The Knowledge and Enlightenment focus year is part of Gothenburg’s 400-year anniversary celebrations. During the year, central focus will be given to education, research and skills provision, providing a common platform for stakeholders to work from. We met Eva Henricsson from Göteborg & Co’s Trade & Industry Group, process leader for the focus year.
Hello Eva. Tell us about yourself.
I am the process leader for the Knowledge and Enlightenment focus year as part of Gothenburg’s 400-year anniversary, and have long experience of working for Gothenburg, a City of Knowledge. I work in Göteborg & Co’s Trade and Industry Group, a platform for collaboration between trade & industry, organisations, municipal and regional administrations and academia, which is aimed at making Gothenburg even more competitive and attractive.
I was born and grew up in Gothenburg. I have always been strongly involved in the city’s development and see great opportunities in the coming year.
The big kick-off meeting for Knowledge and Enlightenment was held on 22 January. How did the meeting go and did it meet your expectations?
The ambition for 2019 is to utilise experiences from previous focus years while continuing to involve the whole city in the anniversary celebrations. Approximately 70 people from administrations, businesses, academia, regional bodies, Science Parks, companies, foundations and associations attended the kick-off meeting to gain inspiration and find out how their organisations can participate in the focus theme.
Also attending the meeting was the youth reference group, which was formed to bring a young perspective to Gothenburg’s 400-year anniversary celebrations. With such a large number and variety of participants, the meeting provided excellent opportunities for networking and exchange. Another purpose of the meeting was to offer inspiration by presenting various activities planned for 2019. I hope that even more people will get involved and carry out concrete activities during the year.
What will happen during the year and what milestones can we look forward to?
A large number of events will take place during the year. It all kicked off with International Mother Language Day on 25 February, organised by the City of Gothenburg’s Language Centre. Next in line is the Gothenburg International Science Festival on 1–12 April with the theme “Astonishing thought”, followed by Future Skills, the region’s largest vocational meeting place for high school students, on 8–10 October. Several historical events will also be highlighted during 2019. The Space Week on 14–22 September will mark the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child also celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, which means that children will be an important target group. Our ambition is for the initiatives to continue after 2019, so 2021 will be an important milestone for showcasing the work carried out.
What is the most exciting aspect of Knowledge and Enlightenment, and what challenges do you expect it to pose?
What’s most exciting is the large number of people who regard the theme and the focus year as highly relevant and want to contribute to making Gothenburg an even better city. My challenge will be finding the time to gather together everyone’s excellent ideas. I see great opportunities in the year ahead!