Lars Backström, Ambassador to Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific Islands

Government of Finland

Ambassador Lars Backström has a globalist outlook on international relations and a unique perspective on the challenges facing businesses and governments around the world.

Lars has worked for 35 years in the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in multilateral affairs, disarmament, political affairs, peace mediation and humanitarian assistance.

He has served in postings across the world, including Turkey, Nigeria, New York and Belgium and been Ambassador of Finland to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, the People’s Republic of China and Mongolia. He has also held the positions of Ambassador and Deputy Facilitator, Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone, and Ambassador and Special Representative for Mediation with focus on Asia at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Helsinki.

Prior to his diplomatic service, Lars was the youngest person to travel to all 192 independent countries, earning him a mention in the Guinness Book of Records for 1996.

At Powering the change, Lars will share insights on global mega trends and mega risks, including climate change and risk of global financial crisis, that make circular economy approaches essential at the macro level.