Trond Giske, Norway’s government minister in charge of business and trade, finally gathered his controversial group of relatively young advisers, to brainstorm about what will sustain Norway in future generations. He claimed he was “very satisfied” when the first session was over.
Giske’s group, called “Norge 2020,” is made up mostly of heirs to some of the country’s biggest and most successful companies, along with several entrepreneurs. Included among them: Ole Robert Reitan, one of the heirs to the REMA 1000 grocery store chain; Thomas Wilhelmsen, heir to shipping company Wilh Wilhelmsen; Jon S von Tetzchner, one of the founders of Opera Software; Cecilie Fredriksen, one of the heirs to John Fredriksen’s shipping and industrial empire; and Rebecca Mahboubi, who founded The American Bagel Co in Oslo.
Crown Prince Haakon was also intended to be among the group, but he was forced to bow out after criticism that he was inappropriately blending his royal role with politics.
Giske was disappointed, and maintains he wished the crown prince was still part of the group, but he nonetheless was pleased that so many others are willing and eager to share their thoughts on how Norway can become a better place to do business, and what the country can live on if and when its oil and gas runs out.
Giske insists the group will not draw any conclusions or formulate policy, but rather simply “come up with ideas” about future sources of income.
Views and News staff