Friday morning, October 26, Bearing arranged a breakfast seminar in Nässjö, in the Småland region of Sweden. The topic of the seminar was corporate innovation.
The Småland region in Sweden is a unique place in Europe in the strength of its entrepreneurial spirit and successful history in creation of successful businesses. The well known global furniture company IKEA was founded in the Småland town of Älmhult.
The common view holds that the Småland citizen is entrepreneurial to his nature. In fact, the region has a history of pioneers. In the 19th century, Småland had a substantial emigration to North America. The majority of emigrants ended up in Minnesota, with a geography resembling Sweden, combining arable land with forest and lakes.
Nässjö, the location for the breakfast seminar, is due to its geographic situation in the country and region an important railway junction and the third most important national logistics center. It is also the center of the wood industry in Sweden, with 75% of the countries furniture and wood product manufacturers within a radius of 150 kilometers from the city.
The venue for the seminar was “Träcentrum”, a building for conferences and education on wood and the wood processing industries. Träcentrum is designed to be the center in the cooperation between the regional innovation systems actors from the quad helix context of government, academia, business and civil society.
Actors from all sectors participated in the seminar and in meetings during the day. We had people from several businesses and government organizations, as well as academia present. By making the seminar interactive we achieved a dialogue that all participants felt helped to develop their understanding of innovation and open their eyes to new ideas.
The seminar opened with a presentation of business in hyper competitive markets and the impact of globalization also for smaller remote places that historically had businesses fulfilling domestic demand. The next topic was the nature of innovation and the necessity for businesses to work with incremental innovation. Toward the end of the seminar we discussed the importance of the quad helix model in achieving successful business development, growth and talent attraction.
Given the success of the seminar we have already planned to repeat the event in December.