The Scottish Parliament's think-tank

A Nordic Rethink: Where Next for Nordic Horizons?

Man with binoculars looks over a large forest covered in snow

Thursday 20 June 2019, at the Scottish Parliament

Since 2010, Nordic Horizons has brought six Nordic experts a year to Scotland to share their experience and expertise from some of the world’s most successful countries. It has covered issues as varied as Finnish Prisons Policy, Norwegian Outdoor Kindergarten, the Icelandic Crowd-sourced Constitution, Swedish Voting Systems and Copenhagen’s status as the world’s first Eco-City.

It held a fringe meeting on the reality of life in the Arctic during the 2018 Edinburgh Arctic Forum and a day-long event on Nordic relations with Europe two months after the Brexit vote (resulting in the book McSmorgasbord).

With support from the Scottish Government, the Nordic Consulates and Embassies, and bodies like Europa Institute and the Institute of Governance at Edinburgh University, those behind Nordic Horizons hope that it has contributed to a policy shift in Scotland, where Nordic models are better understood and more accessible than they were in 2010.

But as a group of volunteers, in summer 2019, they were ready to call a one-year pause – or perhaps a permanent halt.

Before they did, they held a celebration of Nordic Horizons to launch a new website, relive the highlights of almost a decade’s work, and discuss future ways to develop Nordic thinking in Scottish policy development. 

With a welcome from Angus MacDonald MSP and contributions from Lesley Riddoch and others involved in driving forward the work of Nordic Horizons, the event looked back over Nordic Horizon’s successes and forward to potential futures.