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      Scandinavian Days 2023 are over

      Marta Kufel

      Marta Kufel

      Scandinavian Days 2023 are over

      This year's Scandinavian Days had a plentiful offering, featuring a host of events with hundreds of participants. Already the ninth edition, this year's event ran under the theme “Inclusion and diversity – the way to success”. 

      Firstly... business

      Szczecin is a “natural gateway” along the North-South route. Our city is a major international transport node from southern Scandinavia, through the Oder route, the Czech Republic and Austria down to Mediterranean ports. This location and geographic proximity are good for business.

      “The partnerships we have established here have had a tangible impact on Szczecin’s economy. Scandinavian countries are the biggest foreign investors in our city,” said Piotr Krzystek, the Mayor of Szczecin.

      This can be seen in the actual figures – there are more than 160 businesses with Scandinavian capital in Szczecin, including Vestas, KK-wind Solutions, Garo, Tieto, Coloplast, LM Wind Power, Fair Wind and Global Wind Service. These companies employ a total of about 15,000 people across the region and enjoy a reputation of good and reliable employers. This is one of the measurable impacts of Scandinavian Days, which have been organised in Szczecin since 2014.

      Secondly... the future

      The business part of Scandinavian Days ran under the theme “Inclusion and diversity – the way to success”. The first part of the slogan may sound enigmatic, but what it means is simply being available to everyone.

      “We do not see inclusion and diversity as a short-lived trend. They are both parts of our core identity,” said Mikael Benthe, Head of Business Promotion & Communication at the Swedish Embassy.

      “They are parts of the DNA of Scandinavian businesses, having a direct impact on their work culture. This, in turn, translates into an overall better atmosphere, improving efficiency and driving profits for businesses across the region,” added Artur Swirtun, President of the Board of the Polish-Scandinavian Chamber of Commerce.

      Scandinavian employers foster these values because it simply pays off and there is research to prove it. Different perspectives, better ideas and more exciting opportunities deliver tangible results. They also have a beneficial effect on the overall atmosphere at work. Other companies in the region have been inspired to follow suit, another example of why Scandinavian Days are such an impactful event. In the opening debate, students called for embracing more positive models.

      “We lack the tools to express our opinions and make changes. We do not have a culture of open dialogue. There are many barriers to overcome, so clearly we need to be more bold, and Scandinavia is a good model to follow,” said Dawid Hamera, a student of the Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin.

      Thirdly... hygge

      In addition to discussions around the main topics, Scandinavian Days 2023 featured a number of events addressed to all residents of Szczecin. These included bike trips, exhibitions and workshops. The Scandinavian Parade attracted a big crowd. Dressed in colourful outfits, its participants walked the streets of Szczecin to the rhythms of popular music hits from the North, including songs by Abba.

      Organised for the first time, the Scandinavian Picnic on Jasne Błonie proved a major success. It offered a unique opportunity to explore the culture of Nordic countries in an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding. The weather was excellent, attracting several hundreds of people to have fun and unwind with a multitude of attractions. The organisers set up a chillout zone and plastic arts and music workshops were held. Other highlights included yoga classes, live cooking shows, foodtracks and sporting events for children led by coaches of the Pogoń Szczecin football club.

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