Stockholm: helping its citizens to make an impact from early age
If you were given a task to think about countries which you believe are the most reputable ones in the world, we are positive that Sweden would be in the very top of your list. According to the annual study of countries’ reputations, based on a survey of citizens of G8 nations conducted by RepTrak, world’s leading reputation data and insights company, Sweden has claimed the number one spot two years in a row now.
Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, chief reputation officer at Reputation Institute (RepTrak), explained for the Forbes: “Even relative to the past year, we’ve seen a significant improvement, and in many ways, Sweden has strengthened its position. It’s no wonder Sweden is No. 1, because it’s done an incredible job of telling its story.”
Similar to a business strategy, the narrative is a collection of fact sheets and guides called “Sharing Sweden” that were crafted by the Swedish Institute, a government agency whose aim is to shape perceptions of the country overseas. “Sharing Sweden” explores everything from what the nation is doing to improve accessibility for people living with disabilities to how to work/run a business in the country.
Also, the way Sweden cares for its citizens tells a story all on its own. The nation has long been recognized and laudated for its universal healthcare system and its commitment to gender equality. Sweden believes that women and men should have equal power to shape society and their own lives. Often considered a gender equality role model, Sweden has come a long way.
The capital city, Stockholm, which is led by the mayor Ms Anna König Jerlmyr is, between many others, also setting itself a goal of helping their citizens to express themselves and to make an impact from early age, meaning that they are encouraging people to join creative courses, share ideas and build collaborative environment in schools. The main purpose is for them to see that it’s not just about the work one does as a single student, but it’s about working in a group, and how the group’s combined efforts benefit their ideas.
Stockholm also provides Young Entrepreneur program running in their schools where youngsters can create their own company and can be judged to be the best entrepreneur of the school. The company only lasts for one year, but the idea is to foster a lifelong entrepreneurial mindset. “Many policy-makers think creativity is somehow separate from the main academic subjects. But I think that time will show creativity is an asset we will all need in the future, and that we really have to cherish and value it more”, said the mayor for Weforum.
Having in mind that we live in a fast-paced world with so many possibilities, from digitalisation to AI and IoT which allow us to act so fastly, it is essential to foster creativity, entrepreneurship and that sense of purpose in school. Certainly the best example where we could see all the benefits of digitalisation and possibilities that are available to us is the coronavirus pandemic and how fast the whole world took all the advantages of it in a short period of time.
“Think about sustainability and the work of mitigating emissions. It’s everything – it’s for our children’s future, but it also lets you find a purpose and really make an impact. And as a city, Stockholm can help do that on a global scale”, said mayor König Jerlmyr.