Themes and Issues

The themes of the NFF 2014 are the competitiveness of education systems and the promotion of innovative business activity.

Theme image. Photo: Antti Kokkola

How to promote the creation of new, innovative

In times of lean economic growth, intensified global competition and increasing pressures on public finances, governments are eagerly seeking ways of promoting the private sector to make their economies grow faster  – or at the least to maintain the current growth path. However, according to the prevailing perception, direct government intervention and “picking the winners” types of policies are unlikely to succeed and should be avoided. Instead, industrial policy should be applied only when it can be justified by positive externalities or other market failures. In addition, competitive neutrality within the EU limits the room for maneuver for national policies. So what can and should governments do to enhance the growth of private businesses in their countries and across Europe?
Background paper on innovative businesses (pdf)

How to ensure the competiveness of our education

There is a shared understanding that education supports economic growth, competitiveness, sustainable reform of social structures and the wellbeing of citizens. For that reason, practically all developed and developing nations see investment in education and research as a key element of their success. Its rising economic importance, together with increased expenditure, have made it necessary to increase the accountability of public spending on education, with special focus given to alignment of incentives of education institutions with public policy. The recent PISA and PIAAC results expose weaknesses and a deteriorating trend in many European countries. This is worrisome in the light of increasing demand for skills in the labour market. So what are the most urgent and affordable reforms that will ensure the international competitiveness of our education systems today and in the near future?
Background paper on education (pdf)


Northern Future Forum 2014 – Country issues









See also Presentations and Delegations.

(Updated 3.11.2014)