THE SWEDISH-AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, INC.
Where the Swedish-American Business Community Meets
sustainology NEW MEMBERS
D SOLUTIONS NYC
NINA EKELUND 1
IN N E W YO R K No. 5, 2017 THIS ISSUE IS SPONSORED BY UPPSALA UNIVERSITY AND AMERICAN FRIENDS OF UPPSALA UNIVERSITY
Editor & Writer Nina Lary
Editorial & Production Yasmina Backstrรถm
Publisher Anna Throne-Holst
Assistance & Layout Erika Rahmqvist
8 Feature 10 o n e - o n - o n e 12 p e r s p e c t i v e 15 F e a t u r e 16 o n e - o n - o n e 18 n e w m e m b e r s A New Green Era
Closing the Loop
Meet Ambassador Olofsdotter
20 c o l u m n 22 c o l u m n 24 F e a t u r e 26 c o l u m n 27 e v e n t s Tobias Peggs
Uppsala University Innovation
Simris Alg, Investment AB Öresund, D Solutions NYC & wynd
IN NEW YORK is the member newsletter of The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, Inc. 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 | firstname.lastname@example.org | 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.
SUSTAIN- O L O G Y ? H U H ? Dear Members and Friends, SACCNY
the most innovative companies and individuals doing business in both Sweden and the U.S., so it’s only natural they are at the forefront of the most pressing issue of our time: Sustainability.
The term sustainability is thrown around a lot these days, and like any big-idea-turned-buzzword, there is danger of it losing potency and purpose. To truly capture the many nuances that can and should be attributed and include all the “ingredients” or -ologies, such as ecology, biology, sociology—we needed a concept of our own as, we too, put this issue at the forefront of all we do. Welcome to Sustainology! We like it, and feel it also gives us the flexibility to use for a variety of themed conferences devoted to exploring issues around sustainability and cutting edge technology to best meet those important goals. We hope you agree! So what does sustainability—or Sustainology—mean, exactly? For the planet, for business, for society? As you know, SACCNY asks these questions every year at our annual sustainability conference, formerly known as “From Farm to Fork.” For 10 years now, we have gathered experts in sustainable thinking. This year, in light of increasing global focus on food, we revamped the conference to focus on sustainable food systems. We are particularly interested in how technology and innovative thinking is pushing these systems forward. Sustainology Summit, as we have christened this year’s event, will be
a forum for discussion of today’s most relevant intersections between food, environment, technology, and innovation. We could not mount this important conference without Citi, our conference host, and Deloitte, our award partner. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to them both for once again generously supporting this event! With this issue’s fresh focus on food, it’s only natural to mention a special meal that brings SACCNY members together every year. Our annual Crayfish Party is always a great time—a chance to roll up our sleeves and crack into a pile of crayfish, while making new friends and acquaintances. This year’s dinner, thanks to our sponsor Skanska, was no exception. In step with SACCNY’s overall revamp, the dinner was held in a new venu and had a fresher overall spirit. Our Board Meeting in Stockholm this August brought to the fore dynamic conversations on e-commerce and trade, and we were happy to welcome Swedish Minister of Trade and EU Affairs, Ann Linde, as our guest speaker. In keeping with our current focus on tech, innovation, and sustainability, Tekniska Museet, Sweden’s National Museum of Science and Technology, offered a wonderful site. Our friends at Serendipity and Teknikföretagen
co-hosted the closing dinner, which included exciting onstage pitches by winners and finalists at this summer’s Serendipity Challenge in Almedalen! We brought together many of the brightest minds in innovation and technology for the fourth consecutive year at our Innovate46 conference. Serving as a platform for Swedish startups looking to expand to the U.S., Innovate46 allows entrepreneurs to pitch and top-notch speakers to share exciting ideas in presentations and panels. This year’s conference was a great success. We congratulate the winner of The Anders Wall Award for Exceptional Entrepreneurship, 2017, CELLINK, and the Expo Challenge winner, Hugo & Celine, and look forward to an exciting future and to staying on hand to assist their journey across the Atlantic. Sincerely,
Anna Throne-Holst President - Executive Director SACCNY
SUSTAINAB IL I T Y I N N U M B E RS Our grasp on sustainability is a work-in-progress. We learn more every day about what it takes to build a truly sustainable earth for generations to come. But without hard data, big ideas can turn to conversational mush. Putting together this issue of In New York, we talked with dozens of industry experts and came across a few standout data points that felt vital to share. You know what they say â€” the numbers donâ€™t lie.
20% 20% 38% 99%
Food accounts for some 20 percent of the global GDP. Today, the United States has 20 percent more trees than it did on the first Earth Day celebration in 1970. Sweden has cut its greenhouse emissions by 38 percent since 1990, and its GDP has grown 69 percent.
Sweden recycles 99 percent of its plastic.
C ALENDA R O F E V E N T S
November The Sustainology 7 Summit 29
B re a k f a s t S e m i n ar f e a t u r i n g J o h a n Torgeby P re s i d e n t & C E O , SE B
Vi s i t ww w. sa c c n y. o rg to view our full ev e nt c ale ndar.
December A nnual 1 Christmas
L uncheon & L ucia Celebration
Citi Goes 100 Percent Green Bank Pledges to Go Fully Carbon Neutral by 2020
The Future is Innovation, The Future is Nordic
Opening of New York’s Nordic Innovation House
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister Margot Wallström at tje NIH opening night. Photo: Tim Soter/Consulate General of Sweden in New York
In September, Citi pledged to go green all the way. Citi is one of 100 major companies to join RE100, a global initiative led by The Climate Group committed to using 100 percent clean energy. Citi has pledged to go fully carbon neutral by 2020. To achieve their green goal, they are considering different solutions, including using onsite power generation, purchase power agreements, and renewable energy credits, to fuel the 7,900 properties they own worldwide. This pledge marks another step in the bank’s longstanding commitment to finance $100 billion in clean energy, infrastructure, and technology projects.
As a further manifest to their commitment to sustainability , Citi will again be hosting the Sustainology Summit on November 7. And we again say thank you ! 6
Nordic Innovation House opened its second U.S. location in Midtown New York City, this September. The opening night soiree at Grand Central’s WeWork offices drew businesspeople, ministers, and government officials. Ministers from all five Nordic Countries spoke about their countries as hubs of innovation thanks to dynamic public school systems and shared ideals of openness, inclusiveness, creativity, and cooperation. Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström, spoke specifically to the Nordic business landscape, crediting Sweden’s social-security safety net for the country’s strong startup culture. Swedes’ focus on sustainability, she said, gives them a competitive marketplace advantage, while the nation’s policies foster entrepreneurial risk-taking. With branches in Silicon Valley and New York City, Nordic Innovation House acts as both a landing and launch pad for early-stage Scandinavian startups. NIH provides programs to accelerate ideas and growth, as well as logistical support in the form of office space, seminars, and networking opportunities.
Axel Johnson Launches Leadership Program
Nominees for SACCNYDeloitte Green Award 2017
This fall, Axel Johnson launched their Axelerate Leadership Program, a dynamic program geared toward developing international talent, while encouraging diversity as a joint prerequisite for innovative companies. Built on a mindset that inclusion creates strong foundations, Axel Johnson is focused on cultivating 60/40 gender representation as a part of company leadership, as well as requiring a minimum 20 percent of leaders to have an international background. Thirty individuals were invited to take part in the six-month program in Stockholm. The Leadership Program is fully funded by Axel Johnson and designed in collaboration with Mitt Liv, a social entrepreneurship company focused on cultivating greater diversity and integration in the Swedish labor market.
Deloitte will present the SACCNY-Deloitte Green Award at SACCNY’s Sustainology Summit on November 7. Each year the award is presented to a Swedish company that presents a “green” innovation or technology linked to the food chain. The idea or invention must be beneficial to the environment, environmentally sustainable, and either commercialized or close to commercial release. A demonstration of SACCNY’s commitment to fostering innovation, the award has been given to a wide range of companies. This year’s nominees are Ignitia, Karma, Whywaste, and Matsmart. The winners will be selected by a jury of industry experts led by Deloitte Partner, Andreas Marcetic, and SACCNY President, Anna Throne-Holst, as well as executives from Siggi’s Dairy, Sweden FoodTech, The Haga Initiative, and The Absolut Company.
Cultivating Diversity to Create Strong Foundations
Winners to be Announced at The Sustainology Summit
We Congratulate the Nominees ! 7
A New Green Era How the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Will Save the Planet Citi and Deloitte “To be sustainable you’ve got to create value on an affirmative basis.” - Michael Roberts
We are in the midst of a shifting ecological paradigm. After a decade of swift technological advance, we are left to determine how to best apply this technology to create a sustainable society for future generations. Just as the U.S. doubled down on its withdrawal from the Paris Accord, a series of devastating ecological disasters hit the globe. “We’re now seeing the effects of what happens when you’re not conducting your business, or your life, in a sustainable way,” says Andreas Marcetic, partner at Deloitte and longtime SACCNY board member. “Flooding or heat waves in some parts of the world and cold waves in others. It’s very apparent that if we don’t do anything right now, inevitably change will happen in a way we no longer have control over.” World population is on track to reach nine billion by 2050, and 70 percent of those people will live in cities. In fact, cities may offer the most potential for change. When addressed progressively, urban density provides an opportunity to reduce worldwide pollution through more efficient infrastructure and planning. But relying on governments may slow down the process. By nature, government is not agile. It can’t risk what needs to be in order to push innovation forward, and even testing trial solutions
can shift a greater tax burden to citizens. SACCNY members—business leaders, innovators, and CEOs alike—have more than an opportunity. They have an imperative to drive innovation, which is key to pushing sustainability forward. Michael Roberts, global head of corporate banking and lending at Citigroup, says the ability for governments to finance the cities of the future is constrained. “I think the private sector is going to have to be more and more involved. I think there will be more
of these private-public partnerships, the 3 Ps as they call them.” Examples of PPPs in New York City alone include La Guardia airport, the wildly successful Citi Bike program, and LinkNYC, a system of public kiosks that act as Wi-Fi hotspots, phone charging stations, tablets for free web browsing, and phones for free domestic calls. These privately owned kiosks, deemed “Links,” are leased by the city, paid for by advertisers, cost taxpayers nothing, and will generate more than $500 million in revenue for New York City.
Public-Private Partnerships, or PPPs, utilize the best of what municipal factions and private industry have to offer. They can tap into the agility of the startup, the reputation and capital of big business, and the stability and regulatory systems of government. “Governments have to change and be more welcoming, open, and flexible without playing the role of inventor or agile entrepreneur, because they’re not,” says Roberts. “They can never do it and they shouldn’t even try. It’s really how they want to approach it. Some governments are doing it well, others are not. Frankly, some of the Nordic governments do it better than many.”
While big business may have the reputation and capital to back major projects, working in tandem with startups or young entrepreneurs offers the greatest problem-solving potential, especially in markets that are slower to adapt, such as those dependent on natural resources or heavy-duty manufacturing. “We do a lot of E-retail,” says Marcetic. “It’s super interesting to see that some of our clients can reduce warehouse and inventory space dramatically just because they have a central inventory. They can communicate with people in a much more efficient way online, which does not affect the environment in any specific way.”
As a global leader in innovation and sustainability, Sweden is at the forefront of these conversations. This year, SACCNY’s sustainability summit, Sustainology, endeavors to address some of these challenges with a particular focus on global food systems. In order to build, or even envision, a global food system that can reliably support an exploding population and a fraught ecology, leading entrepreneurs, scientists, and growers must rely on disruptive thinking and expand their definition of sustainability beyond what is simply green and clean to consider factors such as economic equity and population diversity. Cornell’s Elab in New York City, is a great example of a startup accelerator rapidly turning out creative solutions to issues of sustainability, including infrastructure, transportation, housing, food systems, and social and economic equity for the cities of the future.
“We’re moving towards a more globally accepted level where more general publicor government-driven operations are being run by private investors and private interests.”
“Governments are users of technology not innovators of technology. Allowing private sector companies to come in and innovate around new technologies or cities will be very important,” says Roberts. “I think that is very fertile ground and you’ll see it in all sorts of things, you’ll see it in transportation, you’ll see it in the way that cities manage various social programs.” “We’re moving towards a more globally accepted level where general publicor government-driven operations are being run by private investors and private interests,” says Andreas Marcetic. “That’s because technology has changed, but also the acceptance and efficiency around capital management has changed a little bit.”
“It’s very, very clear that the older or more mature and bigger conglomerates, and market leaders to some extent, are very slow to learn and adapt new events, new technology,” says Marcetic. “Their structure is also built around corporate governance, which needs time to understand, evaluate, agree, et cetera. Whereas new, young, and entrepreneurial companies are very fast.” Entrepreneurism has always driven innovation. Its revolutionary stance may not be a sustainable model for all sectors, but big business can certainly learn from the spirit. Entrepreneurs thrive in the in-between—the place between here and there, where old systems are fading and new solutions are in demand. “We need to think about how to change our ways of working, how we produce things, how we sell things,” says Marcetic. “This might affect profits in the short term, but if we don’t, we might be out of business in the long term.”
- Andreas Marcetic
Disruptive companies like Uber and Airbnb have overtaken market giants because they are more agile—they can adapt quickly to a changing environment, and have the risk-taking ability and bounce-back essential to drive new systems forward. Still, disruption is only one part of the equation. “To be sustainable you’ve got to create value on an affirmative basis,” says Roberts. “A lot of the new technologies have really not proven themselves out. Uber is still proving itself, nonetheless I think it’s been disruptive in a very positive way.” So how to balance profitability and sustainability? “I don’t think they’re necessarily mutually exclusive,” says Roberts. ”Sustainability is the long term viability of different policies and technologies. Big companies often understand that it’s better to have a less profitable but longer-life product or revenue stream than it is to have a shorter term opportunity which may have higher initial profitability.”
Andreas Marcetic Partner Deloitte
Michael Roberts Global head of corporate banking and lending, Citigroup
One - on - One
All About Connectivity Marcus Samuelsson Unpacks Sustainability Marcus Samuelsson
Interested in learning the secrets behind Marcus Samuelsson’s delicious food? Watch him do an exclusive cooking demo at the SACCNY Sustainology Summit on November 7th!
“The quest of what’s good food will always be there. And it should be challenged. It is challenged.”
- Marcus Samuelsson
Marcus Samuelsson wants us to be careful how we talk about sustainability. A restaurateur, community builder, and visionary entrepreneur, Samuelsson owns over 30 restaurants around the world, with locations from Malmö to Harlem. He says sustainability means something different in each location. What’s innovative in one atmosphere or region might be redundant in another. As we move toward an increasingly interconnected world, evolving our understanding of sustainability will allow us to work toward true change.
What innovations are changing the way we eat or how we think about food? I think that technology and media combined are drivers for us to learn about food from all aspects of the world. We weren’t as connected before. Now, we are exposed and introduced to new habits of eating. In many ways, this makes the world bigger, but it also makes it more connected.
How does food drive market innovation? It’s all about connectivity. Food has always been a marketplace where people come together. Whether it was the old traditional markets of Marrakesh or Egypt, there’s always been the market that we traded on. Whether it was sugar or spices or salt, they’ve always been these incredible market drivers Then we moved into the period of “finer” food. First it was a focus on French food, then Japanese food, then it became Italian. Now we’re going back to seeing ethnic food as sustainable food. We go deeper into the jungle to find super foods. The quest of what’s good food will always be there. And it should be challenged. It is challenged.
How do you execute principles of sustainability throughout such a broad spectrum of different restaurant styles around the world? Sustainability means different things for different places. In our restaurant in Gothenburg, we have our own garden, so our vegetables and our garden program are extremely sustainable. We cook what we grow, right? In Harlem, I look at sustainability from a neighbor model. The most important aspect of sustainability here is that your community is working. If we had a restaurant in Ethiopia, “organic” would have no value, because all food would be organic. And then you look at a place like Sweden that has a lot of great ideas about sustainability, yet local food is so expensive most restaurants can’t afford it.
What does sustainability mean for the restaurant industry moving forward? The word restaurant means “to restore a community.” The consumer no matter where you go will be more and more informed, so in order to present the value proposition, the word sustainability will eventually be like electricity, something you take for granted versus highlight. I don’t think we’re there yet, but I think that’s where we’re going to end up pretty soon.
At some point buzzwords like sustainability become empty. Do we need to step back and say, “What are we really talking about here?” Yes, but it also means very different things in different companies. You can argue that fast-food restaurants are very sustainable, because they have delivery once a week versus the three-star Michelin restaurant that has maybe 30 deliveries a day. So, which one would you look at to be the most sustainable? I’m not saying that one is doing a better job than the other. I’m just saying that it’s a very broad conversation and you have to be responsible with how you engage in it.
Are there specific technologies you see driving forward the restaurant industry? You always look for better software so you can backend manage your operations—anything from inventories to customer’s response. And then via Instagram or Twitter, you can have a dialogue about it. On the other end, you look at changes in the marketplace. We went from cash to bitcoin, so you have to respond to that if you’re a merchant. It’s about being aware. About going to forums, speaking to other colleagues, and staying curious.
Can you talk about innovations you see occurring in the kitchen itself? We learned a lot from Japan—kelp, for example. Now we’re looking a lot at grains—like teff—from Ethiopia, one of the oldest grains in the world. Then you look at things like let’s say bugs for new proteins. Twenty years from now, maybe a rib eye is not the protein of choice. Maybe bugs from Cambodia are the protein of choice. To me it all stems from being curious. Curious about what you get and curious about how you can evolve. If you’re committed to that, sustainability cannot be avoided. You have to say, ”Okay what’s next, what’s coming?”
Any final thoughts? The intersection between food and technology is where the modern chef is today. It’s not where we started, but we have to be part of that, both on the creative side and on the backend side.
Closing the loop Four Stages in the Cycle of Food
A perfectly round shape that continues in perpetuity, the circle is an apt emblem for true sustainability. In a circular model, every end feeds into a new beginning. Each carrot, for example, eventually returns to the soil that produced it. SACCNY talked with experts in all stages of the food life cycle—Production, Packaging/Transportation, Consumption, and Waste—about the technologies and innovations pushing their respective fields forward.
“In a near future we will no longer talk about ‘minimizing our negative impact,’ but rather about ‘maximizing our positive impact.’” - Anna Schreil
The Circle of Life
Anna Schreil on Production Anna Schreil, Vice President of Operations at The Absolut Company, speaks on net-positive impact and the impending necessity of circularity in production.
How is innovation driving sustainable practices forward in your industry? We need to work on informing and empowering co-workers, suppliers, partners, customers, and society as a whole. We need people with limitless thinking— those that are challenged by problems, to find new ways to produce energy; to renew, reuse, reduce, and recycle materials; to find new ways to communicate and reach more people
Anna Schreil VP Operations The Absolut Company
What are the current trends in production? As in most industries, circularity is an objective and a target for us. Since climate change is getting more and more obvious, all serious and risk-minimizing businesses are acting in one way or another to firstly minimize emissions, and secondly to develop adaptations to the chan-
ges we will inevitably meet. We work a lot on finding the most energy efficient ways to produce and transport our goods, and use renewables both in production and transport. In Sweden, all our outbound transports are now running on renewable fuels.
How will the way we think about sustainability in terms of production change in the next, say, 10 years? I think that in a near future we will no longer talk about ”minimizing our negative impact,” but rather about ”maximizing our positive impact.” We will start to work toward creating ”goodness” and exploring how to get a net-positive impact, as well as how to calculate and report these positive effects. Customers and consumers will probably put a lot higher demand on producers. In order to get a ”license to operate,” we will need to not only disclose all we do, but also what our contribution to a better world will be.
Flexibility is Key
Andreas Jeppsson on Packaging and Transportation Andreas Jeppsson, Managing Director of Ecolean, Inc. talks aseptic technology, EPDs, and what the consumer of the future really wants.
What technologies or innovations are disrupting your industry? Aseptic technology continues to gain market share both here in the U.S. and in other global markets. Aseptic technology ensures that both food and packaging material are free from harmful bacterias, meaning aseptically packaged products are shelf stable for an extended time without need for refrigeration or any added preservatives. Aseptic aligns with the trend of clean labels and food safety, as well as providing better taste, color, and nutrient value to the products.
How is innovation driving sustainable practices forward? There is an increasing demand on the whole value chain, including food
producers, brand owners, retailers, foodservice companies, and end consumers, for more environmentally sustainable products. Solutions that minimize the amount of raw material used and generate less food and package waste are getting more and more attention.
What trends do you see in packaging and transportation?
Andreas Jeppsson Managing Director Ecolean, Inc.
E-commerce is the fastest growing sales channel, which means more demand for durable packaging that isn’t easily dented or crushed during transportation and handling.
How will the way we transport and package products change in the next 10 years? In general, we are moving toward solutions with greater efficiency and reduced environmental impact. Less food waste and less package waste—not only for the consumer, but also during production. The market demand for Environmental Product Declarations, or EPDs, will also increase.
We Are What (and How and Why) We Eat Dr. Robert Brummer on Consumption Dr. Robert Brummer, Professor of Gastroenterology and Clinical Nutrition at Örebro University, considers health a vital element of sustainable development. He talks about shifting the paradigm from illness to wellness, and looks beyond vegan and gluten-free diets to the future of hyper-individualized food choices. “I see three drivers for future development, which partly interact with each other,” says Dr. Brummer. “First of all, the Internet-of-Things (IoT).” While you may not be familiar with the term, we are already living it. Whether tracking activity via Fitbit or engaging the auto-park feature in our car, the IoT allows all devices connected to the internet to interact with each other, with or without human guidance. Gartner, Inc. predicts that by 2020, there will be over 20 billion connected “things” in place. That includes people-people, people-thing, and thingthing interactions, which Brummer says will
enable a totally novel way to integrate the consumer with the producer/retailer. Secondly, a shift from the illness-paradigm to the wellness-paradigm. “My feeling is that consumers not only want food that is tasty, safe, and ‘fair trade,’ but they also see the possibility that the right food can make you feel better. Not in the traditional sense of preventing future illness or disorders (cardiovascular, cancer, dementia, etc.), but I use that language to denote a shift from the illness-paradigm toward the wellness-paradigm.” Third of all, the growing trend towards highly customized food. ”What is suitable for the moment? Which food choice is best for your age, your genome, your activities, and perhaps with your typical symptoms (abdominal discomfort, allergy, skin disorders), but also dedicated just for that moment? For example, we will consider what to eat to avoid jetlag, to relieve acute stress, or just before a mental exercise.”
Dr. Robert Brummer Professor of Gastroenterology and Clinical Nutrition Örebro University
Our Daily Bread
Tristram Stuart Speaks on Waste Tristram Stuart is an award-winning author, renowned speaker, advocate against global food waste, CEO of Feedback, and founder of Toast Ale, a UK beer brewed with surplus bread.
What technologies or innovations are disrupting your industry? Some notable examples are FoodCloud, which connects and redistributes surplus to charities; Winnow Solutions, which allows restaurants to track and prevent food wastage; and Olio, which enables people to reduce household food waste by sharing with neighbors and friends.
What trends do you see in the business of food waste? Lots of creative and amazing products made from surplus and food destined for the garbage. Bread is the most wasted household item in the UK. One of the ventures I started is Toast Ale, which brews delicious beer from unsold loaves at bakeries and unused crusts from sandwich makers. I used the profits to fund Feedback, the charity I founded to fight food waste at a systemic level. Using my international network of food waste activists, we scaled the idea to be hugely impactful at a global level.
How will the way we both create and manage waste change in the next 10 years? I hope that we will be working toward a circular model of managing food waste in the coming decade. This food system means that food previously perceived as waste actu-
ally has value and can be used as a resource. If food is still fit for human consumption, it should feed people. When food is no longer fit to feed people, it should be repurposed to feed livestock and fish. Food-waste leftover from feeding livestock should then be fed to soils through compost and manure. All three levels of the food system—humans, animals, and soils, need to be fed and replenished to create a sustainable future.
Photo: Erik Nordlund
How does innovation drive sustainable practices forward?
Tristram Stuart CEO, Feedback Founder, Toast Ale
In order for such radical change in how we produce and manage waste, we need all sectors to work hand in hand. Feedback campaigns and works with people from private and public sectors to end food waste at a systemic level. From produce left to rot on farms due to supermarkets’ cosmetic standards, to catering waste sent to AD or landfill because of the EU ban on feeding swill to pigs. Feedback seeks to change regulations and policies by changing society’s attitude on food waste.
Scandinavian MAN A New Fashion and Lifestyle Magazine On October 11, 2017, a new magazine was born. Scandinavian MAN is a new biannual fashion and lifestyle magazine, focusing on the personalities, brands, and phenomena that shape the world through a Scandinavian perspective. Behind the magazine are experienced Swedish fashion operatives Jonas Bergström and Konrad Olsson. Olsson, who previously held the position as editor of Plaza Magazine and Plaza Uomo, is now the editor-in-chief of Scandinavian MAN. ”The interest for all things Scandinavian is bigger than ever right now. We saw a need for a magazine that not only brought the best Scandinavian menswear brands together under one platform, but also brought strong Nordic values like sustainability, equality, and innovation, to a larger audience” says Olsson.
The magazine was launched at NeueHouse in New York, where the evening began with presentations of Scandinavian fashion brands to local fashion editors and buyers. Participating brands included Sand Copenhagen, Stenströms, Project Twlv, Sjöö Sandström, and CDLP. Following the presentation, Konrad Olsson led a panel talk with Marcus Samuelsson, award-winning chef, restaurateur, author and TV personality, supermodel Alex Lundqvist, and Natalia Brzezinski, CEO of Brilliant Minds, together discussing the Scandinavian man as a role model to the world. SACCNY acted as partner and cohost of the event. Scandinavian MAN will host several global events during 2018. In January, the magazine will host a pop-up lounge at fashion fair, PROJECT, held at New York City’s Javits Center.
Region in Focus
A Nobel Region Örebro County’s Legacy of Innovation Leads to Culinary Technologies
Orebro The world’s most renowned scientist and inventor, Alfred Nobel, lived in the county of Örebro. It was there he established his laboratory and had his last will and testament approved, which bestowed upon the world its most prestigious scientific award—the Nobel Prize.
Örebro County—At the Forefront of Culinary Development and Innovation Thanks to scientific endeavors at the Campus Grythyttan School of Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Meal Science at Örebro University, the county of Örebro is pioneering in the development of meal science and gastronomy. It was the first county in the world to introduce meal science as a research field. The county’s innovation strategy, Smart Specialization, identifies how food is connected not only to the meal experience but also to sustainability, health, and the environment. Innovations in the food segment and food tech are driven by knowledge development within all these areas.
Photo: Lasse Persson
Innovation Örebro County supports innovation by facilitating cooperation between business and research. We work with interesting projects in sensory science, sustainable packaging solutions, and climate-friendly proteins. By creating a knowledge and skills network called the “Meal Laboratory,” Örebro provided a win-win situation for researchers and entrepreneurs. The region is also strong in autonomous systems, digitalization, and intelligent production systems. Combining its strengths of food and tech, Örebro is creating a new platform for innovation in the spirit of Alfred Nobel.
Development of Exciting Climate-Smart Food Climate-smart food is not only a question of how food is packaged, but also what is served. We are looking at climate-smart proteins tailored to a growing, global population. This work involves, for example, developing new and exciting dishes and products made with ingredients such as insects and gray peas.
Photo: Lasse Persson
One - on - One
A History of Exchange, A Future of Innovation Meet Sweden’s New U.S. Ambassador Karin Olofsdotter “In my career, I never really thought about the fact that I’m a woman. When I do, I actually think it’s just an advantage.”
- Karin Olofsdotter
Ambassador Karin Olofsdotter and Alf Karlsson, State Secretary, Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, Sweden. Photo: Arno Mikkor (EU2017EE)
Karin Olofsdotter, Sweden’s new Ambassador to the United States, discusses the historical bond between countries, advances in trucking infrastructure, and creating an inclusive global labor market.
Why is the relationship between Sweden and America so strong and important? Next year, it will have been exactly 200 years since the first American diplomat was posted in Sweden. Shortly after that, we posted a diplomat here. We have a very long relationship. We were one of the first countries after the war that recog-
nized the United States. One-fourth of our population immigrated here in the 1800s. Some found their luck, made money and came back home, bringing with them ideas from the U.S. that they carried out in Sweden. That’s the historical relationship. I think we are very much alike, Swedish people and citizens of the U.S. We are all very hardworking and always looking for new ways to solve things. Even if we have differences in our societies, as a people we are quite similar. Swedes are also very adaptive to U.S. culture.
What is the current state of Swedish-American relations? Very good. When it comes to business, we have significant investments here. Swedish economic ties with the U.S. have created about 500,000 jobs in the United States. Most of our big companies have production facilities here and find the U.S. market extremely important. It is one of our biggest markets outside the European Union. In addition, when it comes to culture, we have great cultural exchanges. Artists and musicians often come and tour in the United States. Our trade relations are also very strong. We have about 1,400 U.S. companies present in Sweden, and we value their investments in our country. Regarding defense, we have a very close bilateral relationship. For example there were over 1,200 American troops taking part in Aurora 17, the biggest military exercise that we’ve had in Sweden in 20 years.
What do you see in the future for trade between the U.S. and Sweden? I really hope it will increase. Alongside Silicon Valley, Sweden is one of the most innovative regions in the world. We have much to offer when it comes to innovative models for infrastructure—particularly in road safety. In addition to a strong program for reducing traffic deaths, we are looking toward the future of transportation with the development of technology for driverless vehicles.
Can you talk a little bit about The Global Deal and in what ways that agreement asks us to reconsider the idea of sustainability? The Global Deal is in accordance with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It’s a way to see our governments, businesses, trade unions, and all other organizations make a commitment to increased social dialogue surrounding the labor market. It’s something we do in Sweden on the European level, and now the Prime Minister wants to bring it to a global level. We need to improve relationships between the labor markets so that we can enable all people to gain from globalization.
We are in a huge technology shift right now, possibly the largest since industrialization. Many people in the U.S. have been left out of the labor market because they don’t have the right skills. You see this in our country as well. How do we create a labor market and workplace of the future that involves everyone? If we can’t do that, we risk confrontations within our society between those who were part of globalization and new technology and those who feel left behind.
Finally, what does it mean for you to be the first woman in your particular post? Of course it’s an honor. I think we should have had one a long time ago. Now I happen to be the first one. Personally, I don’t think about it that much. I’m here to do my job. If I do think about it, I actually think it can be an advantage to be a woman. As a woman you tend to stand out in a diplomatic world still dominated by men. Unfortunately there are not many female Ambassadors, so I do stand out from the crowd.
So why is inclusivity important for sustainability? If you don’t have everyone with you, you have a less sustainable society. It’s extremely important. Everyone has to contribute to tomorrow’s world to make it as good as possible. We only have one planet.
Can you speak to how sustainable action will support economic growth and not impede it? Yes, absolutely. In Sweden, we recycle 99 percent of our plastic. We have cut down our greenhouse emissions by 38 percent since 1990. Our GDP has grown by 69 percent in the same time period. All trucking companies are, of course, interested in cutting costs. Fuel is a big cost in transportation. So, if we can find smarter ways to fuel our trucks and commercial fleets in a more economic way, which is also sustainable, then we can really reach something. That’s smart economics. We are proof that you can work with sustainable, smart industries and transportation and still see growth.
Photo: Andrea Belluso
Karin Olofsdotter Sweden’s Ambassador to the United States
What challenges do you see in the future for your current position? Finding the areas where Sweden and the United States together can make a difference. That may sound a bit superficial, but it’s really not. We are world leading, and the U.S. is world leading. Sweden is a global player in many sectors. We want to advance the EU-U.S. agenda and be a strong partner to the United States.
Simris Alg: Farmed, Grown, and Harvested in Sweden Omega-3 and Supergoodies from Algae
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We warmly welcome the newest additions to our network. Go ahead , do not hesitate to connect with them.
Simris Alg is a pioneering agribusiness growing algae in Sweden. Simris produces marine omega-3 EPA and DHA[NL1] as a superior and sustainable alternative to fish oil, a global fastgrowing multibillion dollar market in the dietary supplement and food and beverages industries. Simrisâ€™ proprietary production process is based on natural photosynthesis. The process is fully scalable and has been in industrial operation since 2013. All products are non-GMO and produced without the use of organic solvents or any ingredients of animal origin. Simris prides itself on being a forerunner in the biobased economy. Its business philosophy is based on the synergy between stateof-the-art technology, branding, and design. Simris looks forward to an expanded global launch and is excited to be a new business member of SACCNY. www.simris.com email@example.com
Investment AB Öresund Highest Possible Return - Taking Risk Into Consideration
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Photo: Marguerite Danner Photo: Peter Knutson
Öresund’s overall goal as an investment company is to generate a healthy long-term return for its shareholders, while taking risk into consideration. Their strategy is to invest mainly in Swedish securities, maintain a high equity ratio, keep low management costs, and have a flexible liquidity policy. Their investment strategy is to act as an engaged, rational, and long-term owner, and create shareholder value through operational, structural, and/or financial initiatives. Öresund’s largest holdings are Fabege, Bilia, Svolder, SEB, and Scandi Standard. During the past 20 years, annual total shareholder return has been approximately 18 percent. Öresund is controlled by the Swedish financier, Mats Qviberg. www.oresund.se firstname.lastname@example.org
wynd works with over 200 international brands, retailers, and companies, including MoMA, TASCHEN, Away, agnès b., Maison Kitsuné, Catbird, and FIKA. Gathering the volume from all its customers allows wynd to offer highly discounted shipping rates with its carriers. In addition to a platform that allows wynd to ship any item, anywhere in the world, at any speed, including same-day delivery in NYC, wynd also provides packaging and shipping products. By seamlessly integrating with merchant e-stores, wynd receives order info in real time. Merchants can use wynd’s desktop dashboard to request pickups, monitor orders, track orders live, and create new orders on the fly. Merchants without an e-store can simply download the iOS app or desktop dashboard and start shipping! www.wynd.it email@example.com
A Farm Grows in Brooklyn Tobias Peggs Empowers Entrepreneurs to Feed the Planet
Tobias Peggs Tobias Peggs, CEO of Square Roots in Brooklyn, New York, is empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs in the real food revolution. He shares his thoughts on modular urban farming, artificial light technology, and finding community through food. The average tomato travels 1,800 miles from farm to table. It takes weeks to make its journey. Unsustainable traditional food-production systems need to change, and consumers are the ones driving that change. People don’t want to just buy food anymore—they want to purchase products with purpose that have positive impact on the planet. Forty-eight percent of grocery shoppers now actively seek “local” produce, because it is better for them personally as well as the planet. By 2050, the world will total nine billion people and 70 percent of them will live in cities. Producers need to figure out how to grow sustainably, in cities, at scale, and do so year round. Finding solutions to feed a huge number of urban dwellers with locally grown food presents an extraordinary opportunity for entrepreneurs. As a consequence, there has been a lot of recent innovation and investment in controlled-climate indoor urban farming. “Plant Factory” installations are popular in countries like Japan, and companies like Plenty and Gotham Greens lead the way in the U.S. Meanwhile companies like IKEA are socializing domestic-scale utilities (think a dishwasher-sized box in your kitchen, with a mini-farm inside growing lettuce for dinner). A third approach—and one we are using at Square Roots—is to create a distributed network of small modular farms, growing food in the middle of urban neighborhoods. We launched Square Roots in August 2016 as a platform for urban farming and real food entrepreneurship. Our flagship Brooklyn campus is a collection of indoor controlled-climate, hydroponic farms built inside re-
trofitted shipping containers. We also created a 12-month program to coach young, passionate people in how to become real food entrepreneurs. This program is the first of its kind, and with our coaching in everything from seeding to sales, our resident entrepreneurs learn to simultaneously grow food and run a small business.
When they graduate, they’re in a position to launch their own company and become the leaders in the industry. That might be in farming or creating value-add products (e.g. launching a pesto company now that they know how to grow basil). Or it might be a hardware or software company (selling AI-controlled lighting systems to indoor growers, for example). All of these companies will be necessary to bring real food to the cities of our future. Great farming techniques, and a whole lot of love, are key to growing delicious food. But data science increasingly plays a large role as well, specifically in analyzing how micro-changes inside our controlled-climate farms can impact factors like taste, texture, and yield of the crops. One thing that we’re working to improve is the lighting systems for indoor farms. Artificial light brings many advantages. You can fine-tune the growing system to create the exact taste or texture you want. And you can
grow predictably all year round. But artificial lights also require electricity to run—they are not free like the sun. We’re looking right now at how we can improve the efficiency of the lighting systems so that we can take the farms off the grid and run them on solar. We are also looking at ways to “download the sun” using fiber optics and streaming natural light into otherwise controlled climate environments. We are at the very early stages of this technology, which is why it’s so exciting. Despite the incredible advances in technology, perhaps the most significant thing for modern farmers to consider is the fundamental human need for community and connection through food. Square Roots is training an army of next generation leaders and unleashing them into the food industry. Our first cohort of modern farmers now delivers same-day harvested veggies by foot, by Citi Bike, or by subway, directly to customers at over 80 office locations in New York City. Forging a direct relationship with consumers is key. We need more entrepreneurs working to bring real food to everyone, and it’s not going to happen through charity. We need new, viable sustainable business models to make this change permanent.
Tobias Peggs CEO Square Roots
saccny design partners Meet website and magazine design partner D Solutions NYC, and Sustainology Summit design partner Amore Brand Identity Studios. D Solutions NYC
Accelerating Business Through Great Web and App Design By developing websites and mobile applications with incredible design and significant user experience, creative tech agency, D Solutions NYC serves nonprofit organizations, startups, professional individuals, and corporations by accelerating the digital aspects of their businesses.
The agency was founded by Hassan Kasujja who divides his time between Scandinavia and New York. Hassan is a former employee of Marcus Samuelsson Group and the successful furniture delivery startup AptDeco. Before moving to New York, he was a part of the team at one of Norwayâ€™s largest ad and event agencies, Just Cruzin Productions.
Hassan is well suited to meet the challenges and opportunities that come with the life of an entrepreneur. His passion for creating and maintaining long-term relationships with the people around him, as well as his happy-go-lucky attitude, drive everything he does. As a result, DS has added SACCNY, Farm2Kids, Live Nation, and Prophets Productions to its client portfolio, all in less than one year.
Dare to be progressive We partner with ambitious leaders who want progress. We are here to design we elicit emotions and boost the triple bottom line.
Concept & Design Partner to the Sustainology Summit AMORE Brand Identity Studios Stockholm/MalmĂś www.amore.se
Love at every sight
Progressive Swedish design since 2000
DS focuses on helping companies by providing affordable, state-of-the-art technology and carefully executing client desires while developing customized digital platforms. In true entrepreneurial spirit, all designers and developers
currently work remotely from home, co-office spaces, or while traveling the world.
Eat Like a U.S. Viking! Sweden FoodTech Founder, Johan Jörgensen, Says Hard Data Will Save Food Systems
Photo: Pontus Höök
“What if labels included not only price, nutrition facts, and ingredients, but also the labor conditions and CO2 emissions required to produce the product?”
Picture a few happy piglets running around, a rough hand grabbing soil, a cheerful grandmother stirring a bubbling pot on the stove. Are these the images you have of agricultural life? Well, the true picture is less pastoral dream and more Grim Reaper—a death symbol we have summoned through industrial food processes.
• Thirty percent of all greenhouse gases come from food production (meat production being the main culprit).
If this sounds dramatic, revisit the numbers:
• One-third of all food we produce is wasted.
• The World Health Organization cites 38 million deaths each year due to chronic disease, primarily caused by poor food habits.
• By 2050, two-thirds of humanity will live in cities. We will need to produce 60 percent more food than today, and ship it even longer distances (unless we stop wasting food).
• Over the last 40 years, rampant soil degradation from intensive farming has diminished arable land by one-third.
Food stands hand-in-hand with climate change as the vital issue of our time. It is hard to know where to begin, but a good start is debunking faux images of agricultural idealism and accepting the realities of the food system we’ve created. Simply buying organic or eating clean does not change the system. We need to get under the hood, understand the machine, and rebuild it. We have the extensive powers of tech and data at our disposal. To understand the sweeping changes that food will undergo in the coming decades, we need to understand the dynamics underpinning the transformation. For the past 25 years, tech has invaded almost all aspects of life, changing them forever. However, food is a stale industry. This doesn’t mean the food sector is immune to disruption, just that it has taken more time for tech to get there. Food is, after all, complex. But since the prize is bigger than anything we’ve ever seen before—food accounts for some 20 percent of the global GDP—the pace of change will be frantic now that the transformation has begun. Global-scale problems, a prize worth potential trillions, and a sector that doesn’t recognize its own problems? An opportunity like this merits grand investment, major risk-taking, and intense work. The food sector is ripe for takeover. On average, a measly .25 percent of food-company turnover goes to R&D, whereas the tech sector is used to 50 to 100 times as much. From the nutritional components of the field, to how the tomato on our plate travelled, to what it will do to our bodies, the game changer will be hard data. There are lots of holes in the data and much of what exists is locked in. Would price be the number one determinant for what we put in our shopping carts if we understood the true cost to the planet? What if labels included not only
price, nutrition facts, and ingredients, but also the labor conditions and CO2 emissions required to produce the product? We can actually eat the planet and ourselves to health—but we need to rely on data and the new solutions it dictates. Data will be to food what broadband has been to media. In the early ’90s we could imagine many of the things we now see, but we couldn’t deliver the solutions due to a lack of broadband. Now, we can envision new solutions for our food system, but we need the data. And the tech sector will get it, in one way or the other.
”We can actually eat the planet and ourselves to health—but we need to rely on data and the new solutions it dictates.” What does all this have to do with Sweden and the U.S.? Everything. While the U.S. could learn something from the Nordic focus on health and sustainability, both countries are leaders in innovation and technology. Whether through new urban-farming solutions, food products such as Impossible Foods or Oatly, or networks of home chefs, the next generation—change-minded populations ready and willing to reconnect with food in new ways—will focus on food, tech, and innovation in urban environments. As I write, Swedish tech circuits are turning their focus to food. In the U.S., substantial well-funded activity is underway. Food tech companies are popping up left and right in both nations. We have a mutual understanding of
both the problems and potential solutions. The food of the future is not a cuisine; it’s the understanding of what food does to us and the planet, and the use of tech and innovation to solve the problems. A toast to the future of food!
Johan Jörgensen Founder Sweden FoodTech
Johan is the founder of Sweden FoodTech (swedenfoodtech.com), a coaching and venture company focused on building the next generation of food-system entrepreneurs. He is also partner of Smaka på Stockholm, one of the world’s largest food festivals. In 2015, Johan headed up the USA Pavilion innovation program on food and tech at Expo 2015 in Milan. 23
Bridging the Gap Uppsala University’s Collaborative Design for a Sustainable Future “Only the most adaptable businesses will survive when the conditions change, and innovation is essential for being adaptable.”
- Jenny Nordquist
How can we increase much-needed knowledge transfer from the confines of academia into the world-at-large? How can we leverage innovative thinking to secure a sustainable future for all? Sweden’s first university, Uppsala University, takes a proactive stance. Founded in 1477 and consistently ranked among the top 100 universities in the world, Uppsala University aims to elevate the impact of its innovative capital in both the marketplace and wider societal contexts with its specialized department, UU Innovation. For the past decade, UU Innovation has worked to bridge the gap between academic research, industry, and social application. The department supports researchers and students in the commercialization of their ideas, while simultaneously inviting businesses and other non-academic organizations to collaborate with university resear chers and troubleshoot complex issues. The true task of UU Innovation is acade-
mic knowledge transfer—or knowledge exchange as we consider it (knowledge goes both ways). Recent government policies demonstrate that this type of exchange is regarded as a top priority in Sweden. To address issues in the transition toward a more inclusive, climate-friendly society, Sweden’s government recently passed five strategic collaboration pro-
grams. The program categories indicate the breadth of issues at hand: Next Generation Travel and Transport, Smart Cities, Circular and Bio-based Economy, Life Science, and Online Industry and New Materials. In Sweden, such bold programs are no novelty. A small, but highly developed country dominated by an innovation-laden export industry, Sweden has a long
history of utilizing societal coordination to create and safeguard economic growth. “All programs correspond to Swedish strengths, which can achieve their full potential through collaborati on between public actors, industry, and academia,” says Jenny Nordquist, Acting Director of UU Innovation. Embracing and building on the tradition of this collaborative spirit, UU Innovation is well positioned to support the use of innovation in societal transformation. By providing advice and funding that support initial stages of both business creation (verification of technology, market surveys, IP issues) as well as collaboration (matchmaking, workshops, pilot studies, assistance in applying for external funding), it works to improve the ability of research-based innovations from Uppsala University to make real-world impact. “Only the most adaptable businesses will survive when the conditions change, and innovation is essential for being adaptable,” says Nordquist. But how can innovation drive capital in a way that is sustainable? “It is increasingly clear that using innovation, investment, and trade, for environmental and climate goals also has the potential to contribute to job creation and competitiveness,” concludes Nordquist. ”They are the keys to both economic growth and a sustainable future—in Sweden and globally.” Besides a long tradition of collaboration, the innovative capacity of Swedish universities also benefit from specific regulations of IP tied to academic innovation. In Sweden, university resear chers, and not universities, own the results of their research. This model encourages universities to support innovation in the spirit of both societal development and marketplace impact. It is an environment that creates ample incentives for researchers to try out innovative ideas, keeping UU Innovation quite busy in supporting their efforts. “Interaction between academic rese arch, industry, and other societal actors in Sweden can create true win-win situations,” says Nordquist. UU Innovation’s Academic Industry Meeting Day, or AIMday was designed to foster exactly this sort of collaboration between diffe-
rent sectors. AIMday is an opportunity for industry and other non-academic organizations to present specific challenges to academic researchers and spend the day in roundtable format, brainstorming solutions—a multidisci plinary think-tank of sorts. The model is surprisingly effective in its simplicity. Directly linking leaders of non-academic organizations with a given field’s best researchers cuts through the bogged-down bureaucracy and formality in traditional channels of product and idea development. Pioneered by Uppsala University in 2008, the AIMday model for collaboration is used to support major innovations in many fields of knowledge, for example medicine, security, communications, technology, materials, and social welfare. Whether an organiza tion or individual’s ambition is to form a company, sell licenses, or collaborate with others, UU Innovation assists these efforts by providing networks, funding, and comple mentary expertise that facilitates all these aspects of the innovative process. Two interesting cases that serve to illustrate how support from Uppsala University has aided in the creation of new, innovative businesses are Rolling Optics and OssDsign. Considered one of the most disruptive technologies in brand security, Rolling Optics micro-printed 3D foils were developed at Uppsala’s Ångström Lab. The 3D-foil stickers are an airtight certification of authenticity that prevents brand counterfeit. The techno logy is utilized to verify electronics, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, spirits, tobacco, and more. Other cutting-edge developments to emerge from Uppsala University include OssDsign’s customized cranial implants, which promote bone in-growth and healing in patients recovering from major head trauma. Utilizing specially formula ted ceramic tiles attached to a titanium mesh, OssDsign has intro duced a completely new approach to correcting large cranial defects.
partment of Law and Civil Rights Defenders, a Swedish-based but internationally active human rights group, UU Innovation has helped in strengthening awareness about and legal expertise in human rights. Another hot-topic project coming out of UU Innovation is “News Examiner,” a collaboration grown from a joint research project between researchers at Uppsala University and Stanford University. By designing and distributing an app to be used by thousands of Swedish high school students that evaluates the trustworthiness of news in their social media feeds, the project helps researchers gain insight into how young people perceive news and facts. In the end, big data garnered from the trials will give educators insight into how to best teach students a more critical perception of news and facts. This particular project has received much attention in Swedish media, in major papers as well as coverage on TV shows, reflecting the ability of Uppsala University to create valuable and necessary innovations with strong social impact.
Jenny Nordquist Director of Uppsala University Innovation
Looking at projects with a stronger collaborative angle, UU Innovation has supported the successful adoption of so-called legal clinics in law teaching. By providing financial support and help in securing external financing for a cooperative venture between the De-
Running Fast Toward Sustainability Businesses Get Bold in Their Climate Work Nina Ekelund
Nina Ekelund Executive director The Haga Initiative From time to time people ask me if it’s not too heavy a burden to work with climate issues, as it is such a depressing topic. I always answer: On the contrary! Together with the companies in the Swedish sustainable business network the Haga Initiative, I work with companies that want to decrease their climate impact and contribute to society. They have noticed that their efforts are profitable and each day I hear an overwhelming amount of success stories, including: major energy-efficiency efforts, investments in renewable energy, transition to climate-friendly transportation, green bonds, saving energy via 3D printing, and improved recycling systems. Further, the companies I work with have all committed to reaching zero net emissions by 2030. There is clearly no shortage of good examples regarding climate action. Recently, the Haga Initiative published a report called Climate Action
Profitable. The report firmly concludes that companies working with sustainability on the highest corporate level are more successful and create more value for the company, as well as wealth and growth for their country. This is the Swedish experience—sustainability and climate efforts have become success factors in our business community, not least in terms of international competitiveness. However, we are still forced to deal with the lingering misconception that emission reductions are difficult and costly. As the executive director of the Haga Initiative, it is my role to continuously combat this misunderstanding. The Haga Initiative’s vision is to achieve a profitable business sector with positive climate impact. And we know that it is possible. Our experience shows that emissions can be reduced faster than anticipated and that clients as well as owners and investors appreciate this direction. This spring, we asked 300 major companies in Sweden how their climate efforts affect their profitability. The answer we got was unflinching: Swedish companies see great benefits in climate action. A clear majority, regardless of industry or company size, believes that climate action translates to more loyal customers, increased innovation, and increased ability to attract and retain talented employees. Further, our study revealed that the notion that climate action is costly is rapidly becoming obsolete. Only 15 percent of the companies stated that climate efforts imply increased costs. When asked how climate efforts affect the income statement, more than 40 percent of the companies identified a positive impact, while only three percent said that the effect is negative. Even among companies that do not engage in any active climate efforts, many still believe that climate action implies business advantages.
The obvious conclusion is that every company would gain from having an ambitious climate strategy. In my opinion, this should be on the front page of every newspaper in the world. However, the dominating image when climate issues are reported in the media is one of impending doom and the total annihilation of humans as a species. No wonder people become more apathetic instead of taking action. It is my clear conviction that we can only reach a solution to the climate crisis if we focus on communicating the thousands of positive examples of climate-change mitigating efforts from all over the world.
Nina Ekelund will be the Master of Ceremonies at the SACCNY Sustainology Summit on November 7! To be able to manage this and get the energy needed to achieve the climate transformation, we all need to be in an environment characterized by contagious good examples. Who can muster up commitment when all you hear is that recycling doesn’t make a difference or that we only have a hundred years left on this planet? Stop with the negativity, I say! I would urge companies to instead be bold and talk more about their climate efforts. Many restrain themselves as they worry that they have not delivered on all climate aspects and thus will be accused of greenwashing. This contributes to the illusion that the development is slower than what it is. If companies talk more about their climate efforts, more people will realize that climate action is positive; it will give us hope and make us run faster towards a low-carbon society.
Innovate46 Takes Nasdaq MarketSite On October 11, nearly 200 innovators, investors, and entrepreneurs, from across Sweden and the U.S., gathered at Nasdaq MarketSite on Times Square for SACCNY’s fourth annual Innovate46 conference.
The morning kicked off with opening remarks by conference partners Helena Robertsson of EY Sweden and Nasdaq’s Niclas Holmberg, as well as a welcome address by Ibrahim Baylan, Sweden’s Policy Coordination and Energy Minister. Other major conference partners include Tillväxtverket and Anders Walls stiftelse. SACCNY packed the daylong program with keynotes, engaging panel discussions, fireside chats, a rapid-fire Swedish startup expo, and onstage presentations from four innovators competing for the Anders Wall Award for Exceptional Entrepreneurship, 2017.
The first panel focused on financing entrepreneurship. Moderator Angela Moon, chief Reuters correspondent led a high-spirited talk with a panel of venture capitalists from Pantegrion, GP Bullhound, and Greycroft. Discussion centered on maximizing valuation, the need for greater diversity in the VC industry, and the importance of finding the right investor. Raising the right amount of capital at the right time is tricky, but fundamental for success, panelists agreed. “The higher the valuation, the finer you have to thread the needle,” said Dana Settle of Greycroft Partners.
After the opening remarks, master of ceremonies, Natalia Brzezinski, CEO of Brilliant Minds, encapsulated the spirit of the conference: “There’s something really special about the Swedish-U.S. relationship. It centers around shared values of gender equality, transparency, and the environment, but the strongest one is innovation. It’s the one that sits above politics. It’s a universal value and it’s where the U.S. and Sweden, two of the top innovation nations in the world right now—can rally together. That’s where we can advance the next generation.”
Next, Minister Baylan and Marcus Liu, head of Startup Sweden, ran the startup expo. Nine startups had five minutes each to pitch to the audience, who later live voted for their favorites, American Idol-style, via the SACCNY app. The winner of the expo was Hugo & Celine, a whimsical ice cream and snack company for dogs. Other inspiring companies included: Boldarc, Ekkono, GreatPeople, iControl, Referanza, Samtrygg, Seenthis, and Trilo Interactive, with special presentations by SaltX and Greater Than.
Helena Robertsson, EY
Niclas Holmberg, Nasdaq & Anna Throne-Holst, SACCNY
presentations, after which the jury threw out hard-hitting questions regarding growth plans, business models, and potential pitfalls.
Consul General Leif Pagrotsky, Karl Wellner, SACCNY, Minister Ibrahim Baylan & Anna Throne-Holst, SACCNY
The day’s second panel, “Scaling Fast and Slow,” led by Konrad Olsson, founder of Scandinavian MAN, covered how to scale intelligently vs. scaling for scaling’s sake. As Nahema Mehta, co-founder and CEO of Absolut Art, put it, “When you have something with fire, you want to pour fuel on it. Scaling is the art of knowing how to pour that fuel without getting burned.” Danny Shea of Thrive Global addressed the human cost of scaling, which led to dialogue about work-life balance, and the two millennial business leaders on the panel, Mehta and Babba Canales of By Babba, explained that their generation prioritizes self-care and flexibility while working just as hard as their predecessors. After lunch, the nominees for the Anders Wall Award for Exceptional Entrepreneurship, 2017, were announced. The award grants $25,000 to a Swedish entrepreneur with a groundbreaking idea or product, that has proven traction on the U.S. market. “I find the spirit of today’s entrepreneur inspiring,” said Dr. Wall. “I believe entrepreneurs can solve society’s problems and without them it would stagnate.” The jury was introduced and in a “Shark Tank-esque” scenario, four nominees, Acast, Bontouch, CELLINK, and Qapital, gave brief
Natalia Brzezinski, Brilliant Minds & Stina28Ehrensvärd, Yubico
The jury exited to deliberate, and founder and CEO of Yubico, Stina Ehrensvärd, the 2015 Anders Wall Award winner, took the stage to share the incredible story of her entrepreneurial journey. After ten years of developing ideas, Ehrensvärd and her husband, a former white-hat hacker, hit on YubiKey, a revolutionary portable security key with two-factor authentication. The technology was necessary and revolutionary, but without any connections, capital, or track record, she couldn’t sell it to Swedish banks. So, she took a chance and went to Silicon Valley, where the company became a true success story.
In the day’s third panel, “All Roads Lead to Rome(?),” Joshua Cohen of GIANT Innovation led Hillary Gosher of Insight, Hope Taitz of ELY Capital, and Latif Andersson of Pepins, in a fascinating dialogue about the many potential paths to funding an idea. From VC to venture debt, tokens to angel investors, and subscription models to seed funding, the panelists encouraged thinking outside traditional funding avenues. They also affirmed the importance of seeking not only capital, but true investors. “There are people that write checks and there are people that actually get involved,” said Hope Taitz. Another fascinating self-made story was highlighted during the day’s final fireside chat with creator and former CEO of Bare Minerals/Bare Escentuals, Leslie Blodgett. Blodgett grew Bare Minerals from a small storefront in San Francisco to a billion-dollar brand by harnessing the power of QVC and tapping into the spirit of female community. At her all-time high, she once sold over 17 million dollars worth of product in 24 hours on QVC. By adopting a people-first approach, Blodgett shattered records in a saturated industry dominated by long-established heavyweights.
In the closing keynote, co-founder and CEO of nuTonomy, Karl Iaganemma introduced the challenges and opportunities of autonomous vehicles. “It’s important to think about this in two markets: Mobility Fleets and Personal Vehicles,” he said. ”We’ll see our first truly driverless fleets in the next one to two years, but autonomous vehicles won’t be a reality for the consumer until the middle of the next decade.” The day’s final panel, “Hey, Who’s Driving?” kept the conversation going with transit experts from municipal and consumer sectors, who addressed complex practicalities of geofencing, global safety standards, and a shifting immigrant labor market. They emphasized that the crux of this shift, however, will be an evolved relationship between human and machine: “The trust between car and driver is going to take time,” said Thomas Jönsson, of Autoliv. Stefan Engdahl, from The Swedish Transport Administration, noted: “I think Sweden could be a good place to develop autonomous vehicles. We combine free thinking and innovation with order in our transit system.” This year’s Innovate46 kicked off with a vital dialogue on practical solutions and ended on a visionary note. Attendees were left with philosophical questions about what autonomy truly means and how different countries, namely the U.S. and Sweden, will approach these concepts in the near future. All in all, it was a dynamic conference that had something for innovators, investors, and entrepreneurs at every stage of the game. As Natalia Brzezinski put it: “Bringing together these new disruptive entrepreneurs with the captains of industry. The people that have experienced decades of transformation and innovation—that’s the magic.” SACCNY would like to thank everyone involved in making this year’s conference a fantastic success.
Oskar Zeidler from Hugo & Celine Winner of the 2017 Expo Challenge
Two Minutes With Dr. Anders Wall
Entrepreneur, Honorary Chair, Beijerinvest & Anders Walls Foundation Why did you start the award and why is it important? I think it’s very important that young Swedes and young entrepreneurs have the opportunity to come over to America. I mean in Sweden it’s not easy, but it’s much more difficult to find success in the U.S. We call it an exceptional award because it’s such a tough situation. I admire them very much, not only for coming here, but staying for some time, and making something for themselves.
Has the award fostered collaboration between Sweden and the U.S.?
Héctor Martínez, CELLINK, explains how their 3D bioprinter can be used to print human organs.
Absolutely. Through the Chamber of Commerce, as you can see, we have done a fantastic job. Also, seeing the interests of entrepreneurs and startups here, there is really something to learn.
SACCNY Sits Down with Erik Gatenholm
Winner of the Anders Wall Award for Exceptional Entrepreneurship, 2017 The purpose of Innovate46 is to highlight innovative thinking and the Anders Wall Award winners always exemplify the best and brightest. In closing out this year’s program, Erik Gatenholm was awarded $25,000 for his work with CELLINK, a Sweden-based 3D bioprinting company and the first bio ink company in the world.
What are your future plans?
What does this award mean to you?
What challenges lie ahead for you?
Our future plans are to continue to grow the company steadily, as we’ve been doing. The most essential part of success is you don’t ever want to lose yourself and lose track of the business and what really brings value to the customer.
It’s a tremendous honor. I’m very thankful for the opportunity to be part of this competition. And for winning. I want to thank, of course, Dr. Wall, and everyone else. The award is confirmation that we’re doing something right.
Expansion. I mean the world is big. We have to be on top of everything. I think the biggest challenge is going to be to continue to find brilliant people that are passionate about the business, and that are really driven to make us all succeed. At the end of the day, our goal is to change the world of medicine.
SACCNY President Anna Throne-Holst, Erik Gatenholm, winner of the Anders Wall Award for Exceptional Entrepreneurship 2017, Dr. Anders Wall and Cathinka Wahlström, Accenture 29
Are you? November 7, 2017 We’re gathering the greatest movers and shakers at the forefront of world-bettering creativity, technology, and business for a one-of-kind summit about the future of food.
Citi 388 Greenwich St. New York City Tickets: SACCNY Members $55 Non-members $75 Students $55
$20 OFF THE TICKET PRICE WITH DISCOUNT CODE: INNEWYORK
Food techies, master chefs, innovative farmers, nutty professors, and global food directors. They’re all with us! Don’t miss out on the interactive workshops, food market, celebrity chef cooking demonstration, and the award presented to the most innovative Swedish food tech company. HOST
CONCEPT & DESIGN PARTNER
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www.sustainologysummit.com contact firstname.lastname@example.org
SACCNY Crayfish Party A Swedish Tradition
This year’s Crayfish Party was an eventful evening with a lot of joyful guests, Swedish snaps songs, and of course, delicious crayfish. The spirit was festive throughout the evening, all the way until the party ended at midnight.
Upcoming Event in NYC Solving Global Health Problems An interactive discussion with Chief of Health at Unicef, Dr. Stefan Swartling Peterson, about the challenges of solving healthcare and nutritional challenges in the modern era. Hosted by the Uppsala University U.S. Alumni Chapter on Dec 4. Read more at www.uu.se/en/alumni/events
SACCNY would like to extend a big thank you to Skanska for generously sponsoring this appreciated event.
Looking for Exclusive Exposure? Advertise in In New York!
Would you like your company to be featured in one of our In New York 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!
Support an American Student to study at Uppsala University
Excellence and Innovation since 1477 Keep the heritage alive â€“ make the future happen Scholarships to U.S. students for study in Uppsala, Sweden The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce in New York and Uppsala University ask you for your support to The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce in New York Scholarship Foundation for Study at Uppsala University. To find out how you can contribute to the scholarship foundation please contact Olof Bruno at: tel +1 212 838 5530 or Olof.Bruno@saccny.org American Friends of Uppsala University. www.afuu.org Your donation is tax deductible. American Friends of Uppsala University is tax-exempt as a charitable organization by the Internal Revenue Service under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to American Friends of Uppsala University are deductible by donors
The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce