by Flaviano Bianchini – SE Entrepreneur, SE Outreach Accelerator 2015
The only thing I can remember about Sweden is the weather…
Coming from Italy and living in Latin-America Swedish weather is somehow a trauma. They told us that the last one was the coldest and rainiest May in sixty years; so, this is somehow an excuse, but still…
Despite the weather, the treatment in Sweden has been great from all. It has been great from the SE-Forum staff (not a lot of Swedish people though), from my colleagues (even less Swedish) and from The Hub (yes! Some Swedish there!).
I was really surprised about the dynamism and the inter-cultural atmosphere of Sweden and The Hub. I have been working and travelling in more than sixty countries all over the world, but I have never been in a place with so many cultures and differences as in the last two months in Stockholm. If not for Neelam and Elsa (they have a justification, in India they are more than a billion) it was very hard to find two persons from the same country. This situation made me think several times of what the world is losing by putting up frontiers and barriers everywhere.
My typical Stockholm day:
- Wake up in my room with a Kenyan (sometimes even wake up in the night listening to his night talks…).
- Having breakfast with a Vietnamese girl of less than 40 kg that had a bigger breakfast then me.
- Walking to The Hub with a couple of Indians (see up for the excuse).
- Take a workshop from a Swedish guy who has been living in Nepal for ten years.
- Use my Italian skills to make a good coffee break for a Thai that has been living in London for ten years and an Irish that was complaining about the absence of potatoes in the coffee…
- Back to working group: sharing stories from Uganda and Pakistan.
- Lunch with a Bulgarian, an Israeli and a Turkish all working at The Hub.
- After lunch coffee with a Nicaraguan (complaining about Swedish weather for a while).
- After lunch meeting with representative of Swedish civil society and Swedish companies.
- Late afternoon meeting with my Mentor from California (complaining about Swedish weather again).
- Back home, small bike ride with a Belgian who has been living in Spain for ten years (some complain about the weather and the absence of hills).
- Real authentic Bangladeshi dinner at the apartment.
- Go to sleep (again with the Kenyan).
Now that I am back in Italy, eating pasta surrounded by Italians, and listening to an Italian radio station where Italian politicians fight to find a better way to stop migration and preserve “Italian culture” I realize how lucky I was in these two months.
Thanks to all!