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SINEWS

‘How we use teamwork to manage two boards at the SI NFGL Lund’

Jean Linhares, the chairperson of the SI NFGL Lund Sustainability board, explains how his board and the SI NFGL Lund Sustainability Board collaborate through their teamwork process.

‘How we use teamwork to manage two boards at the SI NFGL Lund’
Photo: SI NFGL Lund Members
We all know that teamwork and collaboration are the key ingredients to create a successful team. However, for the SI NFGL Lund Local Network, the notion of teamwork has become a key feature in our work routine, leading to many benefits and shared learning experiences. And so, we would like to share these experiences with you. 
 
Being one of the largest SI Local Networks, with more than one hundred scholarship holders, the SI NFGL Lund community faced a challenge in its last elections. Due to the high number of participants, together with the desire to create events that were both spaces of integration and learning, the network made the necessary choice of electing two boards, which would work together to organise and promote our events.
 
Photo: SI NFGL Lund Board Members
 
This decision was further determined by the need for a higher number of people on the board to coordinate the work, as well as a more significant budget for events for our more than one hundred scholarship holders.
 
With the decision made and the boards formed, our work began. The first major decision was crucial to the smooth running of our work: to build teams specialised in themes that would work in partnership. From then on, the SI NFGL Lund Sustainability Board was born, focusing on topics related to innovation, creativity, sustainable development and e-solutions. As well, the SI NFGL Lund Human Rights Board emerged, focusing on career development, leadership, management, democracy and human rights.
 
In the first few meetings, we established the dynamics of our upcoming work. One of the main choices we made, was concerning communication. We saw that the flow of information needed to be direct and fast, so we soon formed a group on social media, as well as an online storage drive where we would put all the material we need.
 
Photo: SI NFGL Lund Members
 
Another critical point was to decide on events that would be of interest to all scholarship holders through a forum of ideas, as well as giving the opportunity for all members of both boards to have the chance to lead one or more events. Finally, marketing strategies and resources management are shared between the two boards, with specific people responsible for those.
 
By leading our Local Network this way, we ensure that the communication with scholarship holders and the students of the university is standardised, and the planning of our resources facilitated.
 
The first term was challenging. With winter arriving, deadlines and exams, both event organisation and scholarship holders’ engagement in the events were difficult to sustain. However, due to teamwork and the active participation of all involved, we were able to carry out several activities.
 
2019 started in full gear! Our strategic planning was assertive, and the events began to pan out as we expected. The engagement of our members has also increased considerably, and we have already hosted a collection of events that were a success! Among the main activities carried out, we organised seminars on leadership and career prospects in Sweden, organised by the Human Rights Board, and a visit to Tetra Pak, with a focus on sustainable development, held by the Sustainability Board.
 
Photo: Seminar about “Finding a job in Sweden” and a Tetra Park study visit
 
We are still in the middle of the term, and our plans are big. But, so is the workload. Yet, we are very confident in our event planning and our team! And most importantly, none of this would be possible if it were not for our teamwork and sense collaboration! There is an old saying that “If you want to go fast, go by yourself if you want to go far, go with someone,” and maybe that's the main lesson we’ve learnt from this experience.

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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.