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Live in a Work of Art Since1996 I have created hundreds of quality, life-affirming living environments. My award-winning, unique designs have lived up to my goal, which is to deliver and exceed the wishes and expectations of my clients. Most recently, in another first, I have become the first Swedish architect to receive the right to eco-label (SVAN) my projects; yet another step in securing one of the best investments you will ever make!










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Foto: Villa Viken, Limited edition

Last year Ross celebrated 20 years in business, and I have the honor of inviting you to make this year's most important phone call. It is about your new home or workspace! Book your appointment today at +46 8 84 84 82 or Welcome home! Pål Ross, CEO, Founder & Architect SAR/MSA

Awarded Sweden's most beautiful villa of 2009 Awarded best newbuilding in Jämtland in 2010 Gold winner at European Property Award 2013 Svanen Nordic Ecolabelling Licence 2015


Visit Trolltunga and stay at Hardanger Hotel.




Trolltunga is not for the faint hearted, but for those up to the challenge will be rewarded with astonishing views and lasting memories.


Scan Magazine  |  Contents

Contents COVER FEATURE 32 Gunilla Bergström – With the Honesty of a Child

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With books translated into 35 languages and numerous prestigious awards under her belt, children’s books author and illustrator Gunilla Bergström is up there with Sweden’s literary elite. Not that she would ever use those words herself. Scan Magazine spoke to the Alfie Atkins creator about success, struggle and refusing to fake it.

DESIGN 12 End-of-Summer Survival As the autumn leaves appear in all their glory, waving goodbye to summer can be hard. We help you get the wardrobe office ready again and share some tips on how to cosy up your living room to make that transition in from the patio less painful. We also spoke to our favourite designers to come out of Sweden of late.

SPECIAL FEATURES 22 Water and World Food With a waste-reducing water conference and some innovative ideas for social dining, our features this month are good for you – and for the planet.

54 Danish FinTech Special From savvy investment opportunities and savings tips to quicker and safer payment methods, the FinTech industry offers more benefits than most people are aware of. We spoke to some of the creative minds behind an industry that is booming in Denmark.

88 A Spotlight on Norway’s Food Scene Forget everything you know about Norwegian cuisine. Clean cooking, reduced waste, top-class contemporary cafés and passion for vegan food – the Norwegian food scene boasts surprises aplenty. Allow us to tickle your taste buds…

114 Our Cultural Top Three in Norway With a war-torn past and a wide range of stunning buildings steeped in history, Norway offers a different but fascinating cultural experience away from the sleek art institutions and modern architecture of the capital city. Here is our top three.

BUSINESS 51 Finding Balance While our keynote columnist Steve Flinders ponders the importance of striking the balance between pushing and pulling, or telling and asking, we speak to Danish business MaxMee about wellbeing and managing stress – or, finding balance with the help of an app.

SPECIAL THEMES 36 Autumn Experiences in Sweden – Our Top Picks

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With its renowned ‘fika’ culture, world-class art destinations and nature that is beautiful all year round, Sweden is as good a destination in the autumn as any other time of the year. We list our top tips for a weekend or extended holiday in Sweden this autumn, whether you are looking for culture experiences or a back-to-nature stay.

CULTURE 118 From Contemporary to Classical If you are a fan of Swedish singer-songwriter Markus Krunegård, fast forward to this month’s Scandipop column to find out where to get your next guitar indie hit, along with a heads up on all other aspects of the contemporary Scandinavian music scene. If you fancy finding a full festival or classical music is more your cup of tea, the culture calendar provides plenty of inspiration.

REGULARS & COLUMNS 12 Fashion Diary  |  15 We Love This  |  100 Culinary Experience of the Month 102 Restaurants of the Month  |  106 Hotels of the Month  |  108 Artist of the Month 110 Galleries of the Month  |  113 Humour

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  7

Five minutes from Storhavet (‘the big ocean’) in northern Norway lies Camp Andvika – a place where fishing enthusiasts gather in scenic surroundings for the catch of the day. Vigdis and Mikal Nordheim took over Camp Andvika in 2004 and every year visitors come to the island to experience the culture, sea fishing opportunities and to stay in a cabin where you can really feel the elements of nature.

http: +47 481 55 792

Scan Magazine  |  Editor’s Note

Dear Reader, It is back-to-school time, and we are all itching to sink our teeth into some educational reading about financial technology. It sounds like a barrel of laughs, right? Well, no – unless you are on the scene or desperately in need of some financial business advice, perhaps it does not. But as we took a deep-dive into the world of wireless payments and innovative investment opportunities, I was fascinated by the groundbreaking ideas coming out of this creative field. Did you know that you can become a property owner – or at least the owner of a small part of a property – without even thinking about buying a home or getting a mortgage? You can also teach your children about the concept of digital money using an app; and have you heard of crowdlending, a form of crowdsourcing that allows you to invest in cool projects with a chance to earn interest on your investment? I told you: FinTech is as fascinating as it is beneficial. If you are less keen on numbers and more likely to wax lyrical about art, culture and history, go straight to the Swedish autumn special, where we present our favourite culture hotspots and holiday destinations to spend an autumnal weekend or extended trip in Sweden. Speaking of waxing lyrical about art and culture, I had the joy and pleasure of interviewing children’s

book author and illustrator Gunilla Bergström for this month’s cover. With books translated into 35 languages and made into everything from cartoons to doctoral theses, she is not just a true literary legend but also an amazing source of inspiration. Behind the celebrated genius is a woman full of curiosity and loss, of boldness and humility – an artist who refuses to fake it, but who very much made it anyway. Our wonderful cartoonist, Maria Smedstad, tried but failed to fake it when she bought a house and decided to go against her native Swedish minimalist instinct with some rich, earthy colours. Yet somehow she miraculously arrived back from the paint shop with buckets of paint in various shades of white. As a Swedish expat at a similar stage of new home decoration, I had a good chuckle at this. Now I shall return home to assemble a ridiculous amount of IKEA furniture, all perfectly complementing our beautifully offwhite walls. You can take the woman out of Sweden… Happy reading!

Linnea Dunne, Editor


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10  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

This magazine contains advertorials/promotional articles

Malin Norman

World Water Week 2017 27 August-1 September 2017 ∙ Stockholm, Sweden

Will you be there?

Water and waste: reduce and reuse The world is now at a point where competition for water, and water crises have become a reality for many. The greatest minds in water are on their way to World Water Week to tackle these issues. Over 3,000 people from 130 countries will participate in over 200 sessions. The prestigious Stockholm Water Prize will be presented by H.M Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden, and the Stockholm Junior Water Prize will be awarded by H.R.H Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. Register today to be part of the world’s leading annual event on water at

#WWWeek Join the discussion, ask questions and follow the latest!

Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Fashion Diary

Fashion Diary… Some lucky ones out there are still enjoying the sunshine and relaxing on the beach on their summer holidays. But for most of us, the summer holidays are over and it is time to go back to work and a full inbox. You might be wishing you were still sipping mojitos instead of having to head for the office, but we hope that these pieces will make the return to work more exciting and something worth looking forward to. There is nothing quite like putting on brand new clothes in the morning, knowing you look fabulous and ready to handle your to-do list like a boss! By Heidi Kokborg  |  Press photos

Since the beginning of Won Hundred, the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle has been a constant source of inspiration for the brand, and it has shaped the heart of their identity. They mix the rock ‘n’ roll style with the minimalist, elegant Scandinavian style to give you the best of both worlds. This shirt is perfect under a blazer or even on its own, depending on the dress code at your place of work. Won Hundred shirt, approx. £119

Nothing says business quite like a briefcase – especially when it comes in black leather with a minimalist, clean look. This briefcase from Mismo is made of custom developed full-grain vegetable tanned cow leather and easily holds all your work and daily electronic essentials. Now you have no excuse not to kill it at work! Mismo briefcase, approx. £660

For many, going back to work after the holidays means going back to wearing suits. But why not treat yourself to something new? This blazer from COS has a classic style with a high break and three buttons. It is made from lightweight wool with a micro-check pattern and fully lined with a silky material. COS tailored micro-check blazer, on sale, £88

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Who says that you have to wear polished black shoes to work? If you are looking for a cool yet very stylish and elegant pair of sneakers that you can wear for work, look no further! These sneakers from Tiger of Sweden are made of calf leather and feature elastic inserts on the sides and a cushioned heel. Tiger of Sweden sneakers, approx. £238

Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Fashion Diary This iconic jumpsuit is one of Mads Nørgaard’s bestselling styles, and it is easy to see why. Depending on the dress code at your office, you can match it with a pair of stilettoes for a more professional and business-like look, or with white sneakers for a cool and laid-back look. Mads Nørgaard jumpsuit, approx. £114

Always running late? Perhaps this beautiful watch will make it easier for you to be on time – and if not, well, the watch is still the ultimate style staple. It is classy, elegant and sophisticated, and the kind of watch that looks just as good at the office as it does on a night out. Daniel Wellington, Melrose watch, £139

After wearing nothing but shorts and dresses over the holidays, going back to wearing long trousers for work can be enough to make you daydream about Caribbean beaches. But with these 7/8 pants from VERO MODA, the transition from breezy summer clothes to office wear will be much smoother. Match the trousers with a shirt for a casual and androgynous look, or with a pair of high heels and a blazer if you are in the mood for power dressing. VERO MODA pants approx. £28

Diane Von Furstenberg once said that jewellery is like the perfect spice: it enhances what is already there. We think these stunningly beautiful earrings from Julie Sandlau do exactly that. The earrings are in 22-carat gold-plated 924 sterling silver with cream-coloured enamel and cubic zirconia. Julie Sandlau Iris Earstud earrings, approx. £90

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  13

Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  Street Style

Nordic Humans of London Scan Magazine’s brilliant Sanna Halmekoski has once again hit the streets of London to find out what the Scandinavian fashion fanatics are wearing. Cool, sleek, and full of statements, this is a little piece of Scandiland in the United Kingdom. Text and photos by Sanna Halmekoski  |

Ingimar Björn Eydal Davíðsson Icelandic television director

Ingimar Björn Eydal Davíðsson

“I like to dress in an English countryside style as I feel it suits me well. I am a big fan of tweed and like to wear it as often as the weather permits. I shop in East London around Brick Lane, where there are bespoke and vintage stores I like. My trousers and shoes are by Ben Sherman and my watch is by Casio.”

Emy-Lee Grapenfalk Swedish hairdresser “My style is very Nordic, comfortable and oversized. The Swedish saying ‘there is no bad weather, only bad clothes’ sticks with me. I always layer up so I can keep the cold out or dress down if I get warm. My shoes are by Creepers, my trousers are by Thrifted, and my top and cardigan are by H&M.”

Emy-Lee Grapenfalk

Elina Bergert Swedish designer and founder of Coco’s Liberty (@cocosliberty)

Elina Bergert

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“My style is Scandinavian minimalist yet colourful, and I wear tonnes of jewellery that I’ve designed myself. I create and design the pieces that I would want to wear and that can be styled easily. I shop online and on holidays. My shoes are by Zara, my bag is by Stella McCartney, my top is by Massimo Dutti, my trousers are by Ivyrevel, and the jewellery is my own design.”

Scan Magazine  |  Design  |  We Love This

We love this… The summer is quickly coming to an end, and soon nature will turn into a beautiful landscape of yellow, orange and red. With autumn approaching, you will once again find yourself spending more time in your living room and less on the patio. Why not give the living room a little makeover or add some new pieces? With a cosy, beautiful living room to spend your evenings in, you might not miss the summer nights outside all that much. By Heidi Kokborg  |  Photos: Living room

It has been more than 175 years since the first Kähler vase was turned at the little pottery workshop in Næstved in Denmark. Today, Kähler is known around the world, and in most Danish homes you will find something from the brand. This unique vase would look beautiful in any living room, and you can be sure that your friends will notice it. KÄHLER Unico vase, approx. £67

Do you, like us, always find that magazines and books tend to end up on the table or on the floor in a corner because you never really know where to put them? Well there is no need for that anymore! This magazine side table fits neatly beside the couch – and it has wheels so that you can easily move it around. No more messy magazines! Design House Stockholm Magazine Table, £197

Who does not want a beautiful cushion like this on their couch? This cushion is knitted in a coarse, waffled knit that adds a raw expression, making for a perfectly modern Nordic look. Looking at this cushion, it is easy to see why knits are so popular in interior decoration right now. Georg Jensen Damask WAFFLE cushion, approx. £66

Danish Hans J. Wegner designed this sofa in the early 1970s for the Danish firm Johannes Hansen, and only a limited number were produced at the time. Since then, it has been out of production, though a few pieces have appeared at auctions. However, in 2008, the series was relaunched by Carl Hansen & Søn for their 100th anniversary. Carl Hansen & Søn, Hans J. Wegner sofa, £7,572

This stunning lamp comes in 69 pieces (hence the name Norm 69) that you assemble yourself. It is easy, you do not need tools or glue, and anyone can do it. After just a few minutes you will understand the concept of how to fold the different elements, and afterwards you can say you made your own lamp. Pretty cool, right? This lamp is quite extraordinary in its form and a real statement piece that will not go unnoticed. NORMANN Copenhagen Norm 69 lamp, £68.50-195

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  15

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Ioaku


Bold statements, big dreams The mix of fashion and jewellery has never looked better. With IOAKU, multi-talented designer Fanny Ek celebrates strong women in her collection of eye-catching and chic jewellery with encouraging messages – to mix and match in endless combinations. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: IOAKU

She is the talented designer, entrepreneur and founder of the award-winning jewellery brand IOAKU. Confidently striding down her own path in life, Sweden-based Fanny Ek certainly does not lack ambition. With timeless yet fashionable charisma, Ek and IOAKU are on their way to reach the stars. “It hasn’t always been easy though,” she admits. “As a designer and entrepreneur you never stop working, always thinking about the next step. It’s important to stay brave and swim against the current. I like proving people wrong!” Ek’s inspiring journey took off with fashion studies in Sweden and later at Istituto 16  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

Marangoni, the prominent school of fashion, art and design in London, where she was awarded as best graduate student with the honour cum laude. Upon graduation, she began a successful career as a fashion designer but decided to go her own way and set up IOAKU in 2012, which has grown to be one of Sweden’s most popular jewellery and accessory brands in merely a couple of years.

Match your IOAKU collection In her stylish designs, Ek combines elements of wildlife and history with a hint of magic. She talks about her creative expression and says: “The mix of Scandi-

navian style and world influences creates the perfect synergy. Even a simple shape can express a compelling statement of power.” Each piece tells its own story and often includes a message to the wearer, boosting them to remain strong and focused. For instance, the Massive Drop amulet has the encouraging engraving “believe in yourself”, and the Luck amulet comes with “all the luck in the world”. IOAKU’s first collection, Different is Beautiful, consisted of pieces inspired by nature combined with trends on the catwalks in Paris and was dubbed Trend of the Year by the Swedish Fashion Council. It included the bold Dragonfly, a majestic pendant on a metal choker, which has become the brand’s signature piece and is also available in a mini version and matching earrings. “I want every piece to radiate elegance, design and fashion,”

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  IOAKU

Ek explains about her creative thinking. “I make jewellery that stands out – as every woman should feel that she can stand out. The jewellery should make an impression and enhance an outfit.” As a firm believer in the power of nature, sustainability is an important factor for Ek and, thus, the jewellery is produced in an eco-friendly way by a certified manufacturer; all products are free from nickel, cadmium and lead. The clever idea is that all individual pieces and collections can be combined. Whether bold or chic, the designs are set to complete a look. “I love the possibility of combining shapes and colours,” continues Ek enthusiastically. “You can wear short and long necklaces, or a mix of earrings and bracelets for a layered effect. Add IOAKU jewellery to a simple outfit and you own the party!”

utively by the Swedish Fashion Council. In addition to the well-deserved honours, Ek and IOAKU have received plenty of attention in national and international media, for instance in fashion magazine Vogue, and the designs have been worn by celebrities and performers on TV shows such as trendy Idol and the massively popular Eurovision Song Contest.

Designer of the Year

This innovative designer and strong businesswoman certainly has big plans for IOAKU’s future. The brand continues to grow in Scandinavia, currently with around 150 retailers, and has a fast-emerging international presence in Europe, US and Brazil, plus more markets in the pipeline. In September, IOAKU will open a showroom in Stockholm, welcoming visitors to check out the amazing new collections ‘Heritage’ and ‘Legacy’, which will be available in stores in October.

Incredibly, in just 12 months, Ek has managed to set up a well-functioning business and create a successful brand. In 2013, she was awarded Precious Talent of the Year at the Nordic Watch & Jewellery Fair. Her collections have been named Trend of the Year and Style of the Year consec-

Keen to pass on the good fortune to others and show that dreams do come true, Ek is one of the founders of Dream Project, together with charity organisation Help for Children, aiming to help children in India. She designed a leather

bracelet produced locally in India especially for this project, and highlights the importance of the initiative: “This is an opportunity for me to help, to give children dreams and hopes for the future.” The Dream Project charity bracelet and all other pieces of IOAKU jewellery are available in selected stores and from the web shop. Fanny Ek

Web: Facebook: Twitter: @ioaku Instagram: @ioaku

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  17

Your Shortcut to Scandinavia Bergen


Oslo Stockholm Bromma

SWEDEN Aalborg






London City

GERMANY Brussels






S na cks

Me al s


Pap ers



Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Vintrafors Design

Katarina Vintrafors Photo: Johanna Vintrafors

Creative talent breaking the norm Illustrator, graphic designer and artist Katarina Vintrafors is one hardworking creative talent, sought-after for book illustrations, record covers, posters, games, crosswords and much more. On top of that, she also launched a collection of prints last year, and plenty more is coming up. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Vintrafors Design

In her projects under the name Vintrafors Design, Katarina Vintrafors often works against society’s established norms. “I enjoy fighting conventions, swimming against the current,” she says. “Especially in children’s books, I want to show how diverse society really is and that we are equal regardless of gender, colour or sexual orientation. A family can consist of two mums and one child, for example. And kids should really be proud of who they are, regardless.” With a fascination for science and anatomy, Vintrafors often combines elements of wildlife with fantasy and Nordic mythology. Some of her prints feature characters intertwined with nature, for instance women with branches growing out of their hair. “I love mixing reality and fantasy,” she admits. “The combination can be beautiful, but also a bit scary.”

Illustrator and writer The road to becoming an illustrator was not a straight one for Vintrafors. Starting with medical school, she continued with physiotherapy and eventually landed at the creative writing programme at Lund University. After graduating, she was offered assignments as an illustrator for children’s books and continued on that path. Amazingly, she has illustrated around 60 children’s and young adult books so far, and is now working on a couple of books for which she is also the author, getting back in touch with her creative writing background. Vintrafors has a busy autumn ahead, with the release of a number of exciting projects: text and illustrations for fairy tales Det magiska paraplyet and Monster under sängen (Unika Barn); illustrations for children’s books I raketfart med änglapappan

by Cecilia Rojek (Idus Förlag) and Novali hjärta Sara by Yvette Lissman (Vaktel Förlag); the Woman Power collection of prints; the Wild and Free children’s collection of prints; illustrations for a colouring book about super heroes, and designs for Personal Planner. In addition to all her other work, Vintrafors is also running courses to boost creativity in others. Vintrafors Design can be found at Expressen’s Leva & Bo, a few other selected retailers in Sweden and Denmark, and in the web shop.

Web: Facebook:  vintraforsdesign Instagram: @vintraforsdesign

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  19

Made in Roslagen SWEDEN


Marinteknik i Norrt채lje AB - Tel: +46 (0) 176 22 44 40 - G채ddv채gen 9-11 Norrt채lje

Scan Magazine  |  Design Profile  |  Jess of Sweden

Embroidering her way into history Taking that step to turn a hobby into a business can be daunting. However, sometimes passion takes over and the step becomes inevitable. This is how Jess of Sweden came into being. With a genuine respect for history and tradition, the business is taking Sami and Scandinavian culture into the 21st century. By Pia Petersson  |  Photos: My Vestlund

It all began with a deep love of and fascination for Lapland, traditional Scandinavian craftsmanship and Sami culture. “Sometimes I would take my car and make the long drive up north, on my own, and just spend a few weeks there, hiking, thinking and travelling. Does that sound a bit mad?” Jessica Lorin asks. She is the founder of Jess of Sweden, a brand she created in order to devote more time to her passion – pewter thread embroidery. It does not sound mad at all, does it? It sounds like Lorin decided to make a livelihood out of her interest and passion. Formerly a psychiatric nurse, Lorin set up her company in 2013 and has gradually spent more time creating wonderful pewter thread products and less time as a nurse. “This autumn, I’ll quit my job as a nurse to devote all my time to the business,” Lorin explains.

Since its foundation, Jess of Sweden has gone from strength to strength and the exquisite products are now sold to every corner of the world. “Worldwide, there seems to be an enormous fascination for and interest in all things Scandinavian and Sami,” says Lorin. The technique she uses is as old as the hills – or at least as old as the Vikings. Several items found to have belonged to these Scandinavian forefathers bear evidence of the pewter thread embroidery technique. When trading and interacting with the Vikings, the Sami people probably picked up the technique and made it an essential part of their culture. “The basis is simply tin thread and reindeer leather,” Lorin explains. However, the bracelets, necklaces, tiaras and all the other products are anything

but simple. “Authenticity and true craftsmanship are really important components of my business. I still order all the materials straight from Lapland and I still make everything on my own, by hand. It’s important that the craftsmanship takes time. Every single product is unique and created with love,” Lorin explains.

Web: Instagram:

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  21

Scan Magazine  |  Festival Profile  |  World Water Week

Opening plenary at World Water Week 2016.

Preventing waste of our water Global water conference World Water Week is held in Stockholm every year, addressing a wide range of international water development and sustainability issues. This year’s theme is related to waste and how we can reduce and reuse more cleverly. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: World Water Week

ment at World Water Week. “We want to encourage collaboration and this week facilitates an open dialogue, which is incredibly valuable,” she says and explains that the event receives a great deal of attention internationally, with a whopping 5,700 articles published in around 100 countries – and 2.6 million website views. The world is watching and listening, no doubt.

What started in 1991 as a symposium has grown into an international meeting place for scientists, policy makers, and private sector and civil society actors. Last year, around 3,200 participants from more than 130 countries gathered in Stockholm. During the week-long event, they network, exchange ideas and foster new thinking around the most pressing water-related challenges, ultimately inspiring collaborative action and bridging science, policy and practice.

Reduce and reuse

Organiser Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) aims to stimulate the development of innovative policies and scientifically based solutions to waterrelated challenges. Director Katarina Veem is impressed with the high level of participants and international engage-

Every year, World Water Week addresses a particular theme to enable a deeper examination of a specific water-related issue. This year’s theme is Water and Waste: Reduce and Reuse. Veem emphasises the global importance of the topic: “Water is a scarce resource, not to be taken for granted. Our patterns must change

22  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

and we need to become aware of how we can produce and consume more sustainably. During the week, we will discuss for example how to transform waste into a resource, technical innovation in cleaning water, and reuse and resource recovery.” A hot topic is also the presence of pharmaceutical substances in water. Uncontrolled production and excessive use of antibiotics have promoted the spread of antimicrobial resistance, which is a rising global health risk. While the manufacturing of drugs by large pharmaceutical companies is rigorously managed, generic production is less strictly controlled. Veem highlights that pharmacies in Sweden are obliged to prescribe the cheapest drug to patients, which often means the generic version. “As consumers, we have no power. This is a problem and we need to ensure that regulations are met and that producers do not pollute rivers with their waste water.” A session on Monday 28 August will look at drivers, impacts and solutions to anti-

Scan Magazine  |  Conference Profile  |  World Water Week

Highlights at World Water Week 2017 Sunday 27 August Falkenmark Symposium – Achieving SDG in Africa: scaling green-blue revolution. Monday 28 August Antimicrobial Resistance Putting Sustainable Development at Risk: Drivers, impacts, solutions. Wednesday 30 August Re:use, Re:make, Re:think fashion

Prizes and awards

microbial resistance – and will be attended by Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, a UN advocate for the sustainability goals and a firm supporter of building a resilient future through water.

Nordic collaboration The Nordic countries are also facing water resource challenges, with less rain resulting in record low levels of groundwater. This will eventually have an impact on agriculture, industries and households. Veem explains that in Sweden, the infrastructure for drinking water was built in the 1950s when the country was going through a massive development of society and water was not considered a limited resource. Today, the population has grown by three million, which of course adds more pressure on the system. “We need to address new challenges with rising population and urbanisation,” says Veem.

However, she has a positive outlook and believes the key is close collaboration. “In the Nordics, we have a full-blown infrastructure and use more resources than in the southern hemisphere. This also means that we need to take more responsibility for coming up with solutions,” she says and continues to praise the open dialogue in society. “We have a tradition of collaboration, working together through national, regional and local planning and taking measures to address the challenges. Water has no borders and is a shared responsibility. This is the way forward.” Web: Facebook:  SIWIwater Twitter: @siwi_water Instagram: @siwi_water

Recognising outstanding achievements in water, SIWI hosts the world’s most respected water prizes as supported by H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf and H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. Stockholm Water Prize honours outstanding achievements in waterrelated activities and is awarded annually to visionary individuals and organisations whose accomplishments contribute to conserving and protecting the world’s water resources, and improving the health of inhabitants and ecosystems. Stockholm Junior Water Prize is awarded to students between the ages of 15 and 20 who have conducted water-related projects. Each year, over 100,000 students enter national competitions, with the winners attending the international final in Stockholm. The prize is proudly supported by founding global sponsor, Xylem, and the Raincoat Foundation.

Stockholm Junior Water Prize winners.

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  23

Scan Magazine  |  Festival Profile  |  CODA Oslo International Dance Festival

Unknown pleasures by CCN – Ballet de Lorraine (FR). Photo: Arno Paul

Dance improvisation on the roof of the Opera House. Photo: Elisabeth de Lange

A festival bursting with movement This year’s summer festivals have come and gone, and you may already be longing for next year. But the wait does not have to be that long – just come along to CODA Oslo International Dance Festival this autumn.

explores the complexity of womanhood, a theme she has magically transformed into a choreographed dance,” de Lange continues.

By Idha Toft Valeur

When the founders of CODA, Lise Nordal and Odd Johan Fritzøe, began to dream about creating a festival all about dance in the heart of Norway, it was with a vision of strengthening Norwegian dance. The goal was to put the spotlight on Oslo and Norway as an international arena for contemporary dance. The CODA festival was soon born, and they held their first festival in 2002. They arranged annual festivals until 2005, when CODA became a biennial event. Nordal was appointed as artistic and administrative director in 2006 and, since 2010, she has been the CEO and artistic director. From here, she has kept the dream and vision of creating a diverse festival for contemporary dance alive. But this year will be the festival’s last under Nordal’s directorship alongside Eckhard Thiemann – associate artistic curator of CODA 2017. This autumn, CODA invites you to extend the months of festival fun as they open the doors to their 11th festival, taking place on 17-28 October. 24  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

A programme for everyone The desire to create an international dance festival in Oslo has become a great success. The festival boasts numerous venues across Oslo with varied events for dancers and audiences of all ages. CODA hosts performances, workshops and seminars throughout the 12 days and, to create a dance-inspired melting pot, the festival has invited contributors from all over the world to display a variety of influences and visions. “Among other events, we are excited to invite visitors into the universe of the performance Unknown pleasures by CCN – Ballet de Lorraine, where five choreographers have been invited to share their distinctive creative styles, but their identities will be held anonymously to create a show full of surprises,” Elisabeth de Lange, head of marketing, smiles. “We are also excited to have Rocío Molina join us with her innovative use of the traditional flamenco dance. Moreover, I’m looking forward to Ingun Bjørnsgaard’s premiere of Notes on Frailty, where she

If none of the above tickles your fancy and you prefer spontaneous experiences of different kinds, come along to the roof of Oslo Opera House, where dance students and professionals will perform improvised dancing on both Saturdays of the festival. A beautiful view of the Oslo fjord will provide the backdrop. Dance your way to Dansens Hus Norway and the many venues this October. Join in on the fun and be inspired by all the different dance moves – spontaneous or not. Notes on Frailty by Ingun Bjørnsgaard Prosjekt (NO). Photo: Thomas Bjørk

Web: Facebook:  codadancefest

Scan Magazine  |  Culinary Feature  |  Chocolate Wonders

Chocolate with a little veggie surprise Having trouble eating the recommended 600 grams of fruit and vegetables a day, yet no trouble polishing off half a box of chocolate at night? Then Chocolate Wonders might be just for you!

chocolate with fillings such as caramel, coffee and raspberry.

By Heidi Kokborg  |  Photos: Chocolate Wonders

White chocolate with broccoli, milk chocolate with carrot and estragon, dark chocolate with celeriac. Are you frowning and thinking that this is some new, fancy concept from New York? Think again. Chocolate Wonders combines chocolate with vegetables and grains – but do not fret: they also have traditional filled chocolate without greens. “A few years ago, I was catering for conferences and wanted to change the usual afternoon coffee and cake to something healthy with vegetables,” says Martin Glarborg, founder of Chocolate Wonders. A not so guilty pleasure As it turned out, putting green juice and carrot sticks on the table instead of the usual caffeine and sugar-infused goods was not a

huge hit. However, chocolate-covered vegetables were a winner. “That’s when I became interested in the vegetable and chocolate combination. Chocolate is so delicious and it tastes amazing, and if you make it with vegetables it’s much more fresh and healthy,” smiles Glarborg. “Obviously, filled chocolates with vegetables aren’t like your usual evening piece of chocolate that you might have for dessert. I would say that this is more something you might use as an appetiser. The chocolates aren’t overly sweet, so it’s not dessert chocolate – but who says chocolate is only for dessert?” Glarborg also uses grains in some of the chocolates to add a little crunchiness. But if you still do not dare to try vegetable chocolate, Chocolate Wonders also has traditional

Martin Glarborg founded Chocolate Wonders in 2012.

Web: Facebook: chocwonders Instagram:

Swedish culinary craft in a historical environment

The Inn Ulla Winbladh, its’ name inspired by the muse of the national bard Bellman, is renowned for it’s high class Swedish food tradition. At Ulla Winbladh you are able to savour genuine Swedish culinary craft in a historical atmosphere. Here we serve traditional Swedish cuisine, the way it is supposed to be, that is: a truly sense widening experience. | Phone. 08-534 89 701

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  25

Scan Magazine  |  Culinary Feature  |  TastePlease

Authentic food experiences, anywhere, anytime Imagine stepping off your plane, checking into a hotel and getting ready for dinner. It is not hard to do. To most, this is a familiar routine. However, instead of dining in the hotel lobby or a busy restaurant nearby, you go on to enjoy a home-cooked meal with a friendly local. Text and photos by TastePlease

New encounters

The small apartment could belong to any 20-something Copenhagener. Its primary resident is a former expat who right now prepares to greet a mixed group of international guests. With a little help from a friend, the final touches are added to the appetisers just before the doorbell rings.

foods and live music. The host is a vegan musician with a creative approach to life and cooking. Most of the guest do not share her dietary restrictions, but they all share the love of good food – and one thing is clear: no one misses their meat tonight.

As the new arrivals find their seats around the table, thoughts and tips on life in the Danish capital soon intertwine with travel tales from the Andes and beyond. The menu of the night may be Chilean, but the atmosphere is clearly all about Danish ‘hygge’.

Either of these scenarios could have been taken straight out of a foodie’s wanderlust daydream – or perhaps the memoirs of a well-connected globetrotter. Yet, not only are the two experiences real; they are no longer limited to the lucky few.

Meanwhile, in Athens, a charming balcony sets the stage for a true feast of fresh

Social dining platform TastePlease allows home cooks and food lovers of all

26  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

backgrounds and nationalities to connect and share a new type of dining experience. Since March, dinners like those in Athens and Copenhagen have started to pop up all over the globe.

The theme and menu vary from event to event, but they all have one thing in common: the hosts and guests do not know each other beforehand. A shared interest in a specific cuisine, a social mindset or general curiosity is all that binds them together; but with the food as a natural icebreaker, there is no need to fear awkward silences. TastePlease founder Frank Lantz is himself a frequent user of the platform and has hosted many events already. It is his experience that the social dinners often lead to new connections between the guests and hosts, who could be any mix of curious travellers, social expats and hospitable locals.

Scan Magazine  |  Culinary Feature  |  TastePlease

“I am always pleasantly surprised to see how my guests go from strangers to friends over the course of an evening,” Lantz explains. “Everyone has their own motivation for joining the dinner, but they all leave with the same shared experience. When they greet each other goodnight with a warm hug and a ‘talk to you soon’, you would never guess that they only just met.” Judging by the way his eyes light up as he shares these memories of successful social dinners, there is no doubt that Lantz would recommend others to follow his example and host their own TastePlease event. “Right before the guests arrive, you are hit by an inevitable sense of panic,” he admits. “But as soon as you open the door and see who is standing there – probably someone just

as nervous as yourself – you start to relax. By the time the food is on the table, everyone is having a great time. It is truly an amazing experience, a bit like a really good rollercoaster ride.”

A sense of home For many people, the thought of entering a stranger’s home may seem rather unnerving at first. If you ask Lantz, however, the private setting is key to making both the hosts and the guests feel at ease. “In many cultures, being invited into someone’s home is a sign of great respect,” he explains. “Most people want to honour such gestures by making an extra effort to start a conversation and find common ground.” According to Lantz, the social aspect of a TastePlease event is often as impor-

tant as the dinner itself. The atmosphere of the home, the stories that follow the food – it all adds a little extra spice to the meal on the plates, feeding both the minds and the mouths of the participants. “Of course food is at the heart of TastePlease, but our social dinners are about more than that. They are about the meal experience as a whole,” he continues. “You do not need to be a gourmet chef to leave your guests with a smile on their face. Simply cook what you know and make them feel welcome – then you are well on your way to a successful evening.”


Frank Lantz.

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  27

Scan Magazine  |  Historical Hotel Profile  |  Hotell Refsnes Gods

Business and pleasure in historical surroundings With its longstanding history as a privately owned estate, the historical Refsnes Gods hotel on the Norwegian Oslo fjord provides great facilities for business conferences and courses, with countless activities including wine tasting, polo, sailing and painting. But it is equally an ideal destination for those seeking a romantic getaway. By Line Elise Svanevik  |  Photos: Hotell Refsnes Gods

Located 40 minutes outside of Oslo on the island of Jeløy, Refsnes Gods hotel offers meeting rooms and 61 guest rooms, as well as banquet halls for up to 100 guests for weddings, birthdays, and other celebrations. This year marks its 250th anniversary, which has been celebrated throughout the summer with 28  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

events including a large sculpture exhibition, due to its large focus on art. Built in 1767, Refsnes Gods has always been family-run and was a private summer house for wealthy families until 1936. “Due to its background as privately owned, the house was created as a place

where people can come and enjoy themselves – where they can feel at home and at ease,” explains hotel director Gunn Salbuvik, whose family took over the grounds in 1998.

From RIB rides to life-drawing classes For companies looking for a day or two out of the office, or for conferences and courses, Refsnes Gods provides a wide range of activities including rigidinflatable boat (RIB) rides, role play, art tours, sailing and life-drawing classes through its three close suppliers – Sydvent, Cockpit and 6. Sans.

Scan Magazine  |  Historical Hotel Profile  |  Hotell Refsnes Gods

“The neighbouring farm has the only horse polo club in Norway, which is really exciting and a unique opportunity for our guests,” explains Salbuvik. “It’s something a lot of the conference goers take advantage of but, equally, we offer it to the private guests we cater to as well.” The grounds are a popular location for businesses due to the friendly, flexible and service-minded staff, and Salbuvik explains that it is important for them that their guests feel good. “We don’t just offer allocated rooms for conference goers – we also have a range of spaces where people can sit down and have a chat. There’s always a coffee on the go as well,” explains Salbuvik. “Moreover, we offer activities in the garden, including a game of chess, petanque or a dip in the sea on a sunny day. It’s easy to create a more informal vibe, which makes it a very sociable location.” As it is located within relatively close proximity to Oslo, Salbuvik explains that it is just far enough away for conference goers to spend the night, yet close enough for speakers to pop home and

get to their child’s school recital before returning for the evening meal.

hall, visitors will also see a sculpture by the Norwegian artist Nico Widerberg.

Historical artworks

The history of Refsnes Gods also features a range of famous people who have visited the grounds, in addition to King Oscar II, including author Camilla Collett, Peder Balke and Hans Gude.

Boasting a large selection of wine and wine tastings from their very own cellar, which even displays the original 18th century walls, Refsnes Gods has a large focus on its history. While trying to preserve its ancient features, it was not until Salbuvik took over in 1998 that they began their increased focus on art. In total, there are more than 400 original artworks; each room is its own gallery. The hotel’s very own Restaurant Munch also pays tribute to the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch with eight of his artworks displayed, and just outside the restaurant are Warhol’s Eva Mudocci silkscreen, Madonna and Self-portrait, which is part of his series After Munch. “Munch lived on Jeløy from 1913 to 1916, so we wanted to honour his memory by displaying his artwork,” says Salbuvik. On the second floor is Kongesalen, The King’s Ballroom, where King Oscar II dined at the end of the 19th century and today is pictured on the wall. On the way up to the

Locally sourced food When it comes to the menu at the hotel, Salbuvik maintains that it is important to her that the ingredients are as local and good as possible. “We use suppliers from the local area whenever possible, for both our Grand Menu and our conference menu, which ranges from light bites to bigger lunches or dinners,” she says. Refsnes Gods is a place people come for any occasion: weddings, big birthdays, wedding anniversaries – the list goes on. “We host many wedding ceremonies in the garden, our local priest weds many couples, and so do other masters of ceremony,” she adds.


Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  29

Scan Magazine  |  Historical Hotel Profile  |  Bekkjarvik Gjestgiveri

Kurt Nilsen Concert. Photo: Christer KLIX AS

An extraordinary culinary experience 50 members of staff and award-winning chefs are on stand-by at Bekkjarvik Gjestgiveri to fulfil your expectations of an experience away from the hustle and bustle of life in the city, leaving you refreshed, recharged and pleased with the high quality of this historical guesthouse. By Marte Eide  |  Photos: Bekkjarvik Gjestgiveri

“The best way to explain our concept is to imagine coming to someone’s home and being catered for,” says daily manager and head chef of Bekkjarvik Gjestgiveri, Ørjan Johannessen. The guesthouse is located down by the harbour of the idyllic Bekkjarvik, surrounded by history in the shape of old buildings and remains of what used to be the heart of the fishing village.

a perfect location, not too far from Bergen and is also close to Stavanger,” Johannessen continues. From Bergen airport, it takes about an hour including the boat trip. In addition to parking space for cars and easily accessible public transport, there is a helicopter pad and landing space for seaplanes for those who wish to arrive in a more extravagant way.

Not all guesthouses have a history as rich as Bekkjarvik Gjestgiveri. “It was built back in the 1600s,” says Johannessen. It was the Danish king, Christian Quart, who requested the establishment of guesthouses along the coast. “It has

The Johannessen family has been running Bekkjarvik Gjestgiveri for the past 35 years. The parents bought the guesthouse back in 1982, three years before Ørjan Johannessen and his twin brother Arnt were born. Naturally, they have both

30  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

been involved in the family business for as long as they can remember. “We live at the hotel ourselves and are dedicated to all aspects of providing our guests with a memorable stay. We want to make sure that everything goes smoothly and is as enjoyable as possible,” says Johannessen, adding: “Our ambition is to maintain and further develop what we have started, as we just finished a big renovation project. Now, our guests can enjoy the villa in our garden as well as the main mansion.”

Award-winning kitchen Today, Bekkjarvik Gjestgiveri is a haven for both local and foreign guests. Many come to the area to get some peace and quiet, enjoy a few slow-paced days with beautiful scenery, and of course eat and drink well. The twin brothers have certainly made a name for themselves, winning the Chef of the Year in 2011 and the gold medal in the prestigious cooking competition Bocuse d’Or Lyon in 2015.

Scan Magazine  |  Historical Hotel Profile  |  Bekkjarvik Gjestgiveri

No doubt, the food served in the restaurant will be of exceptional quality. “It is nothing too fancy. We focus on locally sourced ingredients such as fish, seafood and meat including veal and deer. Because we work closely with local producers we rely on what they have available, which means that we can change the menu as often as we want to. It is quite nice to have that kind of flexibility to be creative with the food we serve,” explains Johannessen enthusiastically. What better location to serve such food than at an outdoor restaurant by the harbour? A more idyllic setting is hard to find. “It’s nice that both locals and people from far away come here to eat and just enjoy themselves,” says Johannessen. But Bekkjarvik Gjestgiveri has more to offer. “Our main focus is to give our guests a break from their everyday life. For those who want, we can offer excursions, wine tastings and cooking courses.” Quite an interesting list of activities considering the international recognition the chefs have received.

did a lot of refurbishing and added ten guestrooms. Since then, it has only grown, and today we have 50 guestrooms, facilities for courses and conferences, and space for events, groups, weddings and celebrations. The award-winning chef points out that Bekkjarvik is the ideal location to be if you are looking for something a bit more exclusive and unique. “It is possible to rent out the whole hotel or the villa if you want some privacy. We also have a renovated barn that can fit about 150 people, perfect for a fancier gathering or cele-

bration,” he says. If you are a small or a large group of people looking for a brief escape from the city and some good food, Bekkjarvik Gjestgiveri is definitely worth the trip. If you are lucky enough to have some time off, you can book a room and stay overnight to enjoy another day in the relaxing surroundings. Web: Facebook:  bekkjarvikgjestgiveri Instagram: @bekkjarvikgjestgiveri

Bekkjarvik Gjestgiveri has developed significantly since the Johannessen family took over back in the 1980s. “When my parents first bought it, they

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  31

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  Gunilla Bergström

Photo: Jan Anjam

32  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  Gunilla Bergström

Gunilla Bergström With the honesty of a child As Gunilla Bergström turns 75 and the character that made her famous, Alfons Åberg, turns 45, Scan Magazine speaks to the Swedish children’s book author about success, struggle and refusing to fake it.

out and yet another short sabbatical for book number two.

By Linnea Dunne

For a best-selling author, Bergström appears to have very little time for other people’s opinions and expectations. “I was thorough – I always have been – and I only ever wrote based on genuine lust. I’d never be able to write a book on assignment; it’s about being honest with myself,” the author reflects. Being honest meant going against the tide, not only in leaving out a mother figure from a 1970s children’s book; she also deliberately made Alfons ugly. “He absolutely couldn’t be cute,” she says candidly. “There were so many cute girls with bows, and there were mischievous boys with dead rats in their pockets. I didn’t want any of that, I wanted a real kid. But I gave him his tiny hairs to add something a little bit soft to that stout face.” And Alfons’ father? “He’s not exactly Hee-Man, quite ugly – or trivial.”

“People were bewildered,” says Gunilla Bergström about her first Alfons Åberg (or Alfie Atkins, as he is called in English) book, first published in 1972. The book was considered controversial, and an eye-opener, due to the fact that the only parental presence in the book was that of Alfons’ father. “I was surprised. I didn’t know much about children’s books anyway; I was pregnant with my first child at the time,” she says plainly. Her own father, she explains, was so effortless in his way with kids. A good father figure who read bedtime stories was nothing strange to her. “With time, I realised how remarkable it was to people that Alfons’ mother wasn’t present, and then there was something enjoyable about continuing that. How much of the family do you have to account for, cousins and aunties as well? It’s enough with one grown-up to explore that confrontation between child and adult.” Bergström had been an enthusiastic drawer as a child but gave up in her twenties as she felt that it was not a proper job. Instead, she studied journalism at JMG in Gothenburg, graduated in 1966 and went on to work as a reporter at the Swedish national daily Aftonbladet. Publishing a book was not a big deal to her. “I had things published all the time and was a seasoned writer, so I could just plough on and write. Some people talk about the first book as holy, but I didn’t feel that at all,” she says. “But then the publisher suggested that I illustrate the book too, and that was exciting! The chance to spend my time drawing, that’s what really lit that spark in me.”

Her first book, Mias pappa flyttar (Mia’s dad moves out), about a girl whose parents separate, was published in 1971; but when Bergström pitched the first Alfons book, it was refused. She laughs. “I was walking around book shops with a ruler trying to figure out how big a picture book should be, but what did I know? They refused it and sent me home to make it larger. I was delighted – I was getting more space for my images, more creative freedom; I was going to spend the rest of my life drawing!” She describes the beginning of her author-illustrator career with a mixture of glee and constraint, expressing gratitude to her employer for allowing her to take time off when the first book was

‘No one is born evil’

Illustration from Raska på, Alfons Åberg.

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  33

Scan Magazine  |  Cover Feature  |  Gunilla Bergström

Illustration from God natt, Alfons Åberg.

That she finds it easier to relate to children than she does to many adults is quite clear. “My passion for writing children’s books is probably linked to the fact that I’m quite childish. I also have very vivid memories of what it’s like to be teased or feel guilty,” she says and suggests that we should give children more credit than we do. “They’re not stupid – they get that ‘oh, there’s a nail missing’ and they’ll go get a nail. I don’t think we should make a big hullabaloo of parenting; it’s a lot about just watching and noticing when a kid’s spark is lit, to be attentive. All that pressure of ballet dancing and ice hockey, I don’t think that’s very important.” That innocence of children is a recurring topic, if mostly implicitly. Yet Bergström’s view is far from rose-tinted: she believes that we are all born neither good nor bad, and situations and surroundings shape us. “It’s a starting point even my nineyear-old niece is on board with: no one is born evil, but we all have the capacity to do good and bad things. Imagine if you could say to all the unhappy people, all 34  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

those with broken hearts and struggling with hardship, that it’s not always been like that – you don’t need to get stuck in a terrible situation. It’s the outside world that twists things and makes us sick.” She pauses. “With children’s books, I feel free to express myself with words and images. With adults, it’s too late – it’s pointless as we’re already ruined.”

Surreal success What finally gave Bergström the courage to leave her job was a five-year author’s stipend from the Swedish Writers’ Union in 1976, providing a basic annual salary. “It’s not that I was desperate to move on,” she says. “I loved being a reporter, but when I was juggling the two jobs, being both a writer and an illustrator, and being up to my eyes as a mother of young children – I guess with the stipend I knew it was time.” Yet the reality of life as a salaried author was far from glamorous. Bergström had two children, including a mentally disabled daughter, and the administrative work involved with keeping track of tax

declarations and different editions and royalties started to become burdensome. “Eventually I set up a limited company. I did it to cope,” she says. “My books have been translated to 35 languages now – it’s unreal. But I’ve had private problems all along: my first husband was an alcoholic, then I had my daughter, went through a divorce. My second husband had cancer. The success has been completely surreal as I’ve had other things to think about. My heart’s been with the worries at home.” ‘Kärt barn har många namn’ is a Swedish proverb meaning ‘a beloved child has many names’, which is certainly true about Alfons. So far, across the many translations, the character has 20-odd names, including Willi Wiberg in German, Guuled in Somali and Burhan in Arabic. “Alfons was the first ever Swedish book to be translated into Arabic,” says the author. “It was in 1985 and the royal family was doing a state visit to Jordan, and the most Swedish thing they could think of as a gift was one of my books translated to Arabic. I had a good laugh about that!”

Scan Magazine  Scan Magazine  |  Cover |  Cover Feature  Feature  |  Gunilla |  Rune Bergström Temte

This year, Alfons turns 45 and the character has inspired everything from cartoons to theatre shows and doctoral theses. When we speak to Bergström, she has just received the news that a Chinese publisher has bought every single Alfons book ever written – 21 in addition to the five they already had – and she is thrilled. “I find it very fascinating. Here in the west, we don’t know all that much about China and what life is like for Chinese families,” she says. “What’s important to children in China today, and what will they pick up on in the books about Alfons? As an author, I’m genuinely curious about that and would love to know more about the world these books will end up in.” Next, she is working on a solo exhibition, which will showcase her unique collage-style illustrations. “I was one of the first to use this technique. It meant that I could be a realist but still trip out completely with helicopters in the middle of the jungle,” she says, describing the laborious work of cutting and gluing curtain snippets, wallpaper cuttings, yarn and everything in between. “It’s funny, back then you’d cut and glue and use old-fashioned printing techniques, and you’d get the slight shadow around the edges. These days, people fake it and add that shadow digitally to make it look as though something’s been cut in – I call it double fake.” Excitement alongside prudence, childlike wonder paired with wisdom – there is certainly a duality to the Swedish author, who has talked openly about a life with bipolar disorder. Yet she is a firm realist and resolutely protests the notion of her artistic work as a place of escapism during the most difficult years. “I don’t want to escape, I hate that. It should be real. A place of reality as refuge, perhaps – a place where you sit and feel good, a part of myself.” There is something about those genuine shadows – a commitment to seeing things for what they are, both the keepsakes you choose to cut out and the little flaws that you learn to love. As a writer of fiction, she has reached unimaginable success, but Gunilla Bergström is nothing but real.

Photo: Rolf Adlercreutz

Name: Gunilla Bergström Born: 1942 in Gothenburg Age: 75 Career: Graduated from journalism school at JMG in Gothenburg in 1966, worked as a reporter at Aftonbladet, published her first book in 1971 and has been working full-time as an author and illustrator since 1975. She has also adapted many of her stories for the stage and written children’s songs together with composer Georg Riedel. The Alfons books: The first story about Alfons Åberg was published in 1972 by Rabén & Sjögren, and there are now 26 books in the series. Close to

five million Alfons books have been produced in Sweden and another four million abroad, and the books have been translated into 35 languages. Every year, around one million Alfons books are being borrowed at Swedish libraries. Awards: Bergström has received numerous awards and accolades, among them the Illis Quorum by the Swedish Government in 2012 and three Astrid Lindgren awards. What she likes: People who laugh and have a good sense of humour. What she dislikes: Cold people, cold souls – if they exist. Web:

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  35


EN D N WE cia M e U IN S KS T Sp C AU ES PI P C O N IE R T R PE – OU X E m he


Photo: Fredrik Nyman

Photo: Werner Nystrand

Photo: Jonas Overödder

Art, drama and perfectly Nordic settings – welcome to spend an autumnal break in Sweden What better way to spend a crisp autumn day than strolling through the city, stopping for a coffee and a bun, and spending the afternoon exploring a museum of your liking?

making for a truly unique cooperation experience – complete with cocktails, the old-school way.


Sweden may be known for cold and dark winters and dry, picturesque summers, but anyone who has visited one of the charming towns down south or the streets of Stockholm in October will know that autumn suits this country of ‘fika’ and consensus culture just as well.

Perhaps you are a fan of the surreal or quirky? How about a stay in a tree house, with stunning views across an unmistakably Nordic landscape? If you are a fan of drama, visit Sherlocked in Malmö and get locked up with your friends, Photo: Göran Assner

Fans of ABBA, head straight for the capital and the pop music museum that opened in 2013, and then pick a tour of your choice by Tours of Stockholm to get to know the city with the help of the locals. Sweden boasts quality cultural experiences for people big and small, such as the Alfie Atkins Culture Centre in Gothenburg, Scenkonstmuseet in the capital and the Affordable Art Fair, founded in London but now taking place in locations across the globe, including Stockholm. 36  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

Wherever you go, do not forget to kick the leaves along the way, and always end with a compulsory fika.


This is my house! Alfons Åbergs Kulturhus (Alfie Atkins’ Cultural Centre) is a creative cultural centre for children and their adults. This is a place where curious children can play, get up to mischief, climb and discover a world full os exciting things.

Slussgatan 1, Gothenburg, Sweden

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Autumn Experiences in Sweden – Our Top Picks

Photo: Beatrice Törnros

Come and celebrate with Alfie Atkins It will be a busy year at the Alfie Atkins Culture Centre. In addition to its many fun activities, there are no less than three important anniversaries to celebrate. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Alfons Åbergs Kulturhus

Children’s book author and illustrator Gunilla Bergström first invented Alfie Atkins (known in Sweden as Alfons Åberg) in 1972 in the book Good Night, Alfie Atkins. Her series of 26 books has been translated into more than 30 languages and Alfie is a classic character for millions of children all around the world. These days, Alfie Atkins lives in an old seed shop located at the Garden Society in Gothenburg. Five years ago, this listed building was transformed into a creative cultural centre with authentic ‘70s décor. Here, the curious can play, get up to mischief, climb and discover the block of flats where Alfie Atkins lives, meet the scary monster and, of course, see the famous helicopter. There is also a mini cinema, a hot-dog stand and a jungle labyrinth to explore. “This is a playful centre where children can learn and understand, together with adults,” says CEO Anna Forsgren, who also talks about the importance of diver38  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

sity. “We want everyone to feel that they belong, regardless of language and ability. Therefore, our activities are adapted to encourage interaction and exchange between children with or without disabilities.”

Full schedule of activities This year, author Gunilla Bergström celebrates her 75th birthday, the Alfie Atkins character turns 45, and the centre is looking forward to its fifth anniversary. In addition to the busy schedule of activities such as theatre performances and storytelling, there will be plenty more fun to be had with Alfie, including book releases, book fairs and exhibitions. For instance, children can take part in the educational project ‘Chemistry with Alfie’, in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology and the Hasselblad Foundation. Other events include book readings and performances at Gothenburg Culture Festival, a traffic safety week named ‘Stop Look Wave’

(Stanna Titta Vinka) in partnership with Volvo, a mini book festival in conjunction with Göteborg Book Fair, a book-themed autumn break with activities around reading, and theatre performances at literature festivals in Oslo and Karlstad. The Alfie Atkins Culture Centre is incredibly popular and has more than 60,000 visitors per year. It is open every day from 10am until 4pm (5pm until 20 August), all activities are included in the admission fee, and visitors can take a well-deserved break at Malcolm’s Café or check out Daddy Atkins’ gift shop.

Web: Facebook:  AlfonsAbergKulturhusGoteborg Instagram: @alfonskulturhus

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Autumn Experiences in Sweden – Our Top Picks Photo: Jonas André

Left: Sampling wall – where visitors can discover, play and combine instruments from the museum’s great collection. Right: The visitors dance in front of a screen in order to activate tones and rhythms that in turn create music.

Set the stage for the wonderful world of performing arts Right in the centre of Stockholm, in a 17th century building that housed the army bakery for 300 years, a mind-boggling collection of exhibits is waiting to be discovered. How about exquisite puppets from all corners of the globe, or a 17th century bone flute from France? Perhaps a skilfully crafted 400-year-old guitar? Welcome to Scenkonstmuseet (the Swedish Museum of Performing Arts) – a whole new experience. By Pia Petersson  |  Photos: Jeanette Hägglund

Earlier this year, the museum opened its doors after being closed for renovation since 2013. Apart from modernising and restoring an old listed building, the renovation challenge also included merging three museums into one. These days the music, theatre and puppet collections – which used to be in separate museums – all share the same roof, and the transformation has been successful. “The feedback has been nothing but positive. In addition, our intention to have an intergenerational appeal seems to have worked really well. When I walk around the museum, I often see 70-year-old grandmothers enthusiastically engaged in discussions about aspects of the exhibition with their six-year-old grand-

children,” says museum director Daniel Wetterskog. Given that performing arts are in their essence active, creative and participatory, the choice to devote a great deal of the renovation of the museum to interactive elements came quite naturally. However, Wetterskog emphasises the importance of a healthy balance between established and modern approaches to exhibiting and displaying the museum’s vast collections. “At the same time as being interactive, we still work with more traditional ways of showcasing items. Hence, visitors can stroll from an installation, in which they dance in front of a screen in order to activate tones and rhythms that in turn create music, to looking at a 300-year-old bone flute from Provence,” Wetterskog explains.

Apart from an intergenerational appeal, the museum also strives for an inclusive approach. This autumn will see the opening of a fascinating exhibition concerning how visitors with visual or hearing impairments experience and enjoy the performing arts. The plans for the future also involve making use of the immense stored collections. In fact, only roughly one per cent of the collection is currently exhibited, with the rest put in storage. “We have so many fantastic items we’d like to show our visitors. I think that it makes more sense for us to display those rather than pay for big, international temporary exhibitions,” says Wetterskog.

Opening hours July-August: Open daily 11-17 September-June: Tuesday–Sunday 11-17,   Wednesday 11-20


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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Autumn Experiences in Sweden – Our Top Picks

The world is your oyster.

Sten & Alexander.

Nearby canyon.

An inner pilgrimage in a spectacular landscape Located in the wilderness of the dramatic mountain chain that has given its name to Scandinavia – the Scandes – there is an extraordinary little place: a hotel that strives to be different and make a difference. Find your inner wayfarer at PilgrimsHotellet (The Pilgrim’s Hotel).

cook all food from scratch, and the produce you find around here is fantastic. We’ve had nothing but positive feedback,” says Nilson.

By Pia Petersson  |  Photos: PilgrimsHotellet

A few years ago, both Danielsson and Nilson went through hard life experiences, with Danielsson losing his life partner and colleague in a car accident and Nilson undergoing life-changing organ transplant surgery. This made them both realise that it is important to give attention to the things that really matter in life. “Together, we’re both ready to meet guests and take on new life challenges,” says Danielsson. When it comes down to it, it is all quite simple – without being simplistic. “This is the perfect meeting spot for nature experiences, fantastic food, guided walks, winter and fishing trips. It’s a place for inner and outer hiking,” Danielsson sums up the philosophy of the hotel.

“We’re inspired by the current pilgrimage trend – a movement in which people from many different cultures and nations seek new experiences, which can result in new perspectives, often with existential issues as a basis,” general manager and guide Sten Danielsson explains. Guests at the hotel, situated in the Swedish county of Jämtland just a stone’s throw away from the border with Norway, are certainly spoilt for choice when it comes to walking and finding peace in the stunning nature around the hotel. The area is truly a cultural melting pot, mixing Sami, Swedish and Norwegian communities. With seven Sami villages around the corner, PilgrimsHotellet takes its responsibility to respect and listen to the native people of the area very seriously. “We 40  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

have a lot to learn from the Sami people,” Danielsson reflects. In addition to multiple nature reserves on its doorstep, there are many magnificent sights surrounding PilgrimsHotellet, among them waterfalls and caves. Moreover, visitors will find something that many of us often long for. “Most people who come here are struck by the silence and the fact that they meet very few people when they’re out hiking. It’s a perfect environment for breathing out and for reflection,” says Danielsson. The hotel kitchen, which is headed by chef Alexander Nilson, serves exquisite organic and locally produced food to match the needs and wishes of each guest. “I aim to


Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Autumn Experiences in Sweden – Our Top Picks

Between heaven and earth

Photo: Kent Lindvall

Sitting ten metres up in the air amongst the pine trees, Treehotel’s new tree room is somewhat of a mind-blowing experience. When staying here, guests find themselves peacefully floating between heaven and earth. By Malin Norman

“Our 7th Room is quite spectacular,” admits owner Kent Lindvall. “It’s bigger and more exclusive than our other tree rooms, offering a new kind of experience up in the air. And in the winter months, guests will have an amazing view of the northern lights, without even leaving the room.” The individual tree rooms at Treehotel have been created by some of Scandinavia’s leading architects and overlook the Lule River valley with miles of woods and the mighty river. The newest addition opened in January this year. Designed by Norwegian architects Snøhetta, the 7th Room consists of various experience levels. As they approach this impressive shape from below and look up at the sky, guests will see that the entire bottom of the build-

ing is covered by a life-size photograph of the tree tops the way they looked before the room was put in place. The patio consists of a net with branches growing right through it, providing a place where guests can lie down and look up at the starry sky, or at whatever is happening on the ground below. Those adventurous enough can even sleep outdoors, if they wish. This exclusive space of 100 square metres has two bedrooms and a lounge, with room for up to five people. The other six tree rooms at Treehotel include The Cabin by Cyrén & Cyrén, The Mirrorcube by Tham & Videgård, The UFO by Inredningsgruppen, The Blue Cone by SandellSandberg, The Bird’s Nest by Inredningsgruppen, and The Dragonfly by Rintala Eggertsson.

Photo: Johan Jansson

Web: Twitter: @treehotel Instagram: @treehotel

Come along to Kråmö for some peace and quiet Imagine spending a day on a peaceful island in the archipelago, listening to the sound of the waves as they hit the shore, feeling the salty breeze from the sea on your skin. The small island of Kråmö is pure bliss for the soul.

on the islands, Trosa Rederi organises trips in the beautiful Södermanland archipelago that last from one and a half hours.

By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Trosa Rederi

The picturesque island of Kråmö is a nature reserve close to Trosa, south of Stockholm. Just 40 minutes away by ferry, this hidden gem is the perfect daytrip away from the hustle and bustle of big city life. It also hosts a number of cottages for rent in Kråmö Skärgårdsby – ideal for groups, conferences, team-building events and, of course, private stays. “Our guests really appreciate the stillness and closeness to nature,” says Magnus Scherp, who has been managing Kråmö Skärgårdsby since 2015. “Here you can sit by the shore and listen to the waves, or watch the stars in the night. During spring and autumn, we often spot sea eagles and sometimes seals. A stay here is

very much about going back to nature, but with the comfort of our cottages.” There are 12 self-catering cottages on the island, with room for two to eight beds in each, and the main building, Timmerstugan, has room for entertaining around 50 people at a time. The island lacks electricity, but oil lamps and iron stoves add to the romantic atmosphere. Guests can also enjoy the sauna followed by a dip in the sea, in addition to plenty of activities such as fishing and kayaking. Kråmö Skärgårdsby is open for groups from May to October. In addition to the cosy self-catering cottages, the island also hosts a small kiosk and a café. For those who prefer to stay on board rather than disembark


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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Autumn Experiences in Sweden – Our Top Picks

The breadth and beauty of art for all Forget what you know about art. Or, rather, forget what you think that you do not know about art. Affordable Art Fair Stockholm is here to make art accessible for everyone and create an enjoyable atmosphere where questions are welcome and art appreciation is a free-for-all.

From Battersea to the world

The Stockholm leg of the fair started out in 2012 and, with its 11,000 visitors, immediately became the biggest art fair in the Nordic countries. The event has grown year on year and over 50 local as well as international galleries came to exhibit a wide range of artwork last year. The fair has undoubtedly been a success.

Affordable Art Fair was founded by Will Ramsay in Battersea in 1999 with the aim of making contemporary art accessible for all. He wanted to expel the myth that one must be an art academic or millionaire to enjoy and buy art. The fair quickly became a success and has grown to include 11 cities across the globe, including Singapore, New York, Milan and Hong Kong. Each year, over 220,000 people are welcomed

Alongside the principal motto of having fun, there are a few rules. For example, each gallery exhibiting at the art fair must bring living artists. “Because, as Will would say, dead artists don’t need money,” says Rynell. “We want to support artists to make a living from their art.” Moreover, there is a price cap at 50,000 SEK and everything is clearly labelled to

By Linnea Dunne  |  Photos: Affordable Art Fair Stockholm

“I majored in art history, and even I can find the white walls and silence of art galleries intimidating,” says Sylvia Rynell, fair manager at the Affordable Art Fair Stockholm. “Affordable Art Fair is the complete opposite – that’s what’s so fantastic about it. It’s a load of fun, everyone’s there to learn more about art, and everyone can add something to their collection – whatever their budget.” With an unparalleled breadth of styles and disciplines, that is more than an empty promise. Thanks to a price cap and many galleries bringing along prints 42  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

to the fairs around the globe, and since the start they have together bought art for more than 365 million euros.

and lithographs, visitors get the opportunity to buy a piece by their favourite artist – without breaking the bank.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Autumn Experiences in Sweden – Our Top Picks

remove the need for awkward questions. “You should be able to tell the minute you look at something whether or not it’s within your budget,” Rynell explains. “Saying that, we do try to encourage people to ask questions. If you’re shocked to see that a frame alone is priced at 2,500 SEK, ask why! This is an environment where you’re allowed to ask those questions and, hopefully, you can work out where you stand in terms of what you want to spend your money on.”

Back to the craft While all 14 fairs work with the same concept, the Stockholm version is characterised by a more contemporary touch than its predecessors. Yet this year’s offering reflects the recent back-tobasics trend in society, presenting more original painting as well as sculpture, with artists going back to using older techniques with great detail and mixing their own paints. “Graphic art is still popular, but we can definitely see across all our fairs that original painting is coming

back really strongly, amongst young artists as well,” says Rynell. “This is very visible at one of this year’s highlights, the Recent Graduates exhibition, which turns five this year. The show has been curated by Pia Rystadius and Malin Sköld, who travel up and down the country to find the very best talent at all the art school graduate exhibitions. These artists are finding their way back to the old craft as well. Maybe people are a little bit tired of the constant flow of Instagram, and this is the antidote.” The 2017 fair will continue the collaboration with Nationalmuseum that kicked off in 2015, hosting lectures with a modern take on art history, including a look at selfies historically and up until today. The kids’ corner will return again, as will Absolut Art, the gallery started by the renowned liquor brand. “Last year, they hosted an interior design lounge, but we don’t know yet what they’ll come up with this year,” says Rynell. “It’s very exciting!”

The fair manager lists the Recent Graduates exhibition as an essential show to see this year alongside the Grafikens Hus stand, which will showcase Norwegian graphic art among other things. “It’s very cool – you get to see the machines behind the art, including a huge printing machine which I doubt we’ll see in action considering how loud it is!” Rynell laughs. “We’re also presenting a whole range of new galleries who haven’t participated before, including from Singapore, Hong Kong, the US and Japan. A total of around 60 galleries from Sweden and all over the world will take part. That breadth is crucial – you just can’t find it anywhere else.” Affordable Art Fair Stockholm takes place 12-15 October at Nacka Strandsmässan. Web: stockholm Facebook:  affordableartfairstockholm Instagram: @affordableartfairsthlm

Galleri Sjöhästen, Yvonne Nimar, Time, stone, wood and glass, 45 cm tall,   9,000 SEK.

AplusC, Yumiko Segawa, Swim in the light,  91x72.7 cm, oil, 20,000 SEK.

Grafikens-Hus, Hedvig-Thorkildsen DUO screen print on paper, 140x190, 2015.

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Autumn Experiences in Sweden – Our Top Picks

Escaping a Sherlock show “I think what makes the experience so special is that everyone’s full and genuine presence is needed. It’s like you leave reality for a moment when you’re locked up in here,” says Niklas Åkermyr, owner and founder of Sherlocked. Being locked up may not be most people’s idea of the perfect break from reality, but escape rooms are booming globally, allowing groups of friends and companies out for team-building days to enjoy a very special blend of drama, problem-solving and fun. By Linnea Dunne  |  Photos: Sherlocked

The escape room trend started in Asia about a decade ago, based on the idea of locking up a group of people who know each other in a room and giving them a limited amount of time to find a way out using clues and hidden items and riddles. A few years later the concept came to Europe, but the Nordic region was relatively late to catch on. “We were the second company in Sweden doing it, and that was at the very end of 2014,” says Åkermyr. With a past in investment banking, Åkermyr had been nurturing a dream of entertaining people, and he was tired 44  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

of his old career and wanted a change. Then, at a concert in Berlin, he heard of escape rooms and started Googling. “I realised how popular it was and that it hadn’t hit Sweden yet, so I found a place in Malmö, moved in, got a brilliant writeup in Sydsvenskan – and from that day, we’ve more or less been fully booked,” he says. What is unique about Åkermyr’s Sherlocked – bar having pioneered the escape room concept in Sweden – is its environment. As the name suggests, the experience is Sherlock Holmes themed, and that goes for everything from the

wallpaper to the props and the staff. “That’s part of why it feels like you’re in an alternate reality and you forget all about work and your everyday life. You’re not allowed to bring your mobile phone along, and you’re in this environment that feels like it’s lifted from 150 years ago,” the founder explains. “From the details on the desk to the original wallpaper, everything contributes to that environment that transports you to a new world, and you forget all about that email that’s been sitting in your inbox for three weeks, waiting for you to deal with it.” The main Sherlocked building is a house from 1873, bursting with charming original décor, just a stone’s throw from Malmö Central Station. While Sherlock fans from all the corners of the globe flock to the destination, companies looking for team-building packages make up the majority of the customers. “The central location in an area with plenty of character as well as some great con-

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Autumn Experiences in Sweden – Our Top Picks

ferencing facilities is a huge part of the draw, but we’ve also built the storyline throughout the games in a way none of our competitors do. We’ve got a bar with the same character as well – Apotheque – so plenty of cocktails are being consumed here,” Åkermyr laughs. In addition to the original Sherlocked escape room building, the company has also taken over Malmö’s oldest stone building, previously home to a woman named Anna who passed away there in 1919. “We named the entire house after her – Anna’s House – and you can end up in the bedroom where she was found dead, in the dining room where they had family dinners, or perhaps in the library where her late father studied medicine. We’ve recreated a real home from the 1870s, including the types of characters who can be found there.” This winter, the Sherlocked experience will be taken to the next level as Åkermyr

and his team are taking over a 400-yearold church in the middle of Malmö. “This has been top secret until now – it’s so exciting,” he says. “People will find themselves in this old, empty church and have to try to get out. Our ambition is that it’ll be the best gaming experience of its kind in Europe.” It may have been a bold move the former investment banker made, but with more than 2,000 visitors every month and its rank as one of the most popular experiences in Europe in the categories ‘Real Life Gaming’ and ‘Escape Rooms’, it has certainly paid off. “Escape rooms are a new way of collaborating, and people love to collaborate. This type of game works for all kinds of people regardless of interests, background and age, and co-workers end up completely equal to their managers – that’s not easy to find in the world of team-building,” he says. Regarding Sherlocked in particular, he refers to it as “a hybrid of escape room and theatre”, high-

lighting yet again how unique the concept is. “Theatre has always been exciting and a tad mystical for people, but it’s decreasing in popularity. Our concept offers the best of both worlds – a chance to act yourself right in the middle of a performance. I like to think that we give the world of theatre a new lease of life.” What some guests said: ‘The greatest team-building experience ever!’ – Anders Wallén, Axis Communications ‘This will be an annually recurring feature, or why not a few times a year…’ Malin Ericsson, Ubisoft

Web: Facebook:  sherlockedescaperooms Instagram: @sherlocked_escape_ rooms

Caroli Church in Malmö, Sherlocked's new venue, which is set to open this winter.

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Autumn Experiences in Sweden – Our Top Picks


Los Angeles Guitar Quartet will perform a new piece by Pat Metheny. Photo: Jiro Schneider

Celebrating legends at guitar festival This year’s edition of Uppsala International Guitar Festival is set to be spectacular. The programme includes fusion guitarist Frank Gambale, a mighty meeting between Brazilian guitarist Marco Pereira and Swedish singer Miriam Aida, a concert with legendary Los Angeles Guitar Quartet – and much more!

bring them to a new dimension. It will be a magical show!”

By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Uppsala International Guitar Festival

The festival features international stars such as super guitarist Frank Gambale from the US, a legend in fusion jazz. With 12 studio albums, three live albums, collaborations with Chick Corea and others, Gambale is a true role model in his field. For the first time, he will perform at Uppsala International Guitar Festival with his band Soulmine.

Uppsala International Guitar Festival is one the most influential events of its kind. Taking place for the 14th time this year, it will allow visitors to listen to amazing musicians, explore the guitar exhibition, take part in workshops and meet other enthusiasts from around the world who share the same passion. “Our vision is to create a music celebration and a meeting place focused on the guitar,” says Klaus Pontvik, founder and festival director. “It’s a top-notch smorgasbord with the world’s best musicians, 46  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

at which everyone can find their favourite artist or genre.” According to Pontvik, this year’s programme is nothing but outstanding. It offers a fantastic mix of musicians from different continents, and the inauguration concert promises to be something quite special. “We’re kicking off with a pretty unusual concert with Sinfonity, a Spanish symphony orchestra of electric guitarists. They will perform classic pieces by the likes of Bach, Mozart and Vivaldi – and

Brazilian, jazz fusion and fingerstyle virtuosity

Another world-class show is the meeting between Brazilian guitarist and composer Marco Pereira and Swedish world-music singer Miriam Aida, who will also bring guitarist Mats Andersson. “We want to

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Autumn Experiences in Sweden – Our Top Picks

highlight the best of the Brazilian music tradition with a mix of guitar and song,” says Pontvik. “It will be a powerful blend of these excellent performers.” Russian classic guitarist Dimitri Illarionov will also take to the stage and host a masterclass. Internationally praised, he has won prominent competitions such as the Guitar Foundation of America Competition in the US and the Francisco Tárrega Guitar Competition in Spain. Also performing is fingerstyle guitarist Igor Presnyakov from Russia, an icon with over one million subscribers and over 300 million views on YouTube.

Legends premiere new Metheny piece Do not miss the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet from the US. With legendary guitarists John Dearman, William Kanengiser, Matthew Greif and Scott Tennant, the quartet is somewhat of a reference name in the acoustic genre, says Pontvik. “For the first time in Europe they will perform a piece by Pat Metheny, especially written for them. This is extraordinary, a legendary group playing a new piece dedicated by another great artist.” The programme also offers another special treat for classical guitar enthusiasts: a concert with Bosnian lutenist and guitarist Edin Karamazov and Cuban composer and conductor Leo Brouwer. It will be a melting pot of new and traditional music, also featuring Brouwer’s

work performed by Indrakvartetten and Guitar Orchestra. In addition to its many established guitarists, the festival also highlights young talent from across the world and a range of genres. For instance, the Noelia Moncada Trio from Argentina will perform amazing tango, and two up and coming guitar stars, Hedvika Svendova from Czech Republic and Yan Kok from Norway, will share the stage. The youngest performer in the line-up this year is Frano, a 12-year-old superstar from Croatia, who will be guest performing with Igor Presnyakov. “He is absolutely outstanding,” says Pontvik proudly.

Photography by Pattie Boyd To top it all off, the festival will also host an exhibition by model, photographer and author Pattie Boyd, who will tell her stories about her fascinating range of legendary photos that include former husbands George Harrison and Eric Clapton.

Festival programme 2017 Wednesday 11 October Sinfonity, Spain. Classical. Thursday 12 October Dimitri Illarionov, Russia. Classical.  Frank Gambale Soulmine, US.  Soul fusion. Friday 13 October Igor Presnyakov, Russia, & Frano,  Croatia. Fingerstyle.  Marco Pereira, Brazil, & Miriam Aida, Sweden. Brazilian. Saturday 14 October Edin Karamazov, Bosnia, & Leo  Brouwer, Cuba. Cuban/Classical.  Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, US.  Crossover. Sunday 15 October Hedvika Svendova, C. Republic. Classical.  Noelia Moncada Trio, Argentina. Tango. 12 Sep-18 Oct Pattie Boyd Photography


This year’s festival will take place at Uppsala Konsert & Kongress from Wednesday 11 October to Sunday 15 October. Uppsala is best known for its 15th century university and cathedral, but the city also offers stunning surroundings, fantastic restaurants, museums and shopping. The beautiful setting combined with one of Sweden’s foremost music venues without a doubt contributes to the strength and success of the festival.

Left: Young talent Frano from Croatia.Press photo. Middle: Miriam Aida will perform with Brazilian guitarist Marco Pereira. Photo: David Pahmp. Top right: From Pattie Boyd exhibition 12 Sep-18 Oct at Uppsala Concert Hall: Pattie & George’s Rose Garden, self portrait. Photo: Pattie Boyd. Right: Fusion guitarist Frank Gambale. Press photo

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Autumn Experiences in Sweden – Our Top Picks

Adopt the pace of nature Are you looking to experience magnificent natural scenery and combine it with an opportunity to pursue creative activities? Set slap bang in the middle of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Höga Kusten (the High Coast), FriluftsByn might just be the ideal place for you. By Pia Petersso  |  Photos: FriluftsByn

This open-air village has become the perfect gathering place for adventure and relaxation mixed with the right amount of exhilarating events. FriluftsByn assembles friends, families and retirees eager to explore and get to know the unique nature of the High Coast, each in their own way. “Some choose to hike and paddle, while others opt to go on short trips in the mountains, at sea or in the deep forests,” founder and manager Jerry Engström explains. The area of the High Coast is part of the striking coast of Sweden on the Gulf of Bothnia and is, unsurprisingly, known in particular as an excellent region for hiking. Formerly the marketing director of Fjällräven, the renowned Swedish company specialising in outdoor equipment, Engström founded FriluftsByn in 2013. Today, this open-air village attracts visi48  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

tors from all over the world, and in 2016 it was nominated for the Great Tourism Prize. “You’ll find everything from multi-day hiking and kayaking routes to dramatic day hikes and idyllic natural beaches just around the corner,” says Engström.

With its location in the heart of the High Coast, FriluftsByn is a particularly good base for adventurous families as there are plenty of activities suitable for children just around the corner. Why not go hiking along the family-friendly Höga Kusten stigen (the High Coast trail) that begins at FriluftsByn? Or look for beavers during a paddle tour or perhaps go for a peaceful boat trip? “However, make sure to set aside some time to just hang out in FriluftsByn as well. There are plenty of large tents here, along with barbecue areas and much more to discover for the whole family,” Engström finishes.

In addition to inviting visitors to take part in exciting adventures in nature, FriluftsByn organises many different types of innovative events, ranging from cocktail and architectural competitions to running and hiking festivals throughout the year. Among the 27 cottages in FriluftsByn, some are fully equipped and others have access to service houses and lounge areas. Naturally, there are also camping and tent sites, so it is easy for visitors to choose the level of comfort themselves.

Jerry Engström.


Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Autumn Experiences in Sweden – Our Top Picks

Good Evening Europe.

The ‘70s shrine where the ABBA era comes alive ABBA The Museum in Stockholm, Sweden, is a place of magic. Far from stuffy exhibitions behind glass doors, this is where the legends come alive. Visitors can touch, hear and sense what it felt like on stage in those unbelievable ‘70s platform boots or coming up with another hit in ABBA’s summer house. But that is not all… By Ulrika Kuoppa-Jones  |  Photos: ABBA The Museum

“We never intended to create a museum as such – this is a place full of beautiful, amazing and fun things we like. It is a museum that works just as well for an old fan as for a curious seven-year-old, which came as a happy surprise for us when we opened the museum in 2013,” laughs curator Ingmarie Halling. “The secret behind our success is to make visitors feel included in the story about ABBA, and their experience is enhanced with digital storytelling. Every ticket has a unique barcode that enables the visitors to record precious moments as a keepsake.” The museum is continuously expanding as people call up to sell ABBA memorabilia. The stories they share are amazing,

like the man who got in touch to say that he thought he might have one of Benny’s costumes. He spotted it being thrown out the window into a skip by Anni-Frid and asked if he could please keep it as a dressing-up costume for the kids. That costume, the very first one that Benny wore on stage, is now one of the museum’s main attractions. But the museum does not just invite visitors to experience Agnetha and Björn’s summer house at the island of Viggsö in the Stockholm archipelago, or visit the Polar studio; you can also try out the helicopter from the album Arrival and browse through costumes and memorabilia. “At the moment, we are also hosting a photo exhibition with hand-picked images from the legendary fun fair

Gröna Lund’s backstage. Visitors can immerse themselves in intimate moments with 250 legendary international and national artists,” says Halling. “It features everything from Harry Belafonte to Veronica Maggio.”

Good Evening Europe is another exhibition celebrating 60 years of the Eurovision Song Contest at the museum. The visitors can inspect Celine Dion’s spectacular dress and read up on curious facts about the music world’s weirdest and most wonderful competition. What better place to sing your karaoke heart out than in the temple of one of the greatest Eurovision winners of all times? Voulez-Vous? Go on, be a Super Trouper! Web: Facebook: AbbaTheMuseum Twitter: @ABBATheMuseum Instagram: abbathemuseum

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  49

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Autumn Experiences in Sweden – Our Top Picks

Fall in love with Stockholm There are many ways to explore a city, but the best and most personal way is to let a native show you around and customise a tour based on a combination of your interests and their local knowledge. Tours of Stockholm uses this method for its one mission: to make you love Stockholm as much as their guides do. By Sara Wenkel  |  Photos: Lola Akinmande Åkerström

Faizal Luttamaguzi is the man behind Tours of Stockholm. His philosophy is that everyone – customers, suppliers and employees – should have a satisfying and happy experience each time they interact with Tours of Stockholm. Finances should always be a second thought. “I have had customers saying they’d forgotten that they paid to take

the tour. That is exactly the feeling I want to create – friendly and personal. Each guide can customise the tour based on their local favourites, and they answer the customers’ questions from their own point of view,” explains Luttamaguzi. Tours of Stockholm started out with food tours where you eat your way through the

different neighbourhoods of Stockholm. “We have different themes on the food tours, everything from Swedish traditional fare to fine dining or vegetarian,” says Luttamaguzi. Now the company also offers other types of unique tours. “One of my favourite tours is when we cycle around Stockholm on wooden bikes. We visit restaurants, shops and companies that all work with sustainability. It is a great way of showing our beautiful, forward-thinking Stockholm.”


Faizal Luttamaguzi

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Scan Business Business Column 51  |  Business Profile 52  |  Business Calendar 53  |  Danish FinTech Special 54




Push and pull: get the balance right By Steve Flinders

As a manager, how much telling do you do in your job and how much asking? Do you have the balance right? How about the person who manages you? These are good questions to ask yourself, and to ask other people in one of your (I hope) regular team development sessions. You can also consider push and pull. Managerial pushing and pulling is partly about communication (directiveness or dialogue?), but principally concerns the difference between leading people through the exercise of your own inner resources (push) and through harnessing the resources of others (pull). As another team development exercise, you can start investigating this simply by asking your colleagues: what makes a good manager? If you are the leader, their answers may provide you with some clues as to what they think of your own management style. You can take this further by then asking: what makes a good international manager? In both cases, push and pull are central ingredients to the mix. Worldwork, a consultancy that supports people working across cultures, has identified a number of push and pull

competences and behaviours that are particularly useful in an international context (which surely applies to most of us now). Push factors include how strongly you focus on goals, how personally resilient you are, and how well you cope under pressure. Pull factors include your ability to adapt to different people and situations, and what Worldwork calls ‘flexible judgement’ – avoiding coming to quick and definitive conclusions about new people and situations. As good parents and teachers know, how much we push and pull each child

can vary enormously. At work, we also have to take into account the culture of the organisation and possibly the national culture as well. Regular reflection on the balance we achieve between asking and telling, and pushing and pulling, is another way to help us become more effective managers. Steve Flinders is a freelance trainer, writer and coach, based in Malta, who helps people develop their communication and leadership skills for working internationally:

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  51

Scan Magazine  |  Business Profile  |  MaxMee

Boost your wellbeing with an app At times, we get overwhelmed by the stress and challenges of life, but MaxMee can help. The company offers assistance and support to anyone who needs it – individuals and businesses alike. By Susan Hansen  |  Photos: MaxMee

MaxMee is enjoying success with its strong base of regular customers and the 10,000 members using their online services. The Danish company has an app designed to improve wellbeing so members can benefit from advice on the go as part of their busy lives, wherever they are and whenever they need it. Managing director Ole Bødtcher explains: “It should be about making people feel re-invigorated, focusing on getting the best out of them, and identifying the best way to handle the challenges in life. MaxMee is an effective way to approach it.” It can be hard to navigate a market seemingly overloaded with self-help literature to find the right material when there is a 52  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

need for it. “We provide tools for coping. For somebody with problems sleeping, the meditations have proven highly effective,” says Bødtcher. “MaxMee’s source covers topics like relaxation, stress, health, the psyche, private life, team member and leader, and the good news is that you can get the information instantly and get help right away.” Many organisations purchase a package for their employees to help prevent sickness absence and to boost motivation. Convenience can be what makes the difference when it comes to obtaining advice and information, and MaxMee offers that in abundance. The content is easily accessible, with everything available online from the company’s homepage or from the app, using a mobile phone or tablet.

Membership costs 29DKK (around four euros) a month, or 299DKK for a full year, and a free trial is on offer for 30 days. High-quality content is available online, totalling some 400 digital files, presented by 70 different speakers and provided by the company in the form of so-called ‘speaks’. Delivering quality information is key to the company’s success, and all ‘speaks’ are delivered by industry professionals who are leaders in their field, including clinical psychologists, psychotherapists and coaches who know their subjects inside out. Customers integrate MaxMee and make it part of their lives, and many stress that they would struggle to cope without it. You will have to look long and hard to find better claims to success than that.


Scan Magazine  |  Business  |  Calendar

Business Calendar

By Heidi Kokborg  |  Photo: DUCC

Scandinavian business events you do not want to miss this month Nordic Drinks at Ole & Steen Every last Thursday of the month, members and friends of the Finnish, Danish and Norwegian chambers of Commerce in the UK gather for Nordic drinks in London. This month, the event will be hosted by the Danish bakery Ole & Steen in Haymarket. The first 50 guests get a free drink, so make sure to come early! Date: 31 August, 6pm Venue: Ole & Steen, 56 Haymarket, No 2 St. James’s Market, London SW1Y 4RP

Crayfish Party 2017 The crayfish season is one of the most popular celebrations in Sweden, and now the Swedish Chamber of Commerce invites you to their annual Crayfish Party. The evening will start with Prosecco and nibbles on The Yacht’s top deck, followed by a two-course dinner and crayfish bonanza, served with unlimited Swedish snaps and wine. The party will continue on the entire boat with dancing, a DJ, a photo booth and a bar. There will also be a raffle during the dinner.

Date: 08 September, 6.30pm Venue: The Yacht London, Temple Pier Victoria Embankment, London, WC2R 2PN

Link Up Drinks – Manchester The Swedish Chamber of Commerce will gather the Swedish business community in North West England for a chance to network. Drinks and a Swedish buffet will be served, and guests will get a private tour of the iconic, secondlargest football stadium in the UK. There will also be a prize raffle during the evening. Date: 21 September, 6.30pm Venue: Old Trafford, Sir Matt Busby Way, Manchester, M16 0RA

Link Up Drinks – Design Edition The London leg of this month’s Link Up Drinks will be held at Skandium in South Kensington. The store is newly opened and divided into two sites: one with homeware and the other a

townhouse showing customers how they can furnish their homes with Skandium. Come and mingle with design sector veterans, glass artists and jewellers and learn about the secrets behind contemporary design. There will be drinks and canapés. Date: 28 September, 6.30pm Venue: Skandium, 35-36 Thurloe Place, South Kensington, London, SW7 2HP


H EC T i N ec FI AL p S H S ECI I N P DA S m he

T al

54  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

Technology is automating the financial world FinTech is a new type of technology, the goal of which is to deliver financial services. So far, it has been used to automate services such as insurance, trading and risk management. By Heidi Kokborg  |  Photos: Pixabay

FinTech stands for ‘financial technology’, which means technologies used and applied in the financial services sector. In particular, these financial technologies are changing traditional financial services – such as mobile payments, money transfers, loans, fundraising and asset management – in a fundamental way. Among rated FinTech companies are plenty of start-ups as well as established financial

technology companies who are replacing or enhancing the use of financial services. Just another buzzword? A report from Accenture showed that global investment in FinTech increased from 928 million dollars (790 million euros) in 2008 to 2.97 billion dollars (2.5 billion euros) in 2013. More than a fad of the moment, this appears to be the way of the future. Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  55

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

The financial future is here No transfer fees, instant payment and full transparency. OpenLedger has created an all-in-one payment and banking solution that is about to change the future. By Nicolai Lisberg  |  Photos: OpenLedger

It is almost too good to be true – but the fact is that one of the most exciting technology adventures is happening in a small city in the north of Denmark. “No one in the world has come up with a solution like ours. We are witnessing the birth of the biggest shake-up in financial history,” says a proud Ronny Boesing, CEO and founder of OpenLedger. OpenLedger was founded in October 2015. Since then, the company has grown rapidly and today there are 40 employees based in Denmark, the US, England, Belarus and Estonia. The OpenLedger Decentralized Conglomerate (DC) is the 56  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

world’s first blockchain-powered conglomerate, supporting an ecosystem that includes the OpenLedger DEX (Decentralized Exchange, like the NASDAQ for cryptocurrencies, fiat and tokens) and OpenLedger’s Crowdfunding (ITO) Services, which support a number of start-ups on the path to growth. The OpenLedger DEX is a decentralised asset exchange that offers an extremely wide range of opportunities. It is a next-generation platform that offers traditional digital currency trading options, as well as the benefits that trading with Bitshares 2.0 technology opens up.

For many people, terms such as tokens, cryptocurrency, blockchains and Bitshares sound confusing, but it is actually very simple. Now, with OCASH, an allin-one payment card that bolts onto the OpenLedger ecosystem, they have found a solution for people all over the world who need an easy way to pay for purchases and access banking services. It brings the international card payments system to the OpenLedger network, allowing token holders to use other OpenLedger tokens such as OBITS to purchase items anywhere that accepts international payment cards. “The way most people deal with money can be made so much easier. For instance, if you want to transfer money to an account in a different country, you often have to pay a significant

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

transfer fee to the bank and wait a few days before the money is available in the account. With OpenLedger, the transfer fee is almost non-existent, and the money is transferred instantly. Imagine a global company with more than 50,000 employees being able to pay them all instantaneously in just one

click. Imagine how much administration and money you can save. That’s what we are able do,” says Boesing. “The main vision of OCASH is to build a product that anyone can use as an allin-one bank on the blockchain solution, plus it is a great fit for the more than two

billion unbanked people, who can pay their daily expenses with virtual currency. With the accompanying OCASH app alongside the debit card, regular users will have a familiar platform to access and engage in the OpenLedger ecosystem,” says Boesing and explains that OpenLedger has made an arrangement

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

with one of the international credit card issuers to facilitate OCASH.

Trade, invest and grow The virtual currency used at the OpenLedger platform is called OBITS and is a blockchain-powered, people-driven currency. Just like regular stocks, people can invest in OBITS, but with that significant difference that the value can go both up and down in much more extreme ways than stocks. “It can be difficult for some banks to understand how this currency can increase its value up to 300 times within a short period of time, but that is just how it is. It can also lose 50 per cent of its value in a day, but in general the value of most cryptocurrencies has exploded over the last year. That’s why this kind of currency is very appealing to people with a bit of money, who like to speculate and invest,” explains Boesing. The way OBITS and other virtual currencies increase their value is actually pretty simple. The more people who get involved and become users of OBITS, the more money the currency generates. It is an ecosystem based on people promoting OpenLedger in the world. At the moment, about 1,800 people use OBITS, but Boesing foresees that they will soon reach 3,000. “Then you have a base of people who will be willing to promote OpenLedger as a

58  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

system, because it’s important to understand that the more money OBITS generates, the more money the investors get. Every time there is a fee for a transaction related to OBITS, this fee goes into an account, which then gets distributed to its users. Every time people trade with each other – peer to peer – it generates money; when they invest in something, it creates revenue for all users.”

Full transparency One thing that separates the OpenLedger platform and its services from banks is the transparency. When making a transfer, you can choose to make the payment private or a public blockchain. With private settings, you allow just a select few to see the details, while a public blockchain transfer is open to everyone. “Some people ask if it isn’t dangerous to have access to all that information, but then I tell them that it’s just like looking down into your neighbour’s garden. You can see everything they do, but you don’t know their name,” says Boesing. “It’s the same with public blockchains. You can see all the details, but you can’t see who made the transfer.” With everything being decentralised with no further restrictions, one of the main concerns is that the platform will at one point become a playground for criminals. To prevent this from happening, OpenLedger does a KYC on their users and validates all transactions.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

“Of course we have to be careful in terms of how to handle this, but there is no doubt that this is the future. Not long ago I was in China, and people there could pay in stores with their smartphone by scanning a QR code. I wish to be able to offer a complete solution that covers every need and where you don’t need a bank or even a card to pay your expenses,” says Boesing. Web: Twitter: @OpenLedgerDC Facebook: OpenLedgerDC

Facts: - OBITS is a cryptocurrency, or a decentralised digital currency, and can be exchanged for other currencies, products and services. It is the official token of OpenLedger. - The OpenLedger system is blockchain based, and transactions take place between users without an intermediary, for B2B, B2C or C2C (peer to peer). - Transferring money from one country to another often comes with bank fees, and it can take a number of days before the money is available in your account.  

- Transferring OBITS to another country happens instantly, and there are no transaction fees. - The transactions are verified by network nodes and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain. - OBITS tokens are hosted on the OpenLedger DEX, one of the world’s first truly Decentralised Autonomous Exchanges. Unlike ordinary banks, it does not depend on fractional reserves. The business is based on blockchain technology offered by Bitshares and its code is fully open source for anyone who wants a closer look.

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  59

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

‘Consumers and retailers will be the judges of the future of mobile payments’ The war to win the market for mobile payments has just begun. FinTech expert Kim Vindberg-Larsen projects that it will be a long struggle between existing players, rebounding incumbents and new challengers, as they all want to dominate the most important contact point between consumer and retailer. Round two will focus on smart, convenient, fast, cost-effective and efficient solutions. By Louise Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Jakob Lerche

“Payments are boring,” Vindberg-Larsen asserts. For someone who has spent his life building new FinTech transaction solutions and advising businesses and think-tanks about the future of financial interactions, his statement is a tad surprising. He is right, though: no one goes shopping for the payment experience, and by far the best thing that can be said about transactions is that they are quick and efficient. This is exactly what Vindberg-Larsen has helped businesses achieve for the past 14 years – for the sake of the retailer and their customers. Apart from his current role as head of mobile at Dansk Supermarked Group, and his advisory role at the EU think60  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

tank Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), Vindberg-Larsen consults startups and small retailers across Europe to connect people across the extensive international network he has built up over the years. He is like a less brooding and much more talkative Morpheus, looking in on the Matrix with both excitement and disdain. He predicts that 2018 will bring big changes to the way payments are made.

The beginnings of mobile transactions Vindberg-Larsen began to plan for the future of payments as a FinTech entrepreneur in the early 2000s. “Back then, I

was attempting to do business on my first Mac laptop and trusty Motorola phone, and I became frustrated that I couldn’t even make simple payments through these increasingly important tools,” he says. “The idea of creating a little revenue from each transaction was appealing, and I dreamed of making payments easier. With my background in banking IT, I was well placed to create a system that would allow easy transactions independent of plastic cards or cash.” This materialised as the FinTech entrepreneur created MEE (Mobile Economic Ecosystem), also known as MEEwallet, at a time when plans to make payment mobile barely even existed. “Because the mobile platform was such unknown territory, we were free to think up completely new and ‘clean’ systems that were perfectly suited for easy payment and independent of preexisting financial structures like entering card details or using cards at all,”

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

Vindberg-Larsen reflects. “But unfortunately, when demand for mobile payment grew, the big players like the banks, Visa and MasterCard still opted for the shortterm payment solutions built on preexisting outdated and inconvenient infrastructure.” This adds unnecessary cost to the retailer and worsens the consumer’s transaction experience. MobilePay works well for private payments between two people, but less well in shops; cards work well in shops but not for private payments. “Transactions worked well before cards, and they’ll work well after them too,” Vindberg-Larsen adds.

Payment solutions to benefit users, not the banks What is more, Vindberg-Larsen is certain that the payment solutions currently offered by the banks and card associations are unsustainable. He believes the biggest threat to leading payment incumbents may be themselves and their short-sighted technological investments. “Services like MobilePay and Dankort were created without a viable short or long-term business model, because they came about as knee-jerk reactions to a changing market. MobilePay is probably the most expensive payment service out there at the moment: the company that runs it has paid huge amounts to Dankort, Visa and MasterCard because their app is forced to run on top of their already expensive transaction infrastructure.” At

the moment, banks cover the cost internally to make the service free of charge and accept the liability on behalf of the consumer, but Vindberg-Larsen believes these kinds of solution approaches will inevitably collapse in the near future. In 2018, the EU will implement the new revised Payment Service Directive (PSD2). This will drastically open up banking and allow businesses other than traditional banks to provide payment services to users (that is private individuals, new companies as well as retailers – known to the market as third parties). PSD2 also prohibits surcharging consumers, which means retailers no longer have the option to transfer the transaction cost on to their customers. “Retailers are already being squeezed in an incredibly competitive market, so they’ll be in trouble when banks and card schemes decide to transfer their mobile transaction costs unto them,” says Vindberg-Larsen. Fortunately for retailers, the drive towards de-monopolisation of payment solutions means that they can soon opt for cheaper and better-suited solutions. “That’s why I always stress that retailers shouldn’t tie themselves to one particular transaction system, and definitely not yet.”

It is all about the chicken One of Vindberg-Larsen’s great strengths is his broad experience across Europe. He has worked both within banking IT

systems and outside of them as an innovator, so he knows what it is like on both sides of financial transactions. At Dansk Supermarked Group, he has streamlined and united different mobile apps and systems so that the mobile logistics match the rest of the organisation across the four countries they are active in. He has worked as an advisor in much of Europe, most recently as chairman in a taskforce at CEPS, and knows the importance of broad as well as local understanding of regulations, trends and behaviours. “In Italy, nearly a tenth of the population do not own a bank account, for example, and in Germany, cash transactions are actually on the rise. There are countries and steps I can’t advise on myself, but I’ll probably know someone who can.” At the heart of what the financial Yoda does is his sincere belief that FinTech is deeply uninteresting. “FinTech is hyped up today,” he concludes. “The only thing that’s really cool about it is its ability to allow someone to sell and someone else to buy, say, a chicken much more easily.”

Contact Kim Vindberg-Larsen Phone: +45 53 83 82 88 E-mail: kimvindberglarsen@hotmail. com LinkedIn: Kim Vindberg-Larsen

Kim Vindberg-Larsen.

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  61

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

Manual On Boarding




Risk management



Validation process takes days to weeks


Calcabis On Boarding Validation process takes minutes to hours

Interview A.I. Domain

KYC A.I. Domain

AML A.I. Domain

Risk Management A.I. Domain

Legal A.I. Domain

Other custom A.I. Domains

Tailor-made solutions for the financial sector Artificial Intelligence might not be the answer to all the problems in the financial sector, but Calcabis’ virtual expert platform can definitely fix many of the challenges. By Nicolai Lisberg

“We do things a bit differently here,” says Kasper Wodstrup Rost, CEO and founder of Calcabis, a Danish RegTech company focusing on process optimisation and documentation within KYC (Know Your Customer), AML (Anti Money Laundering), risk management and compliance. “We believe real experts are the most important and valuable resource when you need to reach the correct conclusion. That’s why we transform real experts’ knowledge into Virtual Expert Platform. We look at the way people communicate and how the human mind works, and then we build artificial intelligence around that,” explains Rost. 62  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

Calcabis mainly delivers solutions to the financial sector, as they often have major and ever-changing regulatory issues that need to be handled, but they also provide solutions for clients in other areas, such as the pharmaceutical industry. Calcabis’ Virtual Expert Platform works with technologies such as cognitive computing, deep learning, machine learning and face recognition, and is among other things able to tell if a person is interacting with a PEP (politically exposed person) or just happens to be in the same room as one. “It’s important to understand that we don’t tell companies how to do their

work. What we do is take the knowledge that is already anchored in the company and support it. Many banks, for instance, have to onboard more than 1,000 customers per month. To go through all the data collected for every single person and still get valuable and correct documentation is an almost impossible job. Not knowing what to comply with and what to pay attention to is not the issue. The challenge is lack of resources. And that’s where we can help,” says Rost.

A transparent solution The Virtual Expert Platform contains three different technologies: forward changing, backward changing and solution. This helps the company to understand the entire process and not just the final result. “If you ask the platform a question, it obviously comes up with

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

the answer, but it also shows you how it came to the conclusion and what needs to be done next to solve the problem now and in the future. It makes this platform extremely transparent, useful and unique. Banks have so many people in their KYC, AML, risk management and compliance departments, and still they had to pay more than 800 million dollars in fines in 2017 – and still counting – because they didn’t comply with the current legislation. I honestly believe that if the banks have reliable data, we are able to help with 100 per cent of the work that needs to be done,” says Rost. Besides paying fines, the downside to only having human intelligence working on KYC, AML, risk management and compliance is the fact that once an expert or outside consultant in a certain area leaves the company, his or her knowledge leaves as well. With Calcabis’ platform, the knowledge stays within the company, provided that you build artificial intelligence around it. “Of course there is an introduction phase, where real experts have to validate data and outcome, but once that’s done, they are actually no longer needed and can instead focus on business development and how to make profit for the company. The platform is almost like a child. It’s able to function from day one, and the more info you provide it with, the better it works. There is no big implemen-

tation needed, and it’s amazing how far you can get in a relatively short period of time. We have a client where we, within six months, have been able to handle 35 per cent of their onboarding,” says Rost.

Tailored to your business The Calcabis platform has its roots in the healthcare industry. It was made for a leading sleep lab in America, where the task was to find out any illnesses or complications relating to sleep deficiencies or abnormities in the patient’s sleep patterns. It took 15 different experts one week to conclude what the platform could conclude in one night with diodes attached to the patient – an example of how the platform can be customised to fit different needs. “We are aware of the importance of the organisation’s unique background knowledge, experience and historical data. Our intelligent software system is capable of integrating knowledge, experience and data into one platform. We always develop each platform in close collaboration with the organisation’s own experts in KYC, AML, risk management and compliance to ensure details are tailored to the specific needs,” Rost explains and adds: “A bank that has to onboard a pharmacy and a snack bar is looking at two very different company profiles, so it makes

no sense to ask these two clients the same 50 questions. Our virtual experts can be taught to know everything about both the pharmacy and the snack bar and then customise the questions that the employee or, in the future, chatbot has to ask. That also results in a better customer experience, as the client finds the onboarding relevant to their specific needs and situation.” The future of Calcabis Up until now, Calcabis has mainly focused on the Danish market, but the RegTech company is looking to expand its business. They are in talks with one of the biggest banks in America and looking at the option of doing work in India, Singapore and Hong Kong, where the financial sector is experiencing huge problems with dirty money, money laundering and bribery. “We are getting interest from all over the world, because this platform is unique and a tailored alternative to existing artificial intelligence solutions in the market. We are able to make solutions for multinational companies with different legislations, rules and languages if needed,” says Rost.


Kasper W Rost. Photo: Calcabis

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  63

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

Content and context

– helping the FinTech industry communicate The financial services landscape is becoming increasingly fragmented as technological advances and innovation allow for much more diverse and specialised services. This development of financial technology brings huge opportunities for the companies that manage to adapt. By Louise Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Carsten Andersen

As fragmentation opens up the market and more players emerge, it becomes crucial that companies manage to convey their exact value proposition to customers, partners, and investors in order to stand out. The FinTech consultancy agency Norfico provides exactly what is needed in this highly dynamic world: the extensive FinTech experience to find the best strategies for each individual company as well as the communication expertise to position them in the market. 64  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

Founded in late 2015, the Copenhagenbased company already advises companies across the world, from theNordic countries to Canada. It was the brainchild of Michael Juul Rugaard and Kristian T. Sørensen, who met while working at Nets, the digital payment company behind Denmark’s most extensive digital payment systems including Dankort and NemID. Rugaard had worked as a press officer and communications consultant at Nets for six years.

“We had a lot to do in the press department and sometimes brought in external PR agencies, but they struggled to understand this hugely complex FinTech world,” Rugaard explains. “It became clear that you really have to know the ins and outs of the FinTech sector to be able to both advise and communicate within it. I realised that this new, dynamic FinTech world needed specialised sector consultants. So I hunted down my good colleague Kristian Sørensen and tried to convince him to drop everything and join me in this genius venture.” Sørensen, meanwhile, was head of market development and strategic alliances for Nets’ mobile services unit. The two had worked closely together on sever-

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

al projects and knew that their skillsets complemented each other. Together, they had the FinTech knowledge and experience needed to provide comprehensive and tailored advice on which FinTech strategies would suit a specific company as well as how to communicate those solutions to the company’s customer base, investors and employees. “One of our clients recently told us that what we’re good at is providing both the content and context a FinTech business needs,” says Sørensen. “I think that describes our services very well.”

Innovative cooperation “When we looked into this idea, we found out that no other agencies in the Nordic countries were doing it. That way, we knew that the idea was either revolutionary or crazy,” Rugaard adds with a chuckle. There were, however, a few other companies with similar visions emerging across the world. Less than a year after founding Norfico, Sørensen and Rugaard contacted them and took the initiative to form the Global Fintech PR Network, which currently consists of eight FinTech PR companies spread across five continents. “The network is really valuable,” Sørensen explains. “We can help each other and keep track of new developments – that’s really important in this ever-evolving sector.”

of the very first residents of Copenhagen Fintech Lab, the first dedicated co-working space for FinTech innovators in Scandinavia, which now features 130 residents.

Scandinavia as a FinTech hub The pair believe that the region has great potential as a FinTech hub. Scandinavia is already at the forefront of digitalisation, and the Nordic countries are prioritising attracting entrepreneurs. Rugaard believes that a deeply ingrained cultural trait is at play too. “There’s a strong cultural tradition of cooperation in Scandinavia. I believe that this approach to business provides an important balance to a highly competitive market and makes Denmark and its neighbours very attractive for technological innovation.” Their view is reflected across borders too – rather than viewing Copenhagen’s growing FinTech scene as a threat to Stockholm’s more established market, they see them as complementary. Copenhagen has hosted the influential Money20/20 Europe conference for the past two years – a sign of a healthy

market. Alongside Norfico’s consultancy work, they published a widely read independent FinTech magazine to coincide with last year’s conference. This year, they were asked by the organisers to publish the official magazine for the event. This resulted in MoneyMag, which featured many of the sector’s best-known voices from across the world. Now, Norfico hopes to bring the magazine to future Money20/20 conferences in and outside of Europe. Norfico’s founders are not the type to rest on their laurels, however. “We’re also looking at InsurTech and RegTech,” Sørensen adds. “Insurance and regulatory technologies are part of the FinTech industry. They have great potential but are facing some of the same challenges regarding context and content that we’ve worked with before. We see it as a natural next step for us to apply our skills to these two areas.”

Web: Facebook: @Norfico Twitter: @Norfico

The network is particularly valuable as Norfico attracts a surprising number of international clients. “At the beginning, we believed we’d get predominantly smaller Danish FinTech clients, but we actually get as many requests from abroad, and a lot of large businesses and banks have become regular clients too,” says Sørensen. “That just shows the huge demand there is for comprehensive and long-term FinTech strategising across the industry.” Cooperation is key to what they do. “There is such massive potential in this dynamic market, and it’s a brave new world for everyone. Why not work together to learn from one another and come up with the best solutions possible?” The founders stay true to this idea on their home turf too. They were some

Michael Juul Rugaard.

Kristian T. Sørensen.

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  65

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

Digital journey. Photo: Omnium

Improving the digital journey Many companies have realised the need for digitalising their business in order to survive, but many are still unsure of how to approach the task. Omnium Improvement can help companies, who have decided to set sail for new and digital horizons, make it safely across the sea.

very good at giving managers insight and an understanding of what options they have and how they can create value from day one,” explains Ekman.

By Nicolai Lisberg  |  Photos: Jørgen Larsen/

Customer relationships matter

“Business and IT are one and the same!” say Anders Fausbøll and Jack Ekman, both managing partners at Omnium, almost interrupting each other when trying to deliver their message. “Many consulting companies say that they try to build a bridge between IT and business, but that’s the wrong approach. A bridge indicates that there is a gap between IT and business, when in fact it’s the same thing,” says Fausbøll, before Ekman elaborates: “Imagine you paid Amazon a visit and asked them how they build a bridge between IT and business. They would burst out laughing, because there is no difference. There is only business – the digital business. Denmark has a good 66  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

reputation when it comes to digitalisation, but we still need to understand this part – and this is one of the things we can help companies and organisations with.” Fausbøll and Ekman founded Omnium in 2016. They refer to themselves as improvers rather than consultants, for the very simple reason that they aim to create value for their clients from the very beginning. “When a company or an organisation decides that they are ready for digitalisation, there are two important things to consider: what you can achieve with it, and how you can achieve it. Those who are successful are the ones who can implement it in their organisation. We are

It is often said that when companies lose their momentum, it is due to their refusal to go digital. But the truth is that they are usually willing to do it – they just cannot not figure out how. For big companies and organisations, the transformation can be an almost incomprehensible process. That is where Omnium’s experience comes in handy. Their competences are broad, spanning technical skills, business process understanding, and distilling the right information for top management decision-making. “You get the best of both worlds. Having worked in big organisations ourselves, we have knowledge of how to make things happen in big, high-inertia organisations

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

Being just a small company, we bring an agile and natively digital mindset. This allows us to get a closer customer relationship than usual as we help and support our customers on their digitalisation journeys,” explains Fausbøll. At the moment, Omnium is working on a project in the financial sector where they have to change massive parts of the IT infrastructure that ties up the entire financial sector in Denmark. They are also helping out the Danish Agency for Digitisation, as well as an association between ten independent companies within plumbing and heating, steel and tools/ technical articles. “For smaller companies, we tend to spend three to six months on a project, whereas engagements with large organisations typically run for a year. We obviously have to use different methods depending on whether the company is small and agile or big and a bit IT heavy, so to speak, but our motivation is the same. We do it because we like helping out. We do it for the love of the game,” says Fausbøll.

Clear communication When digitalising big companies or organisations, one of the most important things is for the employees to understand their task and how they can contribute to making it as successful as possible. That is why Omnium has taken the initiative to launch a communication course for IT architects and developers. Anders Fausbøll teaching. Photo: Mads Hjorth

“Had we called it something like ‘presentation techniques’, I’m pretty sure no one would have shown up. So instead we named it ‘how to get your way’ – not the first time, not every time but more and more often. It’s been very well received and we can actually see the interest IT architects and developers have in becoming more efficient communicators. It also helps the IT departments to understand that they don’t make IT just for

Name: Jack Ekman Position: Managing partner Profile: Commercially driven architect and programme manager with over 13 years of experience in international business management and IT consulting, with focus on the financial sector. Primary skills: Enterprise and application architecture, programme and project management, IT strategy, information and security models, EA governance. Prior experience: Accenture, Netcompany, Mærsk, Deloitte, Systematic.

the sake of IT. They do it with a business purpose,” says Ekman, and Fausbøll chimes in: “Digitalisation is the transformation from IT being a supporting tool to IT being part of the company DNA. It’s understanding that there is no bridge to be built, but that IT and business are one and the same thing.” Web:

Name: Anders Fausbøll Position: Managing partner Profile: Ten years of management and IT consulting experience, four years of managerial experience from banking. Primary skills: Project and team management, complex business analysis, business process management, service-oriented business and technical design. Prior experience: McKinsey, Netcompany, PA Consulting Group, Danske Bank, Nordea.

The Omnium Improvement management team.

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

A new option for international payments For many small and medium-sized businesses, international payments are expensive to make, with extra fees and hidden costs making every transaction costly. Until recently, there have been few alternatives to using banks, but the Danish company November First offers a transparent, easy and cheap way of making international payments.

huge international players who can negotiate with them,” explains Finlov. “Instead, we give them the opportunity to save a great deal of money in the most hassle-free way; we actually provide an alternative to their bank.”

By Josefine Older Steffensen  |  Photos: November First

November First has created a userfriendly online platform, which companies can connect their bank accounts to in order to send money abroad. November First takes care of the currency exchange and sends the money to the recipient.

Better value By having an agreement with a big international bank, November First is able to offer their clients excellent exchange rates. Most companies can save between 20 and 50 per cent of the currency margin compared to using their bank and, on top of that, November First’s fees are incredibly low — sometimes even non-existent. “Many of the companies that we talk to 68  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

about our platform are surprised at how much they actually spend on international transactions with their bank; they don’t know about the fees associated with business transactions abroad. They are often surprised at just how much they can save every year by using our platform instead,” says Bjarke Finlov, business development manager at November First.

Fair and transparent November First was set up partly to create a level playing field for Denmark’s small and medium-sized companies who are too small to be able to negotiate good rates with their banks. “Banks are pretty set in their ways, and it’s only really the

Importantly, the November First platform allows the customer to see the rate they will be getting as well as the cost of the transaction within a few seconds. “It’s a very transparent process. We don’t have any hidden fees and people are quickly informed of the service they are getting,” explains Matilde Andersen, sales manager. “We do everything according to Danish FSA standards and have ensured that the data on our platform is encrypted, so that the platform is extremely safe to use.”

Easy to use It is free to set up an account with November First, and there is no monthly fee. “It’s really important to us that it’s free for our clients to use us and to

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

use our platform,” explains Andersen. “It takes less than 24 hours to set up an account and be verified, and then you’re ready to use the platform. To make a transaction only takes two or three clicks, so the platform is very user-friendly.” The November First platform can also be connected to the cloud-based e-conomic accounting software, used by 100,000 Danish companies, making it easy to update the accounts. “Many of our customers are digitalising their processes, so we’re aiming to help by providing features that make it quick and easy to compile their data,” says Finlov.

Personal service November First prioritises good customer service. They are easy to get hold of and there is always someone ready to answer any questions a client might have. The 15 people working for November First have all worked in different sectors, which also means that they have all had Bjarke Finlov.

input into the user experience of the platform, making it work for many different companies.

is continually being developed to include new features and make it even easier to connect accounting software to.

“One of our strengths is definitely that we have an international team of people with experience from different sectors,” says Andersen. “We use everyone’s experience to find the best solutions for our clients, and this means that we can relate to the environment they’re in.”

Companies interested in saving money on their international transactions have nothing to lose by setting up an account with November First. Their easy-touse platform, entrepreneurial spirit and friendly attitude make a nice change in the world of financial institutions.

Continual development November First was established in January 2016 and is still a start-up. “We work closely with our clients and are open to their suggestions. We often ask some of the 100 companies we work with to test our new features, to ensure that what we’re making is actually what people want and need,” explains Finlov. The company is now looking to expand beyond Denmark into Europe, offering their platform in more countries. The platform Matilde Andersen.

“User-friendly payment platform with real-time exchange rates. We’re saving money on both the exchange rate and the fees. I would very much recommend November First to others.” Lasse Johansen, CEO and cofounder of Tablebox.


Mikael Nilsson, CEO at November First.

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

Free help with your personal finances ØkoNEMi offers free personal financial advice to help you to understand complex financial terms and compare prices for the best deals on everything from mobile phone contracts to investments. Their goal? To expand your knowledge of finance in order for you to improve your personal finances and ultimately save money. By Heidi Kokborg  |  Photos: ØkoNEMi

Micky Larsen founded ØkoNEMi in November 2015 and has worked full time in the company since January 2016. He always knew that he wanted to start his own business and, given his master’s degree in science in economics and business administration, he knew it had to be within the field of business and finances. “It was a bit of a coincidence that it turned into a price comparison site to help people with their personal finances, but so far it has been going great and I love it,” says Larsen.

Expand your financial knowledge The name ØkoNEMi stems from the two Danish words ‘økonomi’ and ‘nem’, meaning ‘finances’ and ‘easy’, which is 70  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

exactly what the company is all about: making the consumer’s personal finances easy to manage. “We have three goals at ØkoNEMi: to give the consumers the best possible personal finances, to make them save money, and to expand their knowledge about personal finances,” says Larsen. “You compare prices for different outgoings, such as internet provision, pension, loans, phone contracts, investments and social security, to find the deal that matches your needs to the best price. We also always highlight some general things to look out for when you choose social security, mobile phone provider and so on. It is very important to us that we provide the consumer with as much information as possible.”

If you want to improve your savviness in regards to personal finances, ØkoNEMi also has a blog and a personal finances dictionary to help you dig deep and learn about all the different terms and expressions.

A site for everyone ØkoNEMi is for everyone – whether you are a complete financial novice or you already have some knowledge that you would like to build on. “We just want to help people get a better understanding of all things financial, in an easy and accessible way. We hope to create more transparency in the financial world, as it can sometimes be very hard to navigate – especially if it’s all new to you,” says Larsen. Web: Twitter: @OkoNEMi Facebook: okonemi

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

Teach your kids the value of (pocket) money As mobile payment becomes the norm in Denmark, parents have found that children are lacking an understanding of the value of money. Whereas cash was comprehensible, money now appears as just a number on a screen. The free MyMonii pocket money app lets children learn fiscal responsibility from a young age in a fun and engaging way – controlled by their parents, of course. By Louise Older Steffensen  |  Photo: MyMonii

“Traditionally, when pocket money was given as cash, children could see how their fortune dwindled with every transaction by counting what was left,” Louise Ferslev, the 26-year-old founder and CEO of MyMonii, explains. “The digitalisation of money is convenient and inevitable, but we’re in danger of losing our sense of the palpability of money along the way.” When money just stays in the parents’ bank account and they never see it, children become disengaged from the transaction process. “I’ve heard of lots of children telling their parents to simply ask the supermarket cashier to give them more money,

having seen their parents ask for cashback, for example,” says Ferslev. MyMonii lets parents set up a secure profile for themselves, with no third-party involvement, and then make profiles with individual specifications for each child. Parents can transfer an amount to the child’s profile once a week or after each task completion. The transfers show up on the child’s phone, allowing the child to gain an overview of their available funds, feel independent and set particular goals. At the moment, the money stays in the parents’ account, but MyMonii is launching the option to allow children to pay with

For the love of money The investors love them. Quick loan provider and B2B enterprise MiniFinans are on a bright and successful run, as they respond to an increasing demand for their digital quick loans product. MiniFinans’ detailed knowledge of the market makes it hard to believe that their business just opened earlier this year. Being independent and in Denmark is important to investors, with some competitors having owners based overseas. Founder and managing director Mads Dahlerup sees the connection. “The strength is our in-house management with technical development and graphics. Some larger companies are centralised, located abroad, to help keep costs down.” This is good for business relationships, according to Dahlerup. “Our investors are happy. We are flexible and can maneuvre quickly; it allows us to adapt our product within a few hours, where competitors may require months to achieve the same. Being small and quick, as opposed to large without flexibility, really helps.”

Having quality data and the ability to respond is crucial. Without data, there is no business. A focus on profiling customer data and using it tactically will stand MiniFinans in good stead as they look to expand business to Sweden and Finland. The market is accommodating, and customers keep coming. All they need now is

their own phone later this year. The app has grown from 70 user families in 2015 to more than 22,000 today. “We work closely with the families to accommodate new needs and FinTech developments,” Ferslev explains. “We have to; we’re educating the grown-ups of tomorrow.” The MyMonii team.

Web: Facebook: Instagram: @mymonii_app

By Susan Hansen  |  Photos: MiniFinans

more investment so that they can finance the increasing customer demand. A tool to do this is to guarantee all early investors a flat 12 per cent yearly interest rate on loans, with security on the loans given.

Web: Facebook:  minifinans Twitter: @MiniFinans

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

Junaid Ahmad (left) and Kamran Ahmed.

Making it easy to invest in property Many people want to invest in the property market, but it can seem like an unobtainable dream requiring a great deal of time and money. Brickshare has created one of the first opportunities in Europe to easily and quickly invest in property. By Josefine Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Brickshare

Brickshare has had incredible success since its inception in March 2016. A year after its launch, Brickshare offered its first investment opportunity, a flat in the renowned and award-winning 8-tallet in a new area of Copenhagen. They are now on their third project and have found that the demand for this kind of investment has been astounding. “The level of interest in what we do has been unbelievable. From the moment we launched, there’s been high demand for new investment opportunities and people have been very interested in the concept,” explains Junaid Ahmad, cofounder and CEO.

How does it work? The first step is to set up a user via their website, and then put money into that user account. The available properties are shown in a menu, along with relevant statistics, and then all it takes to invest is a few clicks. The minimum investment 72  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

is 1,000 DKK, but the more you invest the bigger percentage of the property you own and the more you get back each month.

“We wanted to create a technology that opened up the property market to the average person. Although we’re still a start-up, I think we’ve succeeded in what we set out to do, and I’m incredibly excited for what the future has in store for us,” concludes Ahmad.

Once the investment has been made, there are monthly payments into your account from rent. Every three months, the price of the property is checked and the value of the share in the property will align accordingly. There is no need to worry about finding tenants, sorting out problems or renovating the flat as a there is a management team at hand to take care of everything.

Bright future The apartments offered have been bought by Brickshare, which has an experienced team of advisors and consultants behind it, ensuring that each property is a good investment opportunity. Although the transactions happen through a website, there are always people available to answer any questions.


Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

Kasper Oldby (left) and Juri Cetti.

Cut long payment periods by selling your invoices Most of those in freelance, start-up and seasonal businesses will have felt the frustration of having to wait for weeks or even months to get paid after sending out invoices. Normal payment periods become longer and longer; yet small and medium-sized suppliers’ expenses, such as taxes and restocking supplies, still have to be paid immediately. Using Denmark’s secure state-backed digitalisation system, Dansk Faktura Børs A/S allows suppliers to sell off single invoices quickly, while retaining up to 99.5 per cent of the face value of the invoice. By Louise Older Steffensen  |  Photo: Dansk Faktura Børs

When Dansk Faktura Børs A/S was founded in 2011, it was one of the first invoice/receivable marketplaces in mainland Europe. “It’s strange, 2011 doesn’t feel like that long ago, but in FinTech terms, it is. We’re now one of Europe’s most established digital invoice marketplaces,” says Juri Cetti, co-founder of Dansk Faktura Børs A/S and member of the board of the Danish Crowdfunding Association. Cetti and his co-founder, Kasper Oldby, both have extensive experience from investment banking. They were quick to realise the potential of FinTech to provide faster, safer and more flexible financing for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), compared to the more con-

servative bank-led financing, which still dominates Europe. Large companies have begun to recognise that optimising their own working capital by stretching their payment terms can hurt their smaller suppliers’ liquidity, and they are therefore increasingly interested in knowing more about how cooperating with Dansk Faktura Børs can help both them and their supply chain. For the supplier, Dansk Faktura Børs offers flexible, easy-to-use, on-demand driven financing. “There is no lock-up,” Cetti explains. “And unlike banks, we have no interest in owning the customers.” Suppliers control how many invoices they wish to sell, and there are no requirements

regarding invoice size or minimum turnover. The money is typically available in the supplier’s bank account within 24 hours of selling the invoice. For investors, Dansk Faktura Børs provides access to a unique asset class, which has not previously been available to professional and institutional investors. As an asset class, invoices have little or no correlation to equity or bond markets and have a very short duration. Invoice investing on the exchange is done via an invoice fund structure. “By providing bank disintermediation, our goal has always been to help SMEs get access to new, affordable capital, while at the same time providing investors with a unique asset class that yields a high risk adjusted return,” Cetti adds. “We wanted to create a digital, alternative finance marketplace where everybody wins.”

Web: Facebook:  DanskFakturaBors

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

Partners Christian Thygesen, Morten W. Christensen, Kenneth Brandborg, Thomas Skou, and Lars Christiansen.

An asset in the capital market In 2010, four freelance consultants put their heads together and founded Capital Market Partners, a consultancy specialising in the capital market. Since then, the company has gone from strength to strength, and today it works across the Nordic countries helping companies with their IT and business projects.

CMP are also willing to say no. If they do not think that they have the resources to complete a project, they would rather say no than waste resources on both sides. “We’re very upfront with our clients and let them know of the challenges we might face with a project. If we don’t think we can find a solution, we say no. We’re always willing to try, but it’s important to us that the client knows our position going into a project,” says Christiansen.

clients really appreciate how much our consultants know about the market. We can come in with a fresh perspective as well as letting them know what they need to update or upgrade to continue to be the leaders in their field,” Christiansen explains. “We’re often called in because we have an objective viewpoint and can see where changes might be beneficial. The consultants work closely together with the businesses to get a comprehensive understanding of the business needs and aims, before making a plan for the future. One of the things that sets us apart from some of our competitors is that we are smaller and therefore more flexible. We can be there on short notice and adapt our solutions to what the client already has.”

Market knowledge

Sustainable solutions

The consultants at CMP are experts within their field and up to date on the newest regulations and advancements. “Our

Importantly, the solutions that are created by CMP for their clients are sustainable. One or two consultants work

By Josefine Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Capital Market Partners

Capital Market Partners (CMP) specialise in helping companies in the capital market area with new IT projects and IT implementation, as well as business growth and new projects. From their base in Denmark, they have worked with all Danish banks and numerous pension funds.

An honest partner “When we first started the company, we wanted to ensure that we were a trusted business partner,” explains Lars Christiansen, partner in Capital Market Partners. “We start each project by creating a solution that’s specific to each individual company, rather than offering package solutions.” 74  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

closely with the client throughout the process, so when a project has finished the client has a complete understanding of what has happened and how it will continue to run. “We don’t want to be needed once we’re done with a project,” says Christiansen. “So if we’re installing a new IT system, for example, we ensure that the client completely understands the system and isn’t reliant on us in the future.”

Valuable resources Over the past seven years, CMP has grown from a small start-up into a frontrunner in its field. It has established itself as a trustworthy company with employees who are knowledgeable, responsible and, most importantly, approachable. “We’ve grown as much as we have because we have a lot of good people work-

ing with us. Many of them have previously worked in banks, and all of them are interested in the capital market. That’s the most important thing for us. We can teach the consulting part, but we can’t teach the passion for the subject,” says Christiansen. “We’re looking to continue our growth and will expand both our international and national efforts in the coming years. To be able to do that, we need more qualified consultants joining our team, as they are our most valuable resource.” Capital Market Partners are focused on being a valued business partner. Their strong track record speaks for itself, while their friendly and professional attitude makes them a truly pleasurable asset.


Optimising AP Pension’s accounting processes CMP worked alongside AP Pension, a Danish pension fund, to optimise their accounting processes, and succeeded in reducing the time spent on annual figures from 20 days to four days, without compromising on quality or accuracy. CMP and AP worked together to look at the accounting process and found areas that were in need of improvement. Reducing the time spent did not require many new resources, but rather an optimisation of the processes that were already in place. This in turn released more resources for development and the continued improvement and growth of the business. CMP worked alongside AP to create a solution that has far-reaching positive results for management, employees and clients.

Jan Mikkelsen, manager, Jonas Jørgensen, senior consultant, and Sebastian Sørensen, finance.

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

A simpler way to pay your people Arranging the monthly payroll can be a bit of a drag and seem daunting and, depending on company size, some issues can get in the way and prevent the process from being as smooth as it could and should be. By Susan Hansen  |  Photos: Gratisal

But a new technical platform has been designed to help ease the payroll run and some of the problems experienced by many organisations every month. The Danish company Gratisal offers effective solutions in the form of a cloudbased payroll system. It can accommodate the needs of any type of organisation, large or small, domestic or international, public sector or private. The name partly gives it away: the basic system is free of charge, the process and functionality of paying people is free – but upgrading or adapting it costs money. If this sounds a bit too good to be true, it gets better. The good news is that the system offers innovation and presents a 76  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

good challenge to previous perceptions of what is possible, and the feedback from clients has been very enthusiastic. The system offers seemingly unlimited flexibility in terms of technical functionality. Managing director Frants Moraitis explains the concept and idea behind the system: “We wanted to create a more intuitive system that does not just work for or appeal to those who are experts in payroll. We identified a need to create something that can be utilised by people with a wide range of skills – even people with little or no previous knowledge or experience of it.” Companies with fewer than 500 employees cannot afford to spend much time

processing salaries, so there is a need for a system that works instantaneously. Gratisal makes selective use of robotics and automated processes, and the results so far are highly promising. Moraitis explains: “Statistics suggest that as much as one quarter of the Danish workforce has experienced salaryrelated errors, and this is something we are passionate about challenging. It is crucial that employees understand the basics of what is required in order to process payroll, how it can be very simple and our system helps them.” Gratisal is currently looking beyond Denmark for business partners abroad. That they are really onto something is beyond doubt – but how things will pan out, only the future can tell.


Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special Michael Eis giving a presentation.

Michael Eis. Photo: Ulrik Jantzen

Booomerang – the solution is in the crowd With banks shutting their doors to start-ups, it is easy to feel powerless. But thanks to Booomerang, a Danish crowdfunding platform, the control is back in your hands. By allowing people to raise money through their network, Booomerang is putting innovation back on the table.

to see the marketing potential. Instead of supporting big organisations, they can support local entrepreneurs, getting new customers in the process,” says Eis, who is constantly brewing new ideas.

By Caroline Edwards  |  Photos: Pecha Kucha

In Denmark, Aarhus Street Food is a wellknown enterprise. Go there on a Friday night and it is buzzing with life. Thanks to Booomerang, the place now employs hundreds of people. Having raised 3.8 million DKK (511,000 euros) through crowdfunding, the team has proven just how powerful a network can be.

Democratising capital “If you want things to happen, you’ve got to take the initiative, and with crowdfunding it’s easier than ever before,” says Michael Eis, director and founder of Booomerang. After reading about crowdfunding on a holiday in Florida back in 2010, Eis immediately set out to bring it to Denmark. Shortly after, Booomerang was born. Unlike big names such as Kickstarter, it has the advantage of being Danish.

“When you give money to a project on Booomerang, you are not just donating. You are playing an active role in your local community. The financial crisis resulted in less funding for new projects, so why not put new ideas out there and let the people decide?” says Eis. To him, crowdfunding is about more than just money; it is about taking back control. His vision is to create a strong alternative to the financial system, which allows everyone to take part.

New ways of doing business Having established itself as the biggest platform in Denmark, Booomerang is more relevant than ever before. With limited funding options, many start-ups rely on crowdfunding – and this is only the beginning. “Businesses are starting

As the founder of the Danish Crowdfunding Association, he plays a key part in shaping the future. He gives talks to businesses, serving as a consultant for anyone eager to get involved in this growing movement. As for Booomerang, it is a venture that never stands still. The next step is debt crowdfunding. Instead of taking out a loan in a bank, you can find it in the crowd. The solution is in our network, and by working together we can achieve great results.

Web: and Facebook:  booomerangdk

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

Money makes the world go round Love it or loathe it – money influences most things in life. When we find ourselves short of it or fancy a treat, applying for a personal loan can be the solution. By Susan Hansen  |  Photo: Go-Kredit Aps

Led by Christina Trauboth and Zeltite Cimermane Andersen, the Danish company Go-Kredit specialises in quick loans. Since its inception in February 2015, Go-Kredit has experienced impressive growth, processing more than 100,000 personal loan applications via its custombuilt FinTech loan handling system. For somebody on the lookout for a loan, the application is easy to access when visiting Go-Kredit’s homepage, the oldschool desktop way or, more conveniently, straight from a mobile phone. Customer credit assessment takes place within a matter of seconds and, if the loan application is approved, customers sign off on their loan agreement and simply order payout of funds to their bank with their digital signature. It is a high-tech, quick and easy way to obtain cash. With many people leading 78  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

busy lives in challenging economic circumstances, ‘clicking’ your way to a loan is becoming popular. “We create lending services to fit people’s ever-changing lifestyles by combining technology with finance,” says Christina Trauboth. The company offers small loans, from 3,000 to 6,000 DKK (roughly 400 to 800 euros). While the notion of taking out a quick loan is often associated with a stereotype of an 18-year-old, unemployed and in unstable housing, the minimum age to get approved by Go-Kredit is 25. “It’s about half men and half women who apply,” says Trauboth. “Our typical customer is between 30 and 40 years of age, renting and a working professional. We act as a responsible loan provider – they need to be able to afford the repayments.”

Go-Kredit is a well-performing, profitable business. Keen to offer more financial products, they are working towards extending their loans to offer larger amounts, repayable over a longer period. Being experienced women in the FinTech industry, traditionally viewed as men’s territory, has been smooth sailing for Trauboth and her business partner. “We have been met with a great deal of positivity and given many opportunities to speak. Being women has actually been an advantage.” Mobile and online traffic statistics for Go-Kredit are strong, but Trauboth is not looking at expanding the business internationally. Instead, she puts emphasis on perfecting the service, benefitting from the current scoring data, and offering more products in Denmark. Go-Kredit certainly seems to know what is right.


MyMonii – a family allowance app for parents and children Welcome to the new mobile banking solution for children. MyMonii helps families keep track of pocket money and daily chores for the children. You as a parent can transfer money and delegate tasks to your kids, and the youngsters can keep track of their own saving goals. It can be difficult for kids to understand the value of digital money, and as we move towards a cashless society, MyMonii integrates the good old piggy bank with the calendar on the fridge in a new digital way that enables kids to get a better financial understanding. MyMonii was founded by Louise Ferslev. Her vision, and the vision of the rest of us in the MyMonii team, is to help kids and young people to manage their own money, without getting lost in the financial wilderness of quick loans, interest rates and credit cards. More than 22,000 Danish families use MyMonii and, in close collaboration with both parents and kids, we continue to develop the app. Download the app for free now from AppStore or Google Play.

“Later this year MyMonii will launch a mobile payment solution, which allows the children to pay with their own saved money.” Contact information: Website:

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

Cheers to this idea Back in 2010, Anders Boserup Lauritsen became involved in a project that many Danish students should thank him for from the bottom of their hearts. Together with three other students, he developed Studenterbolaget, a corporation that unites the buying needs of multiple student and college bars in order to drive down prices for their customers. Studenterbolaget helped him come up with a second great idea: the MONSO app, which lets bars and caterers make transactions quick and painless for their customers. By Louise Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Rune Lundø

Studenterbolaget is based on the simple but excellent idea that a larger buying force will be able to secure better deals based on the larger amounts that they are purchasing. This is exactly what Anders and his colleagues hoped to do. Starting with their own Egmont College in Copenhagen, Studenterbolaget gradually united student bars across Copenhagen. “In 2011, we won an award called Best of the Best, which led to us being named Entrepreneurs of the Year in Copenhagen, but building the company was a difficult process,” Anders re80  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

calls. Before his studies, he had spent two years as a corporal in the military, including six months in Iraq. When he returned, he transferred the same discipline and drive to his business and studies, culminating in a degree at CBS, where he became involved with Studenterbolaget in its infancy. By 2012, his partners were ready to throw in the towel. So, a month before his final university exams, Anders bought them out and became the independent owner of a business. He finished with top marks

and set off to make Studenterbolaget his full-time project, building up a skilled and passionate team around him. Five years down the line, student bars from all over Denmark have joined the network and an estimated 100,000 students have enjoyed the delicious fruits of Studenterbolaget’s labours through the better service and lower prices that the buying network has brought about. Anders is keen to disrupt the accepted ways to do things and de-monopolise the market, bringing power to the smaller players. It is a simple way to shake up the power dynamics in favour of the smaller, individual outlets. The more bars that join Studenterbolaget, the better conditions they can get for themselves and their customers. “We handle all the ordering of goods and payment for them,” Anders explains. “Studenterbolaget has contracts with all the suppliers to enable us to take advantage of the economies of scale. We

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

also distribute the goods to the bars, helping to make their life a bit easier.” As his company took off, Anders noticed another area of potential improvement within the nightlife scene. This, too, seemed like it had a relatively simple solution.

Money made social MONSO – short for ‘money made social’ – is a simple solution to a problem that annoys most people but few have thought to solve. You are standing at a bar, waiting to be served, being pushed and shoved by the people behind you. Those in front seem to be taking forever, and somebody probably spills half a pint of beer down your back. All the while, you just want to get back to your friends. One way to cut queueing times, Anders and his team realised, was to make payment methods much quicker – to make the way transactions are made work for people. “We’ve seen cash become a liability in these quick transaction scenarios. In 2014, the need for other mobile payment solutions really became apparent.” MONSO works by cutting out the need to enter long numbers (as on Mobile Pay), enter pin codes and wait for confirmation, or hand over notes and coins and wait for exact change back. Instead, users with

the MONSO app are given a short number on their phone as soon as they enter the bar. Each phone gets an individual number, usually between one and three digits long. “It increases depending on how many people are within the venue,” Anders explains. “At festivals, we’ll need four or five digits to differentiate everyone.” Customers pay by simply showing the vendor their number on the app. The number connects to their phone and payment details, making life easier for the vendor too. The system also allows for transactions to happen anywhere within the venue, away from tills and card machines – and without any additional wait to confirm phone numbers. “It’s quick, simple and secure,” Anders sums up. “It makes for a much safer payment system for the vendor. You can’t fake the number, the transaction’s really quick, and there’s no way that the exchange can end up in the hands of anyone but the vendor who set up MONSO at their venue.” The app relies on the tried and tested systems of the same secure and established banks, processors and acquirers as other transactions. “We didn’t need to go out and directly challenge the big players on this. Instead, we placed ourselves in

the middle, bringing benefits to all those involved.” With his good friend Magnus Harrison, Anders recently added AM Breweries to his portfolio of companies. A product manufacturing company, AM Breweries aims to make use of agricultural biproducts that are currently going to waste in order to benefit farmers and consumers. Their high-oxidant drink, Twistedleaf, brewed on the coffee leaves left over from coffee production and mixed with rum and lime, just won Creative Business Cup Denmark. They will be competing in the Deloitte-backed World Championships in November, so wish them the very best of luck. Contact Anders on: +45 30 814 814 

Web: Facebook:  Studenterbolaget Instagram: @Studenterbolaget

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  81

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

Giving monopolists a run for their money We can find anything and everything we need online. With a simple click, items from all over the world can be delivered to our doorstep. However, there is a crucial link between spotting that special roasted coffee in a webshop and taking a sip of it, which is putting it in your virtual shopping cart, entering those credit card details and processing payment.

Thomas Nistrup.

By Mette Hindkjær Madsen  |  Photos: Gate2Payments

With affordable, simple payment solutions for webshops, Gate2Payments enables customers to get their hands on exactly what their hearts desire. The Danish company ensures that money is transferred from the customer’s bank account to the account of the company selling the goods. “We are the pirate challenging the monopolies by offering the same quality payment solution at a much lower price,” says CEO Thomas Nistrup. “It’s not the big eating the small, it’s the fast eating the slow. We want to revolutionise the European market for payment solutions online.” By cooperating with brands such as MasterCard, Visa, Klarna, ViaBill and multi-

ple banks, to secure the best possible deals for their clients, Nistrup and his team are well on their way. “We started up around Europe, saving our clients 30 per cent on their bank deals, and in Denmark we are now saving up to 80 per cent,” explains Nistrup. Within 24 hours, Gate2Payments will have all the technology working smoothly on a new client’s website, so that they can sell everything on offer. Even on the busiest of days, the technology will never let them down.


THE JUTLAND AQUARIUM THYBORØN Join us on an oyster safari for some of the world’s finest produce, The Limfjord’s oyster, in the western part of the Limfjord.


Book your next experience and visit Email: 7680 Thyborøn, Denmark Phone: +45 97 83 28 08

Book your overnight stay at Hotel Nørre Vinkel 7620 Lemvig Phone: +45 97 82 22 11

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

A pillar in real estate evaluation The real estate market is truly a jungle for the fittest to survive. Realtors, banks and mortgage departments play the biggest roles in this arena and need a solid foundation of data to navigate between the different huts and price them right. RealView A/S is the mastermind behind that data. By Mette Hindkjær Madsen  |  Photos: RealView

When on the hunt for an apartment or a house, your first stops are usually with a realtor and a bank. They decide the price of your dream home and whether you are allowed to borrow the money in order to sign your name on a purchasing contract. There is no objective truth in pricing real estate; you might be willing to pay a price for a house that would be out of the question for a different buyer. So, for an assessor to value a property and for the bank to evaluate your borrowing options, they need some vital information about the housing market. This is where RealView comes to the rescue. “We have the most exhaustive database of the highest quality on the market,” says Anders Ertbøll, CEO of RealView A/S. “From the RealView™ pool of data of several terabytes, we both deliver raw data for the big mortgage departments and work together with a dedicated partner, e-nettet A/S, to disseminate

data through their platform onto tablets, iPhones and computers that banks and assessors then use as a basis to evaluate loans and to get a good idea of the price range for a property.”

for all real estate on the Danish market,” Ertbøll explains. To benefit the most from the massive amount of data in the RealView™ database, both traditional regression methodology and brand new technologies, known as artificial intelligence and machine learning, are used. They are implemented in the hope of bringing the value creation for the customers to an even higher level.

A transparent market

Anders Ertbøll.

The idea behind RealView came about more than 15 years ago, as information on owned real estate had just surfaced on the world wide web and the team deemed the real estate market arbitrary and opaque. “We wanted to make the market more transparent. We found out that we could collect this online data and systemise it to achieve our goal. As we began the process, we discovered that there was a lot of information to be found from a number of different sources, such as public data, and by merging all of this information we were able to build a comprehensive database – a sort of résumé, if you will,


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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

Bringing crowdlending to Denmark Crowdfunding has become huge business in the last couple of years, with many inventors and business owners choosing to fund their projects through websites where a group of people back them financially. Denmark has been lagging behind in the crowdfunding world, but Lendino is at hand to bring Denmark right up to speed through their crowdlending website. By Josefine Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Lendino

Crowdlending is a branch of crowdfunding. Rather than just putting your money towards a project or a gadget, crowdlending offers the opportunity to get your money back – with interest. “It’s an alternative to putting your money in the bank, just with a much better return on your money,” explains Esben Bistrup Halvorsen, CEO and partner.

Lendino’s platform Lendino gives business owners the opportunity to apply for a loan through their website. Once the loan has been accepted and verified, it is posted online. People can then give money towards that loan, 84  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

and every month they will receive money from repayments and interest. This continues until the loan has been paid off.

Lendino’s credit specialists, who ensure that the company’s credit score is good. “Actually, most of the loan applications are not accepted initially. We need to ensure that the companies will pay the loan back, and the people investing will get their money back. Therefore, it’s essential that each company has a good credit score,” says Halvorsen.

The platform that Lendino has created makes things easy for both businesses and private individuals. There is someone at hand to answer questions between 9am and 5pm every day, and the platform even provides a forum where lenders and borrowers can keep each other informed.

“However,” he adds, “we usually give people the opportunity to improve their application and suggest ways in which they can make themselves more credit worthy. We don’t offer loans to everyone, but what we do offer is a quick and transparent application process and better rates than most banks, and the money is received in full within a few weeks.”

For the borrower

For the lender

Companies applying for a loan will find the application process simple and user friendly. The application is analysed by

“Investing in a crowdlending loan is more fun and much more rewarding than putting your money into a savings account,”

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

says Halvorsen. “There is more risk associated with it, but as all our loans are looked over by a credit manager with 25 years’ experience, we offer investments that are given a reliable credit score, where the interest rate reflects the risk.” It is always a good idea to spread out the loans across the different businesses to reduce volatility. To become a lender, you need to have a Danish bank account and have at least 1,000 DKK to spare, as that is the minimum investment.

In demand Since Lendino started in January 2014, the site has facilitated loans for over 60 million DKK (eight million euros) from 4,000 lenders to 200 businesses. Lendino was the first to offer business crowdlending in Denmark, and although it has taken a little

time for people to fully trust the process, the business is evolving and expanding. This year, they added network loans to their portfolio. These are loans that people, businesses or associations received from people they know via the Lendino platform. “It’s a way for people and businesses to invite specific people to lend them money at a set rate that they decide themselves,” Halvorsen explains. “We recently had a supermarket use this, with the customers lending money. It’s a good way for local communities to come together, or if you want to help your family or friends out but want to make it more official and have a contract.”

billion dollars (25.3 billion euros), 80 per cent of which comes from crowdlending. It is fair to say that it is big business. “I think people are attracted to it because it’s a fun way to make some money and also a way to support the local community,” says the CEO. “I truly believe that crowdlending is going to be big in Denmark, and we hope to become a well-known alternative to banks. Both businesses and people benefit from the platform we’ve created, and we’re really starting to see the momentum gather for people to get involved and excited by these kinds of investments and opportunities,” he concludes.

The future of lending Crowdfunding has a yearly growth rate of 30 per cent and a global turnover of 30


Esben Bistrup Halvorsen, CEO and partner.

Left: ‘I’ve found that using Lendino is much simpler than using banks. The key is simplicity, speed and personable handling of cases. The banks have become too rigid, and can’t offer the same things.’ Claus Juhlin, CEO of Pandul, which used Lendino to borrow 250,000 DKK (33,600 euros) with an eight per cent interest rate. It took 21 hours to raise the money.

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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish FinTech Special

Claus Finderup Grove.

Konsolidator makes complicated accounting easy “There simply must be an easier way to do this!” This sentence roamed around Claus Finderup Grove’s mind for years while he was working as chief financial officer, handling accounts for companies large and small. As a result, he jumped into an exciting business venture with a certified public accountant from an esteemed corporation to create a whole new solution. By Mette Hindkjær Madsen  |  Photos: Konsolidator

They wanted to make the accounting they had been scratching their heads over for years significantly easier for others in the same position – so they teamed up with a third partner with IT development and finance skills in order to develop the ideal solution Finderup Grove had been missing for so long. “It can’t be right that there is no solution that combines the good and the fast without costing a fortune. We thought, ‘it must be possible’. So, we put our minds to coming up with the utopia we were looking for,” says CEO and co-founder Finderup Grove.    A year and a half later, Konsolidator was set up to present a solution to help CFOs all over the world. The tool consolidates a company’s accounts and prepares different types of reports to understand the numbers. It is particularly interesting for 86  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

companies that struggle with their accounts in endless Excel sheets.

Good + fast + cheap = utopia

The founders of Konsolidator truly know what they are talking about, as they have worked in multiple organisations with the exact problem they are now solving. “Our clients are extremely good with Excel; that’s not the problem. But when a company gets five subsidiaries or more, the consolidation becomes increasingly complex and it takes a massive amount of work and time to solve it in Excel. The quality becomes an issue, which we see at the implementation stage, where we have experienced that more than 50 per cent of the consolidated accounts contain errors,” Finderup Grove explains.    Before Konsolidator came along, the answer to that problem was to buy expensive solutions with a high degree of dependen-

cy of consultants. Thus, the vision of the Danish company is uncompromising. “We want to help CFOs all around the world by offering a solution that is good, cheap and fast. Utopia!” Finderup Grove affirms.     Konsolidator helps clients set up the solution within a week. From there, the system works smoothly on a subscription basis. With a high-quality solution that is both fast and affordable, it is no surprise that companies are beyond happy.


National Park Thy Denmark’s greatest wilderness

• Year round adventures • Abundant wildlife • Incredible hiking • Romantic getaway


E ON EN T C i GH D S ec I p L O S OT FO P S S A AY’ RW O N em


T al

The bistro has a rustic feel with a sense of style.

Rustic nose-to-tail cooking in Trondheim’s old town With a focus on traditional and clean tastes and digging up old recipes that have not been used for generations, Folk & Fe in Trondheim’s quirky old town Bakklandet aims to take people back to their roots through unusual ingredients ranging from ox breast to wild foods of the forest. By Line Elise Svanevik  |  Photos: Marius Rua

When Stian Fjæreide and his partner Annkatrin Sæterøy first opened the restaurant together with Bjørn and Ann-Charlotte Hyge, the aim was to open a Norwegian bistro with local, simple food and a menu that was constantly evolving. “We originally started at a restaurant 50 metres from where we are now, where we could seat 28 people – but we quickly became quite busy and realised 28 isn’t a lot. We wanted to be in Bakklandet, so when a 88  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

bigger spot opened up down the road, we decided to move,” explains Fjæreide. Seating up to 100 guests throughout the main restaurant, bar, lounge and private dining room, Fjæreide also runs bakery and pub Brøøl from Folk & Fe’s previous location, which also supplies all the bread for the restaurant, in addition to the newly opened restaurant Land & Strand situated just outside the centre of

Trondheim. He explains that the aim is to create a new twist on traditional ingredients and tastes, including the Jerusalem artichoke, which was traditionally used a great deal by Norwegians until the potato arrived in the 18th century.

Using the whole animal “We use wild ingredients that grow in the woods and, when it comes to our meat, we try to use as little as possible of the typical ingredients you find in the shops. We focus on things that can be slow cooked, such as chuck steak and breast,” says Fjæreide. “We don’t use the traditional sirloin and tenderloin, because when you have an animal that’s upwards of 400 kilogrammes, and only ten of those

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Norway’s Food Scene – This Autumn’s Top Three Eateries

are sirloin or tenderloin, it’s a mismatch of what people use the most of.” Additionally, Fjæreide believes that it is more exciting to offer something that people do not normally eat at home. “On the one hand, we want to offer something different, but I also believe that these ingredients are much better than the usual sirloin, which can be a bit boring. The other parts of the animal require more time and knowledge to get right, but that’s what we’re all about,” he adds. In terms of signature dishes, Fjæreide explains that there are elements that always reappear, such as the ox breast, which is paired with different vegetables depending on what is available at that particular time. “It might go off the menu for a while, but it always comes back,” he says.

Levels of hunger Offering only two main courses at a time, Folk & Fe wants people to eat the same food so that they can talk about what they are eating. The majority of the guests choose set menus over individual dishes, and the sets are created according to levels of hunger: the ‘hungry’ menu, which consists of three courses; ‘a bit hungrier’, which is a snacks menu followed by three courses; and the ‘very hungry’, which is a snacks menu followed by five courses. The set menus can also be paired with set drinks menus – either wine, local beer or a mix of both. In keeping with the bistro’s concept and vision, the ingredients are all sourced from Norway and the primary ingredients come from mid-Norway. The stars of the show – the fish and meat – are as

local as possible through arrangements with local farmers, suppliers and fishmongers. Situated just over the old town bridge in Trondheim, in the quirky old town of Bakklandet, the restaurant has plenty of unusual shops, bars and other eateries nearby, which makes the area a good tourist attraction. “We offer professional but informal service – we don’t set our tables with white linen – we want it to be a bit rustic, but at the same time have a certain style and class to it,” says Fjæreide. Folk & Fe: Brøøl: Land & Strand:

Top left: Stian Fjæreide runs the bistro in Trondheim with his partner Annkatrin Sæterøy as well as Bjørn and Ann-Charlotte Hyge. Top middle: Fjæreide opened the bakery Brøøl in the spot he originally started Folk & Fe. Photo: Andrew Pembroke. Top right: The menu at Folk & Fe is based on nose-to-tail cooking, using the whole animal. Bottom left: Specialising in set menus, Folk & Fe wants their guests to enjoy the same kind of food so that they can talk about it. Bottom right: Originally opened in a location 50 metres down the road, Folk & Fe now seats around 100 people. Photo: Andrew Pembroke.

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  89

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Norway’s Food Scene – This Autumn’s Top Three Eateries

On a vegetarian mission

– with research, enthusiasm and colourful food Persilleriet is a supplier of vegetable appreciation. The heart of their mission is to inspire people to eat more greenery. Human, animal and planetary welfare and a happy attitude towards food are the guiding principles, summed up in their philosophy: ‘slow food served fast’ and ‘good for you and the universe’ (‘sunt og godt for kropp og klode’). By Pernille Johnsen  |  Photos: Cathrine Hagen

Persilleriet’s objective is to offer healthy meals that provide a top-up of energy during a busy day, while ensuring that each meal is tasty, balanced and nutritious. All produce is primarily local and organic. Cathrine Hagen is the daily manager and an early investor, and the choice to be a part of Persilleriet was a labour of love rather than a strategic business decision. She committed to the vegetarian cause at age nine, purely based on an ideological stance in relation to animal welfare. “I had a ceremonial ending to my meat consumption, despite the fact that no one in my family or local community had any idea what this entailed. Luckily, this lifestyle is backed by science today,” she says. The health benefits of eating veg90  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

etarian or vegan food are supported by numerous studies and research efforts, and Persilleriet opened their second vegetarian restaurant at St. Olavs University Hospital in Trondheim in 2011. “Following a vegan diet is a healthy, a sustainable way of life. No damage is done to any species – everybody wins,” says Hagen. “Recently, veganism has become very trendy, which is great news.” Not only does a diversity of fruits and vegetables keep you healthy and fit; it gives your body all the micronutrients it needs on a cellular level in order to rejuvenate and repair your system. “It’s the best way to fight off almost any illness. It leaves a minimal carbon footprint and is the easiest way to lead a more sustainable life. It’s beyond doubt that the diet is

the gentlest way to preserve the earth,” Hagen enthuses. Persilleriet was established in 2005 in Trondheim and is the longest standing vegetarian restaurant in the city. Ever since its opening, it has served balanced vegetarian food made from scratch from primarily organic produce. Alongside the thriving lunch bars, Persilleriet will also be organising workshops and cooking classes in the near future.


Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Norway’s Food Scene – This Autumn’s Top Three Eateries

Top left: Featuring an international vibe with Asian food married with Scandinavian cuisine, the restaurant has a lively atmosphere.Top right: SüdØst can also be used as a meeting room for businesses. Bottom right: The outside area at SüdØst is one of the biggest outside areas in Oslo.

Vibrant Asian fusion and signature cocktails in Oslo With a menu that marries Asian and western influences, atmospheric house music and a location in one of the trendiest areas in Norway – SüdØst on Grunerløkka, Oslo, is a place for any occasion, be it a birthday, an anniversary, a business meeting or a group of friends popping in for a cocktail. By Line Elise Svanevik  |  Photos: SüdØst

Located right by Akerselva in a historical bank building dating back to 1902, featuring a huge outdoor area that overlooks the river and competes for the biggest outdoor restaurant in Oslo by seating 305 guests, SüdØst has been up and running since February 2012. “The vibe is very international, with good music and a fast pace – it’s definitely a lively place to be, and we often cater for large groups of people with sharing menus, which makes it a very sociable place with a special atmosphere,” explains manager Remy Lorentsen.

Made from scratch Now focusing largely on Thai and Chinese food, Lorentsen explains that the motto at SüdØst is ‘sharing is caring’. Together with the head chef, he puts a great deal of effort into creating sharing menus and smaller, more sociable dishes. “We

often get groups of men or women who order 15 courses between them. One of our most popular dishes is our ‘crazy duck’, which is our twist on the classic crispy duck. It’s a whole duck breast with pancakes, homemade hoisin sauce and vegetables,” explains Lorentsen. “Practically everything on our menu is made from scratch – that’s a line we really want to stick to. We also change our menu four times a year in keeping with the seasons, so we have shellfish in the summer, lamb during autumn and our world-famous Asian rib with kimchi for Christmas.” Every Friday and Saturday at 11pm, the restaurant’s lower floor transforms from eatery to nightclub with its own DJ. Many visit SüdØst purely for its signature cocktails, which at one point consisted of 96 different types – now down to a still im-

pressive 48. The cocktails keep the same line as the kitchen, with its very own homemade sugar syrup. The décor at the restaurant was created by designer Helene Hennie, featuring an open kitchen, comfy sofas and Asian art on the walls, seating 250 upstairs and 120 downstairs in addition to 36 in its chambre séparée and another 20 in the mezzanine. “It’s very laidback, in the sense that everyone is welcome here,” explains Lorentsen. “We hold a neutral profile, which means that we don’t provide special treatment for anyone – not even the king.”


Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  91

Fourth-generation family bakery in Røros Providing an equally exciting offer for a four-year-old and her grandmother with their delicious cakes, breads, ice creams and pastries, Trygstad Bakeri in Røros in Norway has found the key to success in an old bakery passed down through four generations.

the ‘50s and is a baked good served with butter. There is also the very traditional Norwegian ‘brown cheese’, which is caramelised goat’s cheese.

By Line Elise Svanevik  |  Photos: Jarle Akselsen

Trygstad originally trained in confectionery, despite the fact that the previous generations behind Trygstad Bakeri were all bakers. “I worked in the bakery from the age of 13 – which both my children, now aged 20 and 22, did as well – and then I moved to Oslo in 1988 and realised I wanted to be a confectioner, so I studied and lived in Oslo for eight years,” she says.

The history of Trygstad Bakeri can be traced back to 1906 when the current owner Anita Trygstad’s great grandfather opened the doors to the family-run business, which often boasts queues down the road from opening to closing on a Saturday. “There are no customers that are more important than others – we welcome everyone from the age of zero to 80 and beyond,” explains Trygstad. “If we served a four-year-old or the king, they’d still get the same treatment, which I think is one of the reasons we’ve been so successful – the customer always comes first.” Trygstad, who now runs the bakery with her partner, explains that the bakery is very traditional in both its recipes and 92  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

its methods. “Bar some initial kneading by machine, everything is done by hand. All the bread is hand-kneaded with good ingredients and fresh eggs; I believe the ingredients are very important,” she explains. In 2001, a year after she took over the bakery from her father, she made a big overhaul of the facilities, adding not one but two cafés to the bakery. In keeping with the traditional atmosphere, the oven from 1953 was not replaced until recently, and Trygstad explains that people are often shocked by the old-fashioned methods at the bakery. There are even a few secret recipes in use, including her grandmother’s ‘pjalt’ that was created in

Café in an old slaughterhouse It was when she took over the bakery in 2000 that Trygstad decided to open up a café as well, in order to sell cakes and pastries along with hot beverages. One of the two cafés now run on the site sits within the bakery, the other in an old slaughterhouse. Together they seat around 220 people inside and outside.

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Norway’s Food Scene – The Best Cafés

“We have to try to cater for everyone here, as Røros is quite a small place. We do everything for our customers, and we want them to enjoy themselves – old and young,” says Trygstad. “One of the most popular dishes on our menu in the summer is the ice cream with cloudberries – we often go through 700 kilogrammes of cloudberries for the ice cream only.” A strong believer in the idea that décor plays an important part of the café experience, Trygstad always tries to have fresh flowers and provide an atmosphere that entices people to come back. “You won’t come back to a café where

you don’t feel at ease,” says Trygstad. “We have a large amount of regulars at the bakery and café, and in the summer we see the same tourists three or four times in the same day – they come here for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack,” she laughs. The bakery and café also has a licence to serve alcoholic beverages, which means that the shrimp sandwiches can be enjoyed with white wine, and the homemade Italian pizza with a beer. Despite its traditional and somewhat old-fashioned nature, Trygstad Bakeri has recently opened its very own on-

line shop for cake orders and the bakery is also due to be featured on the Norwegian reality show Alt for Norge (Everything for Norway). Starting in September, the programme shows a group of Americans travelling to Norway to meet their long-lost relatives. As Trygstad’s grandfather’s sister moved to the US many years ago, it turns out one of them is a relative of the family bakery. So, tune in to catch the family-run business on TV in September.


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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Norway’s Food Scene – The Best Cafés

Nostalgic details meet modern décor in this charming café.

Everyday luxury in coastal Telemark café If the picturesque canals and rivers of Telemark have not made you book your tickets yet, Elvebredden kafé in Porsgrunn might be the motivation you need to go on a Nordic adventure to the beautiful coast of south-eastern Norway. By Karen Langfjæran  |  Photos: Anna Olette Tangen

The riverside café Elvebredden kafé in Porsgrunn is as idyllic as it is nice and nostalgic – a perfect stop on your stroll through the lovely coastal town in beautiful Telemark. The café is centrally located just steps from the river as well as a nearby park, the city bridge and Porsgrunn’s shopping centre, DownTown, making it easy to stop by for a take-away or a lifetime – or something in between.

unique at this beautiful riverside location, which was not in use at the time,” says Eunike Kristoffersen, manager of Elvebredden kafé. “We were all very enthusiastic about home-cooked, highquality food and all things nostalgic, and thought we’d combine the two while at the same time creating a sort of melting pot – or ‘storstue’ – for the locals, where everyone could feel at home.”

Four friends and an excellent idea

As the enthusiastic group of friends laid the groundwork for their quirky café concept, they quickly learned that good ideas

“Elvebredden kafé is the result of four friends wanting to establish something 94  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

demand hard work. “We are now only a few months away from our three-year anniversary, and it’s been hard work – primarily because of the immediate success,” says Kristoffersen.

Everyday luxury in design, atmosphere and food menu As you walk into Elvebredden kafé, there is no avoiding the intricate blend of antique details and stylish new design. “You’re surrounded by nostalgic items and regional interior finds, but if you look closely you’ll find a few IKEA mugs as well,” Kristoffersen laughs. The atmosphere can be enjoyed by up to 140 people indoors, as well as in the outdoor serving space where the combination of fresh air and a park view, alongside a fresh and home-cooked meal and your preferred

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Norway’s Food Scene – The Best Cafés

drink, adds to the sensation. “Our outdoor area is our next project, as we intend to make it even nicer,” says Kristoffersen. The café manager explains that the concept is based on the idea of everyday luxury, which sets the mood of the design and the atmosphere as well as the menu. “The idea is that you may find yourself drifting into a daydream as you look through the windows to the river or the park and have your first taste of our home-cooked food,” says Kristoffersen. Add the lovely location and a cheeky glass of wine – or whatever else tickles your fancy – to the mix, and you have got yourself a pretty decent afternoon. Glance through the menu and find Scandi classics such as the shrimp-based ‘skagensmørbrød’ open sandwich and collections of cured meats and cheeses

as well as more international favourites such as a chilli and salads. “Our most popular dish is our classic Norwegian ‘karbonadesmørbrød’, an open sandwich with home-made cooked ground beef – the Nordic equivalent of a hamburger,” says Kristoffersen. The café owners make sure to find fresh, high-quality ingredients and add some cosiness to the table as they serve your meal on stylish chopping boards or nostalgic or locally made tableware. “It’s very important to us that customers get great service when visiting, even when it’s chaotic on a Saturday afternoon,” Kristoffersen adds.

Plenty of plans for Porsgrunn Whilst visiting Porsgrunn, make sure to make the most of Elvebredden kafé’s prime location and stroll by the river

as well as the nearby park and the city centre. If walking is not your thing, consider the Bratsbergbanen train, which takes you through lovely villages in the Telemark area. However, there is no real need to leave Porsgrunn – a popular location for summertime festivals such as its beer festival and international theatre festival. The city is currently undergoing significant development projects but is already equipped with everything you would expect from a small city like Porsgrunn, such as a science museum, a cinema, bowling, beautiful nature, nice restaurants and great shopping. “I would recommend going for a walk along the river, a nice waterfront area with beautiful architecture and lovely shops,” says Kristoffersen – after you have enjoyed your portion of cake and coffee at Elvebredden kafé, of course. Elvebredden kafé is located in the coastal city of Porsgrunn in the south-eastern county of Telemark, just over 100 kilometres south-west of Oslo, a three-hour train ride or two hours by car. Porsgrunn is famous for its porcelain factory, Porsgrunds Porselænsfabrik, which is conveniently located just across the river from Elvebredden kafé.

You are in the good hands of Wenche Boek, Eunike Kristoffersen and Ester Nilsen Huemer as you visit the cosy Elvebredden kafé.


Expect beautiful Nordic classics, made and served with a side of love at Elvebredden kafé in Porsgrunn.

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  95

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Norway’s Food Scene – The Best Cafés

The craft of baking Growing up with a baker as a father, Torben Krarup has always had a dream of starting his own bakery. After finishing his education as a baker in 2000, Krarup worked as a baker both in Denmark and in Norway before, in 2013, he finally had the chance to make his dream come true and set up Kanelsnurren. By Synne Johnsson  |  Photos: Kanelsnurren

Kanelsnurren is a family-driven gourmet bakery with Krarup doing the baking and his wife, Lærke Olesen, in charge of the office work. Krarup came to Stavanger in 2003 and worked in different bakeries, but he felt that the others did not share his idea about what was important when baking. So when he got the chance to start up on his own business, he took 96  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

it without hesitating. “The dream was to start my own bakery, because that is what I know. It would have been silly to be a qualified baker and open up a clothing shop,” he laughs.

A craft bakery With a motto that states that there are no shortcuts to good craftsmanship,

it comes as no surprise that one of the main ingredients at Kanelsnurren is time. With a long rising time and only natural ingredients, all their products are of high quality, which is their main focus. However, Krarup points out that the key to a good pastry is, of course, love. “Kanelsnurren is a craft bakery, and we are trying to make it a trend to go to the bakery and buy freshly baked bread every day instead of buying bread for five days at the supermarket,” says Krarup. “It is the experience that makes us special. You have to experience it to know what it is that is different with us,” he says,

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Norway’s Food Scene – The Best Cafés

assuring that customers can expect delicious pastries, coffee and good service. Behind the good service at Kanelsnurren is a firm belief that they do not have customers but guests, and this might be the reason why people feel so welcome and keep coming back day after day. At Kanelsnurren’s bakery there are six bakers, two confectioners, an apprentice and a chef, all of whom start their working day at 12am to ensure that everything is freshly prepared when they open in the morning. But even though there can be some long nights, Krarup does not need to think long when asked what is so great about baking. “What I like is that you set the dough in the evening and already the next morning you can see the results,” he says. “It’s something special to take a tray of buns out of the oven and see that they have the perfect colour, that it has cracked perfectly on the top,

the crust is thin and crispy. That’s what I like about baking.”

a big glass through which you can see in to where the magic happens.

Quality over quantity

After just four years in the business, Kanelsnurren is already the largest craft bakery in the whole of the Rogaland region, with three different shops and cafés and a fourth due to open in 2018. “Our goal is to be rich,” Krarup laughs. “No, I’m just joking. Our goal is to succeed and to offer high-quality products. It hasn’t been a bed of roses; the first few years, I worked two years straight without a holiday, but when I see that the customers are happy and keep coming back, I know it was worth it.”

Even though the assortment varies from day to day, there are still some basic products that are always available. They offer a wide range of bread, cinnamon buns, different types of sandwiches, a selection of cakes and coffee, yet Krarup emphasises that quality is more important than quantity when it comes to both the assortment and the taste. ‘Kanelsnurr’ means cinnamon roll, so there is no surprise that their cinnamon buns are a huge success. As well as their breads and pastries, Kanelsnurren is also very focused on the look of their cafés and bakeries, and a great deal of effort has gone into making sure that they look both welcoming and stylish. One of the first things you see when you walk in to one of the venues is

Web: Facebook: kanelsnurren/ Instagram: @kanelsnurrenbakeri

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  97

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Norway’s Food Scene – The Best Cafés

Join Sweet Rain manager Krastina Ilkova at her Nordic dream patisserie in Bergen, and expect nothing but the best and sweetest.

Parisian tastes at a Nordic forest-inspired patisserie Let your senses adjust to the sumptuous taste of French viennoiserie and Nordic desserts based on seasonal ingredients at Bergen’s only French-inspired patisserie, Sweet Rain. By Karen Langfjæran  |  Photos: Sweet Rain

Do not be fooled by its partly Frenchinspired menu. The Sweet Rain atmosphere is much more inspired by the Nordic forests than it is by macaron-filled Parisian street cafés. A minimalistic aesthetic and colour palette with a wave of summer sky blue meet beautifully cut furniture, made by the owner’s family based on wood from the nearby Fløyen woods. “The idea is that you’ll have an equally relaxing experience here as in the Norwegian woods,” says Krastina Ilkova, manager of Sweet Rain. Together with husband Trayan, Ilkova nurtured the idea of opening Sweet Rain for a year before signing the lease, and they have recently celebrated the first98  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

year anniversary of the opening. “We probably would not have had our Sweet Rain journey if it hadn’t been for my pregnancy cravings in the very beginning of the idea stage,” laughs Ilkova. “Sweet Rain is a mix of a confectionary store and a café, as we sell sweets and cakes as well as other baked goods and lunch items, such as our popular spinach pie, inspired by my Bulgarian heritage,” says Ilkova. Her husband, Trayan, has developed the menu and oversees the everyday logistics of the kitchen. Their menu ranges from French classic confectionary and viennoiserie to extraordinary cakes and traditional lunch items, ensuring that your favourite is indeed just minutes from your sight.

The managing couple also made sure to use seasonal and local ingredients, resulting in a menu that constantly changes in terms of certain ingredients. For example, you will find that some of the July favourites with strawberry flavours will have blueberries on top in the early autumn. “We also have an open kitchen, so guests may have a peek at the process of making extraordinary cakes and confectionary,” says Ilkova. You will also find some truly unique items on offer, which really make the Sweet Rain menu stand out. “As far as we know, Sweet Rain is the only place in the world where you can purchase a brown-cheese cheese cake, one of our most popular items on the menu,” says Ilkova. Now that is a treat for Scandi enthusiasts!


Photo: Victoria Nevland / Design: Bjorvand & co

A range of gourmet products by renowned chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard, using wild garlic and herbs to create innovative infused oils and pesto. Made with love and the purest natural ingredients to produce exciting flavours.






Vulkanfisk as Mathallen OSLO Maridalsveien 17a 0178 Oslo

Æra Kafé & Fetevare Klampavikvegen 4 5300 Kleppestø

Mitt Skattekammer Enromveien 2 7026 Trondheim

Reinhartsen Gravane 8 4610 Kristiansand

Scan Magazine  |  Culinary Experience of the Month  |  Denmark

Culinary Experience of the Month, Denmark

Fine Nordic dining comes to Costa Kalundborg Renowned chef Henrik Jyrk is moving his gaze from the city towards the provinces. Together with an old friend and colleague, he set up Restaurant Kul in Copenhagen’s Meatpacking District in 2013, and their concept of providing an excellent fine-dining experience in beautiful surroundings at affordable prices became a massive hit. Now, Jyrk looks set to emulate the success at Restaurant Naes with a regional twist in the tiny outpost of Røsnæs near Kalundborg. By Louise Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Flemming Gernyx

“I think what I like the most about coming to western Sjælland is the lovely, relaxed atmosphere,” says Jyrk. “Running a restaurant and kitchen is still hectic – that’s inevitable – but the chilled-out way of life and beautiful surroundings really balance out the busy job.” The very different setting compared to Copenhagen is exactly what attracted Jyrk to the project. “When two of my colleagues contacted me with this idea, I was a tad hesitant initially as it’s quite far 100  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

– literally – from what I’ve done before. But then I came out here, had a coffee with them and got to know the local area a bit. And I couldn’t help myself.” Prior to opening Restaurant Kul, Henrik Jyrk trained at the capital’s Le Sommelier. He worked as a sous-chef in Copenhagen before spending two educational years in Michelin-rated restaurants in California. As a result, Jyrk is keen to explore ingredients and recipes from across the world. “Of course, new Nordic cuisine is a huge

influence,” he says, referring to the past decade’s rise of the Nordic kitchen ethos of using sustainable, local ingredients cooked through experimental methods and used within unusual but wellbalanced combinations. He does not like to be tied down to a label, though. “I love the classic French and Nordic kitchens, but I don’t look to follow either dogmatically. If there’s a type of meat from, say, Japan that would suit a dish perfectly, I’ll go for that. I’ll always prioritise the best possible ingredients.”

Planting the seed Often, however, the best ingredients are locally sourced – and ingredients cannot get fresher than what Restaurant Naes has in store. With the help of a local farmer, they are currently preparing 20 hectares of land next to the restaurant in order to grow many of their own ingredi-

Scan Magazine  |  Culinary Experience of the Month  |  Denmark

ents starting next year. Jyrk and his head chef are currently perusing the local area to find interesting local ingredients, such as honey and meat, to include in recipes. “We change dishes around every month here, so we have a lot of scope for new thinking and lots of opportunities to evolve,” says Jyrk. The restaurant only opened its doors on 1 June this year, so he will not talk of guest favourites quite yet, but if any particularly popular dishes emerge they will be added as permanent options on the menu. “I think that people come here to see what we can do, though. Because they want to taste our food. So I feel like we should keep prioritising our innovation.”

that will really excite the guests. Once again, however, Jyrk and his team refuse to be dogmatic. “At Restaurant Kul, we had a strong Asian influence, but we also served Danish classics like ‘lagkage’ for dessert, so we’ll be open to good ideas.” Most importantly, he wants to ensure that the relaxed and cosy atmosphere of Røsnæs translates inside the restaurant. Naes is housed in the same building as Hotel Kalundborg, a beach hotel, and a sauna and small pier are currently being built just outside the restaurant. In good weather, a further 100 seats become available outside, tying in with the light and airy rooms inside, which include meeting and conference rooms.

The same goes for events. The restaurant can host up to 100 guests for weddings, confirmations and other celebrations and here, too, Jyrk and his team will stick to Jyrk-style compositions and flavours

Røsnæs is a little over an hour from Copenhagen so it makes an ideal destination for busy Copenhageners and tourists looking to experience more laidback areas of Sjælland. With its beach-

es, forests, the local vineyard Dyrehøj Vingaard and golf courses, Røsnæs is also excellent for a full luxurious weekend break in the classic Danish nature. There are public transport links to the town of Kalundborg, one of Denmark’s bestpreserved medieval towns, which is just ten kilometres away. If you are going to be in the area on the weekend, make sure to plan for Restaurant Naes’ excellent but informal Sunday roast. “Over the past many months, I’ve really looked forward to opening our doors,” Jyrk concludes. “It’s so exciting to see it take off!”

Web: Phone: +45 59 55 61 11 Facebook:  restaurantnaes Instagram: @restaurantnaes

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  101

Scan Magazine  |  Restaurants of the Month  |  Denmark

Restaurant of the Month, Denmark

A three-in-one sweet spot With three distinctly different eateries under one big glass roof right at the heart of Copenhagen, yet hidden away enough to be a real locals’ haunt and not a tourist trap, Galleri K is sometimes described as a foodie sweet spot – and rightly so. By Linnea Dunne  |  Photos: The Sovino Group

The journey from one first restaurant four years ago to a foodie haven with three unique quality offerings was organic, explains general manager Patrick de Neef. “PS Bar & Grill became an immediate success. It was the only life in the gallery back then, and when a fashion and beauty shop moved downstairs a couple of years ago we saw an opportunity to breathe more life into it by developing concepts that would synergise PS,” he says. In June last year, the trio of eateries was complete, boasting the original PS Bar & 102  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

Grill with its classic family-friendly meals, the Asian fusion hub The Market, and El Nacional, serving South American cuisine. “It was always our intention to make the three restaurants fundamentally different,” says de Neef. “It was part of the agreement with the gallery when we decided to expand, and it was the vision we always had. We went on a number of inspiration trips to London and New York before all three concepts were fully developed, and one thing that struck us about Asian

diners in London was that they had very successfully brought a wide range of elements from Asian cuisine onto the menus, yet without losing their London identity. When you walked through the doors, you still very much felt that you were in London. We found that fascinating.” With a top location and a shared terrace joining up The Market and PS Bar & Grill, that Copenhagen buzz is certainly ubiquitous. As the summer comes to an end and the terrace closes for the season, the gallery provides the space for a similar shared experience, almost like al fresco dining inside. Situated just behind the main street, perfectly tucked away from the crowds, Galleri K is the definition of a local hidden gem and many

Scan Magazine  |  Restaurant of the Month  |  Denmark

PS Bar & Grill.

of the nearby hotels love recommending the three eateries to their guests – their top insider’s tip. Similarly, locals and business groups out for lunch or an after-work drink have made Galleri K one of their go-to places.

Three unique dining experiences Under the same roof and the same management, the three restaurants have in common their storage facilities and an insistence on offering a consistently high standard of service. But that is where the similarities end. “Each of the restaurants stands out with its very own identity. The Market takes everything to the next level, in terms of both service and décor,” de Neef explains. “That’s not to say that it’s stiff – far from it. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a quality culinary experience without that stiff upper lip. It’s a place for everyone, where you can grab a quick

PS Bar & Grill.

PS Bar & Grill.

bowl of noodles and a drink or go all in with up to a 12-course set menu.” Its older sibling, PS Bar & Grill, has a number of loyal regulars and attracts big crowds at the weekends, in part thanks to a bar that stays open until 3am. The restaurant then transforms into a vibrant party haunt with DJs, dancing and the perfect blowout buzz. For as long as the kitchen stays open, everything comes family style and made for sharing, be it pizzas or steaks. To ensure that there is something for all tastes, the menu is incredibly varied. Over at El Nacional, it is all about street food – think ceviche, quesadillas and plenty of chorizo, salsa and chimichurri. Add an impressive cocktail menu and well-stocked bar, and you will see why this cosy, informal eatery is buzzing every

day of the week. That, it should be said, goes for all three venues: their warm and social atmosphere make them hugely popular for that after-work drink. Currently owned and run by the Sovino Group, which is also behind prominent places such as Victor, Geist and Fiat, it is unsurprising that the Galleri K trio has been such a success. The expertise is there, as is the passion. “The atmosphere is just very special. I love that we can offer distinctly individual concepts with a little twist, all in this space that nonetheless offers an unquestionably joined-up identity,” says de Neef. “We’re in the inner city and everything’s just a stone’s throw away, yet just by stepping through the doors of Galleri K you can get off the beaten path. It’s a three-in-one sweet spot, that really is the best way to describe it. And a visit here is never in vain.” Web:

The Market.

The Market.

El Nacional.

El Nacional.

El Nacional.

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  103

February means romance. And so does JarlsbergÂŽ! Treat your special someone to a home cooked meal. Breakfast in bed, a romantic lunch or an intimate dinner. Keep the meal simple and add the special ingredients - love and JarlsbergÂŽ.

Scan Magazine  |  Restaurant of the Month  |  Sweden

Restaurant of the Month, Sweden

Brasserie with Scandinavian flavours The classic setting and modern cuisine at Brasseriet make for an interesting contrast. Its atmosphere of relaxed elegance is a sure hit for business lunches, family celebrations and nights out with friends. By Malin Norman  |  Photos: Groupen Grenouille

The Royal Swedish Opera boasts a fantastic heritage. Opened in 1898, its iconic bar became the hub for bohemian Stockholm. Many artists, poets and writers met up for a tipple and famous opera singers Birgit Nilsson, Jussi Björling and Nicolai Gedda were known to relax here after their shows. Having been closed for many years, fortunately the Royal Swedish Opera decided to showcase the fabulous old facilities again. Brasseriet opened its doors in April 2015, following a careful restoration of the facilities. The vision was to offer a friendly and unpretentious experience of high gastronomic level. With the same welcoming atmosphere as in the old days, it has become a true meeting place – providing the perfect setting for conversations, culture and cuisine. A year after its opening, Brasseriet was praised for the renovation and new interior, named Restaurant

Interior of the Year at Restauranggalan (the annual Restaurant Awards).

For the love of food The contemporary menu has been designed with a sustainability focus, using local produce for delicious seasonal dishes. Customers can expect modern classics with typical Scandinavian flavours as well as a Chef’s Choice of four recommended dishes and, of course, vegetarian options. The bar is a classic cocktail bar with creativity and flavours at its core, two of its famous signature cocktails being Fleur Dans Un Pot and Banana & Smoke Clouds. During the warmer months, Brasseriet also opens up its two popular outdoor terraces with a view of Stockholm’s mustsee attractions. Strömterrassen is the perfect spot on a warm summer evening, savouring grilled lobster or oysters over-

looking the Royal Palace. Guldterrassen is located above the main entrance of the Royal Swedish Opera, offering a Mediterranean atmosphere with lush olive, lemon and fig trees and tasty dishes to share. Brasseriet, Strömterrassen and Guldterrassen are all owned by Groupe Grenouille, together with premium restaurants Grodan and Trattoria Montanari. With the combination of Italian, French and Swedish flavours, great settings and superb service in these fabulous restaurants, customers are all set for a fabulous culinary experience in Stockholm.

Web: Facebook:  brasserietstromgatan14 Instagram: @brasseriet_

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  105

Scan Magazine  |  Hotel of the Month  |  Norway

Purple is a common theme at Hotel Oleana, which goes with its slightly eccentric artworks.

Hotel of the Month, Norway

Unconventional hotel on the Nordic Broadway Despite its mere two-year history, the 97 individually themed rooms at the exclusive Hotel Oleana in Bergen, Norway, draw inspiration from the legacy of its 19th century Norwegian violinist and composer, Ole Bull, whose street it lies on. By Line Elise Svanevik  |  Photos: CF-Wesenberg

Located on the self-proclaimed ‘Nordic Broadway’, according to commercial manager Erik Trøstaker, the immediate surroundings of the hotel are filled with restaurants, bars, hotels and one of the three national theatres in the northern European country. The design of its vibrant and colourful rooms and interior, crafted with meticulous care, has been launched as a contrast to the clinical white rooms that many 106  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

hotels offer – and has been received as a welcome addition to the coastal city.

Handpicked details “Øvre Ole Bulls Plass, where we are located, is named after Ole Bull. The reason we’re called Hotel Oleana is because Oleana was the plot of land he bought in America, where he wanted to build a colony for Norwegians, called New Bergen/ Norway,” explains Trøstaker. “His legacy runs throughout the whole street, and

especially our rooms. Villa Lysøen, where he lived, was filled with handpicked things that he liked from all over Europe, which is what we’ve done at our hotel. We have furniture from Spain, the paint technique used on our walls is Italian; we’ve picked exclusive furniture from all over Europe, which is very in line with Ole Bull.” Two of the bath tubs at Hotel Oleana are made from limestone and can almost be displayed as works of art in their own right, along with the rainfall showers. Owner Ole Jan Strønen and his wife designed each individual room, with a couple of common denominators, including the colour purple. Although some of its art work can be seen as eccentric or perhaps

Scan Magazine  |  Hotel of the Month  |  Norway

slightly provocative, with features of light nudity and bold colours, the vast majority of the clientele visiting Hotel Oleana enjoys the uniqueness of the exclusive hotel rooms, along with its lively nature.

Peruvian cuisine with a vibrant atmosphere The hotel also hosts its very own Peruvian-inspired restaurant and cocktail bar, Ácido, where guests and the general public can come in for some ceviche (marinated raw fish), tacos or handcrafted cocktails, some of which are paired with the dishes. “The name Ácido is derived from the word acid, which is traditionally used to make ceviche,” Trøstaker explains. The food and cocktail matches have been created by the bar manager, who has carefully tailored each dish to one of the less alcoholic cocktails on its ‘shims’ menu. “We also have a range

of signature cocktails that are truly our own – one of them called Sara’s Garden, served in a flower pot with dark foam and basil leaves on top,” says Trøstaker. Despite the restaurant being situated within the hotel, the management wants it to be a separate entity, open to the public and not just hotel guests. “It’s the very first cevicheria in Bergen,” says Trøstaker. “It’s definitely something out of the ordinary, with a vibrant atmosphere. That’s why the owners decided to open it up in Bergen – to offer something of an urban standard on par with Oslo or Copenhagen, cities we want to be able to identify with.”

Business and pleasure Featuring two meeting rooms – named appropriately as Ole Bull on Stage and Broadway – the hotel enjoys a range of business clientele during weekdays and

national and international tourists on the weekends and throughout the holidays. Additionally, despite being a member of Nordic Hotels & Resorts (NH&R), Oleana has recently entered into a partnership with Preferred Hotels, featuring 650 hotels in its exclusive portfolio, including The Thief in Oslo and Skt. Petri in Copenhagen. With its location near all the local amenities and tourist attractions in Bergen, such as parks, theatres, bars and restaurants, and a five-minute walk from the historical wharf Bryggen – its quirkiness and slightly eccentric nature is definitely worth experiencing, even if it is just for a plant pot cocktail.


The handpicked details at Hotel Oleana are what provide the hotel with its quirky nature.

Each of the 97 rooms has been designed individually by the owner and his wife.

Located on the Nordic Broadway, the hotel’s immediate surroundings offer a range of restaurants, bars and a national theatre. The clientele ranges from business guests during the weekdays to tourists at the weekend.

Two of the bath tubs at the hotel are made of limestone, which offers exclusivity like no other.

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  107

Scan Magazine  |  Artist of the Month  |  Norway

As both a ceramist and a sculptor, Kjell Johannessen is known for his signature candlesticks.

Artist of the Month, Norway

Art with a physical presence:

the work of a sculptor Walking into a room that features a sculpture or object crafted by the Norwegian artist Kjell Johannessen allows people to experience the strength that has gone into the making of it. From the sheer force of beating the clay, to the three-dimensional aspect of the piece – it is impossible to ignore the presence of his work. By Line Elise Svanevik  |  Photos: Courtesy of the artist

As both a sculptor and a ceramist, Johannessen aims to create objects that make people stop and take notice, due to the sheer power exerted from each object, which makes it impossible to ignore or shy away from. “I’ve had many people tell me that they had to rearrange their flat or house after purchasing one of my 108  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

sculptures,” says Johannessen. “And that’s always incredibly nice to hear.” Those familiar with Johannessen’s work can spot one of his pieces from a mile off. “People often come to me and say ‘I don’t need to see the signature on your work – I can see it’s yours straight away’. That’s

something I’ve been hearing for many years now,” he adds. He believes that each sculpture contains volume that helps activate a room. “The sculptures are physical beings – that’s what excites me the most. There is a great deal of power in a sculpture because of its three-dimensional nature.”

Classical antiquity Drawing inspiration from classical antiquity, Johannessen has contributed to the decoration of the offices of large corporations and organisations, includ-

Scan Magazine  |  Artist of the Month  |  Norway

ing the international firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), two ships owned by the Norwegian cruise ship company Hurtigruten, and several public buildings and museums as well as the Royal castle. He works classically, often using life models for his works, and beats the clay with long rods to add a strong touch of power and drive. This shows that the work is made in the present time, not the past. Johannessen also uses architectonic elements, which he believes feature very centrally, especially in his torsos and Medusa masks – a monster in Greek mythology. As a real craftsman, using materials such as bronze, he is very concerned with the assembling of his works and often uses stainless steel or granite for the plinths. “It’s exciting when I get new materials in – I like combining them in a naturalistic way, which is how I work. You can see that each object is a torso, a head or a body,” he explains. “And the assembly of it is important, because it makes the work complete. I enjoy combining ceramic sculptures with granite steel pedestals, for example.”

Following his own path Dreaming of becoming an artist at a young age, Johannessen moved from his hometown Jørpeland to the municipality of Voss to attend art school when he was 16. He then shifted his focus 65 miles west to the city of Bergen, where he attended the Academy of Art and Design. As one of the most important Nordic cities throughout the middle ages, Bergen has struck a chord with Johannessen, who now lives and works in the oldest Nordic street.

lieves that the internet has become very important for his work as a sculptor and ceramist. “It opens up new doors for artists, which is happening globally. People now stop me in the street and say they loved the work I did recently – that never used to happen before the internet,” he explains. “To succeed as an artist, you need to create good things every step of the way, which is why I

never rush things. It’s a struggle, but an exciting one.”

Web: Facebook:  KunstnerKjellJohannessen Instagram: @KjellJohannessen

The artist specialises in lifesized Medusa masks.

Working in a naturalistic way, Johannessen creates masks, torsos and heads, which all resemble reality.

He strongly believes that the key to his success and ability to earn a living off his work as an artist is in staying true to himself and his own expression, which he developed throughout his early years in Bergen. “I’ve gone my own way and been very honest with myself. I haven’t been tempted to veer off the road I’ve chosen; I’ve worked on my personal expression and developed it further,” he explains. He also uses his website and social media to reach a wider audience, and be-

Sculptor Kjell Johannessen also uses bronze in his sculptures.

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  109

Scan Magazine  |  Gallery of the Month  |  Norway

Artists exhibited at the gallery include Gro Mukta Holter, Bjørg Thorhallsdottir, Dagfinn Knudsen, Nico Widerberg and Anja Cecilie Solvik.

Gallery of the Month, Norway

From the aeroplane to the art gallery After a 24-year career as an air hostess with Scandinavian Airlines SAS, art enthusiast Bente Robertson opened her very first gallery with her husband Trond Esben, striving to create a space for everyone to feel welcome and enjoy the artworks. By Line Elise Svanevik  |  Photos: Trond Esben Robertson

By creating a safe space with a low threshold for people to simply pop in and appreciate the art and warm atmosphere, Robertson hopes to create something that is different from the classic gallery, which, she suggests, is often a place that the average person shies away from due to steep prices. “We want to have an offer that everyone will dare to partake in,” explains Robertson. “We don’t want our visitors to feel like they have to buy something – we simply want 110  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

to increase people’s interest and curiosity in art.” Galleri My, which hosts a range of lithography, aquarelle paintings, photography, glass art and ceramics, has created a basement studio in which local amateur artists can exhibit their works, which Robertson believes draws new people in. “Through these exhibitions, we attract the interest of the artists’ uncles and aunts who normally wouldn’t go to

a gallery and therefore wouldn’t come to ours,” she says.

Inspired by Lofoten Although the city of Narvik might not be known for its widely artistic community, Galleri My is the third gallery to appear in the city – the first being Galleri Lily. This helped spark people’s interest, and the feedback Robertson gets from the visitors now is great. “We often hear that the atmosphere and warmth in the gallery is extraordinary,” she says. “I once had a woman suffering from breast cancer who would regularly visit us because she wanted to come here and feel the peace and quiet within our

Scan Magazine  |  Gallery of the Month  |  Norway

walls; it’s full of soul, which is something we’ve gathered from Lofoten – a place I’m very inspired by.” Together with her husband, Robertson has tried to make her gallery “a piece of Lofoten” – to recreate the tranquillity that can be experienced at the Norwegian archipelago. They have sourced a few items from the Lofoten fishing village of Henningsvær, and often seek advice from their good friends Venke and Rolf Hoff, who own the KaviarFactory for contemporary art – though this studio differs in the way they display art, rather than in how they sell it.

Online art shop “My husband often says that I’m more concerned with making people enjoy their time at the gallery than making money,” laughs Robertson. The realisation that they have to make the gallery earn money led them to open an online shop, which features the works of their artists – and helps reach a wider audience. Among their great portfolio both in the gallery and online, Galleri My exhibits

the works of Norwegian artists Bjørg Thorhallsdottir, Dagfinn Knudsen, Nico Widerberg, Gro Mukta Holter, Anja Cecilie Solvik and Orion Righard, to name a few. “They’re a group of artists based in Oslo who really speak to my heart when it comes to art,” explains Robertson. “Bjørg has been someone I can call up and ask for advice, as I’m not an artist myself. She’s not only an artist, but a good friend of mine – she provides me with both inspiration and guidance.”

receive art – for their Christening, confirmation or exams. We want to inspire young people to appreciate art,” says Robertson.

In addition to being an art gallery, they also host their own framing workshop and often feature talks from various artists, along with courses in watercolour painting, “to show people that you don’t have to buy the art to stop by”, as Robertson puts it. She is also concerned with visitors being able to buy a present that does not have to cost too much, so there are items that can be bought at Galleri My for 100 NOK and above, including cups, books and glass.

On 9 September, there will also be an exhibition displaying the work of ceramist Elisabeth Helvin, who creates angels with red boxing gloves in addition to a range of ceramics.

“Many people believe that art is only for people with money, but we believe that everyone should be able to buy or

Upcoming exhibitions This autumn, Mette Dypvad Torstensen will be hosting an exhibition and workshop for kids, called Kunstmagi for Barn (The Magic of Art for Children) at Galleri My.

More exhibitions will be announced in due course.

Web: Facebook:  gallerimy Instagram: @GalleriMy

Top left: Galleri My in Narvik, Norway, features everything from lithography, aquarelle paintings and photography, to glass art and ceramics. Top middle: Galleri My aims to be as welcoming as possible, and to attract all sorts of people to enjoy the artwork. Top right: The gallery also has a framing workshop where customers can reframe both old and new artwork. Left: Bente Robertson opened the gallery with her husband, Trond Esben Robertson, after working for 24 years as an air hostess. Right: Bente Robertson’s daughter, Hannah Årstein, also works at the gallery.

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Scan Magazine  |  Gallery of the Month  |  Denmark

Pia Andreasen.

Gallery of the Month, Denmark

Painting and promoting Danish art As an artist, Pia Bodil Andreasen creates captivating paintings of her experience of the natural environment both at home and abroad. She exhibits her work in her gallery, Galleri Molevit, as well as providing space for other Danish artists to showcase their work. By Josefine Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Galleri Molevit

Pia has not always been a professional painter, but when, in her forties, she decided to train as an artist and picked up a paintbrush, she immediately fell in love. Today she owns two galleries in Denmark, one near her home in Fussingø close to Randers, and the other in Skagen.

Fussingø Set in the beautiful Danish countryside and hidden amongst the trees, you will find Galleri Molevit, which over the years has expanded to four rooms, a shop and a small café. It is in this gallery that Pia exhibits her own work and hosts two yearly exhibitions. “The local countryside and the landscapes from our travels across the world inspire my paintings,” explains Pia. Through many brushstrokes and layers of paint, Pia creates paintings full of life, colour and depth. “Painting is always a 112  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

process, but I am incredibly lucky to be able to do what I do, and I never want to take that for granted.”

flat above, so it’s a very intimate way to show and view art,” explains Pia. Pia is a charming and passionate artist who makes art that everyone can relate to and admire. Her energy and passion for the world of art is infectious, and her gallery is truly worth a visit. Call ahead if you are not going during the exhibitions to ensure that the gallery is open.

Galleri Molevit opens its doors during Easter and for November exhibitions. The gallery becomes a space for Pia and other artists she has invited to show and sell their work. The Easter exhibition attracts upwards of 3,000 visitors, with many people returning every year.

Skagen Skagen in the northern part of Denmark is famed for its natural light and for being home to some of Denmark’s greatest artists. In 2005, Pia opened another gallery, which is today used by artists from across Denmark to exhibit their work. “The gallery has become a local attraction, and I think people enjoy meeting the artists behind the work. Each artist rents the gallery for two weeks and lives in the

Web: Phone: +45 86 46 63 07

Scan Magazine  |  Humour  |  Columns


By Mette Lisby

… who, when faced with simple tasks, loses hours solving them because of our various electronic devices and multi platforms? Yesterday, for instance, I was looking for a particular invitation for an upcoming birthday party for one of my friends. But what time was it? And where? I started looking for the invitation – a relatively easy task, one might think, that sounds absolutely doable; a task you would expect to solve within a good 30 seconds. Here is how that went. The big question was: where did I receive it? Was it as an event on Facebook? I checked. And though I was reminded of four other events that I had completely forgotten about, I was not any clearer on the upcoming birthday party. ‘Was it really just an e-mail?’ I wondered as I frantically search my mailbox for e-mails from my friend. ‘Oh, it must have been an e-vite, of course, so that’s what I should search for in my inbox!’ But no. None of my e-vites was for that particular birthday. ‘Oh of course,’ I figured, ‘they must have sent the invitation by text.’ After approximately an hour of scrolling through mes-

sages, e-mails and texts on all possible devices, it turned out it was sent on Facebook; not as an event or a group message, just to me as a personal message. There is a place reserved in hell for people you know well who still insist on messaging you exclusively on Facebook. “Messenger is so smart. You just write and it pops up, right there!” Yes. I know. That is exactly what my e-mail is for. “But you can chat on messenger, too!” Yes. That is what I have my phone for. Combined with my e-mail, you can reach me in three different ways already – why do you need a fourth? E-mail me. Text me. Or call me. Is it that hard? I know you might prefer to get Facebook intravenously and be on it 24/7 – however, I do not. I really do not feel the need to always be connected on yet another platform. I kind of feel like e-mail and phone should be enough. If you cannot reach me on those, maybe I do not need to hear from you?

White As of last Friday, we have a new home. The house that we have just bought is a very English Victorian terrace, with a small garden and the archetypal lack of practical plumbing. There are some vague plans to ‘improve’ it, which mostly involves us knocking apprehensively on walls and plucking at the edges of carpets while going “hmmm…”. My mum has sent me a stack of Swedish interior design magazines for inspiration, which I flick through, marvelling at how white everything is. White walls, white furniture, white floors. “Too white,” I tell Other Half, who has absolutely no interest in what I’m saying. “We live in England, and this house will be English!” In my head, I’m thinking bold colours: dark, Victorian hues to bring the house back to its roots; plush, cosy cushions and interesting tiles. I begin aimlessly googling for ideas and putting together crude collages in Photo-

Sadly, I also had to pass on the birthday bash. Given all the time I spent looking for the invitation, I do not really have time to show up to the party. Mette Lisby is Denmark’s leading female comedian. She invites you to laugh along with her monthly humour columns. Since her stand-up debut in 1992, Mette has hosted the Danish version of Have I Got News For You and Room 101.

By Maria Smedstad

bright white emulsion and a five-litre tub of white gloss from the shelf. Once home, I paint over everything, like a demented zealot. “This wall already is white,” Other Half protests. “Are you crazy?” I yell. “It’s cream! It’s got to be white! WHITE!” And so it is – apparently – that you can make a Scandinavian appreciate the limits of her native colour scheme. But when it comes down to it, you cannot physically wrench that paintbrush out of her hand.

shop. Then I go to the actual shop and look at pots of paint. And that is all I do. I look and look, reading the names of colours such as ‘Incandescent Incarnadine’ and ‘Enchanted Slate’. Something is happening inside my Scandi brain. “What about Tuscan Teal?” I say, but it is already game over. On the way to the counter I swipe two 20-litre tubs of

Maria Smedstad moved to the UK from Sweden in 1994. She received a degree in Illustration in 2001, before settling in the capital as a freelance cartoonist, creating the autobiographical cartoon Em. Maria writes a column on the trials and tribulations of life as a Swede in the UK.

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  113



e Th

Left: Lesja Village Museum is one of three open-air museums at Gudbrandsdaldsmusea. Photo: Tor Ivan Boine. Top right: The paths of St. Olav’s Way take travellers through beautiful nature and scenery. Photo: Per Gunnar Hagelien. Right: Lesja Village Museum provides visitors with both nature and history. Photo: Tor Ivan Boine. Bottom: The cluster of 14 museum departments takes visitors on a journey through the history of Gudbrandsdalen. Photo: Per Gunnar Hagelien.

A cluster of themed historical museums in Oppland Gudbrandsdalsmusea is a regional museum for the valley of Gudbrandsdal, the largest valley in the Norwegian county of Oppland. The locations, from Ringebu in the south to Lesja in the north, feature 14 different departments all based on individual themes relating to nature, culture, art and heritage. By Line Elise Svanevik

Established as a consolidated museum in 2008, the cluster of locations displays historical buildings, open-air museums, a pilgrim centre and an archive for the middle and north of Gudbrandsdalen. It even has a folk music archive.

Lesja Village Museum The Lesja Village Museum is the biggest of three open-air village museums and is made up of 13 houses from the 18th and 19th centuries, put together to display what an old farm would look like. “In the summer, numerous volunteers come together to demonstrate different crafts from the old ages, from wood turning to sweet wrapping,” says Gunhild Mømb, daily manager of Lesja Village Museum. The museum locations feature different themes each year and host exhibitions that show traditional hunting, fishing and agriculture. There are several activities for children, and Lesja has a roundtrip 114  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

where you can experience the fjords. There is also an exhibition displaying the hunting of wild reindeer.

Dale-Gudbrands Gard In close proximity to the museums is the farm Dale-Gudbrands Gard, which tells the story of King Olav Haraldsson’s meeting with the Viking chieftain Gudbrand of Dale in 1021. Olav Haraldsson brought Christianity to the valley and the inner eastern part of Norway; he later became known as St. Olav and people started a pilgrimage to his grave in Nidaros, Trondheim. Today, hundreds of people walk the pilgrim path in Gudbrandsdalen every year. “It’s a historical place that dates back to the Iron Age,” explains department manager of Gudbrandsdalsmusea, Per Gunnar Hagelien. “There have been archaeological findings and burials that have been documented back to the Iron

Age, and there are six remaining burial mounds in the surrounding area.”

Pilgrim centre Dale-Gudbrand The Pilgrim Centre is located at DaleGudbrands Gard, Oppland council’s millennial place, which was one of the locations chosen by the Norwegian councils to mark the shift to the 21st century. The centre provides information on the pilgrimage St. Olav’s Way, which is marked from Oslo to Trondheim, and helps pilgrims with places to stay, information about the path, and planning. Built on the pilgrimage tradition in Norway, the St. Olav’s Way takes visitors through scenic landscapes and beautiful trails, which have been used by travellers since the year 1031.


Scan Magazine  |  Mini Theme  |  Our Cultural Top Three in Norway

Left: The hostel is located close to the local amenities and the town of Levanger. Right: An ideal course and conference venue, Munkeby Herberge is in the process of building an extension to be able to welcome more guests.

A scenic place for meetings and conferences Norwegian hostel Munkeby Herberge, located northeast of Trondheim in gorgeous surroundings near the small town Levanger, is currently building an extension to its facilities. The ambition is to accommodate local businesses as a place for meetings and conferences. By Line Elise Svanevik  |  Photos: Hattrem

The hostel currently accommodates businesses, sports teams, students, schools and those taking a pilgrimage on St. Olav’s Way, leading through beautiful scenery to the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. “We get a lot of visits from companies who are working in the area, and tourists passing by,” says owner Håkon Fiskvik, who runs the hostel with his partner Sissel Eldal. “From October onwards, our new meeting room facilities will be available, where we’ll be able to welcome meetings and conferences for more than 100 people, and we’ll have overnight facilities for around 20.”

Plenty of activities Fiskvik and Eldal explain that the hostel is situated in an ideal location for com-

There is also a photo museum, a sports complex with a swimming pool, and tennis and football courses, in addition to the town’s own beach. “For those who prefer a walk, the paths along the river are really nice,” Eldal adds.

panies who are in need of team-building activities, as there are plenty of things to do in the surrounding area. “There are pathways for walks where visitors can enjoy the fresh air, and we also have outdoor cooking activities, allowing guests to barbecue and cook food themselves,” says Eldal.

Grandma’s cooking

The national wooden house town of Levanger is also filled with activities, including the local art gallery Fenka, and you can embark on a guided twohour trip to the pre-historic graveyard Munkrøstad, or visit the old ruins of the Cistercian Munkeby monastery from the 12th century. At Munkeby Maria monastery, visitors can buy the famous Munkeby cheese and participate in a prayer – as part of the St. Olav’s Way pilgrimage that many embark on.

At the very heart of the hostel, and one of the reasons why visitors return, is the fact that the owners are incredibly generous with their time. “We set aside time to take care of each individual guest,” explains Fiskvik. “There’s a good atmosphere here, and we give our visitors the attention they want.”

The hostel also features a kiosk, which sells local crafts and a few drinks, and the café serves traditional dishes including the very popular ‘lovage’ soup. “We only use local ingredients and serve traditional food that can best be described as your grandma’s cooking,” Eldal continues.


Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  115

The Norwegian Aviation Museum in Bodø is as fascinating as it is welcoming.

Aviation – so much more than your average plane Prepare yourself for a history lesson and inspirational moments at the Norwegian Aviation Museum in Bodø. By Karen Langfjæran  |  Photos: Martin Losvik, Big Picture

If you are of the perception that a museum is simply an attraction for people with a particular interest, you are in for a surprise and a treat at the Norwegian Aviation Museum in Bodø. The popular museum is built on the grounds of the provisional German airport built during the World War II occupation period, and welcomes you to explore war history and the development of aircrafts, from the air balloons used for entertainment purposes in the 1890s to Norway’s first ever plane in 1912, via the war periods and up to today’s rather stylish jet planes. There is really nothing to suggest that you will not take pleasure in a trip to the 116  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

historic museum located just outside Bodø city centre.

From dreams to execution – Norwegian aviation at its best The Norwegian Aviation Museum consists of two main galleries, both aiming to show that aviation is so much more than just planes. Of course, as you explore the civil and military aviation history of Norway through the museum’s exhibitions, it might seem like little more than a typical museum showcasing planes. But among aircrafts such as the beautiful Hønningstad C5 Polar, the British Mosquito and the German Jun-

kers Ju 88, used during World War II, you will find exciting interactive exhibitions presenting aerodynamics through play and opportunities to sit and enjoy a moment of silence in cockpits as well as fun and exciting films. “The first thing you see in the museum is the exhibition Dreams of Flight, where you are exposed to a film and visual elements and artefacts showing the foundation of aviation: the initial dream of flying,” says Hanne Kristin Jakhelln, director of The Norwegian Aviation Museum. Dreams, mythology and fantasy go together as one with technology and reality as you walk through the mysterious cabinet where you see many of the common associations with flying – as well as many fun ones, such as Mary Poppins and Superman.

Scan Magazine  |  Mini Theme  |  Our Cultural Top Three in Norway

As you walk past the Dreams of Flight exhibition, the remaining parts of the Civil Gallery start to unfold. The Civil Gallery’s Let’s Fly was opened in December 2016 and is all about the effects of aviation on Norwegian nation building and the Norwegian identity. “Aviation has had such an impact on Norwegian society, and it clearly shapes communication, politics, infrastructure and the possibilities of using the whole country,” says Jakhelln.

Go back in time or check out the future One of the most exciting periods of Norwegian aviation history is certainly the age of air expeditions in the 1920s, as Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen was the first expedition leader to cross the North Pole. “This made it possible to have shorter routes for world travel, and Norwegian aviation got major international recognition,” says Jakhelln. The polar and pioneer exhibition The Birth of a Nation truly takes you back to a time when the pioneers emerged, helping to shape Norway as a nation. Walk past exclusive items from the inspirational

period and try on clothes of prior polar explorers from the 1900s – and do not forget to watch all the original video clips showing what life was really like during expeditions. While visiting, make sure not to miss out on the chance to take a peek into the future in the museum’s future cabinet, where drones and helicopters, fuel and environment as well as aviation design and developments make the focal point. You should also look out for the museum’s fun elements such as the Syden film, narrated by humourist Are Kalvø, to be viewed in the cockpit of a classic charter plane.

Something for all audiences Head to the museum’s Military Gallery for a chance to see famous and infamous planes, such as Spitfire, Freedom Fighters and the iconic U-2, the latter used by US spies during the Cold War to keep an eye on Russia. “The Military Gallery encompasses a pre-war exhibition and a large WWII and Cold War exhibition

exploring the importance of the NATO airfields and northern flank, with many unique artefacts and exciting stories,” says Jakhelln. Until 30 November, you can also visit the temporary exhibition Prisoner of War – paintings and poems by Bodil Friele, which showcases Friele’s paintings based on her father’s diary and selected items from his past as a pilot during World War II. For the younger audience and families, the museum strives to focus on the wonders and excitement of aviation as well as the potential for exploration and play. If you travel with children, you can download the museum guide app Bædi & Børdi, which makes it all the more interesting for the small ones. Also well worth a visit is Newton Flight Academy, where you can pretend to be a proper pilot in the cockpit of their three fullmotion simulators.


As you enter the museum, you go through the exhibition Dreams of Flight, where fantasy and technology merge.

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  117

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Column

Scandinavian music Two Swedish music industry stalwarts have gotten together and formed a brand new act. Meet BC Unidos – aka Markus Krunegård and Patrik Berger. Together, they have written and released Bicycle, a banging debut that is simplistic in its charms, but super catchy in its execution. They cite Charli XCX, Santigold, Noonie Bao, Amanda Bergman, Nicolai Dunger, US Girls, Ledinsky and Howlin Pelle of The Hives as their cocollaborators on this project, so expect much more pop magic to come from these two. If you’ve yet to get acquainted with Norwegian artist Amanda Delara, then you are missing out on the seriously good tunes that were her first three singles: Paper Paper, Dirhamz, and the exceptionally good New Generation. Not to worry – the time is right to get properly stuck into her music, as she has now put out her debut EP – Rebel. It features the three aforementioned singles as well as two brand new songs, Grown Ups and Jimmy, the former of which is particularly brilliant, up there with her best already.

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Simon Peyron introduces himself as a solo artist now. The former frontman of Swedish rock group Outtrigger debuts with Breaking Up and, while he has maintained his impressive rock vocals and all of the required attitude that goes along with them, he has channelled his voice into something that is a lot more poptastic. Written by the man himself along with Josef Melin, Breaking Up is a riotous slice of pounding electronic pop with a chorus that is veritably booming in its impact! Norah Benatia first rose to fame in her native Norway when she competed in the most recent series of Norwegian Idol last year. Now she is back with a single and music video – the superb MESS. It is a hugely uplifting and melodic pop song that calls upon a bit of soul and gospel for influences. The best bit? Undoubtedly the almighty key change as she launches into the final chorus. Finnish pop legend Jenni Vartiainen is back with a brand new single, Se Oikea, a

By Karl Batterbee

charmingly laidback and carefree slice of synth-backed beauty. A hefty dose of ‘60s kitsch nostalgia has been injected into proceeding, resulting in a deliriously pleasant listen that lends itself well to the season of the year we are in.

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Calendar

Food Festival in Aarhus. Photo: Daniel Mois

Scandinavian Culture Calendar – Where to go, what to see? It’s all happening here! Tønder Festival (24-27 August) For more than 40 years, Tønder Festival has been Denmark’s leading platform for international folk music. The festival is both traditional and innovative, and it welcomes young artists who live and work in the area bounded by folk, roots, indie rock, alternative country and singer-songwriter genres. They appear alongside big inter-

national and national artists. Vestergade 80, 6270 Tønder, Denmark

Food Festival Aarhus (1-3 September) Food Festival in Aarhus takes place every year during the first weekend of September. The festival is the biggest food event in

By Heidi Kokborg

northern Europe, and around 30,000 people visit every year. You will find events such as Danish Championship in Hotdogs. The primary purpose of the food festival is to communicate inspiration and gastronomic knowledge about the Nordic food culture to visitors. Food Festival, Tangkrogen, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  119

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Calendar

Pekka Kuusisto. Photo: Kaapo Kamu

ULTIMA Oslo Contemporary Music Festival (7-16 September) ULTIMA has achieved international acclaim, and the music festival is one of Europe’s foremost festivals for contemporary music. Members of ULTIMA – leading music and art institutions in Oslo – contribute to the festival by committing themselves to providing a self-financed concert production or similar event for the festival each year. Numerous venues, Oslo, Norway

PROM 75: Last Night of the Proms, Sakari Oramo (9 September) Sakari Oramo conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the celebration of Last Night of the Proms, marking the 50th anniversary of the deaths of composers Zoltán Kodály and Malcolm Sargent, and celebrating John Adam’s 70th birthday with the London premiere of his Lola Montez Does the Spider Dance. The 100th anniversary of Finnish Independence will also be marked with 120  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

music by Sibelius, and Nina Stemme leads the end-of-season festivities. 9.15pm, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London SW7

ARoS Focus/New Nordic: Dodda Maggý (23 September-18 January 2018) Dodda Maggý is an Icelandic artist and composer who works with emotional imagery. Video and music coalesce with performative elements in psychedelic and lyrical images when she depicts mental conditions as perceptual experience and altered consciousness. ARoS, Aros Allé 2, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark

Finnish ‘runo’ song with Pekka Kuusisto and Ilona Korhonen (28 September) In this free post-concert performance, violinist Pekka Kuusisto and vocalist Ilona Korhonen present a contempo-

rary perspective on Finnish folk music. Korhonen is an expert in ‘runo’ song, an ancient Finnish tradition that fuses song, poetry and storytelling. Kuusisto is a leading Finnish violinist known for his boundary-crossing musical collaborations. 9.45pm, Clore Ballroom, Southbank Centre, London SE1

Pekka Kuusisto, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Philharmonia Orchestra (28 September) Esa-Pekka Salonen opens the 2017/18 season with the work of two contemporary Icelandic composers alongside two works by Sibelius. Symphony No. 6 emerges upwards from melodies forged out of a single stepwise motion: music of ‘pure cold water’. For his seventh, Sibelius crosses his symphonic landscape in a single movement, expressing the ‘joy of life and vitality’. 7.30pm, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Calendar

ARoS. Photo: Axel Schutt

Sakari Oramo. Photo: Benjamin Ealovega

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  121

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Calendar

Royal Festival Hall. Photo: Morley von Sternberg

Nordic Matters: Northern Lights Lounge (28 September-1 October) The Northern Lights Lounge is the perfect place to sit back, relax and simply enjoy the music. You will hear electronic music from different Nordic composers such as Ann Rosén, Camilla Söderberg, Mirjam Tally, Osmo Tapio Räihälä and many others. The lighting is created to resemble the mesmerising northern lights. Sunley Pavilion, Level 3, Green side, Southbank Centre

Hundred Years of Finnish Design at Nationalmuseum Design (Until 29 October) This exhibition features over 200 pieces by 28 Finnish designers, architects and artists. The pieces are from the Rafaela and Kaj Forsblom collection, and they reflect Finland’s development as a nation from 1900 to today. Visitors can see furniture, light fittings, glass art, ceramics, textiles and objets d’art. Nationalmuseum Design, Kulturhuset Stadsteatern, Sergels torg, Stockholm, Sweden 122  |  Issue 103  |  August 2017

Food Festival in Aarhus. Photo: Claes Bech Poulsen

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Calendar

Nationalmuseum in Stockholm. Photo: Hans Thorwid/Nationalmuseum

Issue 103  |  August 2017  |  123

VIBORG 25.09.2017 - 01.10.2017


The Animation Workshop/ VIA University College, one of the world’s most esteemed animation educations, is housed in Viborg Denmark, and has since 2012 played host to the annual Viborg Animation Festival (VAF).

In recognition of the 150 year anniversary of Danish Japanese diplomatic relations, this year’s VAF is a celebration of everything Japanese, and we invite you to explore this extraordinary land of Manga and Animé with us!

You can experience some of the world’s masters of animation at the Manga and Animé Museum, witness the creative conflict of a Manga Artist Battle, explore the borders between technology, animation, and installation art at the Expanded Animation Art Space, play games at the Immersion Game Expo, and of course watch amazing Japanese and Danish films – for free! As a grand finale, we invite you to join us in an ambitious adventure into space with Solar Walk, a poetic performance combining beautiful animation with live big-band jazz music. We promise that it will be both cute (KAWAII) and epic (EPIKKU)!

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Profile for Scan Client Publishing

Scan Magazine, Issue 103, August 2017  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with Swedish author Gunilla Bergström.

Scan Magazine, Issue 103, August 2017  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with Swedish author Gunilla Bergström.

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