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SINEWS

Five Swedish startups that are changing Sweden (and the world)

Sweden is one of the most innovative countries on earth and so, perhaps unsurprisingly, has become a hub for startup companies. From the music industry to sustainability, Swedish startups are changing the world with their international outlook and innovative approach.

Five Swedish startups that are changing Sweden (and the world)
Photo: Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se

This week, SI News introduces you to five Swedish startups that are shaping a better future.

Northvolt

Lithium-ion battery factory Northvolt’s ambition is to build the world’s greenest batteries with a minimal carbon footprint and recycling in mind to enable a smooth transition to renewable energy.

“We have made a long-term commitment to producing the world’s greenest batteries and, as a result, environmental concerns guide decision-making within the company,” Jesper Wigardt, Head of Corporate Communications & Public Affairs tells SI News about the company’s sustainable objective.

Since its launch in 2015, Northvolt has been reflective of the sustainability commitment promoted by the Swedish government.  Northvolt hopes to lead the way for a more sustainable future: “We hope that our ambitions for recycling and reduction of CO2 will inspire the entire battery industry to move in this, more sustainable, direction,” says Jesper.

Karma

One in nine people in the world don’t have access to sufficient food to lead a healthy life, yet 1.3 billion tonnes of food is still wasted every year. Founded in 2016, Stockholm-based startup Karma’s mission is to not let edible food go to waste. The app connects consumers with businesses that are selling leftover food – food which usually would have been thrown away from restaurants or cafés – for half the original price.

Already in 150 cities and with 400,000 users, Karma promises a more sustainable future, free from food waste and its environmental and social implications.

Just Arrived

Just Arrived, launched in 2015, tackles the tricky but ever-so-relevant issue of social integration. In 2015, following the refugee crisis, Sweden accepted more refugees per capita than any other country. But integrating newly-arrived refugees to society and the job market is a societal challenge the country has struggled to deal with.

Just Arrived’s app pairs people who are new to Sweden with employers. By creating opportunities for refugees in the workspace, Just Arrived’s mission is to have a positive impact on business and society as a whole.

Sana Labs

Education worldwide is changing and using technology to customise education can help people to stay engaged with learning and more quickly grasp complex ideas.

At just 21 years old, Joel Hellermark founded Sana Labs, an education tech startup designed to adapt to students’ individual learning using an artificial intelligence platform. Based on the idea that everybody learns differently, the app adapts to each student’s needs by measuring their learning patterns. Praised by Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook, the start-up is in the process of revolutionising how we learn.

Amuse

Swedish tech startup Amuse was founded in 2015 with the goal to revolutionise the music industry. Sofia Green, Amuse’s Head of PR, explains that “the internet has made it easier for people to distribute their art and reach their target groups directly without going through a middle man.”

The digitalisation of music has made it possible for artists to release their own music and have control over their creative rights, but being an independent artist is complicated: “We wanted to create a label that could be a true partner to artists, and could help them make informed decisions about their career with the help of all the data that the digital music consumption is generating.’ Sofia told SI News.

Amuse’s ambition is to empower artists with tools and knowledge to take more control of  their future career.

“Around 10 000 songs get released through us each week, and we've worked on over a 100 signed projects. We’re only just getting started though, so stay tuned for more,” says Sofia.

SINEWS

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.