Global Business Gate Day #4

Programme for the day.


After three successful Global Business Gate Days (focused on Gothenburg’s trade with China, US and EU respectively), on November 22nd 2019 it was time for Global Business Gate Day # 4.

This time, the focus was exclusively on recruiting talents – no matter where they come from.

The pursuit of talent is global

For all companies, talent is a decisive factor for success in an increasingly international competition. For Gothenburg, a city founded on and with a DNA based on international trade talent attraction is crucial. The same goes for Global Business Gate, a concept and building directly created for international trade and business.

The ambition of this Day #4 was to showcase and discuss talents and their importance for the development of companies, cities and regions. The working title was ”The global pursuit of talent”.

The day started with moderator Malin Persson welcoming the nearly 70 participants and describing the programme for the day.

The programme was opened with a proper overview of talent recruitment under the heading “We see talents everywhere – how do we attract them?” Katie Owen, Engagement manager at McKinsey & Company, gave hands-on examples of successful ways to attract and retain talents from both a corporate and a talent perspective.

Then followed a substantial dialogue/discussion on the issue between Tove Bäcker, CEO Humblebee / Hive, Karin Danielsson, HR Director Cellink, Martin Taranger, CEO Morris Law and Josefin Södergård, Head of Strategic Abilities, Stena AB. The dialogue clearly showed the difficulty of attracting talents by using solely the assets of the respective companies alone – many additional components are needed.

After this comprehensive and problem-focused description of the issue, it was time to look at potential solutions and ”benchmark” with the world at large. How have different cities and places worked to create attractiveness and thus contribute to their total global approach and development?

Not least by the presentations of Joe Cimperman, President Global Cleveland, and Inge Schmidt Jensen, talent attraction manager Copenhagen, huge insights into the thinking of other cities were inspiring the audience. Both cities have invested in structure and sustainability to create systems, processes and, not least, finance for talent recruitment. It was also clear that the work of marketing the city and region brand has had a decisive importance for its attractiveness also when it comes to retaining the talents.

This part of the program ended with one of today’s most appreciated speeches. A comparison between Boston and Gothenburg from the talents’ perspective. The cities’ different ways and management of integration and retention of talents were described empathically by Uzma and Zayed Yasin, SACC Talent Mobility and Corporate Partnerships and Emergency Physician, M.D. MBA, Innovator and Investor. Obviously, Gothenburg has a job ahead of it, to reach Boston’s level in essential respects. Not least in terms of networking opportunities for the talents that come here.

Hence, it was incredibly fitting that the next item on the agenda was a description of the project and the ”Move-To-Gothenburg” initiative. The project, which is run by Global Business Gates partners Business Region Gothenburg and Western Sweden Chamber of Commerce was described by project manager Niklas Delersjö. It was very gratifying for the audience to hear about the great successes the project has had during its three years of existence. The project has moved Gothenburg’s position in this competitive market significantly forward. Even more gratifying was that the project is now going ahead with the pilot trial with an International House – dedicated for talents. Hopefully it will be in place in 2020.

Global Business Gate had conducted its own survey covering 600 talents from Gothenburg. The question that was asked was ”Where does our home-grown talents go when they have finished high school and are they returning here?”. It turns out that more than 70% left the city directly, eventually 30% of them returned – most of them as a result of a family situation (35%).

If they stay in Gothenburg, it is primarily the job (31%) or the family situation (34%) that determines the decision. Finding a job in another city (44%) is in addition to studies, causes for people to move from the city.
Asked if those who have left can see themselves returning the answers from the yes is dependent of the following:
• Own job opportunities
• Work (interesting) for accompanying partner
• That the family accepts and that service works
• Living
• In general, most respondents miss Gothenburg, the small / big city and proximity to the sea and old friends.

The entire survey is currently being handled by the Global Business Gate together with our partners Business Region Gothenburg and the West Swedish Chamber of Commerce. If you want to know more, please contact us at

As in the previous Global Business Gate Day, #4 also had a dedicated student section where the focus was on how today’s (and yesterday’s) students look at opportunities and challenges to pursue a career in Gothenburg. This program point gave both Swedish and foreign reflections and thoughts from Isak Solomon, Simon Fredholm, Veronica Kecki and Andrea Šrut, all master students at the University of Gothenburg and Kristin Clay, editor in chief at Nordicom, University of Gothenburg.
All have links to Professor Urban Strandberg’s initiative ”The International Youth Think-Tank” <link> – an initiative actively supported by the Global Business Gate.
After the students had presented their thoughts on being talents in Gothenburg, they pointed to several areas for improvement. Not least, it was about internships and mentoring, topics and improvement areas that were raised by many in the question periods between the program points and in the intermission.

Reflections from students attending Global Business Gate Day #4, behind this link.

From our partners at the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce in New York we are also happy to share some thoughts from their CEO Anna Throne-Holst on the situation in New York. As always, we appreciate all your comments and feedback. See the interview behind this link.

Global Business Gate Day # 4 ended with a panel discussion with Dennis Norman, President of Chalmers Student Union, associate prof. Urban Strandberg, University of Gothenburg and Katerina Ingenlath, a talent who moved to Gothenburg as ”accompanying”. Similar issues, mentoring, networking, internships were lifted by the panel – with the creative urge from them to ”take the unexpected grips and actions”. This was exemplified immensely by Katerina Ingenlath “Do you know how many talents who are outside the International School every day waiting for their children? It’s a considerable amount of talent”.


The ambition is that the various views and considerations (see below) that the participants provided us with will be compiled together with the students’ report and the survey conducted. All in all, this material can hopefully be a basis for future activities, not only for the Global Business Gate team, but also for our partners Business Region Gothenburg and the Western Chamber of Commerce.
We also use the comments and feedback we receive from all our network friends in our frequent dialogues with various private and public initiatives and their representatives. In these different ways, it is our ambition to show how Global Business Gate plays a role in the continuous development of Gothenburg.

Participants’ comments on Global Business Gate Day # 4 included the following:

• Promise – I will share my network with more people, I will try to educate more students on possible career paths
• Increase Nordic cooperation in talent attraction / retention
• International talent in the Swedish context – need to be open to the Swedish way
• Understand how Swedes interact – work versus private. How do we learn?
• Why is it so difficult for a company to have unpaid interns?
• So (too) many rules on insurance and salary
• Start a lab for young talents
• Be sure to support partners / spouses with international talent. There is great value in a partner program
• More forums for meetings and networks, not least to enable collaboration and innovation
• Creating cross-sectional links and mentoring programs for international talent
• How can international students be matched with employers for internships
• Is there a problem with ”over-qualified” international talent?
• Why aren’t Swedish companies more open to interdisciplinary talents?
• US investment banks / companies recruit Eng. and Pol. Sc. big companies
• Swedish companies should see the value / advantage of new areas
• Welcoming activities for international talent
• Swedish networks are too closed
• Swedes must dare to go outside their comfort zone
• Begin collecting and sharing all information about networking opportunities in Gothenburg
• Insufficient internships
• Create navigation tools to find events and physical space for an integrated network with Swedes and international
• AI matching tool for talent database
• See the diaspora as a future


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