Economist's Recipe for the Future: More Innovation and New Regulations

October 09, 2015

Anna Felländer, Chief Economist at Swedbank, one of Sweden's biggest banks, says that digitalization is revolutionizing our economic systems and paving the way for new and exciting business models.

But to be able to cease these new opportunities “politicians have to enable the development. We need risk capital, education and flexible labor regulations.”
Felländer spoke at TechniaTranscat's PLM Innovation Forum which was held in the Photography Museum in Stockholm, Sweden. 

"We are entering the age of a sharing economy where thousands of traditional jobs will be lost and will need to be replaced. This can only happen if regulations adapt, but this adaptation is not happening fast enough," Felländer said.

What is the big difference? 

"For one, the sharing economy does not provide insurance schemes and workers' rights. It is based on matchmaking rather than employment. Take the Uber taxi system, it does not provide any rights for the driver. Workers need lobbying organizations that speak for them in order to make sure that relevant regulations are put in place for this new reality."

What are the opportunities ahead? 

"In a positive scenario where there is a high economic growth, the sharing economy could replace the jobs that are lost because there is a low threshold for starting new businesses in the digital arena. The sharing economy makes it much easier than before to meet needs and it uses resources much more efficiently.”

What is your recipe to meet the future? 

“A high degree of innovation is paramount. Sweden, for instance, is well positioned. We have a high density of innovative IT-entrepreneurs, a good digital infrastructure and adaptive consumers.” 

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About Swedbank and Anna Felländer

Swedbank is a full-service Nordic Baltic Banking group with 9.5 million retail customers and more than 600,000 corporate customers in Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Anna Felländer and Anna Breman, Senior Macro Analyst at the bank, called the future economy "diginomics" in a popular article published last year. They urged Sweden to focus on education, innovation and labor migration to meet the future. Also, Anna Felländer, Robin Teigland and Claire Ingram at the Stockholm School of Economics wrote a book on the Sharing Economy – Embracing Change with Caution earlier this year.