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Connect Sweden: Examining Sweden's place in the world

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Connect Sweden: Examining Sweden's place in the world
Airplane in Sweden photo: Shutterstock
09:30 CEST+02:00
The Local's Connect Sweden ambassador series features interviews with prominent figures in Sweden's business, diplomatic, and cultural spheres to learn more about the country's place in the world and how international air connectivity affects perceptions of Sweden.

Sweden's place in the world, both literally and figuratively, can seem like something of paradox. On the one hand, Sweden is a global hub for innovation, culture, and business; on the other hand, it's a small, out of the way country on the northern fringes of Europe.

The ConnectSweden ambassador series explores this paradox and looks generally at Sweden's place in the world through exclusive interviews with a eclectic and accomplished group of people.

Every other week The Local and ConnectSweden bring you a new perspective on the issue from another important figure from Sweden's business, academic, and cultural spheres who share how Sweden's connections to the rest of world affects their own relationship with the country.

‘I don't feel Swedish, I feel international'

Fourteen years ago, American Peter Dahlen was just another “love refugee” in Sweden. Today he's the Managing Director of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), working hard to improve trade between Sweden and the US. The Local asked him about connectivity, trade, and life in Sweden.

French CEO: 'Sweden needs more direct flights'

Sweden has been a magnet for foreign investment and people seeking a great work-life balance - but a lack of connectivity threatens to derail the trend. Isabelle Ducellier, Nordic CEO of French distiller Pernod Ricard - which owns Absolut vodka - tells The Local more.

'I constantly evolve my Swedishness'

Sweden isn't the same place it was 50 years ago – and that's a good thing. Star Swedish chef Marcus Samuelsson tells The Local about cuisine, curiosity, and connectivity.

'Sweden's success is because of its size'

Sweden has a paradoxical place in the world – a small country of just 9.5 million inhabitants, and yet it tops multiple innovation indexes. The Local spoke with Peter Gudmundson, president of the Royal Institute of Technology, about what Sweden is doing right.

The millionaire teacher who leads by tough love

Barbara Bergström, founder of Internationella Engelska Skolan, talks about what's wrong with Swedish schools, international teacher recruitment, and why she's not above cleaning toilets.

Kristin Amparo: 'We're afraid to be proud'

Sweden might just win Eurovision – but that's not enough to "take back the flag". Singer Kristin Amparo tells The Local why Sweden needs to increase connectivity, but also learn to be proud of its traditions.

Hans Rosling: 'There's no such thing as Swedish values'

Hans Rosling, Sweden's own globetrotting celebrity statistician, offers his thoughts on ignorance, connectivity and why there's no such thing as Swedish values.

'Nations don't change without a good crisis'

Sweden's success is due to planning ahead and an underdog mentality, business guru Hans Stråberg says. But if the country gets complacent about competition and connectivity "we're going to go down very, very fast", he warns.

Is the world wrong to link Sweden with sexiness?

The world has misunderstood why Sweden is sexy, claims the woman behind one of Sweden's hottest new brands who now travels the world promoting a new generation of Swedishness.

'Impossible' to run Skanska without Bromma Airport

Under-threat Bromma Airport has sparked a torrent of political debate lately, with fans arguing it's an essential port of connectivity for the country. But it's more than that, Skanska Sweden's CEO Pierre Olofsson says – it's also critical for work-life balance

'Sweden must embrace openness and diversity'

Sweden needs to get better at integration and firms need to see diversity as an asset, says Swedish business veteran Michael Treschow. And strong global bands alone can't protect against Sweden getting mixed up with Switzerland.

'Sweden must connect the dots with India'

When visitors step off a plane at Arlanda Airport, they are flooded with claims that Stockholm is "the heart of Scandinavia". But Indian Ambassador Banashri Bose Harrison says the city must increase connections to the world in order to live up to its promises.

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