HE Ambassador Törbjorn Söhlstrom, Swedish Ambassador to London

”Since it was first launched, the Aurora Forum continues from strength to strength.  With fascinating discussions, interesting participants and great opportunities for networking.  This is a platform that can hopefully contribute to maintaining the close connection the Nordic and Baltic countries have always enjoyed with the UK.”

Mr Helge Lund, Chairman, BP p.l.c.

“This is a forum that is continuing to bring the UK, Nordic and Baltic countries together in dialogue.  Building on 900 years of free trade and shared security whilst bringing together a cross section of high level attendees discussing key issues of the day”

HE Ambassador Lars Thuesen, Danish Ambassador to London

“I have had the pleasure of being part of the Aurora Forum since it was first launched. The ties between the Nordic countries and our Baltic and British neighbours are deep and cut across political, cultural and historic bonds. The Forum has provided an excellent platform to engage with business leaders, politicians and colleagues on the most important issues of the day, gaining insight and building networks, in an informal and confidential setting.”

Mr Ulrik Vestergaard Knudsen, Deputy Secretary-General, OECD

“Relevant, unique, and thought-provoking – three words I think sum up the Aurora Forum 2020. The chance to do a deep-dive into topics of common interest and priorities with international counterparts is always valuable, and even more so in the current global context. The Aurora Forum both encourages and enables cooperation on the big issues facing the world today, from climate to digital transformation to growth and well-being. It was an honour to be a part of it this year and I look forward to future opportunities to engage in a Forum that manages to stay relevant in the face of tumultuous change.”

Ms Xenia Wickett Vice President Political Analysis Equinor UK Ltd

“The recent Aurora Forum event in which I participated, did a superb job at creating a safe space to discuss difficult and sensitive issues despite being run virtually. The calibre of the discussants was excellent, generating new ideas and providing a rich environment to build understanding of the topics at hand. And the moderators did a superb job of bringing in other participants and other views to create a high quality of conversation and debate. Thank you.”

Mr Jim Hagemann Snabe, Chairman of Siemens and Maersk

“In a time of transformative change and disruption, the dialogue at the hybrid/virtual Aurora Forum, which brings leaders from UK, Nordic and Baltic countries together in key dialogue, was very relevant and engaging. With its sharing of ideas and discussions on challenges and solutions in a number of sectors, the Aurora Forum helped shape the leadership and cooperation needed to navigate towards a better future.”

H.E. Ambassador Wegger Chr. Strommen, Norwegian Ambassador to London

“The Aurora Forum is of great value as an official and structured dialogue between the UK and the Nordic-Baltic states. The Forum focuses on our shared values, common goals and challenges as it brings together the public and private sectors in an excellent way.”

Mr Leif Johansson, Chairman of AstraZeneca

“The Aurora Forum focuses on issues that could help form the future. We do so with great respect for many generations of shared history and common values. The Forum also helps define how our region can contribute within the broad context of development of the world.  Academia, governments and corporations can share The Aurora platform for exploring and exchanging ideas between us.”

Dr Artis Pabriks, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Latvia

“The global security environment is becoming ever more complex, with threats emerging in various dimensions and directions. In such time of uncertainty, it is increasingly important to talk with partners and allies, to strengthen the relationship, and exchange thoughts and ideas. Thus, Aurora Forum provides an excellent platform to address the evolving security challenges with Baltic – Nordic countries and the UK, countries who share the security and threat perspectives. This Forum brings together numerous high level attendees from various backgrounds and allows open discussion on the topical issues of the day, promoting cooperation and building relationships. I am delighted to have been a part of this highly esteemed community.

Daniel Franklin, Executive Editor, The Economist

“The Aurora Forum is a one-stop-shop for informed perspectives from around the region. Although the recent two-day event was by necessity virtual and so lacked the usual face-to-face networking element, it was still a feast of high-level thinking on today’s (and tomorrow’s) big issues.”

Lord Sedwill (Mark)

“The Aurora Forum fosters dialogue on the big international economic and security challenges and opportunities among the political, diplomatic, academic and business communities from the UK, Nordic and Baltic countries. This like-minded community will be even more important to the UK post-Brexit.” 

Mr Bjørn Haugstad Director General Ministry of Petroleum & Energy, Norway

“In my position as senior policy-maker on energy and climate, I am constantly struggling to keep abreast of important global trends in the field. The Aurora Forum provided a much welcome opportunity to engage with leading global thinkers, for inspiration as well as new insights.  For me the recent hybrid/virtual forum was a great experience.”

Rt Hon Greg Hands MP, Minister of State, Department for International Trade

“It was a pleasure to participate for the first time in the Aurora Forum, as a panellist. Our relations with Scandinavia and the Baltic States are particularly important at this time, now we have left the European Union. We need bodies like the Aurora Forum to keep these strong and friendly links. We have exceptionally strong common values and interests. I hope to remain a supporter going forward.”

Dr Karin von Hippel, Director-General, RUSI

“The Aurora Forum convenes a unique and diverse mix of northern European leaders, whether from governments, non-government organisations, the private sector, or international organisations.  At the Forum, participants debate and discuss issues of common concern in an off-the-record setting. Having participated in several Forum meetings so far, I’ve been impressed by the high quality of the participants and of the discussion.  It will surely continue to be a much-sought after invitation for those interested in issues of peace, security, and sustainability.”

Dr Nik Gowing, Founder/Director, Thinking the Unthinkable Project and Aurora Forum Moderator

“In just three years the Aurora Forum has developed into an extraordinarily high value and productive gathering. This is confirmed by the attendance list for the third year. It brought together top corporate, government and think tank figures from the UK and Nordics. Together they confirmed firstly in person at Hopetoun House in 2018 and 2019, then virtually in 2020, the huge value added and insights gained from the informal, high level, off the record exchanges. For every leading figure it was time well spent because of the moderated, time efficient conversations and take aways. The Aurora Forum has confirmed that in such difficult times these dialogues have a vital role for focussing new ideas and thinking, plus building new partnerships”

Lord Willetts, President of the Resolution Foundation

“The Aurora Forum has already established itself as a key part of the relationship between the UK and Nordic and Baltic countries. There is an excellent atmosphere of trust and mutual respect which makes it possible to share analysis of tricky issues and exchange ideas on how to tackle them. “

Mr Patrick Horgan, Director Global Public Relations, Rolls-Royce plc

“The Aurora Forum is unique in bringing together senior figures from the Nordics, the Baltics and the UK, spanning government, business, academia, think-tanks, journalism and civil society.  Even in the hybrid/virtual format that circumstances demanded in 2020, the Forum rose to the challenge and covered key contemporary and systemic issues in a thoughtful and insightful manner.  Careful curation of the programme consistently delivered quality speakers/participants and a breadth of substantive discussion that is rare in events such as this.”

Mr Tej Parikh, Chief Economist, Institute of Directors

“The Aurora Forum is a truly unique gathering of diverse minds from across government, business, and society. It goes beyond simply discussing the key challenges facing Europe and World, by delving into solutions and ways forward—drawing upon an array of perspectives in a thoroughly engaging and constructive manner.”

Ms Emily Mansfield, Principal Economist for Europe, The Economist Intelligence Unit

“The Aurora Forum’s session on Friends, Adversaries and Frenemies was a thought-provoking examination of the threats posed by grey zone aggressions and how we can respond — not in broad platitudes, but with specific strategies and actions, presented by high-profile speakers with on-the-ground experience. I was impressed by the depth of the discussion, and surprised by a number of new ideas — the best test, in my opinion, of any such event.”

Ms Seema Malhotra MP, Labour Member of Parliament and Shadow Minister for Department of Works & Pension

“The Aurora Forum bringing the UK, Nordic and Baltic countries together is an exceptional space in which the big issues of the day are debated with the most insightful minds. It’s a forum where new thinking is developed and where change happens.”

Mr Rihard Kols, Member of 13th Saeima of the Republic of Latvia, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee
Representative of the Saeima to the OECD

”The forum, even organised virtually, is an important and much-needed platform for the Baltic, Nordic and UK networking and communication, tackling significant topics that will continue to be ever more relevant to us all. With the United Kingdom leaving the EU, the Aurora Forum provides the chance for parliamentarians, decision-makers and opinion leaders to strengthen our cooperation and friendships via honest and frank discussion on policy and business topics, thus bringing value to each.” 

Mr Risto E J Penttilä, CEO, Nordic West Office & Secretary General, European Business Leader’s Convention, Finland

“The Aurora Forum is the place to go if you are interested in the future relationship between the UK and the Nordics. Plenty of insights. Plenty of inspiration”

Ms Eeva Eek-Pajuste, Director of the Lennart Meri Conference, Estonia

“A highlight for me was the ability of the organizers to create online the same cosy and intimate atmosphere that we have been accustomed to in these last years at Hopetoun House. Although I felt sorry not to be able to meet face to face, I immensely enjoyed the intellectual power of the discussions, the scope of analyses and the chats online.  Content-wise, I eagerly followed the discussions about the future of the UK identity, how it would be created and what it would consist of after Brexit.  I very much enjoyed listening to Minister Artis Pabriks, whose contribution was very insightful and thought provoking.  So, for a while the vibe of Hopetoun House could be felt in my own kitchen at home. Thank you for that!”

Ms Monika Garbačiauskaitė-Budrienė, Director General, Member of EBU Executive Board, Latvia

“The political events of recent years and extreme political fragmentation pose multiple challenges to our societies, while the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation. This Forum provides an excellent opportunity to reflect on the complex security challenges faced by Northern Europe’s region and leverage leaders and experts’ perspectives from various sectors: business, government, and academia. Participating at the Forum also provided new valuable insights on security and defence issues that are of particular concern to the Baltic countries’ audience.”

Mr Claus V. Hemmingsen, Board Member, Maersk, Denmark

“I recently attended the Aurora Forums virtual meeting on “Continuing to bring the UK, Nordic and Baltic countries together in dialogue”. I was impressed with the quality of the programme and the virtual meeting itself, which provided ample opportunity for speakers, facilitators and audience to engage and interact. Even more impressive were the excellent speakers and the high quality content. A great learning and sharing opportunity.”