Why trust matters in creating an innovative environment

Why trust matters in creating an innovative environment
NFGL member Mohamad Youness from Lebanon shares what he learned on a recent SI study visit to the Mjärdevi Science Park in Linköping.

I would like to share a summary and short reflection following my study visit to Mjärdevi Science Park on October 12th.

I will start off by saying it was one of the most inspiring events I have ever experienced. The first session was hosted by Anna Broaders, who presented the science park and Creactive.

It was exciting to learn about the science park’s vision and mission, and how it targets businesses, academia, society and citizens. It was also beneficial to learn about some of the startups funding and guiding events.

The day continued with Magnus Broeders who was presenting Indentive, a software development company that describes itself as a “development house”.

Magnus talked about Indentive’s services along with some examples and also presented their new product related to the Internet of Things (IoT).

After a pleasant lunch, we had a rousing presentation by Sectra, a medical system company whose mission is to increase the effectiveness of healthcare by creating software that combines all departments in the healthcare system.

The presentation was followed by an engaging demonstration of a program designed for medical schools to enhance teaching and make it more enjoyable using a new 3D imaging technology.

We then had a fun walk from the science park to Linköping University where the visit finished with a fika and presentation by Elin Wihlborg, professor of political science at Linköping University.

Elin discussed the close relationship between technology and society using the Nordic model as an example of the role of technology in creating a developed and sustainable society.

She also talked about the dynamics of innovation which is summarized by a triple helix logo representing the university, industry and government.

I noticed that all the lectures had one idea in common, which is the importance of trust in creating an innovative environment (employer-employee trust/customer-seller trust/citizen-citizen trust/citizen-government trust).

Another thing I am still thinking about is that technology should not be used to exclude (intentionally or unintentionally) any part of society. As an example of how technology can affect society, Elin presented referred to a bridge built to Jones Beach in New York in the 1920s that was to narrow to accommodate buses, thus excluding anyone who could not afford a car from accessing the beach.

Last but not least, I was astonished by the Swedish concept of “Folkhemmet” which means the ‘peoples’ house’.

The base of this concept is that an entire society should be like a small family, where everyone contributes. The concept is the basis of Sweden’s welfare system were people feel safe, trusted, and a sense of belonging to this family.

I will never forget this event, and I will try to use the concepts I gained throughout this visit in the future as a NFGL member.

I would like to thank Swedish Institute for this amazing event, hoping that similar ones will be organized in the future.

Mohamad Youness studies cardiovascular medicine at Örebro University.