Polarization vs. Pluralism

Academia’s Crucial Role in Bridging Perspectives
09-10 November 2023
Where: KMH - Royal College of Music in Stockholm and Openlab

Welcome to


Polarization vs. Pluralism

Academia’s Crucial Role in Bridging Perspectives

In a world where increasing polarization poses complex challenges to many layers of society, academia plays a more important role now than ever. When one-sided, powerful stories describe the world from opposite extremes, inviting opposing perspectives to the table (the very essence of academia) for thoughtful exploration and discussion, is an essential ingredient in the antidote. This takes curiosity and courage (and what are academics if not curious and courageous?) and a good arena for dialogue. That’s why we would like to invite you to explore academia’s crucial role in bridging perspectives at this year’s Stockholm Explorative Talks – alongside academics and artists from all 18 universities and higher education institutions in Stockholm.



Welcome and Introduction


Session I: Explorative Dialogue – Dimensions of Health

Health is so much more than the absence of disease. According to WHO, health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. Other dimensions of health can be existential, spiritual, intellectual, emotional, vocational, financial, and environmental. In what ways do these dimensions interact and impact our health? Are there other dimensions too? This session will explore how academic knowledge, local know-how and exchange can contribute to responsible and sustainable global health.

Aku Kwamie

Aku Kwamie | Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research at the World Health Organisation
Ole Petter Ottersen | Former President of Karolinska Institutet and Oslo University

Olle Burell | President of the Stockholm City Council


Coffee Break


Session II: Breakout sessions

During these breakout sessions, we’ll give the stage to our Explorers for 10 minutes to present their take on the topic in question. Then the conversation opens up for a freewheeling discussion with the Co-Explorers (representing widely different disciplines) where thoughts and ideas from various angles meet in a spontaneous way. For the first time we’ll also have representatives from the private sector participating in the conversations. (Oh, and did we mention? It’s 100% PowerPoint free.)

Breakout A: Home

– Where we live, what we design, where we’re from…

Sara Ilstedt | Product and Service Design, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Magnus Karlsson | Civil Society Research, Marie Cederschiöld University
Janina Seubert | Psychology, Karolinska Institutet