Yes, it is true that the primary purpose of Folkemødet in their own words is to strengthen democracy in Denmark, and it may at first glance be difficult to see the direct relevance of this dialogue to you as an executive, but I would dare to claim that you cannot afford to not participate in or at least keep track of what goes on at Folkemødet and thus in Danish society. Folkemødet is a direct reflection of the tendencies stirring in society, and which affect us all as citizens, customers, employees and executives.

It will be worth your while to go to Bornholm

My first argument for going is quite tangible: You should regard Folkemødet as an (almost) free market analysis that will provide you with direct insight into the issues and challenges that one of Denmark’s largest employers is facing. Issues and challenges you may be able to help them solve? Not many Danish companies can afford to disregard the public sector as a customer, and there is an informal atmosphere at Folkemødet that opens up for creative and developing dialogues that you may never be able to take part in under any other circumstances. You will probably be able to talk to people that you could spend months trying to set up meetings with back at the office. On Bornholm, the blazer and tie are off, and the guard is down and replaced by open and informal dialogues, and at the end of the day, it may pay off to know what the needs are of among citizens and the public sector both now and in the future.

 We are all in the same boat

Irrespective of political orientation, companies and public organisations exist in the same Society 4.0 in which citizens remain the strongest driving force behind the demand for development in not least technological opportunities. There has probably never been a greater overlap between the tendencies and challenges that you have to take into account as manager in either the private or the public sector. Citizens, companies and customers all expect a fast and seamless response and interaction with respect to the products and services you may require. And it has also become necessary to handle the uncertainty that the individual employee may feel when navigating an organisation in which the technologies agendas make strong demands for new competences. All challenges which exist in both the private and public sectors. All challenges which are in focus at Folkemødet 2018.

We can learn from each other

I would in continuation of this dare to claim that the public sector and private companies can learn from each other. Just as the private sector, the public sector is also facing a constant need to transform the machinery to be able to provide services in the cross field between citizen needs and technological opportunities. And there is a long list of examples of the rapid development in the public sector:

  • Development of the entire IT infrastructure across the public sector
  • Development of a new health infrastructure with super hospitals and utilisation of e.g. tele medication
  • New opportunities in the education sector via the use of new learning platforms
  • Development of new technologies in the universities. Technologies that can also have applications in the industrial sector.
  • The utilisation of welfare technology within the classical welfare areas in e.g. municipalities

The above are not just examples of services that private companies can offer the public sector. They are also examples of innovative solutions in focus in the public sector. Examples that private companies can draw on for inspiration.

The framework and opportunities for innovation, inspiration and dialogue are in other words fully present at Folkemødet. And the three fundamental prerequisites necessary for innovation, an open mindset, a cross field of different sources of knowledge and well-defined issues, constitute the essence of Folkemødet, The People’s Political Festival. So will I see you on Bornholm?