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The Swedish Wire is an independent news web site about Sweden’s business, politics and current affairs – in English.

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The Swedish WireThe readers of The Swedish Wire are people across the world with a special interest in Sweden, such as business people doing trade with Swedish and Nordic companies, investors and people interested in the Swedish political debate.

Our reporting is based on integrity and independence.

In addition to being an appreciated ad space platform for companies looking for an international audience with a special interest in Nordic business and politics, the Swedish Wire is also specialised in providing top quality journalistic content for international news organisations, government bodies and companies.

We have experience from working with organisations like Nasdaq OMX, Stockholm Business Region and the Swedish Marketing Federation. Our news are also published via the McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. Content is provided in English, Chinese and Swedish.

Swedish Wire was originally set up in Stockholm, but was relocated to Hong Kong in 2011. The company’s founder and CEO has long-time experience as editor and foreign correspondent at some of Sweden’s leading business newspapers.

Johan Nylander
Editor-in-Chief / CEO / Legally responsible publisher
+852 9303 5166
johan [at] swedishwire.com

The Swedish Wire: Sweden’s business, economy and current affairs

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e Newsletter
 

Greetings!

We’ve just launched a new and better Jobs section for English speakers in Sweden. Now you’ll find jobs from three leading employment companies – StepStone, CareerBuilder and Experteer.

Here you’ll find hundreds of great job opportunities for foreign professionals at Sweden’s top employers.

Feel free to forward this to English-speaking friends and colleagues.

Find all jobs here.

 

 

All the best,
/ Johan Nylander – Editor-in-Chief

The Swedish Wire – www.swedishwire.com

 

 

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BCCTC PUB NIGHT and other EUCOCIT events

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BCCTC PUB NIGHT

at the Duke of Westminster
Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 6 pm – 9 pm
with
cerba
BCCTC, CERBA, LS, and EU Chamber Members $30, Non Members $35
At the door: Members $35, Non Members $40
Special ticket: $20 for only Networking and 1 drink
Rates include HST
Duke of Westminster, First Canadian Place, Toronto, ON M5R 1B2
Free Parking after 6 pm at FCP parking lot
To register online Click here

 

Follow this link to ALL –  European Chambers of Commerce in Toronto Events:

http://www.eucocit.com/events/categoryevents/2-member-events

OPP partners with Volvo dealer to offer child seat installation clinic. April 10th, 2012 @ 8:00am – 6:00pm

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OPP partners with Volvo dealer to offer child seat installation clinic

Demonstrations intend to educate public and create awareness of laws

TORONTO, ON (April 9, 2012) – Ontario Provincial Police are partnering with Volvo of Oakville to offer a car seat installation clinic for area residents. The initiative will provide awareness of proper installation techniques and clarification of current laws.

The local initiative between the Burlington OPP and the Volvo dealership will offer demonstrations on how to correctly and safely secure infants, toddlers and young children, stressing the importance of having children of all ages and sizes properly restrained while in the vehicle. A roll-over simulator will be on site in order to demonstrate the reality of what can actually happen in the event of a collision. Officers will also recommend proper car seat adjustments for any interested members of the public who attend the clinics with their own vehicle regardless of make or model and will even be providing child seat recall notice information. Refreshments will also be provided.

“Volvo prides itself on its reputation for building safe, reliable vehicles and there should be no higher priority than the safety of our children,” says John Martins, President of both Volvo of Oakville and Hamilton Volvo who is pleased to welcome Burlington’s finest to his dealership, “We are honoured to be involved with an initiative that creates awareness of this important cause.”

Pet Restraint Systems will also be discussed with the assistance of a representative from M & G Pet Foods who will demonstrate various pet restraint products for vehicles. An unsecured pet is in danger of injury not only to itself but of other occupants in the vehicle as well.

The child seat safety clinic times are as follows:

Date: April 10th, 2012 @ 8:00am – 6:00pm

Location: Volvo of Oakville –  770 Pacific Road  Oakville, ON L6L 6M5  905-825-8088

Volvo Cars of Canada Corp. is part of the Volvo Car Corporation of Gothenburg, Sweden. The company provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to the 41 Volvo automobile retailers across the country. Volvo lead the list of luxury car brands in the 2012 Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), with winners including the Volvo C30, S60, S80, XC60 and XC90.

MONEY MATTERS: “Procrastination is not a business strategy,” John Holland from Plutus Consulting’s Read the whole article here http://www.todaystrucking.com/mag.cfm

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MONEY MATTERS: “Procrastination is not a business strategy,”

What John Holland from Plutus Consulting Group is saying about

The 7  Steps to Selling Your  Trucking Business.

Read the whole article here http://www.todaystrucking.com/mag.cfm http:/

Street Smarts

MANAGING PEOPLE, TECHNOLOGY, BUSINESS, AND SAFETY

The 7 Steps to Selling
Your Trucking Business

Nobody’s going to be buy your business if a: it’s
unhealthy or b: they can just take it. John Holland says if you
want to be sure of a sale, step right up. By Peter Carter

John Holland’s first taste of the com-mercial trucking business came two months after he had been
named General Manager for East Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, for Kiwi Brands. “In my first two months,” he says, “two trucks were hijacked. Never to be seen again. That’s when we installed GPS and onboard security systems.” He moved to Canada and for seven years steered logistics and supply chain for Sara Lee International. Now he works with the Plutus Consulting Group, where he specializes in helping business opera- tors prepare their enterprises for sale andtheir proprietors for comfortable retirements and/or prosperous succession.

According to a study done by New York University that looked at more than 500 dif-ferent businesses in 20 dif-ferent countries, regardless John of whether you want to sell Holland your business or move it
successfully from one generation to the next, the enterprise must pass through what Holland—and Plutus—term the Seven Stages of Selling your Business. “Selling, retiring, having a real holiday,
if you want to build your business to a level where you’ve got choices about how you want to spend your life, you need to go through the seven stages,” he told Today’s Trucking.

STAGE ONE: “In the cornflakes”
In stage one, Holland says, you’re full of energy and engaged in making money on a day-to-day basis. “You’re not actually thinking about how to grow the business; you’re working 24 hours a day, you’re really
in the cornflakes and you’re fully engaged.” Many owner-operators, he says, remain in stage one so no matter how much money they earn, they will probably never be wooed by corporate suitors and neither will they be able to watch the company move into the next generation’s hands. In stage one, very often the com-pany book keeper is a spouse and far too much business is conducted on an informal basis. To move out of stage one, Holland advises the proprietor to do some organiz-ing, planning and defining. “This should be easy especially for an owner-operator who has plenty of time behind the wheel to think about these things,” Holland says. “Procrastination is not a business strategy. And neither is hope. Hope is not
a business strategy,” he says.

STAGE TWO: “Branding time.”
The “vast majority” of small businesses are stuck in stage two, he says. You will become mired down in this
stage unless you determine exactly what it is that makes your business different from the competition and exploit that difference as much as you can. “There is not a successful company out there that was not led by an expert. The owner must develop a real passion for the service and become an expert.”
At this stage, Holland says, “the business starts to separate from the owner but its success is still very dependent on the founder’s drive. “Now there are quality controls being implemented by the owner,” Holland says.
“You have to know the costs of your trucks and how much revenue you expect to get from them over the course of a year and how much you’re budgeting for profit.” Quality controls must apply to internal
accounting procedures, budgeting and personal accountability.

STAGE THREE:
“Welcome to the sandbox!”
If you’ve graduated to stage three, your business is growing and you are its best sales person. It’s also at the most precarious stage. “I had a client who had $10 million in sales, he was 55, had a nice profitable business but he would never be able to retire early, even though he was doing well. He was stuck because he gave his people no opportunity to flourish or grow in their jobs. You have to start letting go. “At this point you’re having fun and making money and inviting new people into the sandbox but if you’re not very careful, you can get sand in your eye and ruin everything,” Holland says. You should be working on the business more than in it.

STAGE FOUR:
“Look at all the muddy fish!” “You know those people who hang around the water cooler and moan about how much better it was in the early years? When you’re in stage four, you’re going to have to have a talk with those people. Either they buy in or they’re out. “I call those people muddy fish because they don’t want to help clear the water; they like it murky. I promise you the day the boss does something about them is the day morale will start to increase.” According to the Seven Stages, the company’s orientation by now must be towards continuous improvement, and that means having performance monitoring and man-
agement systems place.

STAGE FIVE:
“A franchise is born.” In stage five you’re looking like a franchise. “Because the business is sustainable, it
could outlive the owner,” Holland says. In stage five, “you’re starting to make the house shine,” and a team other than the owner is handling the day-to-day running of the business.” By this time, the people who work for you expect and get regular performance appraisals as well as non-monetary incentives and recognition.
You have a succession plan in place. The company, in stage five, is actually replicable, like a franchise

STAGE SIX:

“Exit ramp in sight.” You might still be managing the business but if you wanted to step away, you are
completely comfortable with your management team. While each individual member of that team is talented and valuable, the business will thrive even if they’re all replaced. The business has a strong balance
sheet and operates in the black. Only now can the owner see the real possibility of an exit ramp. Suitors have probably already come calling.

STAGE SEVEN:
“A Legacy is born.” By this time, everything is optimized. You’ve now got a brilliant management team ready to do an IPO or a management buyout. If a venture capitalist came into the company, they’ll see all the right people in the right places. You run your
trucks and your offices compliantly and follow regulations rigorously. Financial performance is consistently strong; products and/or services are known and respected. A legacy is born. And if you decide to retire now or move along, you just call in your bankers and
look for a buyer. ▲

 

e Newsletter – The Swedish Wire

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e Newsletter
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Dear all,
Here´s the latest news from The Swedish Wire.

The Swedish PM made headlines by suggesting citizens may need to work beyond 70 to retain the current standard of the costly pension system.

Sweden is also losing its appeal as haven from Europe’s debt crisis at a time when the krona is more overvalued than at almost any point in the past 40 years.

On the bright side: Swedes are being described as “handsome, hi-tech and healthy” in a global soft-power survey that ranks Sweden among the world’s most influential nations.


>> SEE ALL JOBS FOR ENGLISH SPEAKERS IN SWEDEN – CLICK HERE

 

 

 

POLITICS

 

The U.K. learning about equality in Stockholm 

‘Swedish model’ outranks ‘American dream’
Nordics dominate WEF gender equality rankings

 

 

 

Swedish emigration at record level  

 

Last year the emigration from Sweden exceeded the level of the peak year for emigration to America in 1887.

 

 

 


SCIENCE

 

 

>> SEE ALL JOBS FOR ENGLISH SPEAKERS IN SWEDEN – CLICK HERE

 

All the best,
/ Johan Nylander – Editor-in-Chief

The Swedish Wire – www.swedishwire.com

Your Swedish American Connection – News from Swedish Council of America

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SCA40Logo2
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Your Swedish American Connection February 2012
In this issue:

  • SCA’s Great Achievement Award
  • Conference of Swedish America
  • Minneapolis’s American Swedish Institute Announces Official Grand Reopening!
  • Spotlight on Swedish America Heritage Online
  • Affiliate Events
  • News from Sweden
  • SCA Corporate Sponsors
  • Connect to us!
  • About Swedish Council of America
  • Hej!

    It is the time of year for bouquets of flowers, boxes of chocolates and semlor (cream and almond paste filled Lenten buns)! Many Swedes give gifts not just to their special someone but also to family and friends, creating connections and relationships that last for many years. Swedish America is also based on relationships. Our community is united in our love of Swedish and Swedish-American culture and we celebrate this connection through our efforts to promote our shared heritage. Every event of a local organization is a celebration of that connection and every SCA program that serves our affiliates is part of a relationship within Swedish America.

    During SCA’s 40th anniversary celebration, we honor the connections throughout Swedish America. We celebrate the contributions of individuals to Swedish America. We strengthen Swedish America through our resources and programs.

    How do you celebrate the richness of Swedish America in your family, community and in your personal life? I look forward to hearing your story! And I look forward to meeting you at a Swedish-American event during this celebratory year.

    Med vänliga hälsningar,
    Elise Peters, Executive Director

     

    SCA’s Great Achievement Award
    SCAGAA 

    Swedish Council of America is proud to present its SCA Great Achievement Award to Governor Eva Eriksson (Karlstad, Sweden) and Mr. Glen Brolander (Stillwater, Minnesota). The award will be presented in conjunction with the SCA 40th Anniversary celebration on Friday, April 13, 2012.

    Swedish Council of America’s Awards Program honors outstanding contributions to Swedish America and the world by famous and not-so-famous individuals. Bringing attention to the noteworthy contributions of Swedes and Swedish Americans is an important part of Swedish Council’s mission. In 1980, SCA sponsored the first Great Swedish Heritage Award program to celebrate the achievements of Americans of Swedish descent. At the same event, SCA began a tradition of recognizing the accomplishments of a Swedish citizen by presenting the America’s Swede of the Year Award. Previous recipients include Barbro Osher, Dr. Nils Hasselmo, H.E. Jan Eliasson, and Agneta Nilsson. (For a complete listing of previous recipients visit our awards page.) In 2008, Swedish Council of America’s Board of Directors decided that future awardees would be honored with the SCA Great Achievement Award. Mrs. Siri Eliason was the first recipient of this award in 2011.

    Invitations to the 40th Anniversary celebration where the awards will be presented will be in the mail in early March. If you are interested in receiving an invitation, please send your name and address to swedcoun@swedishcouncil.org.

     

     

     

    Conference of Swedish America
    SCAConference 

    Celebrations and activities to celebrate SCA’s first 40 years connecting Swedish America will take place throughout 2012. In addition to the celebration on April 13 (read more above), SCA is partnering with a group of organizations led by The Swedish American Center in Karlstad (Värmland, Sweden) to host the next Conference of Swedish America. Part of the Swedish Council’s mission is to bring together people from Sweden and North America in educational programs. To date, the Swedish Council has presented ten conferences across the United States and Sweden to educate interested persons and engage new generations to learn about Sweden and Swedish America. Prior locations include Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley (2009), Karlstad, Sweden (2006), St. Paul, Minn. (2004), and San Francisco (2000).

    The Governor of Värmland, Eva Eriksson, and CEO of The Swedish American Center in Karlstad, Sweden, Erik Gustavson warmly welcome people of all ages to the Swedish American Bridge Conference September 12-16, 2012. The Swedish American Bridge conference will explore and help grow Swedish-American ties into the future. With shared history as a foundation, we lift our gaze toward exchanges involving education, research, entrepreneurship and environmental technology. We raise questions of how Sweden, the United States, and Canada can contribute to a sustainable development; of cooperation across borders; and how exchanges of students and researchers between countries can support and stimulate continued good relations between the three nations.

    The preliminary conference fee is approximately $650 USD, which includes participation in the entire program, all meals, local transportation, and the concluding banquet. Participants are responsible for travel to Karlstad and hotel accommodations. The complete program will be presented in the next issue of Sweden & America magazine.

    Individuals registering their interest in the conference with the Swedish Council of America or the Swedish American Center by March 1, 2012 will receive a 10% discount off the conference fee.

     

     

     

    Minneapolis’s American Swedish Institute Announces Official Grand Reopening!
    ASI 

    The American Swedish Institute (ASI) announced on February 21, 2012 that June 30 will be the official grand opening for Minneapolis’s newest landmark, the Carl and Leslie Nelson Cultural Center. The opening of the ASI’s long-anticipated addition positions the museum squarely as a significant cultural center for the region, a place to experience the remarkable—and unexpected—in Nordic arts, music and culture.

    All are welcome to celebrate the opening of the 34,000 square foot Nelson Cultural Center at an all-day festival, Saturday, June 30. The party will feature the first public looks at the new building and outdoor spaces, special international musical guests, craft demonstrations, family activities, an exhibit by world-renowned tapestry artist Helena Hernmarck, food and beverages – and several really fantastic surprises, to be announced shortly.

    The Nelson Cultural Center’s innovative design and handcrafted, Swedish-inspired detailing embrace Nordic values—including respect for nature and quality materials, as well as for the environment, through energy conservation and sustainable building practices. Designed to achieve the United States Green Building Council’s LEED Gold rating, the center features a sloping green roof and a geothermal well-field for heating and cooling.

    The Nelson Cultural Center connects old and new worlds with the American Swedish Institute’s historic castle-like 1908 Turnblad Mansion, increasing space for artistic, cultural, and community programming in the city; as well as allowing for expansion of contemporary programs such as new immigrant experiences. The addition to the ASI is designed to establish a more accessible, welcoming presence in the Phillips West neighborhood of Minneapolis.

    “Minneapolis now has a new landmark building—linking with the American Swedish Institute’s iconic Turnblad Mansion in a beautiful composition that joins together modern Scandinavia with local history and tradition. Our June 30 grand opening is the culmination of more than ten years of development capped by a year-long construction effort,” said Bruce Karstadt, Honorary Consul General of Sweden and ASI’s President and CEO. “We believe this is a pivotal moment that transforms ASI’s community role. We now have ample facilities that both serve our long-standing audience, and open our gathering spaces as a resource for the entire community and our neighborhood.”

    The new construction is located on Park Avenue, to the south of the Turnblad Mansion, and is connected by a courtyard between the buildings. The center’s slate exterior is designed to echo the Mansion’s roof and complement the light limestone of the structure. From the interior entrance of the Nelson Cultural Center, two-story windows frame views of the Mansion. The project also includes extensive exterior additions: a large plaza area for festivals and neighborhood gatherings, increased parking and other major landscaping improvements.

    HGA Architects and Engineers, Minneapolis, designed the Nelson Cultural Center and surrounding landscaping. The Tegra Group, Minneapolis, provided project management expertise; and Adolfson & Peterson Construction, Minneapolis, built the facility.

    Other features of the Nelson Cultural Center include:

    • Glass-enclosed reception atrium
    • New museum shop space
    • Expanded café
    • Flexible event space seating of 325 for a lecture or concert; 225 for dinner
    • New galleries for traveling and local exhibits
    • Large studio and crafts workshop
    • Expanded spaces for meetings, events and community gatherings

    The Nelson Cultural Center also includes an educational partnership with Gustavus Adolphus College, located in St. Peter, Minnesota. The College has an office suite in the Center giving Gustavus a presence in the Twin Cities area for outreach to alumni and prospective students, and for educational programming.

    Renovations to the 1908 Turnblad Mansion, which added a community hall, library, classrooms and a new elevator-stairway circulation tower, were completed in November 2011.

    The American Swedish Institute, founded in 1929, is a vibrant arts and culture organization and historic home located on 26th and Park Avenue near downtown Minneapolis. The ASI serves as a gathering place for people to share stories and experiences around universal themes of tradition, migration, craft and the arts, all informed by enduring ties to Sweden. For more, visit http://www.asimn.org.

     

     

     

    Spotlight on Swedish America Heritage Online
    Swedish American Heritage Online Logo 

    In 2012, the spotlight articles will focus on projects funded by SCA grants rather than affiliate groups. This project received funding in 2011.

    Swedish America Heritage Online (SweAme) is a virtual organization focused on preserving and sharing historical data and images related to the Swedish immigrants who found a new home in America.

    In January 2007, an idea was formed to digitize and to share online the contents of the out-of-publication Texas Swedish historical book “Swedes In Texas, In Words & Pictures.” A review of the U.S. Census records found that only 25% of the Swedish born individuals living in Texas were documented in the first publication in 1918. By 2010, the Texas project had uploaded the book’s English version, added the remaining 75% and also added the immigrants living in 22 other states.

    In May, 2010, a plan was devised to expand the project to all states. The 1900 census documented 591,969 Swedish born individuals living in America. To accomplish such a large project, the SweAme non-profit organization was formed to acquire funding and to compensate contracted users to perform the online keying.

    SweAme became a Swedish Council of America (SCA) affiliate organization in January, 2011. SCA became its first source for major funding.The SCA award added over 8,700 immigrants who were living in the Duluth area in St. Louis County, Minnesota.

    The next major funding source was The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation. This project is now in progress and will add over 17,000 Swedish immigrants who were living in Maine and California in 1900.

    The SweAme website will continue to grow in size and usage as additional projects are funded and completed. This growth allows additional users (now over 700 from Sweden and America) an opportunity to research for their ancestors and relatives on both sides of the Atlantic. For more information, see SWEAME’s website.

    Submitted by David Borg

     

     

     

    Affiliate Events
     

    February 24, 2012 – Chicago, IL
    The Brunk Children’s Museum of Immigration, a unique feature of the Swedish American Museum that attracts thousands of visitors each year, will celebrate its 10th Birthday Benefit with a special program for youngsters from toddler on up, that will include rowing a Viking ship, milking a cow on a Swedish farm, keeping house in a log cabin, or dressing up as an immigrant pioneer. While the kids play, members of their families will be entertained in the first-floor gallery with refreshments, games and a silent auction. Children will be admitted to the 10th birthday benefit at no charge. The cost to adults is $25 each. For more information, call 773-728-8111 or click here.

    February 25, 2012 – Austin, TX Take your pick of two feature length films and six shorts from Denmark, Iceland, Finland, and Sweden—or watch them all! The Austin Nordic Film Festival will consist of two blocks (3-6 pm and 7-10 pm) and an afterparty from 10 pm – 2 am. Cost is $8 per block. Mr. Tramp’s Euro Pub Screening Room. Reservations required. For more information, click here.

    March 3, 2012 – Des Plaines, IL
    Scandinavian Park Inc. NFP will present the 9th Annual Dinner Dance and Fundraiser for Vasa Park. The theme will be “Harvesting Scandinavian Traditions” and donation is $45 per person with dance music provided by the Dave Kyrk Trio. There will be a cash drawing and raffle table with prizes donated by Scandinavian organizations and businesses. Social hour 6:30 pm, dinner 7:30 pm. For reservations and information call 630-852-0598 or visit www.vasaparkil.com.

    March 8, 2012 – Palo Alto, CA
    The Europe Center and The Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts present Nelly Sachs: Flight and Metamorphosis, a reception, workshop and dramatic reading in celebration of the life and poetry, and the evocative context of Nelly Sachs, winner of the 1966 Nobel Prize for Literature. 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm. For more information about this event and to RSVP, click here.

    March 10, 2012 – Wauwatosa, WI
    The Swedish American Historical Society of Wisconsin presents a discussion on the immigration of our Swedish ancestors to America. Society members Historian Harry Anderson, George Lofgren and Darlene Norman will discuss immigrants’ dreams of America, their preparation for the trip and the treasures they brought with them to the New World. View records and documentation required for the voyage and some of the treasures of the trip passed on to their descendants. 1:30 p.m. at Redemption Lutheran Church. Visit www.sahswi.org or call 414-352-7890 for further information.

     

     

     

    News from Sweden
     

    2012 marks the centenary of the birth of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved the lives of 20,000 Jews during World War II. 2012 may also be the year that more is discovered about the fate of Wallenberg, who was arrested by Soviets in January 1945 when the Red Army invaded Budapest, and later imprisoned in Moscow. Russian officials announced in 1957 that Wallenberg had died in 1947 of a heart attack while still in prison. In 2000, however, Russian investigators said that he had instead been executed at the KGB headquarters in Moscow.

    Now, a former Russian archive official, Anatoly Prokopenko, has claimed that he came across a “thick dossier” during a 1991 tour of the KGB archive “containing numerous references to Raoul Wallenberg.” The document, which Prokopenko believes to be the report of an aristocrat, Count Mikhail Tolstoy-Kutuzov, to his Soviet intelligence handlers, suggested Tolstoy-Kutuzov was following Wallenberg’s every move. Prokopenko thinks Stalin may have ordered Wallenberg’s arrest based on this evidence, and that the full document may shed light on what really happened to Wallenberg. Russian officials have denied that such a document exists.

     

    *****

    Sweden may soon be home to a new bicycle superhighway. The proposed superhighway will connect two cities in southern Sweden: Malmö, Sweden’s third-largest city, and Lund. The 13-mile highway will have four lanes, two types of wind protection (low bushes and solid walls) and periodic bicycle service stations. It will be built along an existing railway (lowering construction costs), and will have exits but no intersections, allowing for uninterrupted travel.

    In Lund, 60% of commuters use bicycles or ride public transport. Malmö recently has invested in infrastructure to encourage cycling, which has led to a 30% increase in cycling each year and a decrease in car trips under 5 kilometers. The total cost of the superhighway is estimated to be around 50 million SEK ($7.1 million), and the construction would take 8 years.

     

    *****

    The advent of smartphones has changed how consumers do business in many ways. Now that retailers accept coupons on mobile devices and shoppers can be notified of nearby sales via their phones, more and more smartphone users want to be able to pay with their phones, and accept payment with them as well. Several Stockholm-based tech startups are leading the industry with options for customers and merchants to use the technology at their fingertips.

    iZettle launched a free card-reader in June that attaches to an iPhone, swipes a credit card, and processes payment. Payair allows smartphone users to point their phone’s camera at an object, scan a barcode and approve a purchase. Payex Mobile allows users to make transfers between mobile phones. Swedish mobile operator Telia predicts that at least half of all Swedes will use a mobile device to make a payment in the next two years.

     

    *****

    How much would you pay for a designated parking spot? In Stockholm, real estate agencies are betting drivers will spend a lot – a spot in the trendy Östermalm neighborhood recently sold for 700,000 kronor ($105,051). And that isn’t even the limit. “We’ve seen parking places being sold that were triple, even quadruple that price,” said real estate agent Peter Messeter.

    The price for the 2.5 by 6 meter parking spot translates to 100,000 kronor per square meter, which is much higher than the cost per square meter for an apartment in the same area. Even so, real estate agents say buying an expensive parkinig spot is a more economical decision than renting. The 700,000 kronor parking spot was also available for rent for 510 kronor per month.

     

     

     

    SCA Corporate Sponsors
     

    Swedish Council of America has launched a corporate sponsorship program. For more information, please contact antonio@swedishcouncil.org.

    We thank our sponsors and encourage you to learn more about the products and services they offer. Click on the logos below to be directed to their websites!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Connect to us!
     

    Sweden & America

    The Sweden & America magazine is the perfectly priced gift for anyone who is interested in the Swedish heritage or Swedish America. Plus, with four issues a year, it is a gift that keeps on giving! Send your $20 subscription fee to SCA, 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55407. Remember to include both your information and the gift recipient’s information!

    Social Media

    Join the conversation! Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. We look forward to “talking” with you.

     

    Slideshows

    Slideshows on SCA’s website feature affiliate organizations independently or around a theme. Click here to view a slide show featuring holiday events and celebrations at our affiliate organizations.

     

     

     

    About Swedish Council of America
     

    Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Swedish Council of America, founded in 1972, unites around 300 affiliated organizations in the United States, Canada, and Sweden in their efforts to preserve and promote the Swedish heritage.

    Swedish Council of America supports and fosters cooperative relationships between all groups and individuals whose purpose is to promote knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the Swedish heritage in American life and strengthens contemporary cultural and educational ties between North America and Sweden.

    In carrying out this mission, Swedish Council of America focuses its support and services to SCA affiliated organizations through the following programs and activities:

    1. Communications
    2. Grants
    3. Awards and Recognition

    Swedish Council of America relies entirely on voluntary contributions from individual members of the Viking Circle annual fund and from its support organization, the Royal Round Table.

    You can support SCA’s vital mission by:

    • Making a financial contribution to our Viking Circle Annual Fund.
    • Joining the Three Crowns Society by including SCA in your estate plans. Please notify Elise of your intent.
    • Remembering someone important to you with a gift in his/her honor or memory.

    For more information visit www.swedishcouncil.org or contact SCA’s Executive Director Elise Peters by e-mail at elise@swedishcouncil.org or call 1-800-981-4722.

     

    Your Swedish American Connection – News from Swedish Council of America

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    SCA40Logo2
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    Your Swedish American Connection February 2012
    In this issue:

  • SCA’s Great Achievement Award
  • Conference of Swedish America
  • Minneapolis’s American Swedish Institute Announces Official Grand Reopening!
  • Spotlight on Swedish America Heritage Online
  • Affiliate Events
  • News from Sweden
  • SCA Corporate Sponsors
  • Connect to us!
  • About Swedish Council of America
  • Hej!

    It is the time of year for bouquets of flowers, boxes of chocolates and semlor (cream and almond paste filled Lenten buns)! Many Swedes give gifts not just to their special someone but also to family and friends, creating connections and relationships that last for many years. Swedish America is also based on relationships. Our community is united in our love of Swedish and Swedish-American culture and we celebrate this connection through our efforts to promote our shared heritage. Every event of a local organization is a celebration of that connection and every SCA program that serves our affiliates is part of a relationship within Swedish America.

    During SCA’s 40th anniversary celebration, we honor the connections throughout Swedish America. We celebrate the contributions of individuals to Swedish America. We strengthen Swedish America through our resources and programs.

    How do you celebrate the richness of Swedish America in your family, community and in your personal life? I look forward to hearing your story! And I look forward to meeting you at a Swedish-American event during this celebratory year.

    Med vänliga hälsningar,
    Elise Peters, Executive Director

     

    SCA’s Great Achievement Award
    SCAGAA 

    Swedish Council of America is proud to present its SCA Great Achievement Award to Governor Eva Eriksson (Karlstad, Sweden) and Mr. Glen Brolander (Stillwater, Minnesota). The award will be presented in conjunction with the SCA 40th Anniversary celebration on Friday, April 13, 2012.

    Swedish Council of America’s Awards Program honors outstanding contributions to Swedish America and the world by famous and not-so-famous individuals. Bringing attention to the noteworthy contributions of Swedes and Swedish Americans is an important part of Swedish Council’s mission. In 1980, SCA sponsored the first Great Swedish Heritage Award program to celebrate the achievements of Americans of Swedish descent. At the same event, SCA began a tradition of recognizing the accomplishments of a Swedish citizen by presenting the America’s Swede of the Year Award. Previous recipients include Barbro Osher, Dr. Nils Hasselmo, H.E. Jan Eliasson, and Agneta Nilsson. (For a complete listing of previous recipients visit our awards page.) In 2008, Swedish Council of America’s Board of Directors decided that future awardees would be honored with the SCA Great Achievement Award. Mrs. Siri Eliason was the first recipient of this award in 2011.

    Invitations to the 40th Anniversary celebration where the awards will be presented will be in the mail in early March. If you are interested in receiving an invitation, please send your name and address to swedcoun@swedishcouncil.org.

     

     

     

    Conference of Swedish America
    SCAConference 

    Celebrations and activities to celebrate SCA’s first 40 years connecting Swedish America will take place throughout 2012. In addition to the celebration on April 13 (read more above), SCA is partnering with a group of organizations led by The Swedish American Center in Karlstad (Värmland, Sweden) to host the next Conference of Swedish America. Part of the Swedish Council’s mission is to bring together people from Sweden and North America in educational programs. To date, the Swedish Council has presented ten conferences across the United States and Sweden to educate interested persons and engage new generations to learn about Sweden and Swedish America. Prior locations include Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley (2009), Karlstad, Sweden (2006), St. Paul, Minn. (2004), and San Francisco (2000).

    The Governor of Värmland, Eva Eriksson, and CEO of The Swedish American Center in Karlstad, Sweden, Erik Gustavson warmly welcome people of all ages to the Swedish American Bridge Conference September 12-16, 2012. The Swedish American Bridge conference will explore and help grow Swedish-American ties into the future. With shared history as a foundation, we lift our gaze toward exchanges involving education, research, entrepreneurship and environmental technology. We raise questions of how Sweden, the United States, and Canada can contribute to a sustainable development; of cooperation across borders; and how exchanges of students and researchers between countries can support and stimulate continued good relations between the three nations.

    The preliminary conference fee is approximately $650 USD, which includes participation in the entire program, all meals, local transportation, and the concluding banquet. Participants are responsible for travel to Karlstad and hotel accommodations. The complete program will be presented in the next issue of Sweden & America magazine.

    Individuals registering their interest in the conference with the Swedish Council of America or the Swedish American Center by March 1, 2012 will receive a 10% discount off the conference fee.

     

     

     

    Minneapolis’s American Swedish Institute Announces Official Grand Reopening!
    ASI 

    The American Swedish Institute (ASI) announced on February 21, 2012 that June 30 will be the official grand opening for Minneapolis’s newest landmark, the Carl and Leslie Nelson Cultural Center. The opening of the ASI’s long-anticipated addition positions the museum squarely as a significant cultural center for the region, a place to experience the remarkable—and unexpected—in Nordic arts, music and culture.

    All are welcome to celebrate the opening of the 34,000 square foot Nelson Cultural Center at an all-day festival, Saturday, June 30. The party will feature the first public looks at the new building and outdoor spaces, special international musical guests, craft demonstrations, family activities, an exhibit by world-renowned tapestry artist Helena Hernmarck, food and beverages – and several really fantastic surprises, to be announced shortly.

    The Nelson Cultural Center’s innovative design and handcrafted, Swedish-inspired detailing embrace Nordic values—including respect for nature and quality materials, as well as for the environment, through energy conservation and sustainable building practices. Designed to achieve the United States Green Building Council’s LEED Gold rating, the center features a sloping green roof and a geothermal well-field for heating and cooling.

    The Nelson Cultural Center connects old and new worlds with the American Swedish Institute’s historic castle-like 1908 Turnblad Mansion, increasing space for artistic, cultural, and community programming in the city; as well as allowing for expansion of contemporary programs such as new immigrant experiences. The addition to the ASI is designed to establish a more accessible, welcoming presence in the Phillips West neighborhood of Minneapolis.

    “Minneapolis now has a new landmark building—linking with the American Swedish Institute’s iconic Turnblad Mansion in a beautiful composition that joins together modern Scandinavia with local history and tradition. Our June 30 grand opening is the culmination of more than ten years of development capped by a year-long construction effort,” said Bruce Karstadt, Honorary Consul General of Sweden and ASI’s President and CEO. “We believe this is a pivotal moment that transforms ASI’s community role. We now have ample facilities that both serve our long-standing audience, and open our gathering spaces as a resource for the entire community and our neighborhood.”

    The new construction is located on Park Avenue, to the south of the Turnblad Mansion, and is connected by a courtyard between the buildings. The center’s slate exterior is designed to echo the Mansion’s roof and complement the light limestone of the structure. From the interior entrance of the Nelson Cultural Center, two-story windows frame views of the Mansion. The project also includes extensive exterior additions: a large plaza area for festivals and neighborhood gatherings, increased parking and other major landscaping improvements.

    HGA Architects and Engineers, Minneapolis, designed the Nelson Cultural Center and surrounding landscaping. The Tegra Group, Minneapolis, provided project management expertise; and Adolfson & Peterson Construction, Minneapolis, built the facility.

    Other features of the Nelson Cultural Center include:

    • Glass-enclosed reception atrium
    • New museum shop space
    • Expanded café
    • Flexible event space seating of 325 for a lecture or concert; 225 for dinner
    • New galleries for traveling and local exhibits
    • Large studio and crafts workshop
    • Expanded spaces for meetings, events and community gatherings

    The Nelson Cultural Center also includes an educational partnership with Gustavus Adolphus College, located in St. Peter, Minnesota. The College has an office suite in the Center giving Gustavus a presence in the Twin Cities area for outreach to alumni and prospective students, and for educational programming.

    Renovations to the 1908 Turnblad Mansion, which added a community hall, library, classrooms and a new elevator-stairway circulation tower, were completed in November 2011.

    The American Swedish Institute, founded in 1929, is a vibrant arts and culture organization and historic home located on 26th and Park Avenue near downtown Minneapolis. The ASI serves as a gathering place for people to share stories and experiences around universal themes of tradition, migration, craft and the arts, all informed by enduring ties to Sweden. For more, visit http://www.asimn.org.

     

     

     

    Spotlight on Swedish America Heritage Online
    Swedish American Heritage Online Logo 

    In 2012, the spotlight articles will focus on projects funded by SCA grants rather than affiliate groups. This project received funding in 2011.

    Swedish America Heritage Online (SweAme) is a virtual organization focused on preserving and sharing historical data and images related to the Swedish immigrants who found a new home in America.

    In January 2007, an idea was formed to digitize and to share online the contents of the out-of-publication Texas Swedish historical book “Swedes In Texas, In Words & Pictures.” A review of the U.S. Census records found that only 25% of the Swedish born individuals living in Texas were documented in the first publication in 1918. By 2010, the Texas project had uploaded the book’s English version, added the remaining 75% and also added the immigrants living in 22 other states.

    In May, 2010, a plan was devised to expand the project to all states. The 1900 census documented 591,969 Swedish born individuals living in America. To accomplish such a large project, the SweAme non-profit organization was formed to acquire funding and to compensate contracted users to perform the online keying.

    SweAme became a Swedish Council of America (SCA) affiliate organization in January, 2011. SCA became its first source for major funding.The SCA award added over 8,700 immigrants who were living in the Duluth area in St. Louis County, Minnesota.

    The next major funding source was The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation. This project is now in progress and will add over 17,000 Swedish immigrants who were living in Maine and California in 1900.

    The SweAme website will continue to grow in size and usage as additional projects are funded and completed. This growth allows additional users (now over 700 from Sweden and America) an opportunity to research for their ancestors and relatives on both sides of the Atlantic. For more information, see SWEAME’s website.

    Submitted by David Borg

     

     

     

    Affiliate Events
     

    February 24, 2012 – Chicago, IL
    The Brunk Children’s Museum of Immigration, a unique feature of the Swedish American Museum that attracts thousands of visitors each year, will celebrate its 10th Birthday Benefit with a special program for youngsters from toddler on up, that will include rowing a Viking ship, milking a cow on a Swedish farm, keeping house in a log cabin, or dressing up as an immigrant pioneer. While the kids play, members of their families will be entertained in the first-floor gallery with refreshments, games and a silent auction. Children will be admitted to the 10th birthday benefit at no charge. The cost to adults is $25 each. For more information, call 773-728-8111 or click here.

    February 25, 2012 – Austin, TX Take your pick of two feature length films and six shorts from Denmark, Iceland, Finland, and Sweden—or watch them all! The Austin Nordic Film Festival will consist of two blocks (3-6 pm and 7-10 pm) and an afterparty from 10 pm – 2 am. Cost is $8 per block. Mr. Tramp’s Euro Pub Screening Room. Reservations required. For more information, click here.

    March 3, 2012 – Des Plaines, IL
    Scandinavian Park Inc. NFP will present the 9th Annual Dinner Dance and Fundraiser for Vasa Park. The theme will be “Harvesting Scandinavian Traditions” and donation is $45 per person with dance music provided by the Dave Kyrk Trio. There will be a cash drawing and raffle table with prizes donated by Scandinavian organizations and businesses. Social hour 6:30 pm, dinner 7:30 pm. For reservations and information call 630-852-0598 or visit www.vasaparkil.com.

    March 8, 2012 – Palo Alto, CA
    The Europe Center and The Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts present Nelly Sachs: Flight and Metamorphosis, a reception, workshop and dramatic reading in celebration of the life and poetry, and the evocative context of Nelly Sachs, winner of the 1966 Nobel Prize for Literature. 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm. For more information about this event and to RSVP, click here.

    March 10, 2012 – Wauwatosa, WI
    The Swedish American Historical Society of Wisconsin presents a discussion on the immigration of our Swedish ancestors to America. Society members Historian Harry Anderson, George Lofgren and Darlene Norman will discuss immigrants’ dreams of America, their preparation for the trip and the treasures they brought with them to the New World. View records and documentation required for the voyage and some of the treasures of the trip passed on to their descendants. 1:30 p.m. at Redemption Lutheran Church. Visit www.sahswi.org or call 414-352-7890 for further information.

     

     

     

    News from Sweden
     

    2012 marks the centenary of the birth of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved the lives of 20,000 Jews during World War II. 2012 may also be the year that more is discovered about the fate of Wallenberg, who was arrested by Soviets in January 1945 when the Red Army invaded Budapest, and later imprisoned in Moscow. Russian officials announced in 1957 that Wallenberg had died in 1947 of a heart attack while still in prison. In 2000, however, Russian investigators said that he had instead been executed at the KGB headquarters in Moscow.

    Now, a former Russian archive official, Anatoly Prokopenko, has claimed that he came across a “thick dossier” during a 1991 tour of the KGB archive “containing numerous references to Raoul Wallenberg.” The document, which Prokopenko believes to be the report of an aristocrat, Count Mikhail Tolstoy-Kutuzov, to his Soviet intelligence handlers, suggested Tolstoy-Kutuzov was following Wallenberg’s every move. Prokopenko thinks Stalin may have ordered Wallenberg’s arrest based on this evidence, and that the full document may shed light on what really happened to Wallenberg. Russian officials have denied that such a document exists.

     

    *****

    Sweden may soon be home to a new bicycle superhighway. The proposed superhighway will connect two cities in southern Sweden: Malmö, Sweden’s third-largest city, and Lund. The 13-mile highway will have four lanes, two types of wind protection (low bushes and solid walls) and periodic bicycle service stations. It will be built along an existing railway (lowering construction costs), and will have exits but no intersections, allowing for uninterrupted travel.

    In Lund, 60% of commuters use bicycles or ride public transport. Malmö recently has invested in infrastructure to encourage cycling, which has led to a 30% increase in cycling each year and a decrease in car trips under 5 kilometers. The total cost of the superhighway is estimated to be around 50 million SEK ($7.1 million), and the construction would take 8 years.

     

    *****

    The advent of smartphones has changed how consumers do business in many ways. Now that retailers accept coupons on mobile devices and shoppers can be notified of nearby sales via their phones, more and more smartphone users want to be able to pay with their phones, and accept payment with them as well. Several Stockholm-based tech startups are leading the industry with options for customers and merchants to use the technology at their fingertips.

    iZettle launched a free card-reader in June that attaches to an iPhone, swipes a credit card, and processes payment. Payair allows smartphone users to point their phone’s camera at an object, scan a barcode and approve a purchase. Payex Mobile allows users to make transfers between mobile phones. Swedish mobile operator Telia predicts that at least half of all Swedes will use a mobile device to make a payment in the next two years.

     

    *****

    How much would you pay for a designated parking spot? In Stockholm, real estate agencies are betting drivers will spend a lot – a spot in the trendy Östermalm neighborhood recently sold for 700,000 kronor ($105,051). And that isn’t even the limit. “We’ve seen parking places being sold that were triple, even quadruple that price,” said real estate agent Peter Messeter.

    The price for the 2.5 by 6 meter parking spot translates to 100,000 kronor per square meter, which is much higher than the cost per square meter for an apartment in the same area. Even so, real estate agents say buying an expensive parkinig spot is a more economical decision than renting. The 700,000 kronor parking spot was also available for rent for 510 kronor per month.

     

     

     

    SCA Corporate Sponsors
     

    Swedish Council of America has launched a corporate sponsorship program. For more information, please contact antonio@swedishcouncil.org.

    We thank our sponsors and encourage you to learn more about the products and services they offer. Click on the logos below to be directed to their websites!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Connect to us!
     

    Sweden & America

    The Sweden & America magazine is the perfectly priced gift for anyone who is interested in the Swedish heritage or Swedish America. Plus, with four issues a year, it is a gift that keeps on giving! Send your $20 subscription fee to SCA, 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55407. Remember to include both your information and the gift recipient’s information!

    Social Media

    Join the conversation! Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. We look forward to “talking” with you.

     

    Slideshows

    Slideshows on SCA’s website feature affiliate organizations independently or around a theme. Click here to view a slide show featuring holiday events and celebrations at our affiliate organizations.

     

     

     

    About Swedish Council of America
     

    Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Swedish Council of America, founded in 1972, unites around 300 affiliated organizations in the United States, Canada, and Sweden in their efforts to preserve and promote the Swedish heritage.

    Swedish Council of America supports and fosters cooperative relationships between all groups and individuals whose purpose is to promote knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the Swedish heritage in American life and strengthens contemporary cultural and educational ties between North America and Sweden.

    In carrying out this mission, Swedish Council of America focuses its support and services to SCA affiliated organizations through the following programs and activities:

    1. Communications
    2. Grants
    3. Awards and Recognition

    Swedish Council of America relies entirely on voluntary contributions from individual members of the Viking Circle annual fund and from its support organization, the Royal Round Table.

    You can support SCA’s vital mission by:

    • Making a financial contribution to our Viking Circle Annual Fund.
    • Joining the Three Crowns Society by including SCA in your estate plans. Please notify Elise of your intent.
    • Remembering someone important to you with a gift in his/her honor or memory.

    For more information visit www.swedishcouncil.org or contact SCA’s Executive Director Elise Peters by e-mail at elise@swedishcouncil.org or call 1-800-981-4722.

     

    Sweden Pitching for More Data Centers

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    From the Data Center Knowledge article:

    Building on the arrival of a huge Facebook data center, economic development officials in Sweden are marketing the country as an ideal location for data center development.

    Ten Swedish regions are uniting in an effort to attract more data centers, an initiative supported by the Swedish government through its investment promotion agency, Invest Sweden. The effort will start with a tour of Silicon Valley to meet with major IT companies.

    Read the full story at the link.

     

    EU 2010 Budget Accounts Rejected by U.K., Netherlands, Sweden

    0

    From the Bloomberg Businessweek article:

    The U.K., Netherlands and Sweden refused to sign off the European Union’s operating budget for 2010, saying that cost overruns are unjustified at a time when national governments are having to slash their spending.

    The three northern European nations voted against discharging the accounts at a meeting in Brussels today after auditors found the error rate in the 122 billion-euro budget ($132 billion) climbed to 3.7 percent from 3.2 percent. It was the first time Britain refused to approve the accounts.

    Read the full story here.

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