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The Book Club – it’s a summer thriller!

This summer, we again invite all our alumni to join the Alumni Network’s fantastic book club. This time, we are also offering reading in English!

What makes this book club so fantastic, you wonder?
Well, not only are all the books we read in the book club written by alumni, but the readers also get the chance to ask their questions directly to the author.

Find yourself a copy of the book, start reading and save the date for for the author discussion in October. As autumn comes, you will be prompted to send in any questions you may have for the author about the book or writing in general.

Save the Dates:
27 September, 18:00 CET –  Lecture on Swedish Crime Fiction with Kerstin Bergman (Zoom webinar)
•  7 October – Author Discussion with Karin Wahlberg 
Registration links for these events will be sent out in early autumn.

This summer we will read:

Death of a Carpet Dealer by Karin Wahlberg

The brutal murder of a Swedish carpet dealer on a business trip to Turkey is the start of a story about an unknown daughter, an exclusive carpet and – as always when Karin Wahlberg writes – the everyday life and dreams of the people we meet in her stories. Read by every doctor and nurse in Sweden and often compared to New York Times best-selling author of medical thrillers, Tess Gerritsen, Death of a Carpet Dealer is one of seven in Wahlberg’s series featuring Police Commissioner Claes Claesson and his wife Veronika Lundborg, doctor at Oskarshamn hospital. 

About Karin Wahlberg

Karin Wahlberg, who lives in Lund, is a crime novel writer who also works as a physician. Her books have sold over 1.5 million total copies worldwide. She published her first crime novel, The Last Round, at the age of 51 in 2001.

Since then, she has written many page-turners set in and around Skåne and Lund about the police inspector Claes Claesson.

The author discussion held in English is based on the book Death of a Carpet Dealer because it is the most accessible of the translated books, but you are of course welcome to read all of Karin Wahlberg’s books and ask questions about them as well.

Lecture: Swedish Crime Fiction

Photo by: Andreas Gruvhammar

Lecture: Swedish Crime Fiction with Kerstin Bergman
Tuesday 27 September at 18:00 on Zoom

From Henning Mankell’s Skåne to Åsa Larsson’s Lappland. Swedish crime fiction stories are a major export commodity. Millions of readers both abroad and in Sweden dive into Swedish page-turners every year. Why? What’s so special about Swedish crime fiction?

Lund University’s crime fiction expert Kerstin Bergman is an associate professor of literary studies, and has researched crime fiction in literature, film and television for many years. She has also reviewed books in the daily and trade press for almost twenty years, and written two best-selling novels herself (Oskuld och oleander and Förgätmigej). She holds one of the critics’ chairs in the Swedish Crime Fiction Academy. In an international context, she is regarded as one of the foremost experts on Swedish crime fiction. Look forward to an evening of the science behind Swedish murder mysteries.

This lecture will be held in English. 

June 17, 2022

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Lund University Honorary Doctors 2022

Doktorspromovering

Every year, at the doctoral degree conferment ceremony, every faculty honours highly deserving researchers from other universities and other citizens, by appointing them as honorary doctors, or doctor honoris causa. The honorary doctors are people who have achieved something of major importance for the University or for society and whom the faculties wish to recognise and tie to their research community. Although often academics from other universities, honorary doctors can equally well be from outside academia.

In connection to the ceremony, many honorary doctors hold lectures for the public. In the list below you can read about this year’s honorary doctors and find links to their lectures.

Faculty of Theology

Peter Halldorf, pastor in the Pentecostal movement and one of the most central figures in Swedish ecumenism, editor and author.
Click here to read more about his lecture on 2 June (in Swedish)

Philippe Sands, author, lawyer and law professor at University College London.

Click here to read more about the honorary professors at the Faculty of Theology (in Swedish)

Faculty of Law

Leo Flynn, Deputy Director and Principal Legal Advisor at the European Commission’s Legal Service
Click here to read more about the honorary doctor at the Faculty of Law

Faculty of Medicine

Peter C.M. van Zijl, professor at John Hopkins University School of Medicine

Stig Ålund, sociologist. Representative of the elderly and their organizations in the research on the elderly, aging and health conducted within the framework of the Center for Aging and Supportive Environments (CASE) and the Department of Health Sciences.

Click here to read more about the honorary doctors at the Faculty of Medicine (in Swedish)

Faculty of Engineering

Dana Cuff, professor and researcher in urban architecture at the University of California, Los Angeles. Holds the Lise Meitner Professor at Lund University

John C. Doyle, professor and researcher at the California Institute of Technology with a focus on dynamic control and management systems

Nils Hannerz, head of research and innovation at IKEM (Innovation and Chemical Industries in Sweden).

Click here to learn more about the honorary doctors’ lecture on 2 June

Click here to learn more about the honorary doctors at the Faculty of Engineering (in Swedish)

Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts

Terry O’Connor, actor, performer, professor and founder of the theater group Forced Entertainment.
Click here to learn more about the honorary doctor’s public lecture on 1 June

Click here to learn more about the honorary doctor at the Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts (in Swedish)

Faculty of Humanities

Martina Kessel, Professor of History at the University of Bielefeld in Germany. Many years of involvement in the National Graduate School in historical studies at Lund University
Click here to learn more about the honorary doctor’s lecture on 1 June 

Click here to learn more about the honorary doctors at the Faculty of Humanities (in Swedish)

School of Economics and Management

Jens Henriksson, CEO for Swedbank.
Click here to learn more about the honorary doctor’s lecture on 2 June (in Swedish)

Click here to learn more about the honorary doctor at the School of Economics and Management

Faculty of Science

Kerstin Johannesson, professor of marine ecology at the University of Gothenburg and director of the Tjärnö marine laboratory in northern Bohuslän.

Georg Kresse, Professor of Physics at the University of Vienna

Click here to learn more about the honorary doctor’s lecture on 2 June

Click here to learn more about the honorary doctors at the Faculty of Science (in Swedish)

June 1, 2022

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LU alumnus behind esports tournament

profile picture of Mikael

This week we meet alumnus Mikael Westerling, Chief Sales Officer and Co-founder at GRID Esports. With a major esports tournament around the corner here in Lund, we get the inside scoop from Mikael, as well as a special offer for LU alumni!

You graduated with a degree in Law from Lund University in 2013 and now you are the Chief Sales Officer and Co-founder at GRID Esports. What lead you to a career in esports following your studies in law?

During my studies I worked for a traditional sports data company in the igaming space, which had opened to me a whole new world filled with novel, interesting legal challenges. Throughout my studies, I managed to combine my professional career and education, often by using examples from the igaming space in the academic essays or even my thesis. After I graduated, I continued to work in the igaming space where I had a chance to make great use of my legal studies while moving to the commercial role. After many years in the traditional sports world, I noticed the emergence of the esports space. Shortly after that, I met GRIDs Founder, Moritz Maurer, a passionate esports fan, who inspired and later convinced me to take the bet on esports as the future of sports betting. We are currently the leading Game Data Platform, working with the best game developers and tournaments organisers – so I guess it paid off to explore the back then unknown space.

This June (9th-11th) there is a big esports tournament being hosted in Lund and your company, GRID, is among the hosts. For those of us not familiar with the world of esports, tell us more about the tournament and your role behind the scenes.

Pinnacle Cup promotional image
Alumni special offer: FREE tickets for Thursday (see info below)

Pinnacle Cup Championship will mark the culmination of over two years’ worth of Pinnacle-backed events that have been run in collaboration with GRID. Pinnacle Cup has evolved into a firmly established esports tournament attracting multiple world’s foremost teams. We aim to reinforce this position with the upcoming LAN event in Lund, with top teams like Astralis, BIG and Fnatic competing for a prize pool of $250 000. GRID’s role in the tournament is to be a facilitator by bringing all parties, sponsors, Visit Lund and the production partner together. I highly recommend all alumni to take the chance to attend the event. It is a great opportunity to visit Lund while experiencing the unique emotions that only LAN events can provide. 

What is your top advice for those passionate about esports and interested in a career in the industry?

I would say to become very good in an area that you like; the esports industry is not that different from other industries, apart from a small quantity of esports specific topics, you need the same skills as in the different industries so don’t be afraid to be open-minded and search for your unique place in this market.

If any software engineers out there are interested in a career in esports, look no further: grid.recruitee.com. 🙂

What is your favourite computer game to play?

Right now, I would say my favourite computer game is CS:GO, however I rarely get the chance to play these days.

What is your favourite memory from your student days in Lund?

Meeting my wife – she was one semester above me and I bought her books…

Interested in attending the Pinnacle Cup Championship in Lund? 

As Lund University alumni, you can take advantage of a special offer! Alumni get FREE tickets* on Thursday 9 June (the first day of the tournament)!

Get your tickets here: https://shops.ticketmasterpartners.com/pcc-welcome-to-lund

*Please note: there are a limited number of free tickets, so get yours while supplies last!


See also the press release about Pinnacle Cup from Visit Lund (in Swedish). 

May 31, 2022

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What happened to the former Generals?

On Friday the 13th of April 1962, during a live TV broadcast, Lund legend and General for the Criminal Carnival Eric Owers knocked the former General Jan Öjvind Swan’s glasses off in a boxing match. This was an historic moment as no moving images of boxing had ever been allowed on Swedish TV before, and just some weeks later the carnival would start.

Eric Owers, almost 90 years young

Today he can be found in Stockholm close to his children and grandchildren, having recently moved from Gothenburg. “Well, it’s fun to do something new before one gets too old,” he says.

In June, he will be 90 (hurrah, hurrah, hurrah!). At the time, Owers was often seen shoulder-to-shoulder with Povel Ramel in the Society of Bear Hunters (Björnjägarne) and says that he probably ate over 100 salted beef briskets with sauerkraut (although in Danish) together with the friends pictured in the painting – Låppan Hagander, Sten Kärrby, Povel Ramel and Bengt-Olof Landin.

Between 1966 and 1971, Eric Owers worked as a programme manager and public relations officer at Liseberg, booking artists such as the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. And he also achieved success in his legal career. You’d be forgiven for assuming that he would be taking it easy in the autumn of his life, but no, the General of the Criminal Carnival still comes to the Generals’ Christmas lunch in Lund every year, he never misses a ‘spex’ (student cabaret), he exercises more than ever and is still active in the legal profession.

“Lund formed me in many ways. Among other things, the Lund Carnival taught me the art of delegation and that has been very useful in my career. It makes you more efficient if you can find people who do things better and as fast, or faster, than you, and then stick to the bigger picture. I also learned how to negotiate, how to treat people the right way and to listen. And it’s easiest to ask women for help because women are usually very helpful.”

Freja Davidsson Bremborg (born and raised in Lund) was no rookie when she stepped up as General for the 2018 Imaginal Carnival. By then, she had already been Vierichef (a kind of Director of Fun) for the circus team during the 2014 carnival and participated in no less than 23 ‘spex’ shows.

Today we find Freja set to become CEO of AF Borgen after recently leaving her position as Assistant CEO and Communication and Marketing Lead at GPX Medical, which develops medical devices for premature babies.

Freja enjoys reading books, spending time with beloved friends over a good dinner, and if anyone suggests a game of Monopoly, Scrabble or any other board game for that matter, she will of course gladly accept!

“Being a Carnival General taught me the importance of joy and commitment in leadership. And how important good communication is to such a large organisation. It must be substantial, concise and timely.”

What the carnivalists of 1994 probably didn’t know (unless they were psychic) was that their General would be named Skåne’s most inspiring leader 19 years later! Pontus Bodelsson ran the Rollercoaster Carnival (Berg och Dal Carnival) with thrilling bravado. He continued his career as board member and CEO of several large companies. Today he is CEO of the Karnov Group. He is married and has two children who have flown the nest (both of whom are carnivalists in this year’s Catastrophic Carnival).

When he’s not training for the Vasaloppet or playing and singing, he gives lectures and writes books with titles like Leadership for Change: My 79 Best Mistakes and Other Valuable Lessons, as well as Management by Joy.

“What I learned from being Carnival General is that joy is not a product of success. Success is a product of joy.”

Out of a smoky, green time machine stepped the Carnival Committee after travelling to May 2014 and retrieving their Lund Carnival General – Fanny Ramel. This is how it was described in an article in Lundagård from 9 October 2013. Fast forward to 2022 and we find Fanny Ramel in Uppsala (“forgive me,” she says)…

“If I hadn’t been General, I don’t think I would have even thought about switching careers from a physiotherapist to a performing arts producer. But above all, the carnival gave me experience of joyful collaboration at its best. It gives me the incentive to keep trying to create the best relationships in all collaborative teams, so that together we can create really good theatre or musicals.”

At the forefront of the Ritual Carnival, Christian Godden stood at a crossroads between the old and the new, between the analogue and the digital, between tradition and rebirth.

Today we find Godden (who still lives in Skåne, in Klagshamn to be precise) at the communications agency BBDO Nordics, where he is partner and Strategy Lead. When he’s not at work, he’s coaching his 12-year-old daughter’s football team or competing in singing competitions with his barbershop quartet.

“During my time as General, I learned that some issues need to be resolved right away while others need more time. And to identify when the time is right for what. All people have different motivations, and to have respect for what it is that drives you and your passions. And that nothing, precisely nothing, is made worse by having fun as you are doing it!”

May 11, 2022

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LTH alumni behind the Carniv-Ale

Simon Frennberg always has the last word when the brewery, Brygghuset Finn, decides on a new beer recipe. This is because, once up on a time, Simon was the one who brewed the first Brygghuset Finn beer in his corridor room at the Helsingkrona student nation. But it was together with Joacim Larsen and Petter Lindholm that the corridor room brewery was transformed into a profitable business venture.

Brygghuset Finn works according to traditional craft methods in combination with innovative engineering knowledge, which is perhaps no great surprise as all three founders are Lund University alumni from the Faculty of Engineering (LTH), one from Industrial Economics and two from Engineering Physics.

Joacim Larsen – Petter Lindholm – Simon Frennberg

Lundensaren visits the brewery early on a Thursday morning in April. The smell of hops is apparent as soon as you walk through the door. From the building’s ordinary exterior, it is difficult to imagine the giant machines concealed within. Joacim Larsen opens the door with one hand and balances his 15-month-old daughter Majken with the other.

“This isn’t really as we had planned with babysitting and everything, but sometimes you have to improvise,” he says and smiles.

He is in a busy period dealing with his roles as a new father and CEO of the company, and sometimes Majken comes to work with him.

Welcome to Landskrona

The name Finn was adopted during the university years and that’s why it has a strong association with Lund, even though we find the brewery a bit north of Lund in premises located at Landskrona’s harbour.

“We realised that it was better for us, purely in financial terms, to be based in Landskrona rather than Lund,” says Joacim. “The brewery already had a name at that point, as the company was started as a student project in Lund. And, of course, that’s where the three of us met.”

Second hand barrels get new life at the beer brewery

The corridor beer project

Simon Frennberg’s room was the headquarters of the brewery, something that was not always popular among the others living on the corridor. But then they increased the volume and improved the quality (i.e. flavour) of the beer. Then, suddenly, the corridor brewery gained in popularity!

Finn now brews approximately 400 000 litres of beer annually, has over 800 shareholders and is the winner of several prizes in the category of locally-produced craft beer.

“The recipe for our brewery is to brew based on curiosity and the love of craft beer and microbrewing. You won’t find any preservatives, chemicals or cheap substitutes in our beer,” says Petter Lindholm.

“The fact is that many of those who work here have an LTH background. And that has really made it possible for us to actually develop new methods and our equipment, as well as improve our quality management. For example, we have recently set up a large lab with PCR potential and advanced analysis methods and to a large extent it is based on our collective LTH backgrounds,” says Joacim.

“But at the start, it was by no means self-evident that we would be doing this in the future. At one time, I thought I would work as a consultant in the banking world. And Petter thought he would possibly work in academia. But when an opportunity calls, you can choose to take the chance or not. There was already a business plan thanks to the student project and there was a beer to produce – so we took the chance and went for it.”

The Karnevöl (Carnival beer) 1986-2022

Carnival beer (Karnevölen) was introduced for the first time in 1986. Initially, it was the major breweries that marketed their beer by putting a carnival label on the can. However, during the 2014 carnival, the trio realised that there was no true ale in the carnival beer selection and they got the chance (after a successful pitch) to produce beer for the 2014 carnival, Futuralkarnevalen.

“At that time, we were not in a position to produce on a large scale,” says Petter. “So, we renamed one of our American pale ales and put on the carnival logo. And, as sales were very good, we participated again in 2018 – but then, at last, we could produce more.”

And that brings us up to date! For 2022, the whole range of beers has been produced from scratch. All the recipes and ideas have been developed in a consultation process between Brygghuset Finn and carnival representatives. And it is historic. The result is first-class beer from Skåne.

Four kinds for different preferences

Karnevöl
The carnival beer for 2022 is a German-style classic pilsner with a rich flavour and full character – a classic pale lager, 4.3% abv.

Karnevale
This year’s carnival ale is a session IPA with a hoppy aroma, newly developed by Brygghuset Finn, 4.5% abv.

Karnesuris
This newcomer is a sour beer with hints of guava, orange and passion fruit, 4.2% abv.

Karnecider
The carnival cider is an apple cider with a fresh taste, 4.5 % abv.

Do you want to know more?

Brygghuset Finn also collaborates with LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies).
Read about the collaboration in the article “Collaboration with local brewery to improve the sustainability of the craft beer industry” or watch the film about the collaboration below.

May 11, 2022

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“During the lockdown, in Thailand and everywhere else, people turned themselves into news channels, using their mobile phones to create content”

This week we meet Ittipol Jungwatanawong, alumnus from the master’s degree programme in European Studies, class of 2014, who today works as Associate Thai Editor in Bangkok, Thailand.

Hi Ittipol! What have you been up to since your graduation?

It has been a long journey, or several ones. I became a university lecturer after graduation before turning to the translation field, moving to online teaching before ending up at the moment as the Associated Thai Editor at Grove by Coconuts Media. Looking back, I switched my path a couple times since my studies at Lund University, and I am enjoying learning to do new things.

Today you work as Associate Thai Editor at Coconuts Media in Thailand, can you tell us something about your job and what a regular workday looks like for you?

My main task is to help clients create content in Thai, mostly. I need to do interviews, compile information, and write stories. Also, I need to handle the budget, brief and direct outsourced personnel (freelance writer and translator), check the quality of texts, and complete the final product. For now, I am still working from home, which I like, even though I miss hanging out with my colleagues sometimes.

Man in bookstore

What are the biggest challenges you meet in your line of work?

Well, I think it is about meeting our clients’ satisfaction. Some clients are demanding high quality in the products we create. It is for certain that sometimes we had to face strong feedback; but I also feel that this is a great learning experience. Besides, my colleagues are great people, so our work is going well.

How do you think that the pandemic influences how people consume news and media?

News and media these days are continually changing. Social media – FB, Twitter, IG, or TikTok – become sources of news that people consume. I think that during the pandemic social media became a main source of news and information distribution because TV and radio are not quick enough to respond to what people want to know. Besides, during the lockdown, in Thailand and anywhere else around the world, people turned themselves into news channels, using their mobile phones to create content. It also creates new opportunities for many people to become online influencers or content creators. But on the downside, fake news and hate speech spread around widely and faster than the previous age of traditional media.

How has your time as a student at Lund University influenced your life?

It opened my world, my view, and attitude, making me more international. Well, it also allowed me to compare things, like social welfare systems, with my country. Learning there has enhanced my critical thinking and working skills, something very useful in my life right now. By the way, it also makes me love and become more concerned about the global environment.

Man sitting by water

What is your #1 recommendation when visiting Bangkok?

I know people would like me to mention the nightlife in Bangkok and other cities of ours. But if I can recommend something else, I would suggest you try F&B business in Bangkok, apart from our Buddhist temples. You cannot believe what a great food and beverage industry we have around the Sukhumvit area, specifically, or Ari or Silom. They have blended Thai, Western, and some Eastern cultures into their services. Though they have been impacted by the pandemic, now many are reopening again. You should go and try some of their food if you come to Thailand. Check the BK Magazine website to guide you there.


“Each day brings me its own rush and scope, especially in the historic moment that the energy sector currently is going through and the push that EV technologies are making into the market.”

In this week’s blog portrait we meet Kevin Latorre, alumnus from the Entrepreneurship programme 2020 at the School of Economics and Management, who has just landed a new job as a designer at Siemens in the US.

Kevin LatorreHi Kevin! What have you been up to since your graduation?

By the time of my graduation, the pandemic was just starting and that changed my plans in Sweden. At that time I had to fly back home before I expected and finish a project for a client. While being at home I went straight ahead to look for a new job, which turned out to be not so easy. I took the free time and the lockdown to catch up with pending readings while doing online courses and re-structuring my CV.

I took some time off to travel and spend time at the beach with the family. That time was difficult with all the lockdowns and the overall mood of the society all over the world. After some time improving my portfolio, my resumé and asking for help, I found a position in the US for the local government in Florida, where I worked in a division related to economic development initiatives and, new ventures in the region. It was interesting to see all the effort that governments put to control the pandemic and at the same time lift back the economies where the role of innovation in those initiatives was crucial.

You recently started working as a designer at Siemens in the US, can you tell us a bit more about your everyday work routine?

Yes, that came to me at the right time after looking for different positions in other similar companies. I started just a month ago and I am in a business unit that has a general objective to accelerate the adoption of electric mobility in North America, so my every day varies between meetings with different team members in the company, as well as design work to produce different deliverables.

The core of my role aims to be at the front end of product innovation, sometimes I must wear different hats to support other teams or simply because I have a personal interest in it. For example, an opportunity that I saw early, was trying to help with the implementation of the new Siemens branding in our unit across different applications such as web, print, exhibition, and others. For a global brand like Siemens, it is important to adjust those changes to the specific markets, in this case for North America. By understanding a global Design system as well as the particularities of the local market, I can bring a perspective to bridge in a balanced way the requirements of different stakeholders.

Like in many jobs, each day brings me its own rush and scope, especially in the historic moment that the energy sector currently is going through and the push that EV technologies are making it into the market. One week I could be working entirely in concept design or idea generation, the next week could be focused on user experience and another week could be making product visualizations for marketing materials. Overall, I do like all the different design deliverables. Variety is a constant in this role that keeps me interested and exposed to different tasks, teams, and knowledge within the organization.

What are your biggest lessons and insights from working for almost a decade with design and innovation?

Notebook, pen and laptop

My Design experience journey sounds extensive but, is mainly because I was lucky to freely decide, pick and start early on this career path. I had the opportunity to participate on impactful industrial design projects in manufacturing facilities when I had just graduated from my bachelors. That kind of learning from being in contact with manufacturers opened up my imagination and interest in different applications of design very early, as well as being able to take internships while I was finishing my studies. That allowed me to stay focused despite the non-linear directions that sometimes life takes. I always tried to maintain a mindset of constant learning and improvement which I still try to keep.

After some years practicing design, analyzing the theory behind it, and being exposed to different opinions about design; it is interesting that design still has a long way to be understood and get adopted in many settings where it is needed.

As a good Latin-American teacher once said Design is not necessary, but inevitable. Before drawings, Design is about making decisions. “Designare”, is a mental plan to designate, however, design practice should not be mistaken only as a thinking process, it requires action with different implications, so it comes with different grades of responsibility. The action of designing something may not be for everybody. Depending on the expected outcome or approach, it demands specific skills, rigor, dedication, rational and intuitive decisions based on knowledge, all this happening on different timelines. It is fun, but complex.

How has your time as a student at Lund University influenced your life?

It was life-changing and challenging. In the beginning, it was hard for me to switch back to the academic world after years of being distanced. However, with some extra effort and the great resources that the university, the location, and the ecosystem around it, I managed to adapt.

For me to have the opportunity to stop my working life, dedicate time to the topics I was curious about was priceless. The content that I was able to read from the masters was valuable to add a complementary layer of knowledge and make life-changing career and financial decisions. I now can make connections between the economics of innovation and design, which for me add extra resources for the analysis of any business or design case. On the other hand, to be exposed to such a diverse group of people from different parts of the world, was insightful for the purpose of understanding different points of view which in one way or another shaped me as a person.

I also made some good friends that made my time in Lund more enjoyable, we still try to stay in touch. I got in touch with some professional contacts which I hope to keep with the intention of maintaining a valuable network and learn from each other.

What do you do to seek inspiration, both for work and in your free time?

3 photos: man by waterfall, IKEA and at a restaurant

I am curious about many things: people, cultures, products, organizations… but, travels are my main source of inspiration. I like to read and listen to different podcasts, but more recently into audiobooks when I have time to spare. At the same time, I would say that shooting pictures with any kind of camera is always a good way for me to get inspiration, as well as hiking or walking by the beach.


“Femme” innovations from Lund

Number five and flowers

Get it? Here are 5 (as in the Swedish number “fem” – as in the French word “Femme”) inventions that have recently emerged from Lund. Lund University is bursting with new ideas, new concepts and brilliant people.

Let us introduce a handful of females that have taken their brilliant ideas and made them into successful products or business ideas.

Natural Cycles – Elina Berglund
Fertility app

Natural Cycles is an app run by an algorithm that determines fertility status using basal body temperature.
The product was born when physics researcher Elina Berglund (together with her partner and co-founder Raoul Scherwitzl) started looking for an effective and natural contraceptive for herself and realised there was none on the market. By applying their knowledge in advanced mathematics and data analysis, the pair developed an algorithm that precisely identifies and predicts ovulation and fertility, enabling women all over the world to determine when and whether they wish to conceive. Elina Berglund is CEO of the company, which has been a global success.

www.naturalcycles.com

Lundoch Diagnostics – Yang de Marinis
AI-based blood test developed to predict type 2 diabetes

Lundoch Diagnostics has developed a method to predict the risk of type 2 diabetes at least four years before diagnosis, offering a good window of opportunity for early interventions to prevent the onset of the disease. Type 2 diabetes affects almost 10% of the world’s adult population and is the major cause of cardiovascular disease and kidney complications. A large international study in type 2 diabetes, which followed around 7 000 people for up to 20 years, forms the basis for the newly-founded company Lundoch Diagnostics. The study garnered a lot of media attention worldwide, as it provides a reliable and sensitive blood biomarker to predict type 2 diabetes. The patented technology uses an AI algorithm to predict, four years before diagnosis, whether an individual runs a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Lundoch Diagnostics was founded in December 2020 to commercialise the technology. The scientific founder and CEO of the company, Yang De Marinis, is also associate professor at the Department of Clinical Sciences at Lund University.

www.Lundoch.com

Speximo – Malin Sjöö
Cosmetics technology

When she started the company, Speximo, Malin Sjöö was conducting research in food engineering. She developed a technology based on quinoa, which is used in the cosmetics sector to formulate creams, powders and sprays that protect active ingredients and improve textures while being natural and sustainable. In 2019, Speximo was sold to a major US company, IFF, and its Beauty Tech unit Lucas Meyer Cosmetics, in a win-win deal. Malin is now working at the Smile Incubator to help other inventors.

www.speximo.com

Medow – Frida McCabe and Linn Wrangmark 
IV-bracelet

The IV-bracelet by Medow is a practical bracelet, a smart solution for holding intravenous tubes in place. The product was recently sold in a lucrative distribution deal to several countries in the Middle East. Behind the company are alumnae Frida McCabe and Linn Wrangmark, who started Medow in 2016 after completing their Master of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering with Industrial Design. The bracelet enables the patient to receive safe and comfortable intravenous treatment while facilitating nurses’ work.

www.medow.se

Ablemind – Katarina Kjell
Computational Language Assessments

A new, unique algorithm improves the assessment and treatment of mental illness by healthcare providers through the analysis of the words used by patients to describe how they feel.

The scientific roots of the invention are to be found in research on the quantification of semantics, which measures the meaning of words by examining how they relate to one another in large amounts of text. Katarina Kjell is a psychology researcher and one of the co-founders behind the tool, which was created to facilitate clinicians’ efforts to identify and follow up on mental illness in the population. 

Through natural language acquisition (NLA), the patient’s responses are analysed in relation to established DSM criteria, a process which can reveal the potential presence and degree of depression, anxiety and stress problems. To put it briefly, the tool can be said to help in the diagnostic process, but also in the follow-up of mental illness. During spring 2020, the organisation scaled up and obtained its first major external grant. The product itself is a digital service intended for healthcare providers.

www.ablemind.com

 

More about innovations

The VentureLab story

Innovation and entrepreneurship at Lund University

HYPE Innovation invites Lund alumni to a free online event

Alumna Sandra Fernholz (Globalization, Brands, and Consumption, LUSEM 2015) works as the Head of Social Impact & Sustainability at HYPE Innovation. In regards to the International Women’s Day, she invites you and your friends to a free online event “Women in Innovation – Break the Bias”. The event takes place on 10 March and you can register here.

February 28, 2022

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Did you know?

1 percent and money

Did you know that only one per cent of venture capital goes to women? Why is that and what are the consequences?

Sofia Breitholtz
LU alumna and CEO Reach for Change, Sofia Breitholtz

“The situation looks the way it does today due to a combination of factors. There are currently both structural and systemic obstacles, some more visible than others. We often hear from the female entrepreneurs we work with that they lack female role models,” says Lund alumna and CEO of Reach for Change Sofia Breitholtz, continuing:

‟There is also a perception that women build companies in other sectors that are not considered to be growth sectors, or in which the potential for scalability is called into question. But we also see that investors ask female founders different types of questions compared to male founders. Female founders often get questions about risks and challenges, while male founders often get questions about vision and plans for growth. There are similar challenges with regard to public financing.”

It is simpler to invest in what you recognise

According to a recently released report (in Swedish) by the Swedish Gender Equality Agency (Public financing of entrepreneurship from a gender equality perspective), male-dominated sectors are also the rewarded recipients of public financing. Most capital is owned by male investors and it can be perceived as simpler to invest in what you recognise or have easy access to.

People often invest in networks similar to the ones they themselves belong to, says Sofia Breitholtz.
This becomes a major barrier for women who are excluded from these networks, and it becomes even more difficult for women from minority groups, for example.

The consequence is that we miss out on a lot of innovation and new companies that don’t get founded

A report was recently released by the think tank, Ownershift, showing that men own twice as much as women. This has consequences on female retirement savings, participation in the labour market, etc. But above all, we miss out on a lot of innovation and new companies that don’t get founded, says Breitholtz.

‟This is a socioeconomic loss. Especially in sectors such as healthcare and education, where we see that women are over-represented. In addition, gender equality is not only a matter of fairness but also a condition to meet the UN global goals for sustainability by 2030.”

What do you think we, as a society, should do about it?

Breitholtz thinks that a first step is to become aware of these challenges and get investors to start looking beyond their own networks. Only then will society be able to achieve diversity in innovation and entrepreneurship.

‟There is also potential to bring about exciting societal solutions that are needed today. Government capital can be used as a catalyst for more financing. In particular by taking early risks. For this to work, data showing how much capital goes to female founders, etc. is also needed. 

It is also important that we highlight female role models. That we show women and girls that it is possible to build strong companies as a woman.”

 


Do you meet the membership requirements?

17 Network logo

17 – the network for women with businesses worth millions

“To become a member of 17 you must be able to show that you have founded one or more companies that have, or have had, an annual turnover of at least SEK 50 million and can verify this with annual accounts or equivalent.”
Source: 17 website

Lund alumna Carolina Faxe (School of Economics and Management, Lund University 1992-1996, Master of Science in Business and Economics, Finance) is one of the 46 successful entrepreneurs in the 17 Network. The network was formed to influence the entrepreneurial climate in Sweden. All told, the members of 17 have 100 companies, 6 000 employees and a turnover of SEK 10 billion. All the members are women (of course).

Sound and sustainable entrepreneurship

The power in Swedish business has for too long been with men at the top of the pyramid. 17 wants to inspire women to build big companies, as big companies affect that power situation. And with power also comes responsibility for sound and sustainable entrepreneurship, which is one of the network’s important driving forces.

Time in Lund was a formative period

Carolina Faxe is the owner of TicTac Learn, the leading supplier of EdTech (educational technology) in the Nordic countries with a turnover of SEK 63 million in 2021. The time in Lund was a formative period for Carolina, in which she learned to think critically, aggregate a lot of information and see connections.

“I have always liked doing business and was involved in LINC, where we had a great interest in shares and were pioneers with one of the first Bloomberg terminals in Sweden. We were a bit nerdy, but things have gone very well for most of those who were in LINC.”

In 2009, Carolina had been CEO of Travelstart for just over three years and profitability was increasing. The company grew from SEK 400 million to SEK 1.8 billion in three years. But when the company’s owners wanted to take back the CEO role, Carolina had to go.

“This event gave me a considerable driving force to build and own a company myself. I understood that it is the owner who has the real power. My aim was to build a company worth SEK 100 million. I usually say that Travelstart was a fantastic schooling in entrepreneurship and I am very grateful for the time I spent there, both as a leader and an entrepreneur.”

Why don’t more women dare to invest the time and effort?

Only 30% of Sweden’s entrepreneurs are women, even though many studies show that companies with a gender-balanced management are more profitable and more sustainable. But why don’t more women dare to invest the time and effort?

Carolina believes there is a change going on. Of course, the more role models there are, the more women will become inspired.

“A lot has happened in recent years concerning the focus on female leadership. I believe the conditions are good, but daring is crucial. Women are generally a little more careful but at the same time are very willing to assume responsibility.”

Go for it!

Carolina’s own company takes social responsibility very seriously. Young people, women entrepreneurs and human rights are particularly close to TicTac Learn. Carolina considers that if Sweden and the world had more female entrepreneurs, the business sector would be more pleasant and more exciting. 

“My advice is to believe in yourself and GO FOR IT! As an entrepreneur, you have to solve different situations all the time and that’s something you can’t prepare for or study beforehand. Set up clear goals, be stringent, have patience and surround yourself with a good team.”

17 also has an investor network, which works on highlighting interesting companies in the expansion phase. The investors consist of members plus a number of selected angel investors and VC companies.

Read more about the 17 network here.


February 28, 2022

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The will to achieve gender equality and equal opportunities defines the trajectory of women at Lund University

Hedda in rainbow colors

In 1880, the first two female students, Hedda Andersson and Hildegard Björck, enrolled at Lund University. Andersson was left as the only woman for two years, after Björck dropped out, but soon the number of female students began to rise gradually.

Hedda Andersson

More female students also began to get involved in student life. In 1900, the Lund Female Students’ Association was formed, and during the 1930s, Britt G Hallqvist became the first female contributor to Lundagård, the students’ union magazine. Sweden’s first female doctoral graduate, Frida Palmér, publicly defended her thesis in 1939 at the University, and in 1964, the first female professor, Carin Boalt, was appointed at LTH (the then independent Lund Institute of Technology, now LU’s Faculty of Engineering). One year later, Birgitta Odén became the first female professor at LU in 1965. The University’s first and so far only female vice-chancellor, Boel Flodgren, was appointed in 1992.

The will to achieve gender equality and equal opportunities defines the trajectory of women at Lund University and that same will also defines the way forward. One example of the University’s current projects on these issues is the University-wide initiative for gender equality and equal opportunities. Launched in 2019, under the management of Pro Vice-Chancellor Jimmie Kristensson, its aim is to reinforce university-wide efforts in support of gender equality, equal opportunities and equal treatment.

Jimmie Kristensson
Jimmie Kristensson

A project to identify effective working methods in the field of gender equality

Pro Vice-Chancellor Jimmie Kristensson describes the University as having been “a decentralised organisation”; the project was to change how work on gender equality and equal opportunities is organised. He explains that gender equality issues have been addressed with unclear links to decision-making powers and implementation mandates, despite many faculties having several initiatives. In Kristensson’s view, gender equality work in academia requires a cohesive organisation. Money has been allocated for an LGBT network for employees and there is active collaboration with the Tellus project (hyperlink) which works to prevent sexual harassment and to give clear remits to employees. Kristensson hopes that the new organisation will lead to more powerful and effective work.

Four areas identified in the project

• Discrimination-free recruitment and career paths
• Knowledge and expertise in the organisation
• A systematic working method
• Preventive work against sexual harassment

Kristensson’s engagement is strong and he emphasises the need for the University to take a more intersectional approach:

“After all, it is about working for an organisation that is somehow caring, in all its competition and all its excellence, that is capable of showing respect and understanding for the fact that people are different. Those differences enrich us.”

Elsa Hilltorp

Text and research: Elsa Hilltorp

Alumna of Lund University’s Bachelor’s programme in Gender Studies, 2018-2021. Currently a first-year student in the Master’s programme in Global Studies at Lund University.

February 28, 2022

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LU alumni make the Tech50 list of the most influential people on the Swedish tech scene

Collage of Tech50 profile photos
Source: IDG.se

Congratulations to our alumni who have been named on the Tech50 list of the most influential people on the Swedish tech scene by IDG.se (Här är Tech50 – de mest inflytelserika inom tech 2022).

Five Lund University alumni have made it on this prestigious list for 2022, which highlights those who have made strong contributions to the development and visibility of technology and digitalisation. They engage, educate, inspire and fund.

The list has been determined by representatives for IDG and Techsverige.

At the Tech Awards Sweden in Stockholm on 22 March, one person from the list will be awarded as having made the biggest impact in the past year.

Here are the 5 LU alumni who made this year’s list:

Daniel Akenine, National Technology Officer at Microsoft
Microsoft’s technical spokesperson has influence over more than just technology, whether as an adviser to the government or as a debater and speaker. Nowadays he is even a writer in the field of architecture.

Helene Barnekow, CEO at Microsoft Sweden
Leads one of the industry’s heaviest companies, which has just increased its imprint on Sweden even more with the inauguration of its Swedish data centres. In April, she is leaving the CEO position for a new career as a leadership consultant. Furthermore, she has a strong focus on gender equality and sustainability.

Johan Magnusson, Professor at Gothenburg University
Researcher, educator and driver in digitalisation with a special interest in the public sector. He contributes with important insights and tools for Sweden’s IT leaders.

Katarina Berg, Chief Human Resources Officer at Spotify
Human Resources Officer at one of our most influential employers in tech. Spotify has been a driving force in the efforts to develop the workplace of the future, where employees are now given the right to work from wherever they want.

Staffan Helgesson, General Partner at Creandum
Well-known venture capitalist who was in early on many of the companies that make up the Swedish tech wonder. It has also been clear that Creandum wants to invest in Sweden from Sweden.

Tech50 is part of Tech Awards, which will take place at Sergel Hub in Stockholm on 22 March. There they will also appoint the person on the list who made the biggest impression in the past year, and hand out prizes in another five categories.
The Tech50 list is presented in alphabetical order and should not be construed as a ranking. Members of the jury for the Tech Awards as well as employees at Techsverige and IDG have not been considered for a place on the list for reasons of conflict.


Source: https://www.idg.se/2.1085/1.762141/har-ar-tech50–de-mest-inflytelserika-inom-tech-2022

February 24, 2022

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