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What future for social investment?

  • Date(s)
    7 May 2009
  • Location

Assessing the diversity, feasibility, and economic and social relevance of social investment strategies, Policy Network will support the Institute for Future Studies and the Nordic Centre of Excellence (Nordwel) in bringing together social policy experts, academics, and policymakers from across Europe for a two day conference entitled "what future for social investment?". The event will take place in Stockholm, 7-8 May, 2009.

In a period of deep crisis, the question arises as to what kind of new strategies should be implemented to recover and sustain stronger growth, more and better jobs, and greater equality and social cohesion. Yet, thinking on this front has to look beyond immediate responses to the current crisis; it must discuss the kind of strategies that should be implemented in the short, medium, and long term.

Since the late 1990s, some countries have developed what can be termed “a social investment strategy”. In 2000, the EU adopted part of this strategy during the Lisbon Summit. In an attempt to develop a knowledge-based economy by investing in research and development and in human capital, this new strategy entails a strong re-orientation of existing social protection systems and/or development of new social policies aimed at “preparing rather than repairing”.

Since all countries are now confronted with a deep financial and systemic crisis, can the social investment strategy help governments and the EU provide some guidelines for the implementation of macro-economic and social policies? With just one year left until the deadline, it seems that the goals of the Lisbon Strategy will be hard to meet, even more so with the new global crisis. Europe is experiencing some difficulties in becoming “the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion, and respect for the environment by 2010”.

In this context, the seminar will assess the diversity, the feasibility and the relevance of the social investment strategy to see whether the goals defined in 2000 are still relevant, whether they can help in facing not only traditional European problems but also new issues created by the current crisis. Or on the contrary, is the current time requiring totally different, alternative strategies?

Conference programme

Thursday, 7 May

Welcome and Introduction: What future for social investment?

Joakim Palme, Bruno Palier, Stein Kuhnle

Session one: Taking stock of the social investment strategy in Europe
Speakers: Jane Jenson, Joakim Palme, Barbara Da Roit, Kerstin Jacobsson, Anton Hemerijck

Friday, 8 May

Session two: The political and economic conditions for a social investment strategy

Speakers: Giuliano Bonoli, Kimberly Morgan, Bruno Palier, Vitor Gaspar, John D Stephens

Session three: How can we reformulate an investment strategy for tomorrow’s society?

Speakers: André Sapir, Bengt-Åke Lundvall, Thomas Lindh, Eric Westholm, Roger Liddle

If you have any questions about this conference, please contact Michael McTernan at mmcternan@policy-network.net.

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