On May 4 the Swedish Australian Chamber of Commerce organised the annual Sydney Executive Forum with the Ambassador of Sweden to Australia, HE Mr Henrik Cederin. The lunch forum took place at The Telstra Customer Insight Centre Sydney.
These forums provide an opportunity for SACC Premium and Corporate Company Member Executives, Special Guests and Team Sweden Australia members to connect in person and to get an insight into a certain topic, share experiences, ideas and collaborate. The focus for this forum was on how technology and digitalisation are bringing new opportunities.
We were welcomed by Vicky Brady, Chief Financial Officer and Group Executive, Strategy & Finance and heard from Ambassador Cederin, Emilio Romeo CEO Ericsson Australia & New Zealand and Mario Macri, Country Digital Lead, ABB. President of SACC Jan Gardberg was the moderator for the event. After presentations followed round table discussions while a light lunch was served.
https://www.swedishchamber.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Exe-forum-welcome-desk.jpg9001200Camilla Jenningshttp://swedishchamber.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/logo.pngCamilla Jennings2021-05-04 20:57:552021-06-18 21:12:58SACC Executive Forum Sydney
The sun was out when SACC YP in Melbourne celebrated Walpurgis (Valborg), the King’s birthday and May Day with fellow Swedes and non-Swedes alike in lovely Elwood Park. New and old friends connected during a day of fun, games and networking. Some people got the opportunity to show off their impressive kubb-skills. YP Melbourne was delighted to see so many new faces attending and to see the YP community growing. YP Melbourne is looking forward to hosting its first ever Midsummer celebrations on June 26 at cafe OPPEN in Windsor.
https://www.swedishchamber.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Unknown-1-1.jpeg278495Camilla Jenningshttp://swedishchamber.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/logo.pngCamilla Jennings2021-05-01 22:31:182021-06-18 23:52:09SACC YP Sydney and Melbourne – Walpurgis Celebration 1 May
On April 21 the SACC Perth WA Chapter were delighted to provide members and guests the opportunity to network in person while hearing from industry experts the latest developments in the mining and mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector.
With open borders to other states, SACC Perth WA had the pleasure to host Ambassador Henrik Cederin and Alexandra Cederin visiting WA for the first time. The SACC Perth WA event 21 April was a success and we were able to network in person at the amazing Grant Thornton venue and learning about the fast-changing area of sustainability in modern mining. Big thank you to all members and guests attending.
Special thanks to speakers, sponsors and supporters Sandvik, Scania, Grant Thornton, Barminco and the Embassy of Sweden Canberra.
https://www.swedishchamber.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/SACC-Perth-event-banner-21-April-2021.jpg11291500Camilla Jenningshttp://swedishchamber.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/logo.pngCamilla Jennings2021-04-21 21:14:022021-06-18 21:50:43SACC Perth WA Sustainable Mining Event 21 April
The Nordic Engagement Lunch 14 April presented a full house at Denmark House
A slow start to the Nordic Engagement lunches but better late than never! After a tumultuous 2020, we finally could gather and welcome new and known faces to Denmark House. The 2021 forecast looks to be shaping up well! Starting the season with a bang so we hope to see not only an increase but also an increase in lunches. As for now, the Nordic Chambers are running the lunches on the second Wednesday every other month.
Due to unfortunate news of the Covid-19 outbreak in Melbourne with additional covid safe measures around for Victoria the Nordic Engagement Lunch on the June 9 has been rescheduled to August 11th. If you already purchased, your seat will be honoured for the rescheduled date.
Welcome to the next ‘Nordic Engagement Lunch Wednesday 11 August!
AI Center has just released a 6-week online course; AI for Managers and Executives, helping business leaders better understand the possibilities around AI technology and how it can be applied across organisations. It offers a digitally verifiable and globally recognisable AI Center certification on completion and starts 26th of April.
All of our SACC- and YP members can find more info and sign up here
On 18 March SACC YP organised an online workshop based on AI Center’s internationally popular 6-week course AI4nonAIs. This unique and SACC-exclusive, interactive online workshop was led by Reza Moussavi, Director-General of AI Center, Sweden, the first part of the session covered the following subjects:
What is AI
History and origin of AI
Contemporary rise of AI
AI vs Human
AI vs Jobs
In the second part, a small assignment was given which gave participants an opportunity to try out they learnt.
Understanding what is, and what is NOT AI, and why that matters
How AI is helping and not hurting the industries and people
Finding out how, and where, to learn more
Reza is an intelligence analyst and tech innovator who has been selected as the top 10 innovators of Europe at Innovact Award in 2011, France. He is a software engineer and Director-general of the AI Center in Sweden. He is a member of the European AI Alliance, and also an elected director of the Free Society Conference and Nordic Summit (FSCONS). Reza has been a business mentor for tech startups at Founder Institute, as well as an industrial mentor, thesis supervisor, and teacher assistant at the University of Gothenburg.
About AI Center
AI Center is a global certification body and network, based in Sweden. Their objective has three pillars: equality, safety, and security in the AI industry. They provide companies with guidelines, certified training programs, and certifications regarding equality, safety, and security in the AI industry. Working with experts from different organizations assures that AI Center’s standards are aligned with credible organizations such as the UN and EU.
https://www.swedishchamber.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/AI-invite-banner.jpg6821500Camilla Jenningshttp://swedishchamber.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/logo.pngCamilla Jennings2021-03-23 17:21:212021-04-07 16:52:56Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
On 3 December the SACC organised an end of year lunch followed by afternoon golf at the Long Reef Golf Club on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We were happy to be able to invite members and guest to this in-person event after many months of virtual events in the Zoom world. The lunch and the game of golf offered opportunities to meet members and business contacts of the Chamber in a relaxed but covid controlled setting. The event also enabled networking opportunities and for participants to promote their company and services.
Jan Gardberg, President of SACC held the end of year greeting, Martin Ekberg, Trade Commissioner, briefed us on Swedish business in Australia, focus and opportunities 2021. Camilla Jennings, SACC General Manager, presented event sponsors and planned SACC events and activities for 2021.
Team Gunnebo took home the winning team prize with beautiful wine from Ecope WA and a Fika Swedish Kitchen voucher. Looking forward to the next golf event Nordic Open Golf Day 4 March 2021!
https://www.swedishchamber.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Unknown-17.jpeg480640Camilla Jenningshttp://swedishchamber.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/logo.pngCamilla Jennings2020-12-14 16:10:252020-12-15 22:10:59SACC End of Year Lunch & Golf Event 3 December
The future is increasingly difficult to predict for business leaders. They have to act and react in a world where business models change and market roles shift at a staggering pace.
Today, 81% of consumers believe that global brands have the power to make the world a better place, and they want companies to play an empathetic and compassionate role in their lives. Furthermore, 72% of consumers expect companies to understand their needs, and if they don’t, they will switch from brand to brand in search of an experience that matches their expectations. These are the challenges and opportunities companies and brands need to adapt to today if they want to be around tomorrow.
During this event, Mr Ekelin and Mr Ihre shared their conviction that the future belongs to companies with a clear purpose. Why the winners of tomorrow are those that dare to explore bold ways to make a difference for people and society.
Sweden’s Ambassador to Singapore HE Niclas Kvarnström facilitated the conversation with Mr Ihre and Mr Ekelin.
View the online event here.
https://www.swedishchamber.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Lynxeye-event-banner-pic.jpg5321500Camilla Jenningshttp://swedishchamber.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/logo.pngCamilla Jennings2020-12-07 14:18:102020-12-07 14:39:41Onilne event with Lynzeye’s Founders on Purposeful Branding
Over the past year, most of us have had to adjust to new ways of working and some may even have had the opportunity to reimagine their own work situation. For many business professionals, dreams about starting something of your own, are common place but sometimes knowing where to start is the biggest hurdle.
On the 12th of November, we organised a webinar, designed to inspire any budding entrepreneurs to take the leap of faith and start their own businesses. To our help, we were delighted to welcome a panel of experienced business entrepreneurs who so generously shared their experience with the audience.
Maria Collyer, Growth Facilitator from the Australian Government’s Business Entrepreneur’s Programme and Libby Helinski, Owner and Founder of Nordic lifestyle business Pappa Sven, both insightful entrepreneurs, shared their respective experience in imagining, planning and building businesses in both Australia and Sweden. The discussion was moderated by Todd Sotheren, President of the Byron Bay Chamber of Commerce, himself an entrepreneur and digital disruptor, who also shared his wealth of knowledge in creating viable businesses.
The idea to start a juice bar in Sweden came to Maria whilst she was studying in Australia, but the road from idea to set up a business was obviously a big leap. “I think a little pinch of young naivety added to the fact that I actually did it,” Maria said. In 2007, she indeed realised her business idea when she and her then partner opened their first juice bar in Sweden, Naked Juice Bar.
Libby and her husband had an opportunity to move to Sweden through her husband’s work, and Libby fell in love with the whole way of living and daily life in Sweden. “I loved the retail experience in the little towns there. I had never experienced retail done in that way before” she said. Her passion for textiles and natural fibres, as well as her wish to start something of her own, led her to open up a Nordic lifestyle store when she returned back to Australia and Newcastle in 2013. A lifestyle business that also now has expanded to accommodation, offering visitors to Newcastle a stylish B&B option.
One of the early lessons for Maria on her entrepreneurial journey was ‘don’tcount your chickens before they are hatched’. Whilst still in Australia, she managed to attract the interest of a major shopping mall in Sweden, off one single phone call! She went on to imagine that the business was well underway, only to learn that the person who was initially interested had moved jobs and that the interest from the shopping mall was no longer there. Not before long, she found herself travelling extensively across Sweden selling her juice bar concept to other shopping malls, which turned out to be a challenging task. However, she stubbornly preserved and in the end managed to set up a relationship with a shopping mall in Lund, followed by another one in Stockholm.
One key lesson from Libby’s running her authentic Nordic lifestyle store is around her vision and she can firmly recommend entrepreneurs not to deviate from their vision or from who they truly are. Every time she has been drawn in a direction that is not true to herself or to her vision, whether it is bringing in new products or other aspects of running the business, she has always realised that it is not quite right and she has had to go back to her vision. “Obviously you need to learn to be adaptable and flexible and to respond to the business climate but it is so important to have a clear vision that tells a true story of who you are,” said Libby.
In regards to finding a market for your product, often you need to invest upfront before you know how the market will respond to your product or service.
“We opened our first shop with a massive sunk cost in the fit-out and it was a very nervous moment”. Obviously, Maria did not know if her concept was going to work at that point. She started to home-print flyers and hand out juice-samples in the shopping mall to build up awareness and interest in the product. Seeing people’s reactions when they tried her juices gave Maria confidence that she was on the right track – but the moment she truly knew that the concept had legs was when young toddlers pulled their parents across to her juice bar begging for a smoothie. The parents didn’t bat an eyelid at the prices – their kids screamed for a smoothie rather than ice-cream. Everybody wins.
The moment when Libby knew that she was on to something special, actually happened the very first day when she opened the doors to the store. Something happened that she was completely unprepared for but it confirmed that she had made the right choice in starting her own business. “The day that I opened my doors, six years ago, I had a long line of people waiting for me to open”. Women in their 60ties and 70ties came into the store saying “Oh my goodness, this is like Suomi! I thought, what are they talking about?” said Libby. What Libby didn’t know, not having grown up in Newcastle, was that in the 1970s there was a store in Newcastle selling ARTEK, Marimekko and Iittala, world famous Finnish design, and that already there was a loyal following in Newcastle loving Nordic design. “Without knowing, I had a customer base loyal to the brand” Libby continued.
Maria’s first advice to people looking at business ideas, products and markets are to develop a business plan. A well-developed business plan forces you to think about all the critical points of the business, going through everything from your budget and strategy to your positioning and how to scale up your business. Not to mention what an important tool it is when you are recruiting and building your tribe. “From the outset, we were able to offer a journey rather than a job; this is the concept, this is where we are headed – do you want to come on the journey with us? “ said Maria.
Common for so many business owners and entrepreneurs, is that they get caught up in the minutiae of running everything and they get stuck working in the business rather than on the business. One activity that really has helped Libby throughout her entrepreneurial journey, is to actually take the time and step out of the business and allow herself to stop and properly review her business. “I get great benefit from stepping out of the business for a while, and thinking about our strengths and weaknesses and also looking at new opportunities,” said Libby.
Our very engaged audience asked a number of great questions to our panel and Maria, Libby and Todd gave insights and reflections from their own experience, which was very inspiring to everyone. Click on the video link below to view the full recording of the webinar. In the end, we also conducted a survey of the audience, and a large percentage of the audience felt that they came away from the webinar with a lot of valuable information and that they indeed were inspired enough to start their own business.
We intend to do a follow-up webinar on the topic of entrepreneurship to also discuss the next steps in the entrepreneurial journey, namely scaling up and management buy-out. Stay connected with the Chamber to not miss out for what for sure will be another exciting webinar.
Summary by Teresia Fors, Chair SACC Brisbane QLD Chapter.
Presenting the panellists:
Maria Collyer, Growth Facilitator from the Australian Government’s Business Entrepreneur’s Programme. Maria is a multi-awarded food entrepreneur and business expert as the founder of Sweden’s largest juice bar chain, Naked Juicebar. She has experience from many stages of brand building and operational development, with key skills in scalable models to support continuous growth. She also is experienced as a board member in an angel investment group, and as a jury member in pitch competitions both domestically and internationally. Maria Collyer is currently working as a Growth Facilitator for the federal government’s flagship business initiative, The Entrepreneurs Programme. She delivers strategic advisory services to established businesses in Northern NSW and works with most of the region’s well-known brands across food, beverage, fashion and advanced manufacturing. At European Food Service Summit 2011, Maria featured as a guest speaker, sharing line-up with Starbucks’ Howard Schultz. Her own journey has fuelled a passion for business that she is thrilled to share with fellow entrepreneurs.
Libby Helinski, Owner and Founder of Nordic lifestyle business Pappa Sven. Libby first opened her Nordic homewares store, Pappa Sven, in Newcastle in 2014. Libby spent a year living in Skellefteå, in the North of Sweden, and wanted to be able to share her love of the Nordic way of life and create a truly unique retail experience in her hometown. Pappa Sven now consists of a retail store, online store and 2 distinctly Nordic themed Air BnB properties which attracts visitors from all over Australia. Libby graduated from UNSW in 1998 with a degree in Textile Science and her passion for textiles is evident in the business which she has created today. With a strong focus on natural fibres, authentic Scandinavian design and timeless design Libby has loved bringing together her many interests to create the Pappa Sven brand. Libby lives in Newcastle with her husband Matt and 2 teenage daughters Jessica and Lucy
Thanks to all participants and to the SACC Brisbane Chapter for organising the event.
At last year’s SACC WA and IKEA event, we discussed a few of the strategies IKEA incorporate in their business model to reduce its global environmental footprint. Despite the uncertain times and the overhanging threat of COVID-19, we were invited back for a follow up to last year’s popular event.
On 12 November, we returned for a second sustainability themed evening where we were taken through some of the national and international initiatives IKEA support, all aimed at positively impacting the communities in which IKEA operates globally.
The presentations on the evening included three organisations, run wholly or supported by IKEA:
The Girls Academy; a school-based mentoring program working nationally to drive community-led solutions aimed at overcoming the varied obstacles that prevent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls from attending school and achieving personally beyond graduation.
Working with Refugees; IKEA’s own Skills for Employment program, aimed to provide growth opportunities for refugees.
Let’s Play for Change; an annual initiative run by IKEA for children around the world, encouraging them to connect, learn, grow and have fun through play.
We were also able to try IKEA’s new plant-based food assortment; plant burgers, veggie hot dogs, and plant balls, that are now available at IKEA food outlets around Australia.
SACC WA would like to thank our generous host, the members and guests who participated this evening, and last but not least, the speakers who kindly offered their time and insights to inspire us all.
https://www.swedishchamber.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/20201112_182424-1.jpg9001200Camilla Jenningshttp://swedishchamber.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/logo.pngCamilla Jennings2020-11-26 08:46:372020-12-15 20:15:02Summary SACC and IKEA Sustainability Forum 12 November, Perth
On 14 October the Melbourne Chapter of the SACC hosted a ‘Women in Tech’ webinar, which addressed the topic of gender equality within the technology industry. More than 80 participants were treated to a very engaging webinar that covered a lot of terrain on the topic, revealing a lot of practical advice for aspiring ‘Women in Tech’ and the companies that employ them. The moderator for the webinar was Joanne Woo, Head of Marketing & Communications at ABB Australia and Curator & Speaker Coach for TEDx Australia. Joanne was joined by three senior leaders from the technology industry who openly shared their career experiences as ‘Women in Tech’:
Brith Isaksson, Global Head of Food and Beverage, ABB Motion, Sweden
Anna Nordell-Westling, CMO & Co-Founder Sana Labs, Sweden
Rajina Sujanthan, IoT Program Director, Ericsson, Australia
Joanne Woo opened the webinar with several poll questions, including a question directed to females already working within the technology industry: “What is your biggest challenge as a woman in tech?” In response, it was unanimous that a lack of female role models, particularly at senior levels within the industry was viewed as a major challenge. Other challenges identified as barriers to diversity, included females not being taken seriously by their male counterparts, the gender pay gap, the ‘glass ceiling’ and lack of diversity within their company. A small number of women cited that they saw no challenges.
Throughout the webinar, the panellists offered advice for women who are building their careers within the technology industry:
Find out what you are passionate about.
All three of the panellists encouraged aspiring ‘Women in Tech’ to pursue career paths that they are passionate about. Both Brith Isaksson and Rajina Sujanthan initially studied degrees in chemistry and engineering respectively, prior to commencing their careers in technical roles. Brith Isaksson initially worked in research and development at ABB in Vasterås and Rajina Sujanthan worked in project management for Ericsson in Melbourne. Both would later ascend to global management roles within their companies.
Brith Isaksson recalled with great fondness that as a child when playing with Barbie dolls she could never have envisaged that many years later she would travel half-way across the world as an engineer for ABB to visit a Barbie factory in Indonesia. It became evident that the reference to Barbie was also a great analogy for the need for the technology industry to also keep up with the changing times and move towards increased diversity. “I think the evolution of the (Barbie) brand has shown an evolution of society in terms of that there is no stereotype and that the world is made up of diverse people,” said Joanne Woo.
Unlike the other panellists, Anna Nordell-Westling’s career journey started outside of the technology industry, working for leading advertising agencies such as Saatchi and Saatchi and King, before starting her own advertising firm servicing clients all over the world. A chance meeting and some encouragement from a mentor would later see her co-found Sana Labs, an artificial intelligence (AI) start-up in Stockholm. Four years later, the firm employs 30 people from all over the world who are passionate about leveraging AI to enhance workforce learning outcomes.
Be open to taking up career opportunities that present themselves.
All three panellists highlighted that women will sometimes decide to not take up a career opportunity, for fear of not being qualified or experienced enough – a phenomenon referred to as ‘imposter syndrome.’ “Take all of the opportunities (or risks) that come your way,” said Rajina Sujanthan. She went on to emphasise that taking on a role that is particularly challenging or a public speaking engagement are all experiences that help to build self-confidence. She recalled working on a particularly challenging project early on in her career at Ericsson, which resulted in great customer reviews, thereby leading to further career development opportunities. These sentiments were also echoed by the other panellists, who emphasized the importance of not limiting oneself. “When the opportunities come, you should take them… I never look back… that’s important …. it’s better to make a decision,” said Brith Isaksson. “It is also important that we don’t limit ourselves, it is us that only limit ourselves. The sky is the limit,” said Anna Nordell-Westling.
If you are offered a career opportunity that you are unable to take up, “pay it forward” to another female.
Whether that be an opportunity to advance your career by getting up on stage to talk about one’s career or company, joining a panel or a board, the panellists highlighted that women will say no to such opportunities more so than men. This can sometimes be due to being too busy or needing to prioritise family commitments. “I always try to recommend another excellent female for a speaking event or board seat… that’s something we can all do on a bigger scale,” said Anna Nordell-Westling.
The panellists also offered some practical advice for companies who are seeking to improve gender equality outcomes.
Send a clear message from the top that diversity is important – in word and in action.
The panellists encouraged the top management of companies within the technology industry to send a clear message down the line that diversity is important. “That gender diversity is a main priority needs to be communicated from the highest level in the company, so it becomes easier for people in the organisation to take that on,” said Anna Nordell-Westling.
Other actions to be considered might be to ensure that male and female candidates are put forward for all open positions. Setting of diversity targets for women in management positions was also viewed as important, as it offers something to aim for.
Develop leadership and mentoring programs for females at all levels of organisations and beyond.
This was viewed by the panellists as a prerequisite to developing role models at all levels of organisations, particularly within the upper management levels where women tend to be scarcer. Rajina Sujanthan mentioned that it was the opportunity to participate in various global leadership programs within Ericsson that allowed her to build her self-confidence, which led her to take on greater challenges. “It is important that women in leading positions share, starting programs to grow the first line, second line and third lines of management,” said Brith Isaksson. She went on further to say that such programs allow future female role models need to be identified and developed, which can help to bridge the lack of female talent, particularly at the upper levels within organisations.
Regina Sujanthan also suggested that companies could even go beyond mentoring their female employees, to also look at setting up mentoring programs with female students at universities and other educational institutions.
Senior executives should not just mentor, but also sponsor women more.
The panellists also highlighted the need for senior-level executives to move beyond simply mentoring top female talents, to actively sponsoring them. This includes advocating and speaking up for female executives and actively helping them to gain visibility within the organisation by putting them forward for career development opportunities. “There is a lot of mentoring going on, but there are not a lot of people speaking up for the females… even if it is just a matter of saying that there is this person interested moving into a role,” said Rajina Sujanthan.
In conclusion, the webinar offered a lot of inspiration and food for thought for both aspiring “Women in Tech” and companies alike to work towards achieving greater levels of equality within the workplace. The Melbourne Chapter would like to thank Joanne Woo, Brith Isaksson, Anna Nordell-Westling and Rajina Sujanthan for volunteering their time to participate in the webinar. We would also like to thank ABB and Camilla Jennings, SACC Business and Events Manager, for their support in organising the webinar.