Three Quotes, Three Swedens

“For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument and debate.” – Margaret Heffernan

In contrast to common sense, Sweden is full of warm people who live in a cold country. Before coming here to study, every websites I visited was stating that Swedish people are cold and not friendly, like the climate. Apparently, it is a huge lie and truth is light years away from what I read. However, people in Sweden do not put themselves away from debates and conflicts and more importantly invite you to join them. Everyone is open to listen you, your expectation and your point of view because they care what you think.

Please be aware that these arguments are mostly respectful and progressional. 🙂

I think the seek for innovation in every step of their life is the main motivation for this open-to-debate country.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

Sweden is a perfect country to prove that Helen Keller was right. Probably, you have already known that Swedish innovation and technology race with the best ones in the world. From universities to private companies, every institution tries its best to reach better and more sustainable way of living for all. However, the collaboration between individuals and institutions in Sweden is a perfect example to prove that “together we can do so much.” In Sweden, we work on a common goal, we achieve things beyond our greatest imagination. This is especially true if our intentions are real, and the purpose is for the greater good. When you arrive to Sweden, the motivation for seeking the greater good finds you immediately.

As you may notice, I particularly used “we” because as an international student I feel this notion in my bones. During my studies in the university, thinking together and creating together lead me to act together. Every project I joined becomes much more visible from different perspectives. I can feel the power of different ideas, which I did not feel when I am alone.

“Whatever is my right as a man is also the right of another; and it becomes my duty to guarantee as well as to possess my rights and equality for all.” – Thomas Pain

Believe or not, Sweden has been built on the idea of equality. In classes, professors and students are equal; in kindergartens, toddlers and teachers are equal; in offices, women and men are equal. The commitment to the equality among members of the society carries Swedish society to the top ranks. Everything was much more tangible when my professor told me that in the sense of female workplace participation, the gender pay gap, female political empowerment, health and education, Sweden is among top 5.

You may ask yourself why this guy is talking about these topics. 🙂 Well, I will remind you that knowledge and progress only become evident when you live within an equal society. Your study, your effort and your contribution only win recognition when everybody respects you. You cannot find a better place to study than a place in which equality is first doctrine.

image: Sofia Sabel / imagebank.sweden

Andaç Baran

Written by Andaç Baran

27 Oct 2015