(Det talade ordet gäller)
Ladies and gentlemen.
I come from a creative country. From fashion, design and architecture to music, literature and games, Sweden’s creative industries are booming. According to one study, they employ almost 9 percent of the country’s workforce – the highest proportion in the European Union.
In an increasingly digital economy, the creative industries are no longer icing on the cake. Instead, they are among the fastest growing sectors in Sweden.
There are probably many reasons for why Sweden is comparatively successful in attracting talent and investments. We strive hard to be in the forefront of innovation where many companies use our country as a test site for their products.
Serving as a creative and innovative melting pot of competences and ethnic backgrounds, Sweden is the birthplace of numerous start-ups in a wide variety of industries, not least in the creative sector.
The capital Stockholm is now second only to Silicon Valley in the number of successful start-ups per capita in the world. Generating jobs and export revenues, there is a growing recognition that this sector is a force to be reckoned with on its own.
It is people that create innovation - regardless of which industry. It starts with people, their knowledge, curiosity and courage to try the new and unknown.
I understand that Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, has identified the development of the creative industries as being strategically important to Hong Kong.
This common ground between Hong Kong and Sweden is something I hope we will continue to build on. Collaborating on creativity could create great opportunities for the future.
For me, creativity is not some kind of magical inspiration, but rather an approach: Being creative means being open to see things from a different angle.
It means believing in the possibility of new and better solutions. And it means letting the best idea win – even if it wasn’t your own…
With the global challenges that we are facing, that kind of leadership is needed today more than ever. And not only in the creative industries, but in all kinds of organizations and companies.
I believe that the ability to use creativity and innovation are key ingredients not only for the growth and development of individual companies, but also for our society as a whole - to move forward and meet the many challenges we face globally.
We need to work together regardless of borders, background and interests.
Now, I very much look forward to listen to the two panels on “Cultivating a Future Mindset – Creative Leadership”.