If you haven’t already, make sure to save the date and sign up to our exciting upcoming events!
24 September, 2019 Ventures Group Meetup:
AR, VR & Spatial Computing with 3D Interactive
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM, Folkungagatan 49, Södermalm
Our third Ventures meetup for the year will be on the topic of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Spatial Computing.This event will be hosted by “3D Interactive”, a cutting-edge Spatial Computing company. Join us for a short talk followed by various hands-on experiences in VR, AR and Spatial Computing. Places are strictly limited.
This event is free for members and first time attendees to ABCS events. In case of any questions contact Richard Smith at email@example.com
24 October, 2019 ABCS Flagship Event:
Hosted by Grant Thornton
From 17:00, Sveavägen 20, 103 94 Stockholm
All ABCS members are cordially invited to join us for our 2019 Flagship event.
A huge thank you to our wonderful event sponsor Grant Thornton for agreeing to host us on the night. Further information regarding times, program and RSVP details will be confirmed in the upcoming newsletter. We look forward to sharing what is sure to be another great event with you all.
‘6 quick questions’ to the departing Australian Ambassador to Sweden, Jonathan Kenna
Recently, Chairman of the Board Warren Campbell had the pleasure of a meeting with Jonathan during his hectic last week in Sweden and managed to pose 6 quick questions regarding his time in Sweden.
What are you most proud about/pleased about with your tenure in Sweden?
As a small embassy I am pleased with the way we have been able to engage across a breadth of issues and create a number of new connections in fresh areas. For example I’m very pleased that we initiated the annual Raoul Wallenberg address which has now been run twice and has created a number of important new connections for Australia. A second is creating connections with the Swedish Sami community where there are a number of parallels and learnings for the issues facing our own Indigenous Australians. And we’ve extended our reach into Latvia through partnering with SSE- Riga on the Peter Greste Baltic Media Freedom Awards. All this has extended our reach and networks across the region.
What is one key area where you believe there is opportunity for collaboration between Sweden and Australia?
Urbanisation is a global megatrend, including in Australia where the population is growing by 1m people every 3 years (that is a new Canberra every year). Essentially all of this growth is in urban areas. This poses several challenges and makes issues of urban design and urban sustainability particularly important. With the emergence of 5G and IOT there are a number of interesting business opportunities across mobility and infrastructure and particularly in the area of new services. Both Australia and Sweden are well positioned to work actively in this space.
What is your number one tip for a new Australian arriving to live in Sweden?
Buy an SL card day 1 – the public transport is great! 😊 But in more seriousness, be prepared to persevere to build meaningful relationships with Swedes. Swedes are friendly and welcoming to outsiders, but they have an existing structure to their lives and perhaps compared to Australians, are slower to truly open up. Friendships amongst Swedes often date from school and early in life and it takes a while for social networks to open up to ‘newcomers’. But be prepared to make that dinner invitation 2, 3 or 4 times where you feel there is a genuine connection and eventually you will be welcomed in. There is a richness and rhythm to Swedish life that is really rewarding and fun to experience. So be active and resilient and opportunities open up. I will leave my time in Sweden with some great friendships!
What will you take home as your favourite memory of your time in Sweden?
There are so many – one would have to be the Jokkmokk area of northern Sweden – the landscape in February and my interactions with local Indigenous community remind me so much of the Indigenous issues in Central Australia – despite the radically different temperatures! My primary connection has been to the Stockholm archipelago. This last summer I spent several days wandering through the archipelago with my 3 daughters. Travelling by ferry and camping at night. The archipelago is truly one of the natural jewels of the world!
What are you most looking forward to about returning to Australia?
Having a garden again – getting my hopefully green fingers to work! And old friends are precious – I can really look forward to sitting outdoors on a Friday night under a big starry Canberra sky with old friends, pizza and a cold beer!
Do you have any last words for the members of the ABCS?
I have been very impressed with the quality of the members, the platform and the dialogue that the ABCS has built up in a short period of time. I would certainly encourage any Australian moving to Sweden to work to make the ABCS an early port of call. I am sure the Embassy will remain supportive and engaged going forward. In some other countries I have seen such groups more focused on the social aspects, I really like your focus on substantive dialogue and business and I am sure if you continue that focus you will build an even larger, stronger professional group over time!
We thank both the Ambassador and the Embassy for their wonderful support of ABCS since its inception, and look forward to welcoming the incoming Australian Ambassador to Sweden, Mr Bernard Philip
Each edition, we will provide a short profile of one of our members. If you would like your profile to be included in future editions, please email our Media & Communications Chair, Grace at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can you share a brief rundown of your career?I have three years of post-admission legal experience in Australia, mostly in boutiquepractice on the east coast. I am also interested in business, and am now the co-founder& COO of a Stockholm-based experiences start-up, the 100 Point Challenge. I'm also a running tour guide & manager of Run With Me Stockholm (a strange but completely awesome career segue!)
What can you help people with? Within the Council, I am the Board member responsible for Governance and Administration, but I am also starting to lend a hand with some of the marketing and communications. I am always available for fika for anyone who wants to talk any aspect of start-ups/small business!
Why did you join the business council? Living in Sweden was my first experience of being abroad on a long term basis (university exchanges and 'gap years' definitely don't count!) I think any expat would know the challenges of settling somewhere foreign, not only socially but professionally. The value of access to a community that is navigating the same cultural and bureaucratic idiosyncrasies as you cannot be overstated. Being involved with the Business Council gave me access to wonderful people and opportunities I might not have found otherwise.
How can people reach you? Linked in
Australia in the News in Sweden
Each edition, we will be sharing some snippets of Australian-Swedish news, courtesy of Mundus International, who provide in depth insights and analysis of Swedish news in English for diplomats and business professionals.
Australian economist predicts next crisis will hit Sweden
On August 20, SvD Näringsliv interviewed the Australian alternative economist, Steve Keen about the global economy. Keen, previously of the University of Western Sydney said that Sweden is a “strong candidate” for the impending economic crisis because of high personal debts, which are fuelled by high property prices. “Swedish households have greater personal debts than those in the USA,” he informed the newspaper. The economist draws parallels to the factors that pushed the US into the crisis because of the sub-prime loans that enabled people to buy homes they could not afford. Countries that avoided the last crisis will be victims in this one, Keen said.
Klarna is EU's most valuable fintech startup
On August 6, e-payment platform Klarna announced that it had raised SEK 4.4 billion in a funding round which makes it Europe’s most valuable fintech startup, writes Digital DI. Investors, including Australia’s Commonwealth Bank, put new money into the Swedish company, giving it a valuation of SEK 53 billion. The funding will be used by Klarna to further expand into the United States. Currently the company is growing by 6 million users each year in the U.S. Klarna, founded in 2005 by chief executive Sebastian Siemiatkowski and partners, enables consumers to shop online without having to provide payment details to each merchant they are buying from. The company, which holds a banking licence, has 60 million customers, serving 130,000 merchants and processing an estimated 1 million transactions per day. The Financial Times reported that Klarna will also enter Australia and New Zealand in partnership with CBA, as part of the fundraising announced. For further insights into why CBA invested in Klarna, see the Sydney Morning Herald’s feature.
Sweden assists in the release of Australian student from North Korea
On July 4 it was announced that an Australian student Alek Sigley, 29, had been released by North Korea. The Korea Herald reported that a senior North Korean official met with a special envoy from the Swedish government to assist Australia over the whereabouts of the student, who was feared missing for a week by friends and family. The paper added that the Swedish envoy and his team met with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho to discuss the “development of bilateral relations and the present situation on the Korean Peninsula,” citing KCNA. The following day, the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison thanked Swedish authorities in North Korea for help with the diplomatic contacts. “I want to express my deepest gratitude to the Swedish authorities for their invaluable help,” Morrison said after the release of Sigley. Sweden's special envoy in North Korea, Kent Härstedt, arrived in China with Sigley, who said he was doing well. In an interview, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström (S), said that Sweden made North Korea understand that keeping Sigley detained would stop any political discussions North Korea would want to hold with the rest of the world. Wallström further stated that it was given Sweden would help Australia as Sweden is a diplomatic intermediary, a so-called “protecting power” for several Western nations. Furthermore Wallström expressed delight that Sigley was now in safe hands.