SUMMING UP ALMEDALEN WEEK

2016-08-23

Almedalen Week in Sweden really is unique. An intense week packed with politics, debates and, discussions – where everyone feels approachable in a relaxed way within a very small area. New constellations are encountered here, and both new ideas and forms of cooperation arise over the course of a few days.

For the first time ever, Kinnarps played an active role during the week in order to debate a key issue – namely the lack of pure materials in the furniture still found in our schools and workplaces. It turned out to be an interesting debate, not least with Sweden’s Minister for the Environment, Karolina Skog.  We had the opportunity to meet her in person and also got to know more about her views on the requirements for sustainability in public procurements. She feels this is an important issue and we now look forward to her carrying it through in her actions. We also pointed out that both the government and politicians need to act in order to create more rigorous and clearer legislation for the use of chemicals in furniture. We still don’t know how dangerous these chemicals are and how they might affect children and adults over a longer period of time, so we feel that Sweden should apply the precautionary principle – that we quite simply should not expose ourselves to potential dangers! Many of those present in Almedalen agreed with us. 

But sustainability issues were not the only issues raised during the week. Digitalisation, diversity, cooperation, integration and innovation were other hot topics that were the subject of lively debate in Visby. Great changes are under way both in Sweden and in our surrounding world, and we at Kinnarps carefully observed this year’s trends and discussions! We were glad to hear how many people talked about an activity-based way of working during the week – and the gains that it produces. This shows that we are not the only ones who see great benefits in creating environments that really are centred around individuals and the specific tasks that need to be carried out.