The King with Elisabeth Kessler and Anders Karlqvist during the Royal Colloquium. Photo: royalcourt.se
On Monday 20 May, The King opened the 11th Royal Colloquium in the Bernadotte Library at the Royal Palace of Stockholm.
The King gave an opening speech, in which he welcomed those present and gave a brief overview of the Royal Colloquium. He also mentioned how the 20 years that have passed since the first Royal Colloquium was held in 1992 have influenced the themes chosen. The King concluded his speech by asking the participants to focus on solutions instead of problems, and to "go from knowing to doing". You can read The King's speech in full here. The King's introductory speech was followed by a round of presentations of the participants, who had come from around the world. Elisabeth Kessler, who is jointly responsible for the Royal Colloquium, spoke about the background to the event and how it first started in 1992 as a follow-up to the environmental conference held in Stockholm in 1972. Terry V. Callaghan took over and explained that he has been responsible for the last 14 years for research at Abisko Scientific Research Station, which the group was due to visit on the following day. John Hayman is based at The Queen's College in Oxford. He was looking forward to the Royal Colloquium, and hoped to contribute by explaining how collective decisions are made. Paul A. Cox from the Institute of Ethnomedicine planned to contribute with his research into local perspectives and local solutions. Dr Cox was the first recipient of the King Carl XVI Gustaf Guest Professorship of Environmental Science in 1997. Garry Brewer from Yale School of Management researches sustainability from an economic perspective. Susan Owens works at the University of Cambridge. She attended the 1972 environmental conference in Stockholm, which encouraged her interest in environmental issues. She works within the field between research and environmental policy. Bo Rothstein from the University of Gothenburg's Department of Political Science spoke about his research, which deals with fields such as professional associations and the quality of political institutions. Arne Wittlöw has spent many years working in the manufacturing industry, including with the Volvo Group. He describes himself as a solution-oriented engineer, and is also a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Dirk Helbing is based in Zurich, where he compiles large quantities of data, facts and statistics to produce intelligible, searchable models within areas such as traffic. LKAB's Göran Bäckblom appreciates the advantages of the Royal Colloquium bringing together researchers from different parts of the world: "New ideas spring up in the spaces in between." Björn Olsen works at Uppsala University and researches infectious diseases that spread between animals and people, such as avian flu. Nina Rehnqvist is Head of the Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment (SBU), which works to develop and evaluate medical methods. Susan Martin from Georgetown University researches the interaction between environmental changes and migration. Wolfgang Lutz researches demographics and education at the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital in Vienna. Jerry Glover is an adviser to the Office of Agricultural Research and Policy at the US Agency for International Development's Bureau of Food Security. He researches ways in which agriculture, technology and ecology can come together to create sustainable farming. Göran Cars is Professor of Social Planning at the Royal Institute of Technology. He currently lives in Kiruna, and is involved in the project to move the town. After the individual presentations, Anders Karlqvist concluded by speaking about the Royal Colloquium and how the aim is to discuss environmental issues from a broad perspective in a relaxed setting. A discussion was then held on how modern research is carried out, and on what grounds. The King concluded the introductory afternoon by thanking the participants.