Almedalen – a Swedish phenomenon

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Almedalen has become a super unique meeting arena on Gotland – a small island in the Baltic sea – for opinion makers and advocacy actors who want to create strategies for dialogue, democracy and inclusion. First of all Almedalen has developed to not just being a place for politicians, but also an arena and a social meeting place where the private industry meets public societal actors, politicians and academics in a dynamic conversation about social and sustainable development. This contributes to the creation of a unique dialogue between different actors and thereby creates new ideas and innovation.

I truly believe that Sweden would not have been the country Sweden is today, without Almedalen!

For those of you who did not had the opportunity to travel to this small island in the Baltic Sea, I will share my trend spotting with you.

#1 Increased political focus on Agenda 2030
During the spring, Sweden’s Agenda 2030 delegation submitted its final report to the Swedish Government. One of the delegation’s main proposals was increased collaboration between the government and the business sector. This was something we could witness during this years Almedalen.

#2 Sustainable Procurement
The Swedish Government decided this spring to proceed with a law that will provide better statistics on public procurement regarding sustainability. If the law comes into force, statistics will be provided through data in advertisements and procurements and in completed procurements.
The Swedish Procurement Office (Upphandlingsmyndigheten) and Sweden’s municipalities and county councils (SKL) devoted a full day, with six seminars and four panel debates and invited to an open dialogue about increased procurement requirements with regard to sustainability. This means, all in all, that companies need to integrate sustainability (Sustainable Development Goals) into business strategy in order to qualify for tenders in future.

#3 Companies are concretizing sustainability
A positive trend is that an increasing number of companies are making their sustainability work more concrete by mapping the business value chain towards the agenda 169 sub-goals. When the goals were launched in 2016, it was mapped quite arbitrarily at the target level (17 SDGs). Now we see a new trend where companies clearly communicate goals that are measurable against the company’s overall strategies. The larger and truly mature companies also have a time horizon with intermediate goals. However, knowledge is still low among SMEs.

#4 Digitization is key
This year, there were over 600 program points focusing on how digitalization, artificial intellectual (AI) and machine learning (ML) affect everything from health care and school to increased pace of innovation and politics. My summary is that;

Access to data and its analysis are becoming strategically important to enhance the competitiveness of companies across sectors.

There are also concerns over how data flows can be harnessed while at the same time addressing concerns related to privacy and security.

The overall effects of digitalization remain uncertain; they will be context-specific, differing greatly among sectors and countries. This makes it increasingly important for companies to ensure they have an adequate supply of skilled workers with strong cognitive, adaptive and creative skills necessary for “working with the machines”. This requires effective cross-sectoral collaboration both within the government and with other stakeholders.

 

My mission is to make a difference in people and businesses and influence to make the world a better place.

/ Eva Vati

 

Eva is professional Board Member for several listed companies on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, privately held companies and she’s President for 2022 Initiative Foundation.
Eva is a Thought Leader & Global speaker. She has deep knowledge and understanding of the UN Global Compact & Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). She’s actively advocating by writing and publishing articles & holding lectures for companies of WHY & HOW business should engage.
Eva is a trusted source and move and inspire people with innovative ideas.
She has created a dedicated group of friends, fans and followers and she helps them scale their ideas into sustainable change. She’s excellent at explaining the Business Case for companies to work with responsible and sustainable business.

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