What happens when a country that has lived in peace for decades needs to defend itself? While governments may be able to obtain military hardware quickly, many forget the equally vital role played by civil defense. In this episode, we examine the importance of involving civil society in resisting threats – whether there is a military threat or threats in the form of natural disasters or pandemics. How do you organize civil defense, and create solidarity and engagement in a society? In short: How do you build a resilient society, one that is prepared to weather any storm?
This episode comes from a Nordic Talks event held in Birštonas and arranged by the Nordic Council of Ministers Office in Lithuania together with Embassy of Finland in Vilnius and Embassy of Sweden in Vilnius.
“The most important thing for civil defense is that the population has the will to fight for their country.”
Laurynas Kasčiūnas, member of the Lithuanian parliament
This podcast episode features the following speakers
Morgan Olofsson (Sweden)
Morgan Olofsson is head of communications at the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB). Morgan worked for over 20 years as a journalist, mainly at the national public broadcasting company, Sveriges Television, where he was a correspondent in Russia and the USA, as well as head of the news department. He has also been director of communications at the Swedish Work Environment Authority and the Swedish Red Cross.
Liisa Talonpoika (Finland)
Liisa Talonpoika is the ambassador for hybrid threats at Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. She was previously Finland’s ambassador to Sweden and the Netherlands, and Director-General for Europe in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Earlier in her career, Liisa worked in Paris and Brussels after graduating with a master's degree in economics from Finland’s Swedish-speaking university, Åbo Akademi.
Laurynas Kasčiūnas (Lithuania)
Laurynas Kasčiūnas is a member of the Lithuanian Parliament and chair of the Parliament’s Committee on National Security and Defence. He has been a member of Parliament for the Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrat Political party since 2016. Previously he worked as a foreign policy researcher and a lecturer at Vilnius University. Laurynas graduated from Vilnius University's Institute of International Relations and Political Science and has a doctorate in social science.