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Conditions within the tourism industry have undergone a fundamental shift, and we feel warmly for all those who have been affected. Rarely has cooperation been as important as it is right now. We take our role as a collaborative platform extremely seriously, and we are working hard to provide as much help as we possibly can. Here, you can find out more about what actions Göteborg & Co is taking in the current situation.

An otherwise unremarkable door in a workshop next to Gothenburg’s fishing harbour and auction market has attracted many elite chefs. Although they ensure that all the ingredients are lovingly prepared and refined, having the right plate is of the greatest importance. So thinks the 2019 Chef of the Year.

Photo: Samuel Unéus.

We shall begin at the beginning, starting down at the fishing dock. Due to the corona situation, we’ll skip the actual fish auction and move on to Västergården, where the plates are made on which Chef of the Year Martin Moses serves his creations at SK Mat & Människor.

Mia Martinius, the potter who makes more than one hundred plates and bowls every day in her own raw, personal style, has become something of a favourite among style-conscious chefs – not only in Gothenburg and Stockholm, but also as far afield as in Dubai!

She is self-taught, and she loves the pottery workshop and store that she runs together with her three children. Martin Moses has a stack of ceramic plates with him from the Michelin-starred restaurant in Gothenburg. He wonders whether Mia would be able to patch up the plates that have sustained minor damage from the various servings – and he wants the ‘camouflaging’ to be visible. In Japan, such blemishes are often covered with gold, in order to demonstrate the opposite of today’s disposable culture.

Many of those who visit Mia’s store have previously dined at SK Mat & Människor and been enchanted – not just by the food but also by the crockery on which it is served.

“The two things go together”, says Martin Moses. “Serving the right food on the right kind of plate makes all the difference. We eat with our eyes, that’s the way it is.”

In the Instagram age, it is not without importance to have photo-chic plates, or that each dish is served on its own style of plate. Martin and Mia discuss the use of different surfaces for different dishes or ingredients. The next day, the 2020 Dish of the Year is to be announced – a dish that the Chef of the Year gets to design, and that will hopefully become a new classic among the general public.

Standing 196 cm tall, it is difficult for Martin Moses to move around unnoticed in the pottery workshop. Sometimes he cannot resist the temptation to pass a heated plate to his diners, with hands that are accustomed to such heat. Office workers’ hands, however, get a bit of a shock, he says with a smile. So there’s a certain amount of mischief in him. But he is also surprisingly honest about the vulnerability experienced by chefs. Cooking involves sharing a part of yourself – exposing yourself to both praise and criticism.

Martin Moses almost bangs his head on the roof timber in the pottery workshop where he has signed his name. He has added his name to the signatures of other star chefs who use Mia’s plates and bowls.

“I have been really fortunate in that the chefs recommend me to others. I couldn’t wish for a better kind of advertisement”, laughs Mia, contentedly.

The fact that Sweden’s biggest fish auction, where fish wholesalers place bids on fish and shellfish, lies just next door is of course significant. It perhaps also helps that the door to the workshop and store is so anonymous – we take the wrong door, even though Martin has been here many times before.

After Martin has discussed the colours and surfaces that are the best match for his Dish of the Year (which will be crispy cod steaks, served with coarsely mashed white root vegetables, lemon-pickled vegetables and a frothy, creamy dill sauce), we move on to SK Mat & Människor. Evidence of the Michelin star is discreetly on show behind the ‘chef’s counter’. Here, curious diners can follow the craftsmanship of the chefs as they chop and sauté, and pass torches across the backs of freshly caught ocean crayfish.

Photo: Samuel Unéus.

The runner-up in the latest Chef of the Year competition was Martin Moses’ then colleague Ola Wallin, who is now head chef at Upper House Dining in Gothenburg. Either by some kind of magic or perhaps by simple mentorship, a special culture has been created at SK Mat & Människor. Stefan Karlsson, who owns the Götaplats Group of which SK Mat & Människor is part (together with Toso, Mr. P, Bar Himmel and at Park in Gothenburg), was named Chef of the Year back in 1995. He is now chair of the jury. Sweden’s Prince Carl Philip is among the other judges. When this year’s Young Chef of the Year was held, it was won by none other than 23-year-old Anton Kardell, who also works at SK Mat & Människor, with his dish of duck and pike-perch.

Fish and shellfish are particularly close to Martin’s heart. His grandmother in Karlskrona would often serve up meals of fried cod, in all its simplicity. Martin continues this tradition with his own children, although he serves it with stewed spinach. Once you’ve experienced Martin’s touch with fish and ocean crayfish, you are left wanting more. Every year, Martin Moses and his twin brother travel to Lofoten in order to go fishing, although that 50 kg Atlantic halibut has so far eluded them. They never talk about food, however – according to Martin’s brother, the sole purpose of food is to fill one’s stomach. Even so, it was his brother who, at an early stage, kick-started Martin’s competitive nature. They spent their childhoods competing in everything.

Achieving second place in the 2018 Chef of the Year contest was therefore hard for Martin Moses to accept. While on holiday after the competition, he was able to take a step back from his frustration of having ‘lost’ by such a small margin (just one point separated him from the winner), and it was then that he began to plan his entry for the next year. Encouraged by his wife, it was clear that he should seek revenge! The winning dish – ocean crayfish with buckwheat, spruce tips, and grated cured egg yolks – began to take shape in his head. And then came his idea for the dessert – a variation on the ice-cream sandwich, with white mould cheese, malt loaf and apple jelly.

“A normal person would probably have given up after having put in all that work only to lose by just one point. But I can never be satisfied – I know that there will always be a better way of doing things. And, with hindsight, it’s clear that it’s by facing these challenges that you learn new things about yourself. This is something that has made me stronger.”

Although SK Mat & Människor has been KRAV-certified for the past four years, this is not something that features heavily in the restaurant’s marketing.

“Quality is always the most important consideration, and this is our priority. The tastes and experiences we provide are the proof of our commitment and passion in our work, rather than the recognition from any labels or distinctions”, explains Martin. “Having children aged 4 and 7, you care about the state of the world and the effect our consumption has on it.”

According to Martin, the attention that chefs receive nowadays, with their increased public profile, enables them to act as trend-setters. This is something he himself is happy to do thanks to his sustainable approach to local produce, and by taking the bus to and from work each day.

“Sustainability and quality are inseparable from each other. Vegetables that are in season are the best you can get. We really look forward to the asparagus in the spring, and the first strawberries in June – this is when they’re at their very best.”

Martin Moses thinks that it should be possible to charge a little extra when, as during last summer for example, the carrots were extraordinarily sweet and tasty thanks to the warm weather – rather than paying more for organic produce imported from Spain.

Martin believes that Sweden – and Gothenburg, in particular – has a rich larder with ingredients of fabulous quality. He thinks that freshly caught fish and shellfish form an obvious part of Gothenburg’s own larder.

“If we run out of fish in the middle of serving lunch, we just need to make a phone call and we can get more straight away.”

When you work with food, it’s really important to be able to have confidence in your suppliers.

“I think we have found the producers that provide us with the very best. Taste these prawns, for example, that were fresh today”, says Martin as he hands over a plate. “Fresh and juicy – always with the same quality. You always know what you’re getting.”

He also highlights the access to exotic mushrooms, and being able to get newly harvested champignons every day from Östragärde Gård in Sätila.

“The champignons from there are amazing. They’re the size of tennis balls, and with a wonderful texture. Or the herbs from Stenungssund, and the cucumbers from Varberg.”

Almost all the producers Martin works with have their own farm stores, just like Mia who makes her own pots and sells them from her workshop, where customers can linger as long as they like and dream of composing their own culinary creations.

This article was originally published in Magasin Göteborg 2020. Read the whole magazine in Swedish here. Magasin Göteborg is published by the Trade and Industry Group at Göteborg & Co and Business Region Göteborg. The theme of Magasin Göteborg 2020 is ”Sustainable growth – for everyone”.

Text by Ulrica Segersten. Translation by Språkservice. Photos by Samuel Unéus.

We were already doing this in the eleventh century – farming carp on land in combination with growing vegetables. “There’s not really anything new or nerdy about what we’re doing in Floda”, say Matts Johansson and Karin Forsberg from Garveriet.

When the food entrepreneur Matts Johansson first began roasting his own coffee and serving sourdough bread 25 years ago, he experienced several ‘Aha!’ moments with regard to what sustainable food production actually involves.

“From a sustainability perspective, fair and environmentally friendly coffee cultivation is not enough – not if it involves the planned economy. The quality aspect and social sustainability – i.e. that the economic model also works – are also necessary preconditions”, says Matts.

“I think we need to be prepared to pay 10 times as much for our coffee if we are to help coffee production to be both organic and financially viable in the long term.”

Matts needed to understand for himself what the sustainable production of coffee and food really involves, and how this can be communicated without slipping into pedestrian or clichéd sales arguments. Over the years, he has seen how many farmers and cultivators have had to struggle – not least those who try to do things the right way.

“We have many strange expectations of our food: what it should look like, what it should cost, and how it impacts the soil in which it grows. Ideally, we would like to have small dairies producing local cheeses, and small-scale meat farms. But it has become quite clear that much of our knowledge of cultivation, meat cutting and small-scale dairy production is being lost – there is a lack of knowledge-management. At Jernbruket, where we have a local slaughterhouse and the meat is cut (none of the animal is wasted), we need to import the necessary skills and knowledge from Poland and Ukraine.

Matts Johansson is stubborn. Having met with South American coffee growers, local farmers and artisan food producers, who are all struggling to swim against the tide at the same time as there is more and more talk about sustainable production, it is clear that there is a failing somewhere in the system.

“I became really interested in this systemic failure – such as consumers demanding organic tomatoes but not caring that they are imported from Spain. Just 10-20% of our vegetables are produced in Sweden. This is something that will eventually become more apparent when we are no longer able to import vegetables from southern Europe, as a consequence of the coronavirus.”

With regard to vegetables, our level of self-sufficiency is extremely low. As part of its food strategy, the Swedish government has taken the decision to increase small-scale food production. There is, however, a big difference between words on a piece of paper and reality; procurement rules are one thing, but a local lamb producer, whose sheep spend their time grazing outdoors so that they do not need antibiotics, must also be able to support themselves.

“When did you last see a live pig?” Matts Johansson runs his fingers through his greying red beard.

Karin Forsberg finds it strange that, as a mother of three children, she knew so little about the food they were eating at home – that is, until she met Matts.

“I think we have a very blinkered view, and place a huge amount of faith in supermarkets and the state. Do you know how much time a Swedish calf gets to spend with his mother? Two hours!”

“Our cows spend a year in grazing pastures before they are slaughtered”, adds Matts. “There’s a mini-revolution taking place in how we view our food.” Sustainability in how we interact and eat must not be allowed to be a large wet blanket that is draped across people’s lives. According to Matts, we have to begin with the small things. It is easy to lose enthusiasm if we don’t have an in-depth understanding of what we are actually trying to achieve. Both Matts and Karin believe that so-called ‘nudging’ (giving people a gentle push to help them make more sustainable decisions) is the best way to change consumer behaviour.

One example of using nudging to raise awareness is Garveriet’s own courses in sourdough baking, which are held for children and adults.

We need to understand where the flour comes from, and that the way in which we grow our wheat can represent a risk both to nutrient levels and to the very soil in which our food is grown.

As Matts explains, “Monoculture requires the addition of artificial fertilisers and nitrogen, as well as spraying. Around 70 years ago, we chose cereal crops that were best suited to the local area; 20-40 farmers would then take their grain, which had different genetic traits, to the village mill. Each farmer would then leave some of their own seed variety behind. In this way, we developed resistant varieties by a process of natural selection. Monoculture, on the other hand, makes us vulnerable.”

“We need to return to some form of crop rotation. Even cattle can help to rescue our climate, as their grazing disturbs the soil, which is extremely important for bacterial flora and the creation of beneficial conditions for the ecosystems in the soil – the basis of all life. Without worms, the cultivatable layer of soil will become thinner and thinner. Once we’re down to a thickness of 12 cm, we’ll have passed the point of no return”, explains Karin. “The cultivation of oranges in USA, Spain and Portugal has already created so-called salted earth.”

It is not only with regard to vegetables that our self-sufficiency is low. Of the 12 kg of fish that the average Swede eats in one year, 6% comes from Swedish-farmed fish. We import 74% of the fish we eat, and this is mainly from fisheries that are more or less unsustainable. In fish farming on land, which combines vegetable cultivation in a circular system, the farmed fish provide nutrients for the vegetables, and vegetable waste returns nutrients back to the plant-eating fish. The roots of the plants also oxygenate the water.

“What we are doing with Pond Fish & Greens here at Floda is utilising old knowledge. We were already farming carp in combination with growing vegetables back in the Viking Age. And land-farmed fish in combination with rice cultivation has being performed in Asia for a very long time”, explains Matts.

According to Matts, there are great benefits to be gained. The seas must have the chance to recover, and we know that land-farmed fish do not contain any antibiotics or other toxins. It also eliminates the need for transportation, and the fish can be cooked when still fresh. Because they are not predatory, the clarias catfish, which are farmed in large tanks at Garveriet, are well-suited for land-farming.

“It’s clear that sustainability efforts in food production have barely begun. We have realised that we must take a different approach, but we haven’t really decided quite how, and we have certainly not yet begun to take action – apart from the small steps we are taking here in Floda”, says Karin.

“We all have a responsibility to gain as much knowledge as possible. With Garveriet – both the restaurant and the bakery, together with our meetings – we aim to become a forum for knowledge and produce more Aha! moments with regard to sustainability.”

Business models often often lag behind, according to Matts.

“We would love to be able to openly share our knowledge of how we can progress with the business models. Our goal for the future is that Garveriet shall have increased links with research, becoming a centre for sustainability where new solutions for problems can be developed and discussed.”

Having spent a long time checking out various fish stores, and having realised that much of what is being sold is not sustainable, Matts Johansson has taken action and opened a sustainable fish store in Floda. As he says, there’s a mini-revolution taking place.

This article was originally published in Magasin Göteborg 2020. Read the whole magazine in Swedish here. Magasin Göteborg is published by the Trade and Industry Group at Göteborg & Co and Business Region Göteborg. The theme of Magasin Göteborg 2020 is ”Sustainable growth – for everyone”.

Text by Ulrica Segersten. Translation by Språkservice. Photos by Samuel Unéus.

In September 2021 Gothenburg and Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre will be hosting the EAIE (the European Association for International Education) conference, the largest international higher education congress in Europe and the second largest in the world. The conference usually attracts about 6,000 people from universities and higher education institutions in more than 95 countries.

“Following many years of work, we are now able to say that Gothenburg will be hosting EAIE 2021, a welcome announcement at a point when we could all do with something to look forward to. This is a difficult time for the industry and we need some positive news. This major, prestigious event coming to Gothenburg next year is a reminder that we are still working hard to bring in major events in the future,” says Annika Hallman, Director of Göteborg & Co.

The annual conference brings together vice-chancellors, politicians, heads of international departments and others engaged in international education to network and attend workshops and talks.
Run by EAIE, the conference will be hosted by six universities in West Sweden: the University of Gothenburg, Chalmers University of Technology, Jönköping University, the University of Borås, Halmstad University and the University of Skövde.

“Holding the EAIE conference here in West Sweden not only gives us an opportunity for discussion and knowledge exchange on relevant education issues. It also sees us putting our region on the international education map,” says Eva Wiberg, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Gothenburg.

As well as talks and workshops, the conference will also feature more than 350 international organisations as exhibitors. The exhibitors will come from about 30 countries as far afield as Australia, Brazil, Canada, South Africa, the USA, China and New Zealand.

“The value of international relations and exchanges cannot be overestimated and the thousands of conference delegates coming from around the world will open up countless opportunities to forge new contacts. In the long term, it will benefit our entire region thanks to the many new angles gained in the exchange of knowledge, skills and questions between society and academia that is essential for positive societal development,” says Stefan Bengtsson, President and CEO of Chalmers University of Technology.

Since 1980, the Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon has been a major festival for runners in Gothenburg. This year, however, it was replaced by a virtual race, where runners from 24 different countries ran the race from home – an example of how a global crisis has accelerated the development of digital services.

Suldan Hassan, Ullevi FK, during his vitrual race at Hällered outside Borås. Photo: Dino Soldin och Polestar.

For Annika Knutsson, the race director of the Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon, March 11 was a day on which everything was turned upside down. It was then that the decision was made to cancel this year’s race. The event, which each year attracts 80,000 runners who participate in at least one of the races during the week, as well as hundreds of thousands of spectators, usually fills the streets of Gothenburg.

“This event means so much, both for the runners and for the city, so it was a really tough decision to make. At the same time, however, we had already begun planning to organise virtual races – this just sped up the process”, explains Annika Knutsson.

In Gothenburg’s role as European Capital of Smart Tourism, digitalisation has been a priority area. For this reason, there has been great interest in the development of virtual events, concerts and other cultural experiences. Another example is El Sistema’s Side by Side music camp, which last year attracted more than 2,000 participants to Gothenburg from all around the world. This, too, will be held digitally this year.

With regard to virtual races, Europe currently lags behind USA, where these have become relatively common in recent years. Göteborgsvarvet Virtual Race 21k was one of the first large-scale such events to be held on this continent.

As always, the distance was 21.1 kilometres, and the registered participants had to run this distance during the weekend of May 15–17. With the help of a downloaded app, the distance run was registered on the runners’ mobile phones or GPS watches.

A total of 3,336 runners, from 24 different countries, completed the race. Together, they ran a combined distance of 70,643 kilometres, and the fastest times were 1:10:30 for men and 1:19:24 for women.

Annika Knutsson, race director.

“It worked really well – particularly considering that this was the first time. We will continue to arrange virtual races at various points in the future, and with different distances. This is something we believe the runners will want to be involved in”, says Annika Knutsson.

The hope is that the Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon will return in 2021, once again filling the streets of Gothenburg with runners and spectators over the course of an intensive week in May. “Yes, we really hope this will be possible. The virtual race is a good complement, and is good both for public health and for the race, but it cannot replace running together in front of a large crowd of spectators. In 2021, Gothenburg will be celebrating its 400th anniversary, so we will be arranging both the regular Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon and a special full-length marathon in September, for which several thousand runners have already registered.”

Results from this year’s job fair Skarpt Läge are now official. Two months after the job fair and despite the current situation affecting many industries, 318 interviews and 73 jobs were created during the three-hour job fair that broke a new record with its 1 658 participants.

Photo: Fredrik Karlsson / Skarpt Läge.

This year’s job fair was held this year at the Chalmers Conference Center in Johanneberg, on the 21st of February. The seventh edition set a record number of participants with 1 658 visitors, with an average age of 21 years old and from all the districts of Gothenburg.

During three hours, over 1 200 positions were offered from 40 exhibitors in various industries. 318 interviews were conducted during the fair, which is in line with the other years. However, the result of this year’s fair was characterized by the prevailing situation in the world with the sanitary crisis. Despite this, 73 jobs were created during the fair, of which 29 in healthcare service still in need for staff.

Skarpt Läge is a collaboration between the Trade and and Industry Group at Gothenburg & Co, the Employment Service, Visita, the City of Gothenburg’s Labor Market and Adult Education, Chalmers, the County Administrative Board of Västra Götaland County, Hvitfeldtska and Partille Gymnasium.

The Gothenburg-based company Icebug is the world’s first climate-positive manufacturer of outdoor shoes. They are now also the winner of the Gothenburg & Co Prize 2019, which is delivered by the Trade and Industry Group at Gothenburg & Co. Despite the ongoing corona crisis in the world, Icebug continues to pursue its climate fight.

Photo: Icebug.

“It is a really nice prize to win, because the criteria for the prize match the goals we have”, says David Ekelund, founder and CEO of Icebug.

Since the company was founded in 2001 by David and his mother, sustainability and public health have been important. The company’s goal is to get people out into the wild during all seasons. This is even more accurate and important right now.

“The winner of the Gothenburg & Co Prize 2019, Icebug, has developed a unique grip technology for outdoor shoes and works exemplary with sustainability in all dimensions. They dare stick out their chin and challenge their industry”, says Kristin Mari Riera, project manager for Gothenburg & Co Prize at the Trade and Business Group.

Due to the current situation, the company has new priorities. Many events that the company organizes to create a sense of community are resettled. Icebug has also developed a system to support local retailers who have been forced to close their stores.

“Many things are uncertain and change quickly. It is important to maintain a clear internal compass. For us it is to be able to keep two things in mind at the same time: to cope with the crisis we are in right now and at the same time not stop working on the carbon dioxide emissions problem “, says David Ekelund.

Facts about Gothenburg & Co Prize:

• Every year, the Trade and Industry group at Gothenburg & Co delivers the Gothenburg & Co Prize to successful companies that are run and developed in the Gothenburg region.

• The price consists of 25 000 SEK and a silver figurine.

• Since the prize was founded in 1994, it’s been awarded to approximately 60 companies.

On March 4–6, the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre and Gothenburg welcomed industry colleagues to the ICCA Scandinavian Chapter Meeting, at which Gothenburg had the opportunity to share its experiences as a meeting destination.

Malin Erlandsson, Chair of ICCA Scandinavian Chapter. Photo: The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre

The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) is a global organisation made up of meeting industry members from a hundred countries. ICCA’s Scandinavian Chapter is represented by 70 member organisations from Iceland, the Faeroe Islands, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden. The chairmanship of the Scandinavian organisation rotates between the member nations annually, and the chapter meeting is held in the chair country and city. 2020 is Sweden’s turn, and Malin Erlandsson from the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre is Chair, meaning that this year’s ICCA Scandinavian Chapter Meeting was held in Gothenburg in early March.

Sustainability was a key theme for the meeting, which attracted more than 80 participants. The first day of the meeting included a city tour, giving attendees the opportunity to visit locations including Lindholmen Science Park. The City of Gothenburg also arranged a welcome reception at the newly opened Börsen, where the city’s Mayor Anneli Rhedin and CEO of Göteborg & Co Peter Grönberg welcomed the participants.

Göteborg & Co’s Peter Grönberg welcomes participants. Photo: The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre

Discussions included topical issues such as the effects of changed travel habits on our industry, finding a common way to measure the legacy and beyond-tourism effects of international congresses, and how Scandinavia can position itself as a region at international fairs. Gothenburg Convention Bureau also held a session on best practice, at which four destinations described initiatives that they were particularly proud of. Gothenburg shared its experiences of gathering forces on a broad front in connection with its strategic plan for meetings, and explained that the city is this year’s Capital of Smart Tourism and what this means. Göteborg & Co’s Sustainability Strategist Katarina Thorstensson spoke about her experiences of how Gothenburg came top in the Global Destination Sustainability Index.

Photo: The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre

The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) is a global association with 1,100 member organisations from hundreds of countries within the meeting industry: convention bureaus, convention organisers, hotels, conference facilities, travel providers and meeting organisations. The organisation aims to develop the meeting industry and create the right conditions for sustainable growth, knowledge dissemination, talent attraction and skills enhancement.
For more information visit: 
https://www.iccaworld.org/abouticca/

It is now official that the automotive giant Geely joins and becomes the newest member of the Trade and Industry Group at Gothenburg & Co.

Geely’s new innovation center Uni3 at Lindholmen

– Geely wants to get involved in the Trade and Industry Group because it is a good way for us to become more involved in the local business community in Gothenburg. The Trade and Industry Group has a broad program that allows us to sync with the other companies already in the group and benefit jointly from being a gathering force in sponsorship and CSR work in the region, says Stefan Lundin, head of communications for Geely in Sweden.

Geely Sweden Holdings is a subsidiary of the Chinese Geely Group and is in Sweden a holding company for, among others, Volvo Cars, Polestar, Lynk & Co and Geely’s new innovation center Uni3 at Lindholmen and others. With more than 10 years of presence in Gothenburg, Geely now wants to take greater responsibility as a group and get more involved in the city’s development.

– We are very pleased that Geely has chosen to get involved in the Trade and Industry Group and we warmly welcome them, says Lennart Johansson, Head of the Trade and Industry Group at Gothenburg & Co. Geely is the perfect puzzle piece that powerfully complements our platform. Together with 21 other large companies in different areas, the Trade and Industry Group works to strengthen and develop Gothenburg’s competitiveness and attractiveness.

On the 14th to the 17th of April, a creative workshop was conducted with the support of the Trade and Industry Group. Together with creative students from Yrgo and the Media Institute, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra has worked on finding new, creative, digital ways to create cultural meetings and raise interest for Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra’s music.

The participants from Yrgo and the Media Institute, together with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, worked on finding creative digital ways to create cultural meetings. Photo: Gothenburg Symphonics.

The participants of the workshop are creative students from Yrgo and the Media Institute who, when their opportunities for an internship at the city’s advertising agencies disappeared because of the Corona pandemic, started two own advertising agencies. The workshop is led by Christer Hedberg from &friends. The aim of this week commissioned by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and the Trade and Industry Group was to make music accessible to more people by using innovative digital solutions. Together we show the strength and effects of culture meeting innovation and the benefits of digital cultural meetings.

– Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra has long been at the forefront when it comes to high quality recordings in our own studio. Through GSOplay, our digital concert hall, GSO’s music reaches over 170 000 visitors each month. Digital options like GSOplay increase accessibility, lower thresholds and make it easy to explore classical music even outside the Concert Hall, says Eva Essvik, business developer at Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.

Now that digital solutions are more up-to-date than ever, it is important to build up even more content in the digital concert hall to put Gothenburg on the map as an innovative role model where culture and business go hand in hand to build an attractive, prosperous and growing region.

On 3rd to 6th of April, Hack the Crisis was organized all over Sweden. Over 7 000 participants contributed with more than 500 innovative ideas in the fight against the Corona crisis. The purpose of what became one of Europe’s largest digital hackathon was to develop sustainable solutions for Sweden to overcome the current situation.

– In the special times we are in, it is important that many people engage and contribute with their skills and with innovative ideas and initiatives, says Lennart Johansson, head of the Business and Industry group at Gothenburg & Co.

About 7 439 participants, from their home or office across Sweden, contributed with ideas and solutions in the fight against Covid-19 and made Hack the Crisis Sweden one of Europe’s largest virtual hackathon. Focusing on the three main tracks Save Life, Save Communities, Save Businesses, 530 ideas and solutions were delivered.

A jury consisting of 95 people including Peter Grönberg, CEO of Gothenburg & Co, rewarded two winners in each category. Read about the winners and other suggestions here.

A reward of 150 000 SEK was divided to the winners who now have the opportunity to implement their idea and solution in collaboration with committed partners and authorities

The Trade and Industry group is a proud partner to Openhack, which together with DIGG (the Swedish Digital Agency), the Government Offices, Hack for Sweden and AI Innovation of Sweden were the initiators of Hack the Crisis.

Two new colleagues joined Gothenburg Convention Bureau a while back. Fredrik Lundgren will work as part of the project management team to attract more new meetings, while Lena Edemell will deal with research and support for meetings that have already been decided on.

Fredrik Lundgren and Lena Edemell. Photo: Linda Nordberg, Göteborg & Co

Fredrik has extensive experience as a project manager within marketing and sales, and in recent years has worked with some of the largest Swedish and international sporting events, including the Partille Cup – World of Handball. His work at Gothenburg Convention Bureau will focus on organisation and business meetings, and he is excited about his new role.

“I had extremely high hopes of my new position as a project manager, and they’ve certainly been met so far. Building relationships with so many fascinating, knowledgeable researchers, professors and academic and business leaders is a real bonus of the job. I’m also looking forward to making contact with international congress arrangers and other destinations.

“The scientific meetings that we’ve won at GCB will help to ensure even wider dissemination for the research carried out here in Gothenburg. This is an important driving force that leads the city, its science and its industry to identify new routes for cooperation. But it also demonstrates the importance of our networking activities.

“From a historical perspective, it feels like we’re currently experiencing a growth spurt. Whether it’s sustainable strategies for the meeting industry or new technology emerging here in Gothenburg, we’re part of the trend. The feeling of being where it’s happening and getting to scratch at the surface of the latest research is incredibly inspiring. Gothenburg is also undergoing a phase of enormous expansion, not least when it comes to hotel construction. The offering and the guest capacity are both increasing, enabling us to host more meetings and larger meetings. Overall, it feels like there are a few really inspirational years ahead of us here at Göteborg & Co.”

Lena has been in her role a little longer, having joined in autumn 2019. She previously spent several years at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, where her roles included Unit Manager and RD&E (research, development and education) coordinator. Over the years, she has built up an extensive network and has valuable experience of identifying new meetings that can brought to Gothenburg, including medical congresses. Lena will also act as an external contact for support and questions relating to meetings that have already been decided on.

“Changing direction after spending many years working in healthcare for Region Västra Götaland felt like an exciting and fascinating challenge. After an initial feeling of enthusiasm combined with a little apprehension, I quickly felt very much at home thanks largely to the wonderful creative environment and my colleagues at Göteborg & Co.

“The meeting industry is exciting and is constantly evolving. It’s an extremely broad field with a lot going on, making this a fantastic journey to be on. It’s wonderful to see the synergy effects that can be achieved through the excellent cooperation we enjoy with our stakeholders. It’s quite unique and makes Gothenburg stand out as a meeting destination – it’s certainly something to be proud of!”

Contact Fredrik and Lena.