High-Level Conference on the Economy of Wellbeing

The main event highlighting the Economy of Wellbeing approach, which examines the two-way relationship between wellbeing and the economy. The conference aims to generate cross-sectoral dialogue on the themes for use in the forthcoming Council conclusions on the Economy of Wellbeing.

The event will have a live webcast. Join the conversation on Twitter: #economyofwellbeing #EU2019FI

Contact persons:

Noora Saarinen, [email protected] tel. +358 295 163 039
Communications, [email protected], tel. +358 50 523 6797

Background information on the Economy of Wellbeing


Wednesday 18 September

13.00 Opening session

Moderators: Annika Damström, Journalist and Nicklas Wancke, Journalist, Yle

Ima Iduozee - Garden Of Eden (revisited)
Jean Sibelius - Belshazzar’s Feast, JS 48: Act II: Prelude: Nocturno

Welcome and opening remarks
Tuula Haatainen, First Deputy Speaker, Finnish Parliament

Video message
Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, European Commission

13.30–14.30 Plenary Session - Interlinkage Between Well-Being And Economic Policy

Wellbeing and growth in our Union: Renewing the promise of upward convergence
Carsten Stender, Director-General, Germany

Video message: Interlinkage between Well-being and Economic Policy — Theoretical overview of the concept of Economy of Wellbeing and publication of the OECD report

Marco Mira d'Ercole, Head of Division, OECD

Commentary address — Well-being and Banking policies in Europe: Towards a Financial System that Serves Society
Daniela Gabor, Professor of Economics and Macro-Finance, University of the West of England Bristol

14.30 Coffee and networking break

15.15-17.15 Parallel Sessions

Session A: Reducing Inequality & Providing Equal Opportunities

Inequality, growth and well-being: connecting the dots
Naila Kabeer, Professor, London School of Economics

Panel discussion

  • Digitalisation of Health and Social services - possibilities and challenges / Tanel Kiik, Minister of Social Affairs, Estonia
  • Social rights – fundamental rights / Michael O’Flaherty, Director, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
  • Addressing inequalities in the area of employment and social inclusion / Katarina Ivankovic-Knezevic, Director, DG for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission
  • Health promotion and its influences on well-being and economy / John F. Ryan, Director, DG for Health and Food Safety, European Commission
  • Equal opportunities in education / Minna Kelhä, State Secretary, Finland
  • Guaranteed minimum income with SDG aspect / Olli Kangas, Professor of Practice, University of Turku; Program Director, Strategic Research Council, Academy of Finland
Session B: Investing In Capabilities In Changing World

EU Social Policy and the Economy of Wellbeing
Caroline de la Porte, Professor, Copenhagen Business School

Panel discussion

  • Investments in people’s capabilities / Patrick Develtere, Principal Adviser for Social Policy, European Political Strategy Centre
  • Gender equal economies / Virginija Langbakk, Director,  European Institute for Gender Equality
  • Quality healthcare improving wellbeing and economic performance / Tadas Leončikas, Senior Research Manager, Eurofound
  • Mental health in the changing world of work and society / David McDaid, Professor, London School of Economics
  • Social security in the changing world of work / Paul Schoukens, Professor, KU Leuven
  • Future world of work and occupational safety and health / Yogindra Samant, Chief Medical Officer, Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority

17.15–17.45 Wrap-up session of Day 1 and introduction for Day 2

Krista Kiuru, Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services, Finland

Thursday 19 September

9.00 Opening of Day 2

National wellbeing and resilience of the economy: systems perspective
Elena Rovenskaya, Acting Deputy Director General/CEO, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

9.15–11.15 Plenary Session — Sustainable, Inclusive Economy In The Framework Of Sustainable Development And Agenda 2030

Moderator: Annika Damström, Journalist / Nicklas Wancke, Journalist, Yle

Economy of Wellbeing and implementing the Agenda 2030: sustainability, investment and well-being aspects of the Economy of Wellbeing
Kerstin Jorna, Deputy Director-General, DG for Economic and Financial Affairs

Panel discussion

  • What is globalisation and decent work in 2030? / Timo Harakka, Minister of Employment, Finland
  • The role of health systems to ensure implementing SDG3 for all / John F. Ryan, Director, DG SANTE
  • Health security — a global challenge / Päivi Sillanaukee, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
  • Climate change and well-being / Marja Järvelä, Professor Emerita, University of Jyväskylä
  • Migration and equal labour market participation / Pieter Bevelander, Professor, Malmö University

11.15 Coffee and networking break

11.45–13.30 Plenary Session — Europe in 2020 — Promoting Economy of Wellbeing

Ministerial Round table

  • Krista Kiuru, Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services, Finland
  • Lena Hallengren, Minister for Health and Social Affairs, Sweden
  • Ildiko Horvath, Minister of State for Health, Hungary
  • Linas Kukuraitis, Minister of Social Security and Labour, Lithuania
  • Nicola Blackwood, State Secretary Baroness, UK
  • Marija Pletikosa, State Secretary, Croatia
  • Ana Sofia Antunes, Secretary of State of Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, Por-tugal
  • Maria Kaisa Aula, State Secretary, Finland

Stakeholders' comments

  • Piotr Sadowski, President, Social Platform
  • Leo Williams, Director, European Anti-Poverty Network
  • Rebekah Smith, Deputy Director for Social Affairs, Business Europe
  • Pirjo Väänänen, Representative of European Trade Union Confederation

13.30–13.45 Closing session

Economy of Wellbeing – a way for sustainable future Europe
Aino-Kaisa Pekonen, Minister of Social Affairs and Health, Finland

Events in Helsinki 16-22 September 2019

welfare and wellbeing economy




Mannerheimintie 13, Helsinki, Finland


Ministry of Social Affairs and Health