Register Now for the 19th BDF Summit

in BDF Events, News

This year, the 19th Baltic Development Forum Summit challenges old truths and takes a look at how a changing world creates new perspectives on growth. In what ways can an increased focus on sustainability and social engagement provide profits for business? How can the digital transformation open up new opportunities for small and medium size companies around the region? What will the political and economic developments within and outside the region mean for regional cooperation and our future economic performance? Together we will chart a new way for how to grow our region.

Organised by the Baltic Development Forum, the annual Summits have provided a high-level meeting place for regional cross-sectoral dialogue since 1999. See the full list of previous BDF Summits and related materials.

The 19th BDF Summit is arranged in conjunction with the 8th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.


08.30      Welcome and Registration

09.15      Opening and keynote addresses  

09.45      New business models for sustainability
Sustainability rests on three pillars: Social, economic, and environmental sustainability. This is true for overall societal development, but also for business operations. More and more companies are realizing that environmental wins can have positive financial impact, and serve as a tool for reducing both economic and social risk. At the same time, the sharing economy and circular business models are allowing others to explore new ways of operating profitable businesses that meet current demand while also serving as good neighbors and community members, locally and globally. In this session we will explore new and smart business models for sustainability, from the perspective of companies operating in the Baltic Sea Region.

Dr. Florian Lüdeke-Freund, Senior Research Associate, University of Hamburg
Anders Lendager, Founder, Lendager Group
Dag Duberg, Nordic Sustainability Manager, Tarkett

10.45      Short coffee break

11.00      Connecting digital start-up ecosystems in the Baltic Sea Region
The Baltic Sea Region is a digital frontrunner, and home to countries that are among the most advanced globally within digital competences, use of internet, e-government services etc. Many cities in the region display thriving digital start-up environments, fueled by talents/entrepreneurs, high innovation scores and creative ecosystems. But while vibrant startup scenes are growing in several cities, their focus of collaboration tend to be the global hotspots beyond the region. By increasing connections within the region, connecting start-up communities in neighboring countries and finding ways to complement each other, much potential could be released.

How can the cities in the Baltic Sea Region interact across borders to boost transnational digital collaboration and an integrated digital labor market? Can we integrate a digital market by connecting innovative start-up ecosystems? How should it be done in practice?

Joakim Wernberg, PhD Candidate, Lund University

Olle Zetterberg, CEO, Stockholm Business Region
Tobias Stone, digital entrepreneur
Taavi Roivas, Vice President of Estonian Parliament (tbc)
Niko Kyynäräinen, CEO of Turku Science Park Ltd (tbc)
Stephan Jacquemot, Head of Microsoft Accelerator Berlin (tbc)

12.00      State of the Baltic Sea Region – Presentation of the Political State of the Region Report 2017
The last couple of years the issue of Russia-Western relations has been on the top of the political Agenda. Now the Brexit-decision and the election of Donald Trump as president of Unites States raise the question of a broader West-West-divide. What will it mean to our region that UK is leaving the EU? Will it strengthen or weaken the cooperation by the North European countries staying in, and what will it mean to growth and economy in the region. And will the change of Administration in Washington lead to a new US-Russia understanding on international issues like Syria and Ukraine? And if so what would that mean to the Baltic States, the Nordics, Germany and Poland?

Dr. Tobias Etzolt, Associate, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik
Dr. Ann-Sofie Dahl, Associate Professor, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Dr. Lykke Friis, Chairman of Danish Foreign Policy Society, frm Minister for Energy and Climate
Andris Pielbags, Leader of Unity Party Latvia, frm European Commissioner
Dr. Christian Ketels, Senior Research Fellow, Stockholm School of Economics, and Faculty Member, Harvard Business School

12.50      Closing speech


Federal Foreign Office
Werderscher Markt 1
10117 Berlin, Germany


Participation is free of charge, but the number of seats is limited. Please note that you will be asked for your passport number when registering.

Register here


Welcome Event 12 June

By invitation only

BDF Sessions at the 8th Annual Forum of the EUSBSR

13 June

17.00 – 18.30 Climate Challenges for Energy Supply
Organisers: Council of the Baltic Sea States (HA Climate), Latvian Ministry of Economics (PA Energy), Baltic Development Forum

14 June

10.45 – 12.15 Inclusive Digitalization (Part 1) – Connecting Tech Start-ups Beyond Metropolitan Areas
Organisers: Nordic Council of Ministers (PAC bioeconomy/PAC Inno), Nordregio, Baltic Development Forum

13.45 – 15.15 Inclusive Digitalization (Part 2) – Connecting Digital Bioeconomy and Rural Development
Organisers: Nordic Council of Ministers (PAC bioeconomy/PAC Inno), Nordregio, Baltic Development Forum

8th Annual Forum of the EUSBSR

The 8th Annual Forum of the EUSBSR will be hosted by the Federal Foreign Office together with the Baltic Sea Commission and in close cooperation with the European Commission on 13 – 14 June 2017 in Berlin.  About 800 participants from governments, international organisations, NGOs, universities, local and regional administrations and business will discuss a broad range of issues relevant for the Baltic Sea Region. The motto of the 8th Annual Forum is “connectivity”, highlighting the necessity to further intensify contacts throughout the whole Baltic Sea Region and to develop a better awareness of each other’s perspectives. Visit the website