The impact of COVID-19 on geopolitics and the Swedish exception was the topic of a “Brown Bag Lunch Talk” hosted by MSD Sweden and held in Stockholm on October 6, 2020. Featuring an internationally renowned keynote speaker and moderator from The Economist and a distinguished panel of key stakeholders in Sweden, the event created an exciting forum to extend the MSD Policy Arena far beyond Swedish borders.
“We feel quite privileged to be able to attract and host such distinguished guests to discuss important topics related to the pandemic, global health, public policy and the future outlook for Sweden,” says Sarah Aiosa, Managing Director, MSD Sweden.
While the audience in the room was adjusted due to the pandemic and kept to a small number of journalists, Embassy representatives and members of the Swedish Leadership Team, the reach of the livestreamed event was quite broad, with more than 240 live views.
Keynote speaker and moderator Mr. Alasdair Ross, Countries Editor of The Economist Group, World In, kept the audience spell-bound with a valuable and thought-provoking presentation on how COVID-19 has accelerated trends across the geopolitical landscape.
The distinguished panel included Stefan Swartling Peterson,Professor of Global Health, Chief of Health section, Unicef, Bi Puranen, Secretary General, World Values Survey, Jenni Nordborg, Head of the Swedish Government’s Office for Life Sciences and Professor Ole Petter Ottersen, President of Karolinska Institutet.
Building on our deep expertise to uphold safety and quality After Mr. Ross’ plenary talk, Sarah Aiosa described the many ways MSD has demonstrated leadership in response to the crisis, from protecting employees, ensuring supply of our products, as well as contributing our expertise in developing antivirals and vaccines, to supporting our health care providers and communities. Sarah reinforced how well-positioned MSD has been in this endeavor, given our deep expertise and legacy in treatments and vaccines for infectious diseases, such as for HIV and Ebola.
A vibrant panel discussionThe vibrant panel discussion touched upon the importance of trust and collaborations, finding local solutions, & the importance of data and digital solutions to help unravel and solve the inequities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
“The Event not only addressed important insights and academically resilient discussions, but also established new important relationships that we will continue to build upon”, says Marie Ohrlander, Director Policy & Communication in MSD Sweden.
The Brown Bag Lunch Talks is a policy arena created 5 years ago in the Swedish subsidiary where the Policy & Communication team & Business Units welcome important stakeholders and speakers to discuss and debate important policy issues impacting public health. The series have had more than 30 successful events, often with patients, high-level politicians, scientific leaders, as well as journalists as engaged speakers and panelists.