- BLOG -

SEMinar Abroad
Stockholm - Sweden

Connectus 2022

Nice seeing you back on our Blog!

After our online days it was finally time to travel to our destinations. We must say, after two years with difficult, restricted or no travel at all, it was strange but very promising at the same time to tap into this again. The first of our four stops was Stockholm. Stockholm had us four days and gave us food four thought and discussion. Read below what we did in detail.

 

– DAY FOUR – 

WELCOME TO STOCKHOLM AND A VERY SPECIAL BIRTHDAY.

On Sunday, we met early in the morning at Zurich Airport. Strengthened with fresh croissants from bakery Kreyenbühl, we started our journey to Scandinavia. 

The flight was smooth and offered some time to nap. We arrived in Stockholm around lunch time and made our way to our hotel. After we all checked-in, we met in the lobby for some refreshing welcome drinks and toasted to a successful and exciting time! 

We had some free time and got to discover Stockholm – some met for a Fika in the city, others devoted themselves to the cultural offer of the city.

In the evening we rejoined for our USA themed evening: Dinner at the Hard Rock Café and tossed glasses for Patrick’s birthday!

– DAY FIVE – 

SLOWLY EASING BACK INTO TRAVEL LIVE AND EXPERIANCE CULTURE

It’s Monday they said. It’ll be fun they said. And it was 😉  
When traveling, you sometimes lose track of what day it actually is, so we tend to check when Monday is around the corner. 

This Monday was an easy start into the week. Our delegation got to discover Stockholm by themselves and did whatever we do when on a city trip. 

We later rejoined and followed a guide around the city. Our guide showed us around Stockholm’s ancient city district and told us how it developed and changed. During the tour, she introduced us to Fika, the Swedish way to come together with friends and coworkers to enjoy Swedish pastry and coffee while updating each other and having a good time. 

Fika could be compared to the swiss 9am and 4pm coffee breaks or post-work drinks. So we did exactly that – eat, drink, chat, repeat –  the Swedish way. 

– DAY SIX – 

THE ENVIRONMENT – FOR BUSINESS, COMMUNITY AND TOMOROW

We started our company visits in Stockholm with session at the place where people come together to create change – Impact Hub Stockholm lead by Jesper Kjellerås. Jesper’s vision is to give food for thought to start and create movement for change to head into a better future. To create the change you need to see. 

Impact Hub consists of 107 hubs around the world, always run by a local team but globally distributed and connected. The hubs can be non- or for profit or association, depending on what the local area needs or allows. 

We enjoyed an insightful and interactive session together with Jesper and go to know different companies team members of the Impact Hub have been working for; such as Handiscover, the “Airbnb” for disabled people or Sopköket, which turns ‘food waste’ into delicious meals. 

It was amazing to see how Impact Hub Stockholm aligns with our Vision Zero and works with the purpose of people talking collaborative action for a better world. Collaborating instead of competing. 

Just after lunch, we made our way through busy Stockholm all the way to the offices of Stockholm Stad. Stockholm Stad administrations took the time to offer us a glimps into what they are planning, improving and changing for a more sustainable future for all citizens.

In and around the city, there are currently over one hundred active and planned sustainable construction projects. For example, with the Transport Action Plan 2020-2023, the city aims to increase biking lanes and to provide better accessibility for buses in order to also ensure more efficient use of the streets and to increase the use of renewable fuels and electricity in road transport. 

The city also offers energy and climate advice service which can be used by the citizens to e.g. have specialists screen your roof to check if solar panels would make sense.  

Enough with the sitting. Time for exploring the Royal Seaport! Stockholm Royal Seaport is the largest urban development area in Sweden, with plans for at least 12,000 new homes and 35,000 workplaces. 

We enjoyed a guided walk through the district where new climate-smart ideas and methods are tried and tested with the ambition to inspire other cities, companies, and researchers.

 Locals are involved throughout the process in order to bring about long-term and actual sustainable behavioural changes. Some of the examples the area offers are E-cars which can be used (like Mobility in Switzerland), child care facilities, schools and an innovative communication platform, called LocalLife, to increase social capital by creating trust, participation and belonging in the local area, a key aspect of socially sustainable society. 

Thank you Impact Hub Stockholm, Stockholm Stad and the Royal Seaport for the day filled with inspiring talks and innovative projects which led us realize that change is really happening. 

– DAY SEVEN – 

ASEAN BROWN BOVERI – ALL THE WAY

Take trains, it’s sustainable. At least in Sweden. We followed that and went to ABB in Västerås by train.

We were welcomed by Santanu Singha who guided us through the day. Our first part was at ABB Robotics Production, where we met Sara Ekermann and Emma Brimdyr. They explained ABB’s 2030 strategy including their vision and roadmap to cut and offset carbon emissions in terms of their Robotics division. Key directives are green electricity meaning sourcing 100% green electricity for ABB’s energy consumption in Scope 1&2. Besides that, they aim to electrify the entire fleet and increase efficient energy usage overall. 

In terms of the end of life of their robots, ABB strives to achieve a circularity of 80% by 2030. Already today, customers can return and sell their robots to ABB. Those robots are refurbished, upgraded and resold. 

After this introduction, we explained what connectUS is and our delegation showed off by presenting what they learned during the seminars and the assignment they fulfilled up until then. Special thank you at this point to Céline, Jonas and Thomas for sharing their insights.

Sara and her colleagues guided us afterward to the production plant for Robots. We were given insights into how robots are manufactured and what steps the production takes to for example construct a robot for car production. It was very impressive to see how a production plant of robots looks inside and how a robot develops out of screws, sheet metal and human input.

Then, Santanu took us to ABB Research Center where he so kindly organized a very delicious vegetarian lunch for us all. After he gave us an overview of ABB and the corporate strategy for sustainability as well as how ABB operates and the research is set up. 

He also scheduled a visit to the robotics lab where we could talk to the software developer who is currently working on a self-driving robot. Some of us took initiative and enjoyed the hands-on experience to direct the robot in the room. We then rejoined and talked about ABB‘s future interests and the action ABB takes to foster progress in society. 

Thank you, ABB, for this day, we are grateful for the program we enjoyed at your premises in Sweden. We left with many memories and inspiration for the change we will create.