The future means change. Change is either attractive or appalling. It brings opportunities and challenges, and means that we need to change, too. Learn new things. Embrace new solutions. Solve new problems. Ask critical questions. Change calls for new competencies. Both formal and informal. Interdisciplinary collaboration, creativity, innovation, critical thinking, digital literacy and an upbringing steeped in democratic values are more important than ever.
The competencies of the future will build on many of the values that we already cherish and share in the Nordic Region. We believe in democracy, freedom of speech, integrity, gender equality and openness. These are our values. They are also prerequisites for innovative thinking, new products and new solutions. We also top the world rankings for trust. We have faith in each other, and that will be our greatest strength as we address the challenges of the future – the confidence that together we will find a way.
The Nordic Council of Ministers for Education and Research is the vehicle through which we will achieve all of these new Nordic solutions to the challenges that face us all.
Education and training are the key. The people of the Nordic Region agree. In fact, they rank education and training as one of the most important areas for co-operation in the Nordic Region and would like to see more of it.
Learning is a lifelong process. In kindergartens, classrooms, lecture halls and school playgrounds as well as workplaces, evening classes and internships. We also do it in our spare time – via digital media, in sports halls, around campfires with the Scouts, in the choir and between friends. It is in all of these arenas that the competencies to seize the opportunities of the future and tackle challenges are nurtured and developed – to contribute to the next technological revolution, to make the world a better place for the generations to come. It is also about upbringing. About using our shared Nordic values in new ways.
The Nordic Region has what it takes – both the prerequisites and the ambitions – to lead the world in the competencies of the future. There is a Nordic way of doing things, and there will be in the future, too.
The driving force? It comes from us. The 27 million people of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, Åland and the Faroe Islands. Together, we are creating the future.