Meet the Women in Tech: KryptoGäris founder Tove Andersson

As part of our new Women in Tech series, SI News introduces you to inspiring women on the tech scene. This week, we meet self-confessed crypto-geek Tove Andersson.

Meet the Women in Tech: KryptoGäris founder Tove Andersson
Tove Andersson. Photo: SI News

Tove Andersson describes herself as someone who gets “very excited about new ideas and innovation”.

It’s how the 28-year-old Swede first became interested in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, and what led her to found Facebook group KryptoGäris

The group, which was set up before Christmas in 2017, already has over 1,500 members interested in connecting and learning more about blockchain and cryptocurrencies. But there’s one unique difference between KryptoGäris and other groups of its kind.

KryptoGäris is a forum exclusively for women and non-binary people. Its purpose is for members to teach each other about the burgeoning technology, as well as discuss it, share advice, and even meet up and make new friends who share similar interests.

“I started the group because I saw the potential for blockchain technology to redistribute power and I thought what a shame if it’s only men working on how to redistribute it. Then we risk the power being redistributed from one generation of men to another,” Tove tells SI News.

Tove explains that blockchain has the potential to replace the middle man which can disrupt and reshape many traditional industries. 

Banks, for instance, have a lot of power as they maintain the financial system. In recent years, the credibility of the banks has been brought into question and that’s where blockchain has, as Tove puts it, the potential to “redistribute power”.

And by connecting more women and non-binary people through KryptoGäris and introducing them to the typically male-dominated blockchain scene, they can be part of the change.

But for those of you that don't already know, what exactly is blockchain?

Blockchain is a peer-to-peer maintained digital ledger, or a continuously growing list of records called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. It is open source and can be used to record transactions between two parties in a verifiable and permanent way.

Bitcoin, a type of decentralised digital currency created in 2009, stores its transactions using blockchain which means that it is managed by a network rather than one central authority.

While bitcoin is the best-known application of blockchain, the technology can be used to build trust in nearly any transaction.

“It’s very early with this technology but I think more and more people will get involved with it,” says Tove. “We really haven’t seen the extent of the applications that could be built on it, like electronic cash registries but also land registries and voting platforms can become more secure and transparent.”

It may be early days, but with women like Tove encouraging other women and non-binary people to learn more about blockchain and explore its wide range of possibilities, the future of blockchain looks female.

“I want to continue developing KryptoGäris so that more people get inspired and communicate about blockchain and we start to get more diversity in this field.”

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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.