On December 6th, Former President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson came to Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University and had a stimulating discussion with Qi Ye, Professor of Schwarzman College and Tsinghua University’s School of Public Policy and Management, on government administration, international cooperation, climate change and Arctic Circle forum, etc
Before the lecture, Grímsson visited the College facilities and David Q. Pan, Executive Dean of Schwarzman College, introduced to Grímsson students’ daily life, admissions updates, and faculty development etc.. David Pan also expressed gratitude to Grímsson for his long-term support and help to Schwarzman College.
David Q. Pan talks to Grímsson.
Grímsson remarked that he was very pleased to come to Schwarzman College. He observed that in 21st century, we need more outstanding youth all over the world to study and exchange views with each other and he expected that students could become excellent leaders in all walks of life in the future.
Grímsson gives lectures at Schwarzman College
Grímsson was elected President of the Republic of Iceland in 1996. He was re-elected in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 respectively. He is the first President who is re-elected for five terms in Iceland’s history and he enjoys a great reputation in Iceland. In addition, Grímsson also serves as chairman of Arctic Circle forum and he greatly promoted the cooperation between China and Iceland in the fields of marine and polar science and technology.
Qi Ye in dialogue with Grímsson.
At the lecture on “Environment, climate and governance”, Grímsson vividly analyzed recent changes in global political landscape through his experience as President of Iceland for over two decades. He also helped students understand the functions of government administration. Grímsson also shared his personal reflections on serving as President for more than two decades. He indicated that the biggest challenge as President was how to play his due role in the fast changing world.
As soon as he was elected President of Iceland, Grímsson emphasized cooperation between Iceland and China. The two nations conducted cooperation on geothermal science, scientific research, earthquake, Arctic Circle and new navigation routes between Asia and Europe as well as Americas. He said that the small European country on the edge of the Arctic Circle could build up constructive cooperation with China.
Speaking of global warming, Grímsson held that China should play a more important role in global climate governance. He emphasized that people all over the world shared the same sky in spite of development gap among different nations and the gap between rich and poor. He expected that by 2030, China would play an absolute leadership role in tackling world climate change.
The 2008 financial crisis dealt a heavy blow to Iceland but Iceland managed to tide over the difficulty and scored remarkable achievements. Speaking of this matter, Grímsson thought that Iceland’s economic recovery is backed up by a series of unique economic policies. He also noted that after the heavy shock of financial crisis, Iceland’s biggest help neither came from Europe nor other Western countries but from China.
Students actively raise questions.
The lecture was warmly received by students. They actively raised questions on economic crisis, safety cooperation and Arctic Circle development, etc. Students frequently interacted with Grímsson in the lecture.
Grímsson suggested that students compared governance features of leaders from different countries based on what they had learned and then applied what they had found into their own country through the comparison. In doing so, they would have new discoveries.
After the lecture, Dean David Daokui Li, on behalf of Schwarzman College, expressed gratitude again for Grímsson’s wonderful lecture at the College. He hoped that Grímsson could visit Schwarzman College more frequently and exchange views with students in the future.