Rikskonferensen (the annual national conference)
The Folk och Försvar Annual National Conference is the foremost meeting place for the Swedish security and defence policy community. The conference is held each year in January at a major winter resort. Regular speakers include the Prime Minister, the Ministers of Defence and Foreign Affairs, and the Supreme Commander. Through the years, several prominent international representatives have attended the conference as well.
The Annual National Conference attracts 400 participants and 30-40 speakers for three days of lectures, discussions and debates, intertwined with socializing and winter sports. The conference encourages formal as well as informal conversations between parliamentarians, representatives from trade and industry, political parties, government authorities, youth organizations and various NGOs.
The conference usually receives extensive media coverage and is broadcasted by the national Swedish television network, SVT. The conference also garners attention in news articles, blogs and on Twitter. TheConference is also broadcasted live via our own website.
Introductory training in security policy
Folk och Försvar organizes an introductory training in security policy called “Let’s rule a country!”. It is a role-play exercise, aimed mainly towards high school students and university students . The purpose of “Let’s rule a country!” is to create an understanding of and spark an interest in security policy. The participants assume the role of government officials in various fictional countries. Each government faces its own set of policy challenges which have to be solved with less-than-perfect information and under time constraints. We arrange around 350 “Let’s rule a country!” sessions every year, with over 10 000 participants all over Sweden.
We also arrange role-playing exercises for journalism and communication students, during which the students are asked to gather information and produce news or public information in the face of several fictional crises.
Seminars and panel discussions
Folk och Försvar arranges about 25 seminars and debates a year on topics such as NATO, Russian domestic and foreign policy, Baltic Sea cooperation, political and religious extremism and civil contingency. Among the participants are researchers, MPs, journalists and government officials as well as students and representatives of NGOs. Our seminars are always open to the public and are available on our website.
We usually conduct two study trips each year. Thesegive representatives from our member organisations, politicians, journalists and government agency staff the opportunity to visit other countries and learn about their security and defence policies first-hand. The Folk och Försvar study trips are often conducted with the support of local Swedish embassies. The tours usually include visits at government ministries and agencies, research institutes and think thanks. We have visited, amongst other locations, Brussels, Moscow, Berlin, Beijing, Warsaw, Washington, Sarajevo, Riga, India and Tbilisi.
The activities of Folk och Försvar are financed mainly through a grant from the Ministry of Defence (five million SEK), but also through membership fees (0,5 million SEK). Some projects are financed partly by project contributions.