I would love to be able to say that my beloved hometown Gothenburg is the most entrepreneurial municipality in Sweden. But after having spent a day with the municipal chief director of Sundsvall – Stefan Söderlund – and his colleagues, I am inclined to say that Sundsvall might be quite a bit ahead of the crowd. Their clear emphasis on entrepreneurial societal development, supported by (1) a clear vision, by (2) an ambitious and cleverly designed project that they are about to give permanent funding as well as top management support, and not the least by (3) full political support, is something I have not seen elsewhere in Sweden before (do correct me if I’m wrong here anyone).
While we in Gothenburg are taking the unconstructive blame game and internal quarreling to new heights each year eagerly supported by watchdog journalists, Sundsvall are moving swiftly forward focusing on the search for new and innovative ways to improve public sector (including but far from “just” working with the educational sector), embracing the risk for failure and uncertainty that inevitably comes with it, seeing it as a price necessary to pay for achieving excellence. They have put up some really challenging and inspiring goals for the coming 7 years, and I think they might actually achieve what they have set out to achieve.
Tomorrow I will talk about how to make people more entrepreneurial in general, and it is on their “managers’ development day” – their 350 top managers. And they found me as a speaker (background checking me thoroughly through social media), no they hunted me down – they knew exactly what they were looking for in order to support their vision towards 2021 when they celebrate their 400:th year as a city – tools that make people more entrepreneurial. And that is exactly what we are working with at Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship. Still, it took me several months just to figure out why the heck they wanted me to speak, but as of now it’s crystal clear to me. I’m humbled and excited to see where they will take this!
Here are the slides I will discuss around tomorrow (in Swedish): Innovativt offentligt vardeskapande 140213