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Dear Reader

Knowledge is power, said Sir Francis Bacon in 1597, and the saying was as actual then as it is today. Today, however, we have another dimension of empowerment, namely competence. Human resource and competence development are seen as the key factors for ensuring the balanced economic growth, competitiveness and social welfare in the Nordic region.

The Nordic Council of Ministers and House of Monday Morning have produced a discussion document looking at the options for the Nordic Region to become a winner in the global innovation economy. The document stresses the need for joint Nordic leadership, for clarifying the strengths of the region and for marketing the Nordic welfare policy, and branding the whole Nordic region based on values and distinctive Nordic culture. The report points out the need to coordinate the efforts and learn from each other in the region.

The Nordic cooperation has an additional asset in this development, and it is the cooperation with the Adjacent areas. The fast economic growth and the development of the society in the Baltic states and the neighbouring regions of Northwest Russia is a resource for the development. The sectors of education and culture lie in the forefront in finding common interests and issues for cooperation between the Nordic region and our closest neighbours.

Still, we cannot stop. “we need to constantly develop the education system in order to involve all citizens, (..), and ensure flexibility, cross-sectoral approach, (..) entrepreneurship and innovation to a much greater extent than today, as these are very essential and empowering components in the global competition,” points out Karen Brygmann in the 1st DialogueWeb issue of 2006.

Antra Carlsen, NVL coordinator

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