The Almedals Blog 2017

Thursday 2017-07-06

Wednesday night in Almedals week 2017 and I sit on the fast ferry back to the mainland. I look back on three intense and interesting days. I am tired of my feet, full and full of all my senses. Over the days, I have attended a fraction of the more than 4,000 seminars that the Almedals program offers. I have listened to lectures on innovations in healthcare and future healthcare and e-health. I have delved into the focus of public procurement and have seen good examples of more Innovative procurement from, for example, Nacka municipality.

During this year's Almedal, however, I have mainly taken the opportunity to deepen my knowledge of several of the customers I work with. Customers who are politically controlled organizations. It has been advantageous to have the opportunity to see and listen to Ministers and Directors-General who together illustrate any important mission that the Authority has. Often, the authorities' most important partners have also been involved and nuanced the image of the assignment even more. Suddenly, the government's mission is filled with human will, political ambition and enthusiasm for the mission. The interaction between politicians and civil servants becomes clear and the political governance and benefits it creates in society are filled with life and meaning!

The days have also meant endless quick, spontaneous meetings at various locations in Visby; Donnersplats, the Botanical Garden, the main square and not least in all the streets and alleys and the area around the Almedalen itself. The number of meetings with acquaintances from both my professional and private life has been far more than what I meet in the local mall one Saturday morning after pay. I am fascinated by the openness and willingness to contact that characterizes Almedalen. Everyone you meet is set to meet and greet. No one hesitates to call out the name of the one they see in the crowd - everyone expects it, stops and meets the contact seeker with a smile and a warm handshake.

And despite the buzz and amount of people, the short meetings and the intense days, the days have also meant moments of insight and contact. Close meetings where I first get together by colleagues or business associates who think that I and another person have important things in common. Meetings that lead to an in-depth discussion and an agreement to be heard when everyday life is up again.

Visby's pedestrian streets have been blocked by large, heavy cement blocks and concrete pots masked to flower pots to prevent attacks by ill-minded elements who want to destroy and frighten. Police cars and military cars for the day in a different role as a police car and several police officers in the streets gossip that we are living in a time when openness and accessibility are not a matter of course. To then have the opportunity to just open an unlocked door and sneak in to listen to yet another minister in the Swedish government feels like an enormous win for democracy and openness and the society we all cherish. This year, the Almedals Week represents more than ever access to politics and an open and democratic society! It is with an incredibly happy mind that I now leave Visby and the Almedal bubble behind me returns to everyday life - many impressions, experiences and contacts richer!

-Evelina Kambre Öberg, management consultant


Wednesday 2017-07-05

The real estate industry is starting to respond

With building and real estate eyes, the program for the Almedals Week can at first glance be perceived as a bit frustrating. Themes and issues seem to be largely the same as the past five years, will it be any workshop or is it just a snack? After all, there is still a great focus on faster construction and more housing, but when seminars and talks get underway, it turns out that there is actually a part going on in the industry, even though the overall issues remain the same.

An example is one increased focus on customer needs and market demand. More people are interested in building with varying size, quality, design and price. It is good that the industry has realized that it is not only possible to build lots of Mercedes apartments but that the supply needs to be broadened to appeal to more target groups with different conditions and needs.

The purpose is to reduce the time around housing construction development and streamlining of action plans and land directions. In the municipality of Örebro, the “Örebrom model” has been implemented, which aims to significantly reduce processing times, administration and decisions regarding action plans and land directions. There, new houses are now being built at a furious pace and further proposals, a so-called "Örebromodel 2.0", are being tested to create increased dynamics in the municipality's housing market through increased mix of rental and tenant-owned apartments.

In addition, the Stockholm market has been pushed around its goal of doubling the pace of housing construction through a greater degree of collaboration between the players in the real estate industry's ecosystem with the help of "Stockholmshusen". Through a close and early collaboration between urban building offices, contractors and public utility companies together with large-scale production focus, the time from idea to finished house can be drastically shortened from 8 to 4 years.

The speed is probably not as high as many hoped, but it feels liberating that the above mentioned examples are finally realized and the potential for further application is hopefully great. In conclusion, we can note that the topic digitizing continues to be one of the hottest topics in Almedalen in general and in the real estate industry in particular. However, unlike the aforementioned topics, the solution proposals and customer focus are lacking. The strategies and visions seem to exist but concrete suggestions and good examples shine with their absence.

How do you view the real estate market's challenges?

-Rickard Törnblom, management consultant


Tuesday 2017-07-04

Yesterday it really started. Saturday and Sunday are a nice and important task if you have the opportunity to set aside time. The Almedals week requires preparation, both physically and mentally. Physically when Visby is like a small San Francisco with its slopes and on top of it the many different seminars, in different places, which the visitor has to cross. Mentally for this, the most far-sighted must make a choice.

What is of interest then? What is it that gathers and takes our time in the Almedalen? One year before the election, the answer is quite predictable and pending and follows the surveys presented in the spring. Ie care, school and integration issues.

One reflection may be that the space for curiosity is increasing where digitalization and the concepts surrounding it create new contexts where, among other things, the business community is linked to public activities in new unpredictable ways. An example presented by Bring where Bring and Ragn Sells cooperate with the same car delivering the goods and returning the waste at the same time. The initiative came from the City of Stockholm.

-Ulf Tengroth, management consultant