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Open to the world – inclusive, green and dynamic, is the vision for Gothenburg. For two years in a row the city has been named world leader by Global Destinations Sustainability Index (GDSI). With its new tourism strategy, Gothenburg aims to step up the work even further.

Earning a reputation as a clean city by the sea surrounded by lush forests and lakes, Gothenburg has plenty of good examples of environmental initiatives, also as a great meetings and events destination. In 2016 and 2017 the Swedish city received the leadership award by GDSI for its exemplary sustainability performance and commitments.
This year, Gothenburg’s commitment takes one step further by launching a new tourism strategy that addresses overtourism, climate change, social responsibility and environmental issues, problems the tourism industry faces globally.
– Global travel is expected to grow substantially in the future, and destinations must see the drawbacks and handle them seriously. Tourism must contribute to the local society, not drain it. Locals are also our most important ambassadors, and we wish to keep their support and for them to remain a vital part of our destination, says Katarina Thorstensson Manager for sustainable tourism development at Göteborg & Co.
Instead of making a separate sustainability strategy, Gothenburg decided to make the sustainability efforts a part of its main strategies in the coming years. The recently launched business plan “Way to grow 2018 – 2020” sets a new standard where all three dimensions of sustainability – economic, social and ecological – are implemented in all strategies.
The plan is developed in close collaboration with the stakeholders. More than 100 people representing the trade and industry, the academy and the city have participated in the process.
– The city of Gothenburg has set an ambitious goal to double tourism by 2030. A growth like this must be sustainable and we as a destination organisation has a great responsibility to see to that the events and meetings we host, the hotels or attractions we offer, all are managed in a way that don’t jeopardize city life itself, says Katarina Thorstensson.

Gothenburg Design Festival starts today and will carry on until the 27th of October. It is organized by HDK – the Academy of Design and Crafts at the University of Gothenburg. The theme “openness” in design, form, architecture and arts and crafts will be discussed and analyzed trough exhibitions, shows and events arranged by teachers, researchers, students and design and crafts practitioners all around the city.

Photo: HDK – the Academy of Design and Crafts at the University of Gothenburg

Gothenburg Design Festival is an open platform for collaborative learning that uses artistic processes to reflect upon and experiment with design as an agent of change in the creation of socially sustainable futures. It explores new ideas for learning, work and social equality.

Participants are welcome to listen, talk to and conduct experiments with students, teachers as well as national and international practitioners to see how design can be essential in creating a socially sustainable future.

The festival organizes different workshops and seminars during the entire week in several places in Gothenburg. The audience can for example create physical representations of the internet or build models in small scales. The cultural center Blå Stället will reflect upon how textiles can be perceived and used in architecture. The need to reintroduce the human perspective in public discussions, as well as diversity in artistic education will also be discussed during the week. Everyone can even discover the graduation work of HDK’s master’s students or artworks created by newly graduated creators that are auctioned at Göteborgs Auktionsverk.

All the activities under the Gothenburg Design Festival are free of charges. See the full program at: https://gothenburgdesignfestival.se

The festival is organized by HDK – Academy of Design and Crafts, University of Gothenburg – in collaboration with, among others, the cultural center Blå Stället, Kultur i Väst, Chalmers Architecture, Röhsska museum for Design and Crafts, Lindholmen Science Park, ICIA – Institute for Contemporary Ideas and Art, IASPIS, Public Art Agency Sweden, City of Gothenburg among others. The festival is carried out with the economic support of the Trade and Industry Group at Göteborg & Co.

Program Gothenburg Design Festival 2018

On October 11th, for the first time during the High School Days (Gymnasiedagarna) and Future Skills, a parent meeting was held in Arabic. The Trade and Industry Group that works with inclusion supported this pilot initiative.

Photo: Frida Rudebo/Göteborgsregionen

During three full days, 9th to 11th of October, more than 33 000 visitors gathered at the High School Days (Gymnasiedagarna) and Future Skills at the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre. This is an annual information and guidance fair organized by the region of Gothenburg, and the main meeting place for future high school students, education organizers and representatives of working.

In addition to lectures and activities, five information meetings for parents were held, among which one in Arabic. On the 11th of October, participants gathered around the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre’s main stage for more information about various school programs in the region of Gothenburg as well as a picture of the Swedish labor market, all in Arabic. Many questions were asked to the speakers Mohammed Megdad from the Swedish Public Employment Service and Maha Hannouneh, Student Supervisor from Mölndal City. This initiative aims to reach an important target group that has not previously taken part in the High School Day because of the language barrier.

Other activities were also organized on this same day, mostly for adult sfi-students and newly arrived in Sweden. In addition, anyone who needed a language support could get help from a guide during their visit.

“Such meetings are important,” says Bouchra Hamdi. She attends the fair with the sfi-student Ahmed Alaa.

“I was interested in the presentation of the Swedish Public Employment Service and I am very pleased with the information I received. I think more meetings should be arranged in Arabic.” She adds.

The High School Days (Gymnasiedagarna) fair is organized by the region of Gothenburg (GR). Future Skills is a collaboration between GR, Business Region Gothenburg, Västra Götaland Region, The Trade and Industry Group at Göteborg & Co and the Swedish Public Employment Services. More information at www.gymnasiedagarna.se

The association Skarpt Läge organized the job fair “At your service” on Friday 28th of September; a meeting place for jobseekers and employers within the tourism industry. During three hours, 754 job seekers came to the hotel Scandic Crown to meet with employers such as Liseberg, Scandic hotel, Casino Cosmopol.

Photo: Fredrik Karlsson/Association Skarpt Läge

The concept is simple: the 20 employers who exhibit at Scandic Crown are all connected to the tourism industry and offer over 150 jobs in hotels, restaurants, tourism and trade. Everyone has something to offer in terms of work, study or internship.

“What’s unique with Skarpt Läge is the simplicity. It is easy for companies to participate and for job seekers to meet employers with different recruitment needs all in the same place. But above all, a thorough follow-up and supervision of both participants and exhibitors is made and reported six weeks later” says Lotta Forsberg, one of the project leaders since Skarpt Läge started in 2014.

In 2018 the job fair Skarpt Läge resulted in 143 jobs. The follow-up that was done six months later showed that 60% of those who got a job were still working. The previous job fairs that the association Skarpt Läge organized over the past three years have resulted in 3 000 visitors and over 600 jobs.

At your Service job fair is based on a collaboration between the Trade and Industry Group at Göteborg & Co, Visita, Scandic, the Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) and the association Skarpt Läge.

After three years of successful integration work at Kista square in Stockholm, the summer project Bonnier Hoops was exported to Gothenburg. Throughout the summer holidays, free activities were arranged for young people living in Biskopsgården area in collaboration with associations, the city of Gothenburg and blue light and emergency organisations. Bonnier Hoops project will round up and finish at the Göteborg Book Fair 27th-30th of September.

Photo: Hisingen by Day

A street basket court, a library tent and a reading corner were mounted in Svarte Mossen, Biskopsgården, in early June, and remained there throughout the whole summer vacation. Bonnier Hoops welcomed every day between 80 and 150 young people to many activities that featured both basketball and reading.

Basketball tournaments, rap workshop, grilling and reading were part of the program offered to the kids and teenagers. The area was manned from Monday to Saturday throughout the entire summer (17th of June-12nd of August) thanks to a collaboration between the publisher Bonnier, various associations, blue light and emergency organisations, and the Trade and Industry Group at Göteborg & Co.

Bonnier Hoops will round up and finish for 2018 at the Göteborg Book Fair on 27th-30th of September, where a big street basket court and book lounge will take place in the middle of the fair. A variety of events will also be organised such as basketball tournaments, workshops and final round of this year’s poetry slam.

Magasin Göteborg was distributed for the seventh time in a row as a supplement to the trade journal Dagens Industri on the 16th of May 2018. The magazine reached about 210,000 readers this year and has had very good results in the reading survey. It is one of Dagens Industri’s most read supplements.

“Stories from the City with Attitude” was the theme of this year’s magazine. Brave and innovative entrepreneurs, researchers and innovators who truly believe in their project and in their city are lifted in the magazine, showing the diversity of companies located in Gothenburg and its region.

A reading survey based on 300 interviews with different age groups shows that Magasin Göteborg has a long reading time, over nine minutes, evenly distributed throughout the magazine. It is a popular product with satisfied readers who appreciate the news value. This year, the magazine has also reached a younger group up to 34 years. Compared with similar products, the reading value is high for Magasin Göteborg, which is still one of Dagens Industri’s most read supplements.

Read Magasin Göteborg online here (in Swedish only) and give us your feedback at #magasinGBG

Magasin Göteborg 2018

The project “Good Job”, created by Passalen in early 2018, got a new boost this summer with its new job model for young people with disabilities. It is about having a young leader who follows and supports employees during work. After a very successful test period and satisfied employers, the project will continue in the autumn.

The” Good job employee” Erica takes care of the kids’ area at Ica Nära Nya Varvet. Photo: Åza Rydberg.

Good job is for young people with disabilities who want an extra or summer job. The project started in January and an app where you can apply for a job was launched in late June. Thanks to the app, the target group can apply for extra jobs advertised by employers.

During the summer of 2018, Passalen tested the possibility of creating summer jobs for young people with disabilities. The work model is based on having a young leader from Passalen helping the employee in the work tasks. In this way, he/she can work with a support and the employer gets a mentor in place.

Four employers, including ICA Near Nya Varvet and the Election Authority, chose to join the concept and offered summer jobs to five people. Three young leaders employed by Passalen supported Good job employees at workplaces.

The work model was successful and received good feedback from the employers. The Good job employee Ahmad even got a new employment at the Election Authority right after his extra job.

“I would like to thank Good Job for the opportunity you created for me! After the job I got a call from Sofia from the Election Authority who asked me if I wanted to come and help them with ballots sorting. I’m so grateful and glad you chose me, “said Ahmad, Good job employee at the Election Authority.

Good job employee Ahmad prepares the elections at the Election Authority. Photo: Åza Rydberg

“Being able to help those who stand far from the work market to get a foot into working life is a benefit to me. If we were all able to see the strength of people with disabilities instead of thinking that they have reduced capabilities, we would soon be able to reach a more inclusive and equal society” says Åza Rydberg, Project Manager for Good Job at Passalen.

The Trade and Industry group at Göteborg & Co supported the project by enabling young leaders to work with Good job employees during their extra job.

Gothenburg will host World Master Athletics Championships in 2022, a decision that was made today during the ongoing championships in Málaga, Spain. The two other candidates were Tampere, Finland, and L’Aguila, Italy. Representatives from Swedish Athletics, Gothenburg Athletics and the city of Gothenburg received the news down in Málaga, where a conference on future championship organizers was held, during the championships.

The Swedish delegation celebrating. Stefan Olsson and Anna Linner Bassani from Svenska Friidrottsförbundet. Bo Edsberger, Niklas Wallenlind, Goran Delic and Annika Knutsson from Göteborgs Friidrottsförbund. Åsa Borvén and Anna Mjörnvik from Göteborg & Co. Mattias Sunneborn, Anna Eek and Karin Schön from the national team.

“During the week we have met with delegates from all around the world, in order to promote our concept before the voting today. We believe that our long and broad experience of organizing large scale events and our close collaboration with Swedish Athletics and Gothenburg Athletics were decisive factors. We happy and honoured that the delegates, through the election today, show us the trust and confidence to arrange the championships. Thank you!” Says Åsa Borvén, event manager at Gothenburg & Co.

World Master Athletics Championships is an event of large scale, going on for two week and engaging about 8000 participating athletes, all over 35 years old, representing over 100 nations. Including athletes and their travel companions, the organizers estimated that around 20 000 people will visit Gothenburg during the championships, which is plan to be held 17-27 August 2022.

“We are really excited that World Master Athletics is coming to Sweden! The interest for master sports is increasing, so the timing is great. We also feel that the championships will be embraced by and inspiring for athletic lovers in Sweden, young and old. The Championships is a major event, but we feel comfortable and happy with the cooperation with the city of Gothenburg and Gothenburg Athletics, as they both are well experienced event organizers” says Stefan Olsson, General Secretary, Swedish Athletics.

Sweden has hosted World Master Athletics Championships once before – in Gothenburg 1977. Gothenburg has also hosted three other major athletics championships before – World Championships 1995. European Championships 2006 and European Indoor Championships 2013.

For further information:

Visit: http://masters2022.com/

Things have gone swimmingly for Styrsöbolaget’s new ferry service between Stenpiren in central Gothenburg and the island Hönö Klåva in Gothenburg’s northern archipelago. Nearly 33 500 passengers used the service between the 26th of June and the 19th of August.

The Kungsö ferry departs from Eriksberg for Hönö Klåva. Photo: Pauline Pontois/Göteborg & Co

“The route has had a sensational start, proving there is high demand for transport to the northern archipelago. It is fantastic that nearly 33 500 passengers have used the service. We are proud and delighted to have achieved this result and satisfied residents’ request to link the archipelago to the city centre, something we have wanted to do for several years. We aim for this to become a permanent route,” says Bertil Pevantus, CEO of Styrsöbolaget and Business Area Manager for Ferries at Transdev Sverige AB.

So far, the ferry has run four times a day from Stenpiren to the island Hönö Klåva via Eriksberg. The trip takes 60 minutes and a single ticket costs 75 SEK. The route is operated by Styrsöbolaget. Västtrafik travel tickets are not valid on the ferries. The route was opened by Styrsöbolaget as part of the Accessible Archipelago project for Gothenburg’s 400th anniversary 2021, in response to Gothenburg residents’ request for easier access to the archipelago.

Öckerö Municipality has noted an increase in summer visitors to the Öckerö islands, particularly to Hönö Klåva.

“There has been a sharp increase in visitors to the Öckerö islands this summer, particularly to Hönö Klåva, and all the islands appear to have seen a significant rise in visitors. There has been a marked rise in cycling tourism, which is gratifying as we have been promoting this type of tourism. Island hopping has also increased greatly in this part of the archipelago. We have no official trade figures from Klåva, but from speaking to people it seems that all businesses have at least doubled their sales. We are also delighted that many local residents are using the ferry to travel to central Gothenburg. This proves that there is also a demand for the ferry service among archipelago residents,” says Ronald Johansson, Head of Tourism and Industry at Öckerö Municipality.

The Anniversary Pavilion opened to the public during the Gothenburg Culture Festival on the 14th to the 19th of August. The Pavilion was a success, offering a programme of over 70 events and attracting many curious visitors.

Photo: Marie Ullnert/Göteborg & Co

Curious residents flocked to the Anniversary Pavilion this year to sample the various activities on offer. Visitors had the chance to find out more about the anniversary initiatives, speak to senior city officials and listen to talks and presentations on the stage. There were several international events in the programme in line with this year’s focus year theme, Go Global. Among other things, artist Arghavan Agida presented her project Artdom, which unites Iranian and Swedish female artists. Kerstin Årre, unit manager for libraries in eastern Gothenburg, spoke about the World Literature House, a new multicultural library opening in Gamlestaden on the 1st of December.

The Pavilion’s VR shows proved enormously popular. Visitors experienced a simulated ride on Gothenburg’s new cable car over the river, thanks to a collaboration between the Traffic & Public Transport Authority and Västtrafik. They also got to experience visualisations of 17th century Gothenburg created by the Museum of Gothenburg and the City Planning Office.

Photo: Marie Ullnert/Göteborg & Co

Music enthusiasts could take part in Side by Side by El Sistema Sweden and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra’s activities, and the Hisingen youth group gave a spontaneous dance show to promote the new dance platform on Kvillestråket. In the evening, the public danced to music served up by various DJs.

“The Pavilion is a wonderful venue where we can converse with Gothenburg’s residents about the city’s 400th anniversary 2021 and all the exciting ideas being realised,” says Alexsandra Flinck, project coordinator and manager of the Anniversary Pavilion.

Following a successful project in 2017, the art & theatre association Meeting Plays is back with a new summer theatre in Biskopsgården. Together with professional stage performers and youth leaders, young people from Biskopsgården and Torslanda produce and perform a unique show. “Hej Blå” street theatre has now performed in a variety of locations in Biskopsgården. The Trade & Industry Group at Göteborg & Co, which supported the project, attended one of the performances.

Photo: Göteborg & Co

On a warm, sunny afternoon around 80 children from nearby pre-schools and housing estates gathered in the area where the mobile arts centre, a blue caravan, had parked up for the day. They had come to watch a performance of the new theatre adventure “Hej Blå”, produced by 15-year-olds from Biskopsgården as part of a summer project. The young performers, who had recently finished their last year at school, had been working for six hours a day, alongside professional stage performers to write, rehearse, and perform the show during a tour of Norra Hisingen.

“Last year the youngsters performed in front of an audience of the same age, but this year they wanted to do something different. We changed it so that the group performs a show aimed at younger children from pre-schools and nearby housing estates. This makes it much more fun for them and they learn different forms of street theatre, in which you never know how the audience will react!” say Åsa Janson and Anna Leyman, both project leaders for Meeting Plays.

After a greeting by the “Raspberry Princess” we see movement in the caravan. A group of strange characters all dressed in blue, with masks and painted faces, emerges from the little caravan. These are the aliens. Their spaceship has crashed on Earth and the group is trying to communicate with us as best they can. Thanks to a combination of tricks, dance and music the aliens succeed in communicating with the clearly impressed children in the audience, who welcome the blue group with big smiles.

In an adventure lasting 30 minutes, during which hardly a word is spoken, the children learn to welcome those who look different – people who may look weird at first but turn out to be really nice and interesting when you make an effort to communicate with each other.

The project collaborated even with another summer holiday initiative called Bonnier Hoops, which is also aimed at children in Norra Biskopsgården, where the theatre group had the opportunity to present their project and play live music.

The 26th of June saw the launch of the new archipelago ferry service between Stenpiren and the island Hönö Klåva via Eriksberg. The Kungsö ferry will have four daily departures in each direction from Tuesday to Sunday between the 26th of June and the 19th of August. The new route is operated by Styrsöbolaget as part of the Accessible Archipelago project for Gothenburg’s 400th anniversary 2021. It is a response to Gothenburg residents’ request for easier access to the archipelago from central Gothenburg.

The Kungsö ferry departs from Eriksberg for Hönö Klåva. Photo: Pauline Pontois/Göteborg & Co

The launch ceremony started at 09.30 am. Bertil Pevantus, CEO of Styrsöbolaget, Ann-Sofie Hermansson (S), Chair of Gothenburg City Executive Board, and Arne Lernhag (M), Chair of Öckerö City Executive Board, presented the initiative and tied a ribbon symbolising a link between the city and the archipelago. After this, the first trip departed at 10.00 am packed with tourists and residents from Gothenburg and Öckerö.

“We’re always delighted to offer passengers new services and experiences. We believe the new route will contribute to the city’s and the archipelago’s development by facilitating public transport and reducing car traffic in the region. We have wanted to open a route between Gothenburg and the northern archipelago for a long time. Now it’s finally here, and we hope it will meet with passengers’ approval,” says Bertil Pevantus, CEO of Styrsöbolaget and Business Area Manager for Ferries at Transdev Sverige AB.

Arne Lernhag (M), Bertil Pevantus and Ann-Sofie Hermansson (S) tied the ribbon symbolising a link between the city and the archipelago. Photo: Pauline Pontois/Göteborg & Co