Global Bar, a success during Almedalen!


How do you get people to attend discussions and debates about development cooperation and global issues when you are competing with nearly 2000 other seminars and discussions?

This was one of the things we thought about when we started planning a temporary move of Global Bar to Almedalen political week in Visby on Gotland.

Our idea was to bring about a number of fast – and provocative – debates. We also wanted to have representatives from each of the parties represented in the Swedish parliament in our debates. Our huge advantage was that we were located in probably the best spot in Almedalen – the Sweden in the World square organised by the Swedish Institute – and the fact that Global Bar is a relatively well-known concept (at least among some groups).

How it went? Yes, better than expected actually. Despite headlines such as “Puppets of the Moderate party?” and “Development aid-  as bad as its reputation?” we had no problem getting people to take part in the panels and answer our provocative questions.

Despite some tricky circumstances, such as having a limited permit to serve alcoholic beverages (anyone who wanted to listen to the debates had to pre-register), between 100 and 150 people came to each bar. Discussions were intense, but the tone was nice and there was great respect between those who participated and debated. (Below, you can see all the discussions, in Swedish only. Some recordings are missing a minute or two of the discussion due to technical difficulties we experienced at the location.)

Now it’s almost time this fall’s first Global Bar. And if all goes well, we are back in Almedalen in the summer of 2013!




Immigration and welfare – How do we attract future talent to Sweden?

The Portuguese seek jobs in Angola, Uruguay is looking for medical doctors in Spain. If southern Europe falls off a cliff, the north will keep on standing. Or would it? What do we do to attract global talent to Sweden, is there any connection between migration and development? The focus of the seminar is on the relationship between migration and development.

Panelists: Julia Kronlid (SD – the Sweden Democrats), Pär Karlsson (SACO), Martin Ådahl (Fores)


After the Millennium Development Goals – Who cares?

The UN Millennium Development Goals are all to be met in 2015. Even today, we know that some will succeed, others will not. But is it good having such goals? And more importantly – what will happen after 2015? Does anybody care at all or does the world have more important things to do than to set new goals?

Panelists: Olav Kjörven (UNDP), Fredrik Segerfeldt (developmend aid debator),Rossana Dinamarca (V – the Left Party).


Development cooperation – As bad as its reputation?

Around the world, the Swedish development cooperation is praised for its efficiency and dedication. But here in Sweden, development cooperation has as bad reputation as the company Carema that was catastrophic in taking care of the elderly. What is true and what is false? Why has the image of development cooperation being in disrepair received such strong support among many commentators and politicians in Sweden? And – if development aid is as good as it is said abroad – why are the different actors so bad at explaining this?

Panelists: Stefan Fölster (the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise), Ardalan Shekarabi(S – the Social Democratic Party), Hanna Hellquist (State secretary), Erik Lysén (Swedish Church).


CSR – Just a smokescreen or a sincere commitment?

Companies nowadays have an increasingly greater role in development cooperation. Meanwhile, CSR, corporate social responsibility, is becoming increasingly important as a branding tool for different companies. But what lies behind the fine words? Is the talk about responsibility just a way to fool the public? What effects will the disclosures about Lundin Oil AB and TeliaSonera in Belarus have on corporate credibility? Meanwhile, more and more non-governmental organisations choose to partner with companies. What risks do they expose themselves to if they have to defend corporate behaviour?

Panelists: Anna Ryott (SOS Children’s Villages Sweden), Lisa Svensson (CSR Ambassador), David Eklind Kloo (LO-TCO), Helena Mueller (KPMG), Joachim Bejimo (Sida)




Puppets of the Moderate Party? FP, KD and about the development aid policy

For the past six years, the Moderate Party has formed the image about development cooperation and Ms. Carlsson, the development cooperation minister, has created a heated debate. But other alliance parties do not always agree with the minister about her decisions, particularly the slashed budget support. What do actually the Liberal Party, the Centre Party and the Christian Democratic Party think about the minister’s way of dealing with development aid management, content and actors? What are their visions about the future of development cooperation?

Panelists: Désirée Pethrus (KD – Christian Democratic Party), Kerstin Lundgren (C – the Centre Party), Bonnie Bernström (FP – the Liberal Party)




Land investment or land-grabbing?

There is an ongoing struggle over land around the world where companies seeking to establish themselves in Africa are quickly accused of theft of land – land-grabbing. What truth is there in this?

Panelists: Bodil Ceballos (MP – the Green Party), Kjell Havnevik (The Nordic Africa Institute), Mattias Goldmann (Gröna bilister), Kajsa Johansson (The Swedish Cooperative Centre).

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