Forum Syd at Almedalen

News - 2019-06-24
Forum Syd is hosting four seminars on democracy and world politics at Sweden's most important political forum.

The world is changing. Democracy is shrinking for the 13th year in a row. The promises made to stand behind the Paris Declaration and Agenda 2030 are fading already. While the era that followed 9/11 started a lot more dramatic – this new era we’ve entered is a lot slower but in the latest decade we’ve witnessed the signs in every report, in every headline and in every attack against civil society. What we deemed as exceptional extremes only a few years ago has now become the new norm.

Radical times needs radical measures. This current paradigm shift of the world order is the focus of our three seminars during Sweden’s political week of Almedalen.

Portraits of the participants with the background of Europe.

Defending their rights, risking their lives - what can Sweden do to support those who dare?

A discussion on Sweden's new strategy to support human rights and democracy in Eastern Europe. Read more here.


  • Peter Eriksson, Minister for International Development Cooperation
  • Karina Shyrokykh, Associate Research Fellow, Utrikespolitiska Insitutet
  • Ognjen Radonjic, Head of Eastern Europe, Forum Syd
  • Anders L. Pettersson, Executive Director, Civil Rights Defenders

Moderator: Anna-Lena Laurén, Journalist, DN

European flag and barbed wire with the title of the seminar.

The purpose of development cooperation, where did EU go wrong and how do we find the path back?

The European migration policies are making aid short term and used for the members states own purposes. What can we expect will happen with the new parliament? Read more here (in Swedish).


  • Jakop Dalunde, Member of parliament, the green party ("MP") 2014-2019
  • Georg Andrén, chairman CONCORD Sweden & Secretary-General Diakonia
  • Helena Lindholm, professor peace and development studies at Göteborgs universitet, chairperson for The Expert Group for Aid Studies
  • Björn Fägersten, senior scientist and head of Europe at Utrikespolitiska Institutets 
  • Alexandra Segenstedt, senior policy advisor on migration at Red Cross.

Moderator: Johanna Palmström, freelance journalist
Co-hosted with CONCORD Sweden.

Portraits of the participants with the Global Goals circles behind them.

Eleven years to 2030 – how will businesses revolutionize sustainability?

To battle the critical situation all forces must participate and unite to change the current path. Politicians, authorities, civil society and not the least, businesses. No one can be left behind. Read more here.


  • Wilo Abdulle, entrepreneur in Somalia, SSBP/Forum Syd grantee
  • Sandra Runsten, Sustainable Business Strategist, The New Division
  • Sasja Beslik, Head of Sustainability, Nordea 
  • Stina Götbrink, Secretary General, Hand in Hand
  • Moderator: Peter Alestig, journalist, SvD
Panelists with the global goals squares in the background.

Leave no one behind – What happens with development cooperation in a nationalistic world?

The political landscape has changed since the 2030 agenda was signed. What can Sweden do to change the tides in the European Union and the UN? Read more here (in Swedish)!


  • Ulrika Modéer, Assistant Secretary General & Director of Bureau of External Relations & Advocacy, UNDP
  • Anna Stenvinkel, Secretary-General, Forum Syd 
  • Jakob Trollbäck, Creator of the Global Goals and Founder of Trollbäck + Company and The New Division
  • Björn Andersson, Regional Director of the Asia and Pacific Regional Office, UNFPA
  • Moderator: Jesper Bengtsson, chairman, Swedish PEN

What is Almedalen?

Almedalen is considered to be the most important forum in Swedish politics. It is the place for lobbyists, journalists and politicians to meet and discuss various topics from security, human rights to public health care in Sweden. It takes place during eight days, the same amount as there are parties in the Swedish parliament, and during each day a representative of the party holds a speech which is being broadcasted by almost every single media outlet in Sweden which followed by interviews and analysis.

It has grown immensely the last few years and during 2018 over 4300 seminars took place within the seven days. About 45 000 people visit the tiny city of Visby. It is branded as a democracy festival but is better described as a huge conference for policy professionals and businesses – for better and worse. What used to be a huge square to discuss Swedish development cooperation is to today split in half to give space for Volkswagen to show off their latest models.

Other recent articles