What a science park visit taught me about me sustainability

NFGL member Sabera Zohra Abonty from Bangladesh explains what she learned about sustainability and technology during her visit to the Mjärdevi Science Park in Linköping.

What a science park visit taught me about me sustainability

It was a windy autumn morning in Linköping when around 25 NFGL members gathered to visit the Mjärdevi Science Park in Linköping.

Mjärdevi Science Park, supported by the Linköping City, is the home for more than 350 tech companies. It’s strategically located near Linköping University, which make it the perfect place for collaboration between academia and companies.

It started in 1984 with the vision of supporting the growth of new thinking and new techniques, as well as new ways of working that will enable modern society to develop innovative solutions.

This visit really made me realize how technology is so deeply rooted in Sweden. The city of Linköping is highly involved with innovations and has a goal of being carbon-free by 2020.

Creating a Science park to support development from start-ups to established companies allows entrepreneurs and other talents to expand their ideas – and this concept was something very new for me.

No wonder then, that companies like Ericsson are developing their 5G technology here. So how might we, the international students and NFGL members, benefit from this?

Recruitment fair

Anna Broeders, the community and employer branding manager from Mjärdevi Science Park helped us to understand that.

They have a unique concept called “Creactive”. “Creactive” is a meeting place where students can visit and interact with companies. During the opening hours you can even check in for a free coffee, meet a friend, or just sit in an inspiring environment to study or work and meet new people.

The good news is they just rearranged the place last week to become even cooler! (Linköping University students, you are hearing me right, it’s the place for free fika!)

The companies in Mjärdevi Science Park also offer internships or summer jobs for students. You may even find your thesis or research ideas.

If you want to find out more about the companies and the events associating with Mjärdevi Science Park don’t forget to check

The Facebook link for Mjardevi is Creactive is

They are also going to have one recruitment fair on January 25th, 2018.

Anna shared with us that they are trying to make Mjardevi more international and inspiring the companies to use English as their primary language rather than Swedish (No, I am not asking you to miss your Swedish classes!).

If you are confused by all the events and want to get involved with a specific network, they also offer that option.

Being a Business student (and not so techy unfortunately) I really liked two specific networks and am considering getting involved.

The first one is the HR- network where HR managers in Mjärdevi Science Park meet four times a year and exchange knowledge and experiences.

And the second one is – Ebbepark. Ebbepark is another project now running in Linköping to develop the city’s business ecosystem, and they offer meetings jointly with Mjärdevi Science Park.

Get inspired

You may wonder how these parks or ideas are really going to affect students like us who are probably only in Sweden for a year or two.

But if you look at things closely, we have already made ourselves a part of the international platform by signing up to come to Sweden.

We are in a place where we can contribute our ideas through conversation with these parks and we can try to bring about the change we want.
You are living in a Swedish city, which automatically makes you a part of the community living there.

Take this opportunity and check the science parks in your own Swedish towns. I don’t know if these are ideas unique for Sweden, but since I am here, I am excited to be a part of it.

You may find an idea by visiting these parks, which may help inspire you to change something back in your home country.

3D systems for diagnosing

For example, Fredrik Larsson, the digital strategist and communication manager of Mjärdevi Science Park, shared a smart washing machine concept where you can instruct the machine to start based on the availability of solar light.

You can programme all your electric devices through your smartphone to use solar power. I just thought, why don’t we do this in my home country of Bangladesh, where we have sun throughout the year?

It would be a great way of saving energy!

We also visited a company call Sectra, which works with medical systems by supplying modern software to diagnose and determining an appropriate treatment.

They presented us their new and very cool 3D system for diagnosing patients. They also shared an overview on how we can fit ourselves into Swedish companies.

Sectra offers summer jobs and internships as well, but mostly for software developers. Their website is Check them out if you are interested in working with them.

You too are into sustainability

Finally, we gathered at beautiful Linköping University for a lecture about IT and sustainability by Professor Elin Wihlborg from Linkoping University.

Of course everyone has different ideas on how you can connect yourself to sustainability and how IT could affect it.

But you are probably doing a lot of things to promote sustainability without being aware of it. For example, maybe you are buying second-hand from Swedish flea market groups on Facebook.

Congratulations, you are into sustainability! You create less waste and helping to save more nature through modern technology!

Thanks to SI for arranging this event for us. Lucky to know what’s happening in my neighborhood and being a part of it.

Sabera Zohra Abonty is studying business administration at Linköping University. 


Lagom: The best way to achieve social health?

Ronoh Philip, who is studying for his masters degree in Infectious Disease Control at Södertörn University, explains why he thinks the Swedish concept of 'lagom' is the best way to achieve good social health.

Lagom: The best way to achieve social health?

During my one week orientation program on August 2019 at Södertörn University, we were presented with many aspects of Swedish culture and practices. One of the new aspects that I learnt was the “lagom culture”, As I quote one of the presenters about applying lagom to our studies, he said: ”Lagom will reduce your stressful burdens of hectic lecture schedules and ensure that you spend equal time of working and socializing in the university.”

So being a student with a background in public health and society, I got interested and searched for the deeper meaning of lagom, and how it can  apply to society and health. I found out that it is a Swedish way of life, it is a concept which means not too much and not too little, just enough. I learnt that it came from a Viking tradition laget om which means 'around the group' and was allegedly used to describe just how much mead or soup one should drink when passing the bowl around in the group.

If this concept is applied to achieve social health goals, it would really fit well. So, what is social health at first? Social health is how you interact with other people and adapt in different situations, it deals with how people in society deal with each other. It is important to note that there is a close link between good social health and improvement of the other aspects of human health, this can lead to the achievement of SDG goal of good health and wellbeing. It also leads to self-satisfaction and happiness; no wonder Sweden is ranked as one the happiest countries in the world. It is ranked 7th in 2019, according to world happiness report. I believe lagom has a big role in this achievement.

In the country where I come from, Kenya, one of the greatest challenges we face in our society, is the ability for people of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds to interact and form positive and cohesive relationships with each other. From my perspective, when I finish my studies and return, lagom will be worth implementing in the workplace, the place where I live and the society as whole, as it is the best way of finding simple, attainable solutions to our everyday worries like stress, eating better, having downtime and achieving happiness. It’s a balance of work and life, so everything is in sustainable existence with each other.

My goal during my entire university studies at Södertörn, will be to learn more about the lagom principle and also be able to apply it on our SI NFGL Local Network platform, because it is surely one of the best ways to achieve a good  work-life balance, reaching consensus with my colleagues and adapting a team minded approach in dealing with issues in an organization and the society.