Over the past years, the question of inequality has taken center stage in the political debate worldwide. Reducing inequality has become the “great challenge” and with it the question: Which policies should we implement in order to reduce poverty while fostering growth at the same time? In the run-up to Avenir Suisse`s Third Think Tank Summit on “Equality and Inequality”, Natanael Rother has met Lars Tvede* and Ulf Berg*, both experts and speakers at the upcoming conference, to discuss this issue.  Here are some key points of their discussion:

  • It is difficult to draw general conclusions about inequality, because situations differ a lot from country to country and statistics can be misleading. Yet it is obvious that inequality has fallen on a global basis, with China being a big push factor. On the other hand the US and some Western European countries (to a much lesser extent) have seen growing inequality since the 1980s, while the overall situation in Switzerland remains remarkably stable.
  • If politicians want to avoid misery, they should focus on establishing an education system which is permeable and allows people to stay ambitious throughout their lives. Countries with an apprenticeship system usually have a much better ability to keep a higher share of their workforce in the labor market.
  • In the very long run wealth comes only from creativity. Therefore educational systems should favor individual strengths over weaknesses, and should dare to reduce their share of standardized education. Apprenticeship systems could be valuable path for many countries, but they will take time to grow.

These and other questions and issues around inequality will be addressed and discussed in-depth at the Avenir Suisse`s Think Tank Summit 2019. Through interactive exchanges in workshops, debates and discussions, the summit aims to extract lessons and best practices that will help to understand the main drivers of equality and inequality. For those who would like to attend, please check our registration site for more details.

Ulf Berg, born in Denmark, is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kuoni Reisen Holding AG and member of the Board of Directors of various BLR and AM-Tec portfolio firms. More information…

Lars Tvede is a Danish entrepreneur, investor and author living in Switzerland. He is the founder of Beluga, a successful financial trading company, advisor to a Swiss hedge fund and co-founder of the Nordic-American venture capital fund Nordic Eye. His 15 books have been published in 11 languages and more than 50 editions. More information…