Sweden lies geographically on the periphery of Europe, yet it is one of the EU’s most successful economies. In the broader course we will examine some of the potential sources of this success, but during Core Course week we will begin our consideration of the nature of economies on the periphery. The historic island of Gotland lies in the Baltic Sea halfway between Sweden and Latvia. How does it survive economically and what does it do to prosper more? What lessons can we learn from this island about Sweden as a whole, and do any of these apply to other peripheral EU economies such as Greece, the subject of our long Study Tour?
- Examine what an out of the way place like Gotland can do to encourage international business to locate there, and how the challenges faced in this location differ from Sweden as a whole
- See how Sweden makes the most of its numerous historical landmarks, of which many are preserved on Gotland, and consider them in the light of our course topics of public goods and externalities
- Look at how digital businesses can assist tourism in new and sustainable ways
- Explore Visby, the UNESCO World Heritage site and “best preserved Medieval city in Europe,” taking in both the natural and historical landmarks of the island of Gotland
- Discuss the ups and downs of tourism as an industrial sector with the organizers of one of Europe's largest Middle Ages festivals
- Learn first-hand about Almedalsveckan, an annual event which attracts every noteworthy Swedish politician, policy maker, business person, and journalist to the city of Visby for one summer week of debates, discussions, seminars, and events generating millions of dollars for the local economy in the process