content and multi-facetted illumination of the conference theme
The speakers include:
Kuupik V. Kleist
Prime Minister of Greenland
Professor of geology at the University of Copenhagen and head curator of Possible Greenland
Niels de Coninck-Smith
Chairman of Royal Greenland
Member of the Danish Parliament
Former ombudsman of the Danish Parliament
Jørn Neergaard Larsen
Managing director of the Danish Employers' Confederation
Former managing director of DONG Energy, and current board member of a number of companies
Rear-Admiral Niels Wang
Head of the Royal Danish Defence College
A journalist and presenter with the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, Martin Breum will be the compere for Future Greenland. He is the author of the book Når isen forsvinder ("When The Ice Disappears”).
Form and structure of the conference
The topics have been chosen so as to appeal to both small, medium and large companies in Greenland, as well as to the country's population and interested parties in the international community.
Future Greenland will span two days, and will take the form of a combination of presentations and debate in the mornings, and a series of workshops in the afternoons.
At the end of each day there will be a summing-up, and there will also be options for knowledge-sharing via workshops on both evenings.
Simultaneous interpretation will be available between Danish, (English?) and Greenlandic.
Day 1: Visions
What visions do we have? How can we create sustainable development for Greenlandic society – economically, socially, environmentally and culturally? How can the business community, the political-administrative system and the organisations of civil society jointly take ownership of – and responsibility for – a national vision with which the whole community can identify?
Day 2: Realisation
How can we co-operate to realise the visions? Are we, with our current ways of co-operating, properly equipped to do so? Are our decision-making processes, resources, capabilities and skills adequate for the purpose? How do we create democratic involvement and legitimacy?
Networking and contact event for Greenlandic businesses
On the day before the conference, Tuesday 5 February, GA has organised a business-to-business event which will present ideal opportunities for Greenlandic companies to network and exchange ideas with other companies.
Background to the conference theme:
Greenland will not grow rich from its resources, but from wise decisions
Particularly in the light of the upcoming large-scale projects, Future Greenland 2013 will place the spotlight on how Greenland can provide the best framework for the future of its society. Amongst other things, how may policy decisions in coming years be affected by the security policy and geostrategic consequences resulting from Greenland’s natural resources and climate change?
If we don’t control the direction, we’ll end up where the track takes us ...
Greenland is facing the following major challenges, amongst others:
The country’s public revenues and expenditure are not in balance, and new revenues or savings worth at least one billion kroner will have to be created each year for the next many years.
Greenlandic society wishes to have increased welfare, but the precondition for increased welfare is to create greater prosperity.
The private sector must generate the growth that is the foundation for prosperity. Companies must grow and create new jobs and increased exports. This growth must be achieved both through providing better conditions for existing businesses and through new private investments, as well as general skills enhancement.
Industrial development must, in other words, be secured both through the continued development and redevelopment of existing businesses, among which fishing still represents the only significant source of export revenues, and through the exploitation of Greenland’s mineral resources.
Consequently, efforts are being targeted at making the minerals sector a new key pillar of Greenland's economy. Oil has not yet been found, but there are promising signs. However, it has been established that minerals are present in commercially interesting amounts and in relatively accessible deposits.
These rich deposits provide the basis for, amongst other things, large-scale projects that will require huge investments and large amounts of imported labour.
Future Greenland is based on the "Vision for Greenland 2025"
The "Vision for Greenland 2025" of the government of Greenland is a basic scenario that points the way forward. But what will it take to get everyone to unite behind it? Is it strong enough? Does it focus on all the challenges? This political vision will be presented by the prime minister, Kuupik V. Kleist, and will thereby provide both the kick-off for the conference and its ongoing, substantive reference point.
The starting-point of Future Greenland is that we can only realise the visions if society stands together. That means that we must work together, across the boundaries of political and administrative systems, companies, and the organisations of civil society, in constructive diversity, in order to create sustainable decisions.
Participation in and responsibility for the analysis and development of a new model of society
The goal is for Future Greenland to involve people and engage them in the creation of a comprehensive, overarching vision for Greenland with significant and innovative ideas. (Participation)
Future Greenland must inspire citizens, businesses and political and civil organisations to take responsibility for the development.
Future Greenland must boost social scientific research ('call for papers') on the themes of the conference.
Future Greenland must comprise a significant step in the direction of a Greenlandic think-tank that will be able to continue the ideas presented at the conference and develop them as a supplement to the policy-making processes.
The conference must highlight new possibilities for collaboration and ways of making decisions. This must occur on the basis of such criteria as democratic participation, political legitimacy and value-based, sustainable development.
(A new model of society?)
A good example
Future Greenland 2013 must in itself provide a good example of how a diverse mix of decision-makers, interests and society’s players can be brought together for open-minded dialogue and mutual inspiration.
Not a white paper – but a green paper
The results will be made available at www.futuregreenland.gl, and in a green paper which will be submitted to the government of Greenland.
You can see the full programme at: www.futuregreenland.gl.