THE SWEDISH-AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, INC.
Where the Swedish-American Business Community Meets.
sweden: the brand NEW MEMBERS
THE SWEDISH PROGRAM
MEHRDAD MAHDJOUBI BABBA CANALES PETER FELLMAN
IN N E W YO R K No. 4, 2017 THIS ISSUE IS SPONSORED BY EY
Chief Editor, Writer & Editorial Sarah Clyne Sundberg
Editorial & Production Yasmina Backstrรถm
Publisher Anna Throne-Holst
Assistance & Layout Erika Rahmqvist
10 F e a t u r e 12 f e a t u r e 14 c o l u m n 16 n e w m e m b e r s 18 e v e n t s Behind Sweden’s Brand Annika Rembe
Nation Branding in Practice
Sweden and “Numanity” by Natalia Brzezinski
MeetApp, KPA & The Swedish Program at SSE
SACCNY in Almedalen
20 F e a t u r e 22 o n e - o n - o n e 24 c o l u m n 26 F e a t u r e 30 p e r s p e c t i v e Big Business Meets Innovation EY
With Babba Canales
Money for Nothing by Peter Fellman
SACCNY Talks to Three Startup Members Innovation for Human Rights
IN NEW YORK is the member newsletter of The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, Inc. Cover Picture: Werner Nystrand/Folio/imagebank.sweden.se Design: D Solutions NYC
Postmaster send address changes to: The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, Inc. 570 Lexington Avenue, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10022 Tel +1 212 838 5530 | email@example.com | www.saccny.org Copyright 2017 by The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of contents without permission not allowed. Kindly note that opinions expressed in signed articles are not necessarily those of the officers and directors of SACCNY.
LE TT ER FR O M T H E P R E S I D E N T Dear Members and Friends, As you can see we have given the magazine a new look and concept. We
suggestions you had for us in our recent member survey; it was time for some updates to suit today’s Chamber. We are also launching a new webpage soon where we will be providing articles and a lot more content moving forward. All with an eye to better serving as the link between our members in the United States and Sweden.
This is the first of our new themebased issues, in it we will explore ”Sweden: The brand,” with special focus on innovation, an area in which Sweden excels. We have examined the makeup of Sweden’s brand: how it looks, how it was built, and how our members—businesses and entrepreneurs—can best use it to their advantage. This summer, I spent four days at the now iconic Almedalen conference on Gotland, where I met, listened to, and spoke with politicians, entrepreneurs, and established business leaders, as well as participated in several panels and media events. I gained valuable insights into the current discourse on international trade policy and issues facing Swedish businesses, as well as had innumerous opportunities to tout the work and services provided by us at SACCNY. More recently I returned from hosting my first SACCNY board meeting
in Stockholm, on August 22-23. It continues to be a pleasure to meet and interact with all the people who make the Chamber’s network so uniquely great. Our first major event of the fall is Innovate46, an inspiring conference in its own right and an amazing opportunity for Swedish companies to establish an invaluable presence and contacts in the United States, and where the important Anders Wall award is given to the most promising entrepreneur of the year. Innovation is an essential part of Sweden’s brand and the conference provides exposure to and immersion in the most current developments. Looking further ahead, the Green Summit will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a fresh name and format: Sustainology Summit. Stay tuned for more news on the concept we are developing, but be sure to mark your calendars and join us
November 7, 2017. The fall calendar is already full of many other exciting events, quite a few of which have a new look and feel. We exist to facilitate networking and business contacts for our members—we are always available for you and I look forward to seeing you all in the very near future! Sincerely,
Anna Throne-Holst President - Executive DIrector SACCNY
T HE 2 0 1 7 M E M B E R S H I P S U RVE Y This spring we conducted an email survey among our members to find out which of our services are appreciated, which areas we can improve, and how we can best be of value to you. Digital versions of printed materials and an increased focus on entrepreneurs and startups were high on the list of requests. Below are some numbers from the survey.
91% 81% 89%
of respondents read our newsletter rank networking opportunities at events among the top benefits of SACCNY have attended SACCNY events in the past year
C ALEND A R O F E V E N T S
September October e ntor 14 CPar ar tyyf i s h 5 MP rogram 27
EAC C F a l l N e t wo r k i n g Re c e p t i o n
K i c k - Off
November December A nnual Sustainology 7 Summit 1 Christm as L uncheon & Lucia 30th L ucia 30 Trade Award Celebration
11 I n n ovate46 C E O L uncheon 12 w i t h Casper v o n Koskull
E m ployment L aw S e minar with L i t t ler M endelson
Vi s i t w w w. sa c c n y.org to view our full e v e nt c ale ndar.
New CEO for KPMG Sweden
Arket: H&M’s New Brand
Magnus Fagerstedt took office as the new CEO of KPMG Sweden on August 14. Fagerstedt is a highly regarded auditor who has been a partner at EY since 1997 and has held various assignments within the Swedish and Nordic management sectors. At KPMG Fagerstedt will be tasked with leading and implementing changes to revitalize the firm.
H&M is launching Arket—a new upmarket brand. The line aims to be, ”A broad yet selected range of essentials for men, women, and children, as well as a smaller, curated assortment for the home,” according to H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson.
EY’s Magnus Fagerstedt Recruited to Lead Change at Firm
”Magnus […] has extensive experience in executing leadership and creating effective organizations and will have time to devote all his energies to achieving the operation’s overall objectives and the implementation of KPMG’s strategic plan, which we feel is crucial for a professional service company in tomorrow’s world,” KPMG Chairman, Björn Hallin said in a statement.
We Congratulate Magnus on his new position 6
Clothing Giant to Launch New Concept Stores This Fall
Arket will sell select items from other brands in addition to its own products. Certain stores will also offer cafés serving new Nordic cuisine. The head office is based on Södermalm in Stockholm and the multidisciplinary team there includes architects, writers, and chefs, in addition to the expected designers, buyers, and pattern makers. The first retail store is set to open on Regent Street in London in the early fall, alongside a website trading in 18 European countries.
IKEA Introduces AR App
Augmenting the Shopping Experience with Help from Apple
Swedish Tech is Booming
The Number of Swedish Startups Valued Over 1 Billion SEK Now at 14
Photo: Mona Loose/imagebank.sweden.se
IKEA is pairing up with Apple to create an AR (augmented reality) app that will let customers preview furniture in their home. You take a photo of the room you want a particular item in and place the product there to decide if it fits.
Over the summer e-health site Kry and online retailer Babyshop joined the ranks of startups valued at more than 1 billion SEK. That puts the number of Swedish startups on that list at a whopping 14, with many more jockeying for a spot.
The app, which is to be released this fall, will have realistic 3D images and 500 to 600 pieces of furniture when launched, with plans to add more. Thus the new app will be far more precise and advanced than the current IKEA catalogue app. Eventually the app will also let you buy furniture, making for a fully integrated customer experience.
According to an article in Dagens Industri, most of the companies on the list are online retailers, a less labor- and time-intensive sector than deep tech. Other areas in which Sweden has comparatively strong showings are music, with Soundcloud, Kobalt, and Spotify, and fintech with Klarna and Izettle.
Previous forays into digitally augmented shopping at IKEA include last yearâ€™s virtual reality kitchen experience.
Did you know that Stockholm produces the most unicorns per capita after Silicon Valley? 7
Volvo’s Bold Green Move
All New Models to Have Hybrid or Electric Motors by 2019
Starting in 2019 all new Volvo models will be either electric or hybrid. The announcement, made by Volvo Cars in July, puts the auto manufacturer at the forefront of phasing out the internal combustion engine. No other traditional car companies have made a similar declaration. Though the transition will be gradual—older models will continue to be in production until at least 2024 depending on demand—the shift will enable Volvo to focus all research and development on newer, greener technologies.
Checking In with Visit Sweden Viral AirBnB Campaign Puts Sweden on the Map
This May, Visit Sweden and ad agency Forsman & Bodenfors listed the entire country of Sweden on Airbnb. The campaign video, narrated by ”Åke,” a voiceover with a strong Swedish accent, showcases some of the most beautiful spots in Swedish nature, letting potential visitors know that all this can be accessible for free when in Sweden. The campaign gained plenty of attention in media, with more than 1600 write-ups, including articles in New York Post, Forbes, AdWeek, and USA Today. We checked in with Jenny Kaiser, President of Visit Sweden USA, for an update: ”We knew instantly that we were onto something big, but there are never any guarantees in terms of impact when working with viral campaigns. We were overwhelmed by the media response; on top of that Facebook and Twitter exploded with shares and engagements.” So far, the number of nights spent in Sweden by U.S. visitors is up 32.3 percent and while it may be too early to know the full impact of the campaign, it is clear that ”Sweden on AirBnB” tapped into something very attractive that resonated with a broad audience.
”Sweden has amazing nature and a unique lifestyle— both of which stem from Sweden’s core values. Allemansrätten (the freedom to roam) embodies these, which is why we decided to make it our icon, as it is great proof of Sweden being something else,” Kaiser says.
SACCNY Scholarships Awarded
U.S. Students Set Their Sights on Uppsala University This Fall
The Chamber is pleased to announce the 2017 recipients of The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce in New York Scholarships. The scholarship is awarded to a select few American students accepted to master’s programs at Uppsala University and covers each student’s full tuition for the duration of the program. The decision process was not easy as there were many highly qualified candidates. But we are confident that the right choices were made; each student was selected
for their outstanding academic record and high motivation to pursue studies in their chosen field. The following exceptional students made the cut: Blake Morgan, a Georgetown University graduate, who will be attending the one-year master’s program in Entrepreneurship, and Anvi Bhakta, a graduate of the University of Arizona, who will be pursuing a two-year master’s program in Molecular Medicine.
”From a young age, international travel, particularly to third world countries, exposed me to how vulnerability to fatal diseases is global.” – Anvi Bhakta
”I believe that entrepreneurship and innovation are key drivers of the Swedish economy. My long-term career and life goal is to live and work in Sweden.” – Blake Morgan
We congratulate you both and wish you the very best in Sweden Support the Scholarship Foundation! Help us support U.S. students who want to study in Sweden. Contribute to AFUU and state “The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce in New York Scholarship Foundation for Study at Uppsala University”. Visit www.afuu.org/donate make your donation today.
Behind Sweden’s Brand How Sweden Became the Innovation Nation The Swedish Institute
"Sweden is seen as an incredibly innovative, creative, and cutting-edge nation." ABBA, blonde vixens, strong silent types, socialism, minimalist design… Stereotypes about Sweden proliferate, some accurate, others less so. But what does Sweden’s brand actually look like today and how can Swedish companies and entrepreneurs use it to their advantage? Annika Rembe, Director-General of the Swedish Institute (SI) is something of an expert on the subject. She has worked with Sweden’s image for nearly 20 years. The mission of the Swedish Institute is to strengthen knowledge of Sweden abroad and establish relations between individuals and institutions in Sweden and the rest of the world. Prior to joining SI, Rembe worked with Invest Sweden and was responsible for the Swedish presence at World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. ”Generally speaking Sweden is already well-known, so Swedish businesses in the United States usually don’t need to spend time explaining Sweden, which is an advantage in itself. This is especially true when it comes to Sweden’s reputation as having a tradition of innovation, research, and strong companies. Sweden is also a politically and financially stable country.” In fact, Swedish entrepreneurs launching ventures abroad might not always realize that being Swedish can
behoove them. Whether it is modesty, a desire to appear international, or blindness to what is right in front of us, Swedes do not always see the advantage of branding themselves as such. ”Swedish business leaders and media are not fully aware of our strong position. I think we can do much more to highlight that narrative,” says Rembe. Sweden ranks at the top of a number of global indexes, from innovation, to sustainability, entrepreneurship, and economic development. Another advantage Swedes may be prone to overlooking is that the business climate in Sweden is good. ”We are seen as trustworthy and honest, and the process is quite efficient for foreign companies who want to establish themselves in Sweden, not least U.S. companies that work here have very positive experiences,” Rembe says. Brands such as IKEA, Volvo, and Absolut have long profiled themselves as Swedish. One might go so far as to say that these companies and their branding have played a part in shaping the image of contemporary Swedishness globally.
#1 #2 i n n o v a t i o n business
Sweden is the best country for business according to Forbes
Sweden ranks #2 on the Global Innovation Index (INSEAD)
sustaiNability Sweden is #1 when it comes to sustainable development according to the UN
Ask an American about Sweden and the above list will likely be among the things that come to their mind. IKEA in particular may be the number one purveyor of Swedishness abroad. The furniture company from Småland sells Swedish meatballs, glögg, and furniture with names such as Tomelilla and Karlstad to customers from New Jersey to Dubai. These large, established Swedish companies also play on values such as authenticity, simplicity, and quality. This is less true of newer success stories, especially in the tech realm—Spotify, Klarna, or Mojang are not necessarily known to be from Sweden, nor do these companies always emphasize their Swedish origins. ”Both the older established companies, as well as the up-andcoming ones, are defined by high creativity and innovation. When it comes to the big companies people know them to be Swedish. Newer tech companies and startups on the other hand may not yet have become fully known as Swedish. Which is interesting because overall, companies use their Swedishness in their brand much more today than they did 10-15 years ago,” says Rembe. That said, nation branding can cut two ways, as Swedes found out a few months ago when U.S. President Donald Trump obliquely referred to (seemingly non-existent) events ”last night in Sweden,” using the country as a cautionary tale for what might happen if the United States would not toughen its stance
on immigration. The comments prompted bafflement among the Swedish public and refutations from Swedish officials. So how does this gaffe tie in to nation branding? ”People today increasingly use images of various countries to further their own political agendas. And that rhetoric is in turn spread far faster than it ever has been, due to social media. This type of communication is by nature condensed and immediate, it lends itself to using symbolism and broad strokes,” says Rembe. Sweden’s reputation for innovation, entrepreneurship, and a wellfunctioning social system is earned in no small part by virtue of actually walking the walk, but the country has also been quite proactive about branding. In 1995, the Swedish government established a task group—the Board for Promoting Sweden Abroad—to work for longterm, effective, and coordinated promotion of Sweden abroad. Participating agencies included the Swedish Institute, Visit Sweden, and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, among others. The task group developed a common platform for Sweden’s image, launched in 2007, which was considered trailblazing in terms of nation branding at the time. In 2012, the Board for Promoting Sweden Abroad created a strategy out of this platform. Based on surveys of both foreign perceptions, as well as Sweden’s self image and actual performance in key areas, the Board for Promoting Sweden Abroad has distilled four core values for Sweden: innovation, openness, authenticity, and caring. ”These are relevant regardless of if you are working in China or the United States, if you take a business perspective, or if you are working with tourism, or social issues,” Rembe says. Over the course of 2016, the Board for Promoting Sweden Abroad conducted a survey to further develop the strategy for working with Sweden’s image. Generally speaking, the original findings from 2007 still hold up, though the survey does show that ”last night in Sweden” was not an isolated incident—on the whole the tone in conversation between nations is becoming harsher and facts matter
less. Still Rembe says, ”Sweden is seen as an incredibly innovative, creative, and cutting-edge nation.” How did Sweden get here? Why is a small country in northern Europe, with only 10 million inhabitants so good at innovation? What conditions and what type of institutional support are in place? High-quality, free, public education—going back nearly 200 years, is certainly part of it. Rembe also points to a job market that counteracts protectionism and encourages companies, as well as trade unions, to be bold, take chances, and not discourage change. ”Which is essential to innovation, as is the fact that we were very early to build good tech infrastructure. There are also social policies in place to maximize the potential of as many individuals as possible, regardless of gender. In addition I am convinced that our nonhierarchical leadership structures and tradition of cooperation help us not stagnate.” When all is said and done, one of Sweden’s main assets in the present global climate of deep economic shifts and political uncertainty may very well be its stability. Sweden’s record when it comes to sustainability will also likely only increase in drawing power as climate issues take center stage. Rembe says, ”There may be forces out there trying to paint a different picture of Sweden, but I am convinced that business will benefit from the fact that Sweden is stable, innovative, has sound economic development, a dedication to sustainability, and a strong focus on linking all of these assets in co-creation with the United States and other partners.”
Annika Rembe Director-General, SI
nation branding in practice How Companies Use Swedishness As Part of Their Marketing
Volvo and IKEA are two of the most recognizably Swedish brands on the market. Their approaches to their Swedish heritage differ, even as both companies use Swedishness in their branding.
Volvo: Swedish by Design Volvo Cars USA’s recent XC90 and S90 campaigns are emblematic of the company’s redefinition of its image from what Director of Marketing John Militello calls a ”safe, boxy utilitarian car” to the current tagline, ”our idea of luxury”: Sleek, minimal, cleverly designed vehicles for the creative set, a development that could be said to mirror Sweden’s rise as tech powerhouse. ”The slogan ’Designed around you’ tails off into Swedish innovation, human-centric innovation, made by putting people first, which is something we have always been proud of at Volvo,” Militello says. Minimalist design, understated high quality, and cutting-edge technology aimed at making life less complicated are key components to this approach. Militello says the ways in which Volvo uses Swedishness in its current U.S. brand strategy tend
to be subtle. ”We want the right audience to understand our values without us saying they are Swedish, because really, they go beyond Sweden.” Examples of how Volvo signals these values through design and visual language in communications include overt touches such as the little flag that is sewn into the new car seats, as well as more subliminal messaging, like introducing My Volvo, from Sweden; a minimally designed magazine on matte, newsprint-type paper. Another example would be the XC90 commercial Wedding. ”For that spot we used an American director, but we tried to tell a cinematic story with a lot of non-verbal communication, which goes back to Swedish films and styles. People come up to me all the time and are surprised when they learn it wasn’t directed by a Swede.”
”As someone who is in the business of nation branding here in New York, I can confirm that it is extremely competitive—there are 116 countries represented here and everyone is trying to make a mark. Luckily, the Swedish brand is strong, and we have a powerful story to tell: We are one of the world’s most innovative and most knowledge-based economies with great startups in future-oriented industries, as well as well-established innovative global companies. We are leaders in environmental sustainability and have pledged to become one of the world’s first fossil-fuel free countries. On top of this we are also very advanced in terms of gender equality.”
Consul General of Sweden in New York (Photo: Martin Adolfsson)
IKEA: Tracing the Roots of Innovation IKEA may be the most iconically Swedish brand abroad. As former Consul General Olle Wästberg once put it, to visit IKEA is to visit Sweden. This is true both for non-Swedes whose idea of Sweden is often shaped by the furniture retailer’s offerings and image, as well as for Swedes, who will recognize familiar items and aesthetics, regardless of if they are visiting an IKEA in Mexico City, Manila, or Sydney. ”Our Swedish roots set the IKEA brand apart. It is not necessarily the Swedish nationality that is important; it is the spirit, values and culture that go with it,” says Marty Marston, Commercial Public Relations Manager, IKEA U.S. IKEA was founded in the small town of Älmhult, Småland and the company traces its ethos to the local spirit there. ”People learned to cope with seemingly impossible situations, [creating] the habit of making use of scarce resources,
and an eagerness to work together without prestige and hierarchical barriers. This heritage and the IKEA values influence everything that we do today across the world.” Like Sweden as a whole, contemporary Älmhult is a place with global extensions. Here ideas are born, material sourced, and products manufactured, communicated, and sold. Distances are short, which opens up for quick decisions and a lot of discussion, making development and innovation happen naturally. ”We are constantly looking for new and better ways forward. Whatever we are doing today, we can do better tomorrow. Finding solutions to almost impossible challenges is part of our success and a source of inspiration to move on to the next challenge,” Marston says. If that doesn’t sound like a recipe for innovation, then what does?
Marie Wall on Swedish Innovation
What is the secret to Sweden’s success when it comes to startups and tech?
Marie Wall Startup DIrector Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation In 2016, Marie Wall became the Swedish government’s first Startup Director. She is the contact node between the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation and the startup community, contributing to a deeper dialogue between the two worlds. In New York reached out to get her take on the Swedish startup scene.
In the 1990s, when the internet became established as a ubiquitous tool, the home PC reform that made computers available to many kids around Sweden, in combination with the early broadband rollout, both partly financed by the state, contributed to our competitive advantage. It takes time to build a strong startup eco system and Sweden was early to establish one. Many front figures from the 1990s are still active today. We have reached a level of recycling of capital and talent that makes it strong and less dependent on governmental support.
What developments do you think we will see in the near future? From an international perspective the Swedish startup scene has been synonymous with Stockholm. I think that other cities, such as Malmö and Gothenburg, will take stronger positions globally. What does Sweden’s image abroad look like when it comes to entrepreneurship and innovation? Sweden is considered a test bed for global innovations. Swedish entrepreneurs cannot afford to develop solutions exclusively for their small home market, so they use Sweden to try out ideas designed for a global market. In addition, Swedish startups focus more on problem-solving than on maximizing valuations.
Sweden and “Numanity” Building the Story of Tech’s Future with Values By Natalia Brzezinski
Meet Natalia at the Innovate46 Conference on October 11th, where she will be the Master of Ceremonies.
Young men and women the world over share a similar drive: To create and innovate. Innovation is a way of putting one’s fingerprint on the map, of making one’s contribution. There is a new world order rooted in creativity being built, but how do we build to create more for all of us? The story of innovation is often too focused on the tale of cogs and algorithms, seed rounds and valuations,
but the greater story lies in the most basic human instincts—pride, shared values, and shared mission. This story of Numanity as we dubbed it at Brilliant Minds 2017, a two-day thought leadership forum in Stockholm, is one in which Swedish startups are redefining the rules when it comes to exponential innovation because they are marrying great innovation with great values. Sweden’s startup sensation demonstrates that techn-
ology can be a great collaborator for humanity. The new president of France, Emanuel Macron, declared compellingly that France must think and move like a startup, with the state acting as an enabler—not a constraint—for entrepreneurs. That is precisely what Sweden does for its citizens. The Swedes leverage stability, and reject a dog-eat-dog competitive hustle, to scale creativity and democratize talent. How do the Swedes do it? In certain ways that is a distinct advantage a small, highly educated country has today over big countries. Because a small country is required to think in global terms to be competitive, Sweden reaches the future first by germinating a global workplace model rooted in local values and global reach.
The archipelago of thriving tech companies builds unicorns that are inherently valuesbased, and those values—transparency, collaboration, inclusion, gender equality, belief in science—are universal global ideals that will build the future for the next generation. High-quality education for all, universal health care, generous parental leave, and a laser focus on gender equality, empowers both men and women to express their creativity to the fullest with robust support structure to do so. Swedes start companies not out of fear or survival, but out of confidence and stability. They innovate because they can.
The archipelago of thriving tech companies builds unicorns that are inherently values-based, and those values—transparency, collaboration, inclusion, gender equality, belief in science—are universal global ideals that will build the future for the next generation.
Adalberth, co-founder of Swedish payments unicorn Klarna. In the not-so-distant future nations will compete like companies do for top talent and will need to evolve, transform, ”fail fast” and scale new ideas in the same terminal velocity as Silicon Valley.
The computer game Minecraft is a good example of implementing values in a commercially compelling—and responsible—way. Unlike any games preceding it, Minecraft is built with an open-ended nature that allows each individual to fulfill his or her sense of community and breadth. The focus is not on winning or beating others but on building and collaborating, creating communities with a sense of belonging.
But strong engineering talent and a disruptive sensibility are not enough—you also need some heart.
Another example is found in the Swedish company Spotify. Daniel Ek, the founder of the music-streaming phenomenon, often asserts publicly that he felt compelled to launch the company more than ten years ago because he was sick of people stealing music and wanted to bring fairness back to the music industry. Spotify has brought its Swedish values to America by extending the generous parental leave Swedish families receive company-wide, and driving Sweden’s legacy of gender equality in the music industry writ large. Today the company boasts more than 60 million paying subscribers per month, and has staged a winning battle as David against Apple’s Goliath due largely, in my opinion, to a strong mission and values-driven culture. The Swedish sense of social mission and responsibility also drives its entrepreneurs to launch companies that really matter. Unlike many of our Silicon Valley successes that focus on pictures, social communication, and entertainment, Swedish startups like Werlabs, Kry, and Natural Cycles are transforming health, especially for women. It is no surprise that Europe’s largest convening space for social entrepreneurship, Norrsken House, resides in Sweden founded by Niklas
Many economists say the most powerful drive comes when the outcome is not just about oneself but a meaning that is much higher. This is the spirit I have found in Sweden, and a spirit that working with Swedes has given me. Many economists say the most powerful drive comes when the outcome is not just about oneself but a meaning that is much higher. This is the spirit I have found in Sweden, and a spirit that working with Swedes has given me. It is absolutely an edge the Swedish corporate citizen has over its competitors, and the sooner companies elsewhere realize the practical commercial results that accompany bringing Numanity into the workplace, the sooner will occur a global tech renaissance that will be creative, prosperous and truly good for all of humanity.
Natalia Brzezinski CEO, Brilliant Minds
Increasing ROI Through Amazing Event Experiences
NEW New York
MeetApp is in the business of extending and enhancing event experiences, thereby increasing the return on investment for events. Their award-winning mobile event app keeps participants informed and engaged—before, during, and after an event. By using the company’s custom branded apps, customers can create amazing event experiences with engaged participants. MeetApp’s focus is interactivity—transforming passive audiences into active participants. MeetApp is the market leader in Sweden, and is established on the U.S. market, with a sales office in Chicago since 2015.
We warmly welcome the newest additions to our network. Go ahead, do not hesitate to connect with them
Event apps from MeetApp are used daily by many large organizations, such as Volvo, Ericsson, United Airlines, Microsoft, and many others. Typical events where MeetApp is used include customer events, industry conferences, internal meetings, and other professional events inside or between organizations. MeetApp is also currently developing an app for SACCNY.
Kauffmann Public Affairs
Communications Firm Offering Strategy, Policy, and Advocacy
The Swedish Program at SSE
Fully Integrated Immersion into Swedish Culture and Academic Life
Photo: Marguerite Danner
Strategic communications, issues management, and public relations firm Kauffmann Public Affairs has led integrated communications campaigns on behalf of large corporations, leading non-profit organizations, and political candidates. KPA specializes in helping clients navigate the intersection of the public and private sectors, and the ever-shifting media landscape. KPA is a small firm that brings the intensity of a highstakes political campaign to every engagement, with all work performed by senior principals with highlevel media experience. Their strategic approach offers real solutions tailored to each client’s needs, with a deep understanding of how to engage target audiences. The firm was founded by Peter Kauffmann, a former U.S. Navy intelligence officer with two decades of experience in American politics. Kauffmann has served as press secretary for Hillary Clinton; senior advisor to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo; and spokesman for the Democratic National Committee.
The Swedish Program at the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) is an independent study abroad program affiliated with SSE. Typically 45-50 students enroll each semester, most of who come from SSE’s sponsoring consortium of 23 colleges and universities. Executive Director and President Ken Wagner founded the program in 1987, while he was a professor in sociology at Hamilton College. For the first 26 years, the program was at Stockholm University; it moved to SSE three years ago. The move has proven very beneficial due to the program’s academic and cultural integration at SSE. The SSE administration, faculty, and Student Association (SASSE) have made every effort to ensure that program students feel part of the school. In fact, more and more students from the program are applying to graduate school at SSE.
www.kpa.nyc Twitter: @PeterKauffmann
LIBERAL ARTS @ STOCKHOLM SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS 17
SACCNY in Almedalen Anna Throne-Holst Joins a Swedish Summer Tradition
This year marked the first time SACCNY participated in the annual Almedalsveckan, July 2-9, in Visby, Gotland. President Anna Throne-Holst, along with Karin Berlin, and Johannes Jarl were the Chamber’s team on the ground during the storied, and increasingly popular Swedish summer event, which has become a meeting place for politicians, opinion makers, non-profits, industry, and media.
The week provided an excellent opportunity for the Chamber to network and stay abreast of current Swedish discourse on matters concerning business and trade, as well as to participate directly in seminars and impromptu debates, listen to what others had to say, and share the Chamber’s unique perspective. Noteworthy exchanges included Minister for EU Affairs and Trade Ann Linde and Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Mikael Damberg. Recurring themes were trade policy, export, innovation, sustainability, and competency provision—all issues of relevance to the Chamber and its members. Anna’s presence generated attention in Swedish media and led to invitations to participate in several radio and on-stage interviews. In addition, SACCNY’s team took part in a large variety of interesting events hosted by several of our members and partners, including the American Chamber of Commerce in Sweden, Swedbank, The Absolut Company, Scan, Serendipity, and more. A few of the highlights are featured below. Anna Throne-Holst’s own recent 2016 U.S. political campaign garnered interest and attention in Almedalen. She participated as a guest on Swedish Radio’s USA Podden where she shared her experience of running for election and participated with an analysis of the current political situation and President Donald Trump’s first six months in office.
Almi, Business Sweden, and The Swedish Export Credit Agency (EKN) arranged the thought-provoking seminar ”Do we still possess the key to successful export?” at which President of Boliden Mines Mikael Staffas, CEO of Business Sweden Ylva Berg, Minister for EU Affairs and Trade Ann Linde, and CEO of SEK Catrin Fransson, among others discussed Sweden’s export history and its future prospects. Linde felt the future is bright, based on Sweden’s strong showing when it comes to innovation, as well as the use of the cooperative triple helix model where government, academia, and business come together to develop common interests.
”Almedalen was all it had promised to be. Sweden is rightfully proud
of this unique networking and information sharing platform.”
Anna Throne-Holst interviewed on stage as part of the seminar ”USA’s New Economic Agenda: What will the effects be on growth, interest rates, and trade?” arranged by Dagens Industri. The discussion involved the present business climate in the United States and the implications for Swedish interests, as well as the role of the media in current politics and trade.
Along with Minister for EU Affairs and Trade Ann Linde, Scania CEO Henrik Henriksson, and several other notable panelists, Anna Throne-Holst participated in Hagainitiativet’s seminar on the topic ”How can leadership for sustainability turn crisis into success?” Panelists explored how to navigate an uncertain world and how the current political climate impacts the ability to reach the U.N.’s sustainability goals.
EY hosted a very timely and high-level seminar with a panel including companies and representatives from Sida’s network Swedish Leadership for Sustainable Development, all joined in their commitment to implement Agenda 2030 as an integral part of their business strategy. Former Deputy Secretary General of the U.N., Jan Eliasson stressed the importance of collaborating across borders, whether one is dealing with ideas, people, goods, or services. He also highlighted the vital link between stability and development.
I want to thank the many businesses and media outlets for so warmly receiving me and my SACCNY colleagues—and for their interest in learning about our activities and vision for the future. It was a great opportunity to further our mission and get the word out on the many ways we are working to support building Swedish-American business and commerce.” - Anna Throne-Holst
Big Business Meets Innovation EY Sees Mutual Benefits in Supporting Startups EY
Multinational professional services firm EY aims to be a leading provider to and supporter of entrepreneurs, innovators, and high-growth companies. Their corporate vision, ”Building a better working world,” translates into an ambition to contribute to society through supporting innovation and development in business. One way EY puts this into practice is by participating in events and initiatives around the world that involve startups and entrepreneurs, as well as acting as a speaking partner for startups and innovative companies. Bringing together the knowhow and infrastructure of large corporations with the energy and agility of new innovative companies is a fruitful model that has grown in popularity in recent years, with increasing numbers
of financial powerhouses supporting, and in other ways pursuing connections with, startups and entrepreneurs in the growth phase. Beyond the more obvious benefits to EY in terms of ideas and connections, Helena Robertsson, Partner, Head of Family Business Europe at EY, also finds interactions with startups and entrepreneurs rewarding in less tangible ways. ”For me personally it is incredibly stimulating. These entrepreneurs tend to have a true passion for their idea and aren’t primarily driven by profit. They want to change the world. Being around that creativity and enthusiasm is inspiring to all of us at EY and in turn helps us improve as individuals and as a company.”
As a large professional services firm, EY cannot legally enter commercial deals with smaller firms in which they give steep discounts, but they work together with other organizations and interest groups to participate and share expertise, according to Robertsson. EY arranged eight seminars at this year’s Almedalen Week—the annual event where Sweden’s major political parties gather alongside media and other influencers. One of these was a talk on the topic ”The entrepreneur—spoiled or forgotten?” The discussion centered on conditions for entrepreneurs and innovation in Sweden, something EY is well positioned to weigh in on, given their history of work with new innovative companies both in Sweden and, of course, globally. Participants included Fredrika Gullfot of Simris Alg, who was a participant at both SACCNY’s Executive Women’s Conference and Green Summit in 2016, as well as Elisabeth Thand Ringqvist, Chairman of SVCA. One statistic often bandied about in this context is that Sweden produces the highest number of billion-dollar startups and innovation companies per capita outside of Silicon Valley. In fact, Viggo Cavling, journalist, entrepreneur, and panelist at the same EY seminar in Almedalen, called Stockholm ”the best startup city in the world” in a column for Breakit, a Swedish news site focused on the tech industry, further he opined that Swedish entrepreneurs, contrary to what some believe, have plenty in their favor, a sentiment seconded by Robertsson. Among the advantages she cites, ”low levels of corruption, a highly digitalized society and well-developed authorities; both Skatteverket—the Swedish Tax Authorities—and Bolagsverket—the Swedish Companies Registration Office—are very accessible compared to the IRS for instance.” She also mentions other aspects of the Swedish system that favor upand-coming entrepreneurs, such as how aktiebolag, limited liability corporations, are structured in Sweden, with a relatively straight-forward establishment process and little shared capital. The bar to starting a business in Sweden is quite low, Ro-
bertsson says and continues, ”Our strong social safety net also plays in. If you fail you don’t fall too far.” Add to this that Swedish entrepreneurs themselves often have a bolder, fresher way of tackling problems. Based on her work advising Swedish companies on international projects Robertsson feels that Swedes often take a holistic approach and think outside the box, in no small part due to the free and high-quality education offered at Swedish universities.
“Being around that creativity and enthusiasm is inspiring for all of us at EY and helps us improve as individuals and as a company.” EY’s work with entrepreneurs and innovation companies stems from the firm’s commitment to growth, fresh perspectives, and cutting-edge technology. For instance, EY worked with tech giant Google in its early days. More recently, and closer to home, Swedish EY worked with Spotify supporting its growth from unknown to a household name. ”Spotify’s first accountant was from EY. At the time their business model was probably a bit of a hard sell. But he felt that these guys had an interesting idea and saw that we could make a difference and help them as accountants and advisors and that assessment turned out to be correct.”
entrepreneurship and international investments,” Robertsson says. EY is far from the only large firm engaging in initiatives to support and grow startups globally, or in Sweden. Though Sweden may be at the forefront of this development, with its use of the triple helix model in which industry joins forces with academia and government agencies to promote innovation and share knowhow. Scania starting a venture capital firm to invest in startups— Scania Growth Capital, Volvo’s Volvo VC, and IKEA’s new accelerator program are some examples of Swedish giants reaching out to the world of smaller innovative companies and entrepreneurs.
Helena Robertsson Partner & Head of Family Business Europe, EY
Of course, these types of interactions are hardly a one-way street. As Robertsson points out, large, established companies have an interest in staying current and absorbing new ideas, ”Innovation companies are often on the cutting edge and have new ways of thinking as they approach the market with new services and products.”
EY is also one of SACCNY’s main partners for Innovate46, a natural pairing given that Innovate46 is a vital forum for innovators and thought leaders. ”Innovate46 is a very interesting meeting space, it features innovative companies that are a little bit further along, which is where we become more relevant and it is a perfect match for us in terms of our values and what we can offer. We have a history of working with SACCNY and feel that we can really contribute in the area of
One - on - One
Lessons in Branding and Making it as a Swede in New York Entrepreneurship
Meet Babba and many other inspiring entrepreneurs at Innovate46, on October 11.
MEET ANNA THRONE-HOLST Where the Swedish-American business community meets. Photo: Vanessa Granda
At age 26 Babba Canales has made Forbes 2016 Marketing & Advertising ”30 Under 30” list; She has been dubbed the number one ”super talent” by Swedish business magazine Veckans Affärer; And Vogue has described her as the ”Swedish it-girl”. There is substance behind the hype: Canales was recruited as Community Manager for Uber’s Swedish
office at 22. She later transferred to New York where she held the title Lead Marketing Manager and ran several successful campaigns during a period of intense growth for Uber. Now she has struck out on her own and launched By Babba, her own brand marketing agency. In New York met her on a rainy summer day to talk branding, Sweden, and what drives her.
One very successful campaign you did was Uber’s collaboration with clothing brand Rag & Bone for New York Fashion Week. How did you come up with that idea? One of the challenges for Uber was that some saw it as a luxury service, when in fact Uber X has democratized the private driver experience. So for that campaign the idea was: What if we democratized fashion? We worked with Rag & Bone to open up a huge section of their fashion show through the Uber app, so that users could get access to the show and a free ride there. Typically at Fashion Week you will see the same people at every show and it is really hard to break through that insider club, so the press found it very newsworthy.
Sweden has a lot of successful startups. Why do you think that is? In Sweden you are almost expected to question what people say, regardless of if it is your boss or your peer. I think the collaborative aspect and encouraging independent thinking is very important.
What are some differences in workplace culture between Sweden and the United States? People here are very polite in their communications, in Sweden we are much more direct. At one point I actually had my managers pull me aside and say, ”Babba, maybe when you send an email you should ask how they are doing first…”
What changes are you seeing in the world of branding? Just a few years ago, work with influencers was very transactional; they were thought of as a distribution channel for content. Today, brands have shifted their strategy and recognize that influencers are actually brand-builders. So we see micro influencers doing amazingly well. Increasingly the people behind the Instagram account and their personal brand take a front seat and the number of followers is secondary. You can sponsor a post, you can buy followers, but you can’t buy a story.
You recently started your own brand marketing agency, tell us about that. I love to meet people, I love to have lunch with someone and look them in the eye and have a real conversation. Previously I have always felt guilty about leaving the office for a one-hour lunch, especially in America. Now I make the rules and I know what is good for my business. I started working with clients in May. My first two clients really took a leap of faith, because I did not even have a website. I was setting up the corporation as I started working with them. Now I work with all areas of brand marketing, including brand partnerships, influencer marketing, social media strategy, positioning, and marketing strategy. My focus is on brands within fashion, wellness, and travel.
What would your advice be to a Swedish brand looking to establish itself here? To not do too much at once, because it is a big market. If you are trying to just get into retailers, then go through retailers. If you are trying to create hype in NYC to drive sales in Sweden, then work with influencers in NYC that are interesting and have appeal in Sweden as well. Determine what your particular brand is looking for and what success looks like to you and then tailor your activities to that.
What drives you? I am from a family of immigrants who came to Sweden from Chile during the dictatorship there, not because they wanted to, but because they had to. Growing up I was always the only one who did not have blonde hair, the only one whose parents did not speak Swedish. I have always been the only one. I really want to see more women in leadership positions in general, but also women of color. If you see me do it, you see that it is possible.
L a i a n
Money for Nothing This Summer’s View from Stockholm Where the Weather Runs Cold and Tech Runs Hot
By Peter Fellman of their holiday. Swedish tech companies are booming too. In New York Nasdaq is breaking new alltime highs daily. This is not lost on the Swedish tech industry, a sector far hotter than our summer nights. One of the big Swedish private equity firms, Nordic Capital, recently announced that they are selling their payment solution company Bambora to the French Ingenico Group. The price is $1.7 billion, for a company that they started to build from nothing three years ago.
Photo: Pontus Höök
As I write this, we are in the middle of the earnings season in both the United States and Sweden and I find myself in a very familiar position: This week I am back working as the Editor-in-Chief of Sweden’s largest financial newspaper, Dagens Industri, a post I held for many years before I became the U.S. correspondent a year ago. Swedish summer weather is familiar as well; it is still crisp in Stockholm at the end of July. However things are hot at the editorial desk. The economy appears to be thriving and global Swedish companies are reporting increasing earnings. But that does not seem to be enough for the Stockholm stock market. Share prices are hesitant and traders want more encouraging news if they are to hit the buy button in the middle
In other words we seem to be living in the best of worlds right now. In the words of Dire Straits, we get ”money for nothing,” as the Swedish GDP growth has hovered around 3-4 percent for many years. Everybody, including the International Monetary Fund, is warning of a Swedish housing bubble, but so far nothing has happened. Swedes keep optimistically borrowing more money and buying bigger apartments and houses. In this environment, new Swedish tech companies are mushrooming and many of them are growing into unicorns. Companies like Skype, Spotify, King, and Klarna have showed that anything is possible; similar to how Björn Borg laid the foundation for Swedish tennis in the 1980s, paving the way for a handful of Swedes to rank among the top ten in the world. Today the highest ranked Swedish tennis player is Elias Ymer at 293 . With a tiny home market, Swedish exporting companies have a great history of looking abroad for new markets to grow their business. The Swedish export field used to consist mainly of big engineering companies
like Volvo and SKF, construction companies like Skanska, or retail businesses like IKEA and H&M. Today the landscape is different. In addition to the traditional big companies with big organizations, smaller faster growing Swedish startups are setting their sights across the Atlantic. These organizations do not always know what is needed to succeed on the giant U.S. market. Even if your company is big in the Nordics, you are usually nobody on Wall Street. These Swedish entrepreneurs need help with a lot of things—where to start, who to meet, and where to work. That is why a thriving SwedishAmerican Chamber of Commerce in New York is more important than ever, alongside a handful of other Swedish organizations such as Business Sweden, Consulate General of Sweden, Visit Sweden, and the newly opened Innovation House. Together these organizations can help more Swedish companies succeed over here. Something we at Dagens Industri will be happy to report back to Sweden in years to come. And as ”team Sweden” is flexing its muscles, I am proud to say that Dagens Industri has recently recruited one of Sweden’s best reporters, Andreas Cervenka, who will be based in Silicon Valley, to further cover and describe the disruptive powers of technology and innovation in the United States and across the world: A movement that Sweden and Swedish tech is very much a part of. Peter Fellman U.S. Correspondent Dagens Industri
Meet the Future of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. October 11, 2017 • Nasdaq MarketSite • New York City Tickets: $295 Members • $349 Non-members • $195 Young Professionals Take an extra $50 off the ticket price with special discount code: INNEWYORK Are you an entrepreneur? We have special offers for you! Contact Johannes Jarl at firstname.lastname@example.org
“The Tesla of Showers” Radically Cuts Water Usage Anders Wall 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year on Growing from Startup to Mature Company Mehrdad Mahdjoubi
Photo: ORBITAL SYSTEMS
Sometimes thinking inside the proverbial box can yield groundbreaking ideas. Mehrdad Mahdjoubi, CEO and Founder of ORBITAL SYSTEMS, first imagined his Shower of the Future while taking part in a design project for NASA, focused on solutions for deep space travel. His shower system recirculates and filters water to yield extreme water-efficiency and sustainability—at home
on Earth. At the 2016 Innovate46 conference, ORBITAL SYSTEMS received the Anders Wall Entrepreneur of the Year Award. ORBITAL has grown exponentially since then, with backing from former Skype CEO Niklas Zennström among others, and offices in Berlin, Malmö, and Sausalito. In New York caught up with Mahdjoubi to hear more about his journey with the company.
What has the transition from startup to leading a mature business been like? The process is never really finished, there is always something to improve. Having a clear mission and an ambitious vision makes things much easier. Whether your team consists of five, 50, or 500 people is less important when you, as an individual, feel you have a clear goal and a clear path to contribute.
In the very early days, what was the process like of getting funding and support? In the very beginning, CSN, the Swedish financial aid for higher education, was the main funding. Along the way, early adopters and other enthusiasts, including family, were invaluable support. The first stages of manufacturing took place in my uncle’s basement. I had a mentorship with the Zennström Foundation, which put me in touch with Niklas Zennström himself and things really took off from there.
What other types of support have you received in Sweden for developing ORBITAL SYSTEMS? Both Vinnova and the Swedish Energy Agency provided me with great support while I spent Orbital’s first two years at the Minc Incubator in Malmö, surrounded by many other dynamic startups.
Photo: ORBITAL SYSTEMS
How has the process of getting funding changed? We are now in a place where the right people come to us instead of the other way around. We have gone from applying for awards and competitions in order to get recognition and the funding needed to develop the product, to raising a million-dollar-plus round for the third time, which means that we can focus on commercial growth rather than research and development.
How do you think the climate for startups in Sweden differs from the United States? Sweden has a culture of innovation, we are really good at coming up with new inventions and solutions; as a society we are encouraged to be creative. On the other hand, the United States has far greater expertise on growing and scaling good inventions into big and competitive companies.
Do you feel that being a Swedish company in the United States brings you any advantage in terms of brand or image? Definitely. Swedish design is renowned for its high-quality craftsmanship, exclusivity, and minimalism, which is everything we stand for and uphold. We do not necessarily market ourselves as ”Made in Sweden” but in fact we are and that is apparent from our products, our work ethic, and the company as a whole.
making it in new york - BONTOUCH SACCNY Talked to Two Members That Made It
Success in Sweden doesn’t always translate seamlessly to making it in the United States. In New York reached out to two of our members and asked them to share their experience of crossing the Atlantic.
What is the biggest challenge your company has faced so far in establishing itself in the United States? Making sure there’s a great product/market fit. Bontouch is essentially a “tech startup-as-a-service” for big brands, and while we’ve had a fair amount of success in Europe, we wanted to acknowledge that the U.S. market is different. We were helped greatly by the fact that we signed our first U.S. clients from Sweden, but we still worked hard to understand what we needed to change in our offering, and in the way we communicate. Do you feel that being a Swedish company in the United States brings you any advantage in terms of brand or image? Many people feel that much of corporate America thinks of Sweden mainly as being on the opposite side of the political spectrum, but a favorable
view of Swedish design and high-quality products has certainly helped us. One of the changes we’ve made to the way we communicate is that we usually bill ourselves simply as a Swedish design agency. That gets us the interest and attention we need to explain our more sophisticated ”startup-as-a-service” engagement model. What value can SACCNY bring to a company expanding to the United States? SACCNY is a pretty great springboard—it has many of the basic services that every company expanding to the United States absolutely needs. For us, as an established startup in Sweden, SACCNY has been a key player in our concerted effort to find the right product/market fit in the United States. Joining SACCNY gave us an instant business network, and continues to make very meaningful contribution to our understanding of the U.S. market.
Pontus Axelsson Chairman & Co-Founder Bontouch
making it in new york - DOBERMAN SACCNY Talked to Two Members That Made It
â€?This city carries enormous talent, but the competition is hard and the noise can be taxing. It takes time to understand the pitfalls and cultural nuances of recruiting in the United States.â€? - Yvette Englund
What is the biggest challenge your company has faced so far in establishing itself in the United States? Finding the right talent. When interviewing people you come to appreciate the resources we have in Sweden. Adding to that it is often difficult to get to know the person behind an overly curated resume. A higher percentage of hires here in New York perhaps don't turn out as expected over time. This city carries enormous talent, but the competition is hard and the noise can be taxing. It takes time to understand the pitfalls and cultural nuances of recruiting in the United States. Do you feel that being a Swedish company in the United States brings you any advantage in terms of brand or image?
ciated. It is helpful in building trust and relationships, but won't bring you the sales. In order to succeed here one has to be humble to the challenge and the adventure, as well as have the courage to be open to learning and to share to pay it forward. What value can SACCNY bring to a company expanding to the United States? SACCNY offers a confident and welcoming door to doing business in this cityâ€”providing a fantastic network with a vast collective knowledge with the members being its greatest asset. The organization has evolved in really impressive ways over the last few years and now has the ability to offer specific answers to specific challenges. There is expertise connected with every aspect of doing business in New York. There is potential for even further improvement but I really like where this is going.
Overall there is a certain advantage as Swedish workmanship and loyalty is well known and appre-
Yvette Englund Senior Office Manager Doberman
Perspective: Innovation for Human Rights A Bottom-Up Approach that Bridges the Gap Between NGOs and Entrepreneurs
Civil Rights Defenders
Civil Rights Defenders, a human Project, named after Natalia EstemiCRD’s innovative approach delirights organization based in Swerova, a journalist and human rights berately and aggressively crosses den, has launched the world’s first activist who was abducted and murborders and breaks down the silos NGO human rights innovation prodered in Chechnya. We created a that have traditionally separated gram. Our program harnesses the comprehensive package for human the nonprofit world from the buknowledge of CRD’s ON more thanCONTINENTS, 200 rights defenders, which includes an siness world. It does so by conneWITH A PRESENCE FOUR CIVIL RIGHTS partner organizations some of the alarm system that is based around a cting those who understand the DEFENDERS WORKSin IN SOME OF THE WORLD’S MOST world’s most repressive regions in device that can be activated in case problems best with those that have REPRESSIVE REGIONS. YOUR SUPPORT WILL GO TOWARDS SWEDEN collaboration with business in two of an attack. The system comes with the resources and knowhow needed ACHIEVING LONG-TERM CHANGE WITH of the world’s most innovative co- BYaPARTNERING suite of training, security measusolve them. Rather thanacts just foA peer to our to global partners, Civil Rights Defenders as Sweden’s LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS FOCUSING watchdog civilcusing rights organization. We fight against untries—the United States AND and Sweres, ON andINNOVATION. other support. The project on problems that structural will have EASTERN EUROPE &together CENTRALwith ASIAglobal discrimination,scalable and for the solutions, rights of vulnerable through are den. was developed the groups solutions advocacy, strategic litigation, and public engagement. For example, and weCivil built for scale, so they can be apSince companies our founding as here part of in theSweden Helsinki Movement, we have successfully sued the Swedish state for ethnic discrimination Rights are Defenders has worked that to resistcollaboration, and hold accountable plied or replicated elsewhere, even We that we ensures have a competicontinuing Civilbelieve Rights Defenders for an illegal police registry of Roma people. repressive governments in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. profitably, when applicable. ers, Civil Rightstive Defenders acts as Sweden’s edge with one of the most cruwith the project now entering the the survival and strengthening We have an extensive network of local partners in the region nization. We fight against structural cial factors for success: a network third generation of development. of local voices that fight for who are under severe threat, both physically, and as a result of rights of vulnerable groups through with knowledge humanintimate rights. We have engaged of the a series of laws that are designed to prevent human rights We hope that our model can serve on, and public engagement. For example, problems, as participants well as ofinthe social Thefrom Natalia Project the bedefenders doing their work, as marked well as aggressive tactics as inspiration for how to innovate overfora ethnic hundred d the Swedish state discrimination to undermine them.of CRD working with innand cultural environment ginning across borders and silos, and add a y of Roma people. the Natalia Project – the world’sin which first alarm system human fi they exist. The for aim is to consisovation in a more systematic way. mission-driven element to innovatirights defenders risk – trained tently deliver at innovative solutions Since then, our efforts in this area on, which attracts talent. This leads human rights defenders across that successfully solve the the real and have continued, including a current to a higher success rate and has real WESTERN BALKANS world, andproblems provided assistance to thousands pressing human rights deproject that involves building and impact. In the case of our defenCivil Rights Defenders has been a strong of peopleface. seeking justice for violations of theirsupporting a database for human fenders der-centric innovation program, the presence in the Western Balkans since the basic human rights. rights defenders in Cuba and Latin result isabuses as good for business as it is 1990s. Human rights and discrimination, We call our innovation approach deAmerica. human especially for against LGBT rights. people, have been rampant in the region. We have a well-developed fender-centric. Using a bottom-up ANS network process we work directly with our The Defenders’ Database aims to of local partners who are key players in rs has been a strong fighting for human rights in the region. partners, who are specialized and provide a better way to visualize, Mathias Antonson tern Balkans since the experienced defenreport, Project Manager buses and discrimination, • We empowerhuman individualrights human rights defenders and and collect data. In this speBT people, have been SOUTHEAST ASIA and Human Rights Innovation Innitiative dersorganizations with direct of thetraining, cific and case, data on the arrest by knowledge providing expertise, We have a well-developed – above all – long-term support.This alspecific problems at hand. internment of Injournalists and fre- of Southeast Asia, hundreds rs who are key players in edom of speech advocates in Cuba. human rights defenders have been s in the region.lows CRD to sidestep one of the • We reasons monitor state and demand accountdetained, including main whyauthorities top-down innOrganizations arbitrarily that work in the field the recipient of our Defender ability,often justice,fails—lack and reparations people’s human ovation of when underoften have these types of 2015 data, but of the Year Award – Me Nam, a human LATIN AMERICA rights have been social violated.and cultural standing of the no good way of using them. A SweEAST & HORN OF AFRICA rights blogger. Civil Rights Building is a solid foundation based on facts is crucial to environment which the problems tech company working with informed so that they dish have the • We keep theinpublic Defenders continuously campaigns Freedom of speech, along with a resisting state-sponsored so collecting proper tools and knowledge to claim their fundamental for her concept release, as well for the exist. CRD to develop the andaspropaganda, the rights, is under constant threat in evidence and reporting on human rights abuses is a government to to ensure human rights and freedoms. Defenders directly supports local ambition is to Vietnamese eventually be able core part offor defending rights. Civil Rights full respect people’s human civil and work under direct threat to their a In •2013, CRD and launched the Natalia apply it elsewhere. Defenders has created a database that helps Cuban We advocate lobby decision makers so that they
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EAST & informed HORN OF AFRICA can make choices on important human rights issues. Freedom of speech, along with a number of other human
political rights. human rights organizations safely upload and store vital information about human rights violations.
rights, is under constant threat in the region. Civil Rights
Defenders directly supports local partners, many of whom FACTS ABOUT CIVIL RIGHTS DEFENDERS work under direct threat to their and their families’ lives. In 2017, we awarded our Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award to Edmund Yakani from South Sudan, where civil and political rights have never been established to the level its citizens wished for at independence.
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SACCNY—New Look! With the Help of D Solutions NYC
Upcoming Events in NYC Ruben Östlunds The Square will be screening at The New York Film Festival, which takes place Sep. 28 – Oct. 15. For more information check the festival website.
This fall The New Museum turns 40, which it will celebrate with a series of exhibitions. “Pursuing the Unpredictable: The New Museum, 1977–2017” opens on Sep. 27.
Do you like the look of our new, theme based magazine? Would you like your company to be featured in one of the issues? Do not hesitate to contact SACCNY’s Head of Communications, Yasmina Backström, for marketing and advertising opportunities, at: email@example.com Or call: +1 212 838 5530 Do not miss our new SACCNY app, available for download at the App Store and Google Play. We will also be launching our new website soon. Stay tuned for more information!
C S s s h
Foodtrucks are a great place to try food from up-and-coming culinary talents. At the Vendy Awards trucks gather to compete and guests gather to eat. Sep. 16, 12.30 pm – 5 pm, Governors Island.
Jenny Rogneby worked as an investigator with the Stockholm Police Department for many years. She will give a talk on her best-selling novel Leona: The Die is Cast, at Scandinavia House, Sep. 7, 7 pm.
+ s l o w
Could uncertainty be your best opportunity for growth?
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