Celebrating 80 years of Independent Research


Eva Malm Öhrström, Karolina Ekholm, Gunnar Fors, Magnus Henrekson and David Cesarini. Photo by Bo Johansson.

On November 25, IFN celebrated 80 years of independent research with an anniversary seminar for specially invited guests. IFN Chairman of the Board Staffan Bohman emphasized the importance of fact-based analysis in his welcome speech:

- IFN has never had a more important task than today, as a factual voice in a debate and media climate where superficiality and fake news have become realities.


Pictures from the celebration



Staffan Bohman, Chairman of the Board of IFN. Photo by Bo Johansson.

One anniversary – two books


Professor Mats Lundahl presenting one of the books. Photo by Bo Johansson.


Two books in Swedish written for the anniversary were also presented during the seminar. A research institute is expanding - IUI from 1950 to 1966, by Professors Benny Carlson and Mats Lundahl is the second volume in a series on IUI / IFN. The authors talked about, among other things, IUI's choice of research questions that questioned old truths.


CEO and Profesor Magnus Henrekson speaking about IFN's research results. Photo by Bo Johansson.


IFN's CEO Magnus Henrekson is the editor of the anniversary book IFN 1939–2019 – 80 years of Economic Research. He presented IFN's research successes and outlined a way to measure IFN's results, namely through the number of published articles in scientific journals and through the IDEAS / RePEc database that ranks research:

– IFN is number three in Sweden of 97 institutions, number 62 in Europe of 3600 institutions, and number two in Europe among fully private research institutes. When it comes to Entrepreneurship Economics, we are number two in Europe after the London School of Economics, said Magnus Henrekson.


Jacob Wallenberg was one of the speakers. Photo by Bo Johansson.


Personal stories
The statutes of IFN requires the institute to engage in business-relevant research. Jacob Wallenberg and Peter Svennilson both have family ties to the institute and spoke at the celebrations. Jacob Wallenberg, Chairman of the Board of Investor and grandson of Marcus Wallenberg, who for 25 years was Chairman of the Board of IFN, spoke about digitalization and the challenges Sweden is facing.


Peter Svennilson, CEO and founder of The Column Group. Photo by Bo Johansson.

Peter Svennilson is an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley and nephew of Ingvar Svennilson, who, during his time as CEO of IUI in the 1940s, changed the institute's direction. What had been an investigative agency became a scientific research institute. Peter Svennilson gave a personal talk about his uncle and about his successes and hardships on the journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Research relevant to business and society


Karolina Ekholm, Gunnar Fors, Magnus Henrekson and David Cesarini. Photo by Bo Johansson.


The seminar ended with a panel discussion between people who have all previously researched, or are currently researching at IFN. David Cesarini, assistant professor at New York University and an affiliate of IFN, Karolina Ekholm, professor at Stockholm University, former researcher at IFN and formerly active as State Secretary and Deputy Governor, Gunnar Fors, Head of Parliament's Research Service and former researcher at IFN and IFN: s CEO Professor Magnus Henrekson. They discussed, among other things, how research becomes policy-relevant and how economics can address the climate issue and, above all, how IFN should continue to be relevant for both business and society as a whole.

– I think it is about continuing to honor the keywords for independent, scientific integrity but also to try to attract researchers who have an interest in social issues and an interest in participating in the debate in one way or another, said Karolina Ekholm.


The seminar ( in Swedish) is available in our YouTube account




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