The history books of the future will most certainly talk about a time before and after COVID-19. At the moment, we find ourselves right in the midst of it. We are at a juncture when managing the crisis is the focus for healthcare services, municipalities, businesses, and individuals – all are impacted by the virus. At the same time, we need to dedicate energy and resources to considering how we build society following this pandemic.
Before the coronavirus crisis was upon us, many cities, both in Sweden and abroad, were facing major challenges; economic, social, and environmental. Solving these challenges requires new working methods and new ways of providing public services, but also close collaboration between the public sector, industry, and academia.
It is therefore important that the City of Helsingborg has chosen to invest in H22 – in welfare innovation and a sustainable society. As part of the work with H22, we have been invited to assume the role of advisors in an Advisory Board. Last week, we met (digitally) to specifically talk about the future, with a focus on H22 and the smart and thoughtful city. We consider the following to be essential in the work moving forward:
- Collaboration. Within the framework for H22, almost 60 companies and organisations so far – local, national, and global – have chosen to join forces to improve quality of life in the city and strengthen the vitality of the business sector. With support from the OECD and UN, a joint initiative has commenced to bolster innovative power in Helsingborg and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Faith in the future. In difficult times, it is even more important to have initiatives that create hope and reassurance and which align forces towards a common goal. Together we are capable of infinitely more than we can achieve on our own. We want to draw attention to a few of these initiatives: h22.se/en/together, which shines a light on innovative individuals and solutions making a difference in this time of crisis; Action Helsingborg, which includes a fund of SEK 1 million to support ideas that benefit local businesses here and now; and H22 Accelerator, which supports ideas and will hopefully contribute to the creation of new enterprises that will continue to grow after the crisis.
- Commitment. The commitment of the people of Helsingborg to supporting their city is fantastic, and the H22 initiative will harness this force. With H22, the people of Helsingborg – together with businesses, academia, and the public sector – will see the city through this crisis and into the future. Children, young people, and the elderly – all will be invited to be co-creators of the society of tomorrow.
We have important and extensive work ahead of us to rebuild society. It places even greater demands on new ways of thinking and collaboration. H22 is therefore, now in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, more important than ever. Because despite all the negative aspects that a crisis entails, there are also positive effects worth focusing on. Crises create pressure that drives change, they stimulate innovation and inspire commitment. What is needed now is for us to push forward and set our sights on developing a sustainable city for everyone. We are convinced that we can succeed, but only if we do it together.
H22 Advisory Board
Annika Olsson, Rector of Campus Helsingborg, Lund University
Aurore Belfrage, Tech diplomat
Carin Stoekmann, Chair of Sveriges Byggindustrier (The Swedish Construction Federation)
Daniel Akenine, National Technology Officer, Microsoft
Fredrik Josefsson, Head of Entrepreneurs and High Growth, Corporates and Private Customers, SEB
Hans Nelson, Jakobsson Addemotion AB
Joakim Jardenberg, CEO of Get AI
Karin Liliedahl, Innovation Leader
Marie Carlsson, Director Business Solutions, Volvo Buses
Magnus Agerström, Managing Director, Cleantech Scandinavia
Mikael Ahlström, Founder of The Park / Partner Hyper Island
Troed Troedson, Future Analyst
Sebastian Fuch, Co-Founder and CEO, SUP 46 (Start-Up People of Sweden)
The Advisory Board will meet twice a year up until H22 City Expo in the summer of 2022. The members contribute to Helsingborg’s long-term development by sharing their expertise and networks. The Advisory Board is headed by Chairman of the Municipal Board of Helsingborg Peter Danielsson (Moderate Party) and Deputy Chairman Jan Björklund (Swedish Social Democratic Party).