This article from the online English language news source about Sweden, The Local, reveals something I’ve witnessed since moving to Stockholm (in September 1996). Sweden is definitely a land of creativity.
It was once the case that Swedes used to head to the U.S. and various parts of Europe for inspiration. While that hasn’t ended totally, it seems the rest of the world is now starting to come to Sweden. It’s difficult for some to understand, but this seems to be typically due to a bit of ignorance and some having a stereotypical perception of Sweden. Some folks remain in the mindset of Sweden being the home of ABBA, Björn Borg, Volvo, and blond-haired, blue-eyed people. If you’re one of them, you’re in a shrinking minority because while all of that is true, there’s so much more to Sweden than that now (said the smiling black guy from Harlem, New York, married to the gorgeous Finnish lady, surrounded by neighbors from the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and, of course, Sweden.
Sweden is about as cutting edge as you’re gonna find when it comes to IT. This has pretty much been established. The fact that I’m sitting in my living room blogging on an 8Mb line, for a more-than-affordable monthly fee, and that not being unusual says something. That I’m blogging about an article in an online news source about Sweden in English started up by a creative Englishman, adds to my argument. But there’s more to it than that.
The U.S. is quite interested investing in and partnering with Sweden for alternative fuels solutions. It is by no means the first country to be interested. If anything, it’s in a queue of countries around the world interested in investing in Sweden based on the research of some very creative scientists.
Filippa K, J. Lindeberg, Peak Performance, Fjällräven, and, yes, Björn Börg are names familiar to folks who keep their finger on the pulse of fashion. These names equal creativity in the world of fashion.
I could go on, but I digress.
Please don’t get the impression that I think I’ve found Utopia in Europe. Not at all. Swedish society, like any other, is not without it’s bumps, especially as it integrates a growing multi-cultural minority who tend to see things a bit differently than your average Svensson. That’s an article for another time. Nevertheless, when it comes to creativity I agree wholeheartedly that Sweden is currently a step ahead of the rest.