Category Archives: Life as a grad student

Get ready to be mindblown!

Have you ever had something going so good, you thought it was the best it could ever be and *boom* (out of the blues) it unexpectedly becomes great!! Does your heart skip a beat all in the excitement of being mindblown? That’s how I feel right now! I am sooooooo excited!!!

First, I know it’s been a while you have heard from me or any of the other bloggers. We did not quit writing just in case it crossed your mind (Did it??) If it did, we are sorry to disappoint you but great things need time! Think about people working out to get the perfect summer body….hmmmmm..takes a while with exercise and some healthy eating diet right? That’s exactly what has been going on…

So, what’s this big news? What have you been up to?? Hit the nail on the head. Did I just write out the words on your mind??
I would guess, yes! With this, you sure do not want to miss WHAT COMES NEXT…

Student Sustainability Summit

Do you believe that human security and climate change are connected? Ever heard of exponential technologies? I presume the answer is yes! This presumption stems from the fact that the medium in which you read this article is a perfect example- The Internet!

This post is the concluding part of my amazing weekend in Harnosand. If you missed the first, you can find it hereūüėČ Disruptive technology is becoming a favourite topic in the sustainability space and this led to the topic,¬†¬†Exponential thinking in Sustainability. During the summit, Rebecka Carlsson enlightened us on¬† Singularity University and the different projects that people are/were working on during her time in the programme.

Exponential technologies move from deceptive to disruptive. This is evident in various sectors such as transportation, industrial growth, energy implementation, communication, the internet, processing speed of computers, amongst others. Interestingly, most of these technologies span from humans thinking about ways to improve the ways of working in their everyday lives.

Follow these sentences, do they bring to mind any new technology or brew new ideas in your mind?

  • This technology might stop climate change
  • The solar car I thought I would invent has been invented by my colleague
  • We might live long enough to live forever
  • Virtual reality can make us more emphatic
  • It is possible to make an engine work on asteroid minerals.
  • The coming 100 years will be 20,000 years of technological development

Some people have come to the conclusion that forty percent of fortune 500 companies that exist today will no longer exist. This extrapolation stems from this topic of exponential technologies and the impending revolution, most people expect to take place soon.

Giving my two cents ūüôā Photocredit: Sustainergies and Svanen

CASE SOLVING

The next session was all about goal 12. Have you heard of The Swan or Nordic Ecolabel? Have you seen this sign on some products and wondered why?

Nordic Ecolabel Logo

The Nordic Swan Ecolabel is the official sustainability ecolabel for the Nordic countries. The purpose was to give Nordic Consumers guidance and to help them choose products which had fulfilled strict environmental requirements. In Sweden, there are thousands of products carrying the Nordic Swan Ecolabel.

However, despite the awesome work the Nordic Swan is doing, the younger generation including me is oblivious to their activities. In addition, companies so as to gain market advantage make their own eco-marks. These were some of the challenges we tried to solve during the case solving session

groups presenting their various solutions. (Photo credit: Sustainergies and Svanen)

COMMUNICATIVE STRATEGIES

Photo credit: Sustainergies and Svanen

This was the final session which dealt with how we communicate the SDG goals. In this session, we learnt a lot on effective communication with respect to the dynamics in the room and how to engage your audience optimally. Also, we learnt how to prepare outstanding presentations irrespective of the topic of discussion.

Then we played the privilege game and called it a wrap not long after that:)

Privilege game

 

PERSONAL REFLECTION: I really loved the sustainability summit for students. I would encourage every student to take part at least once in the summit. It was good to listen and share ideas with people from various fields and different universities discuss sustainability and other interesting topics needed to move the world thinking in the right direction.

I also like the efforts Sweden is making with ensuring that companies are taking the necessary steps to ensure sustainability in the life cycle of products and not just, the disposal of products.

Did I mention it was my first vegetarian weekend? All meals were vegetarian options only and it was soooo goood!! So if you’re reading this and planning an event for just vegetarian options but want everyone to enjoy it, ask SIDA for advice on the best caterers!

Finally, do not forget this…

Everyone has a part to play in achieving the seventeen sustainable goals. What are you doing in your little world?

 

 

What a weekend!

If not now, when

If not you, then who?

These were the words that introduced me to the second most amazing weekend in the month of April. This is one of the many posts I have looked forward to sharing in recent times. I had a beautiful weekend in the city of Harnosand with students from different universities in Sweden; all with a singular interest РSUSTAINABILITY. So, join me on this exciting ride as I give you the details to some of the things we discussed and who knows, you might just become interested in acheiving the SDGs like me:)

I got to Harnosand on Friday (five hours train ride from Stockholm), It was a very nice trip but on a wrong day; In Stockholm, it was 20degrees, looking a whole lot like summer (first time ever since I got here!), and in Harnosand, the lake was still half-frozen! Good thing I had a nice dinner and a very comfortable bed waiting for me upon my arrival¬†(In other words, I had no worries…lool).

 

Let’s get the ball rolling….*insert drumroll*

Before the whole world caught the “SDG bug”, there were MDGs.MDGs refer to Millenium Development Goals. What’s the super big difference between the two set of goals? For me, the major difference is that SDGs involve everyone. The MDGs literally sounded like problems of the developing countries and then one goal was set aside for the developed countries to assist the developing countries in acheiving the targets (forgive my ‘astute’ description, lol). Another interesting thing is that the MDGs can be referred to as average goals. You would agree with me that if you read the targets of the SDGs, they are pretty¬†ambitious and heck, who would not loooove to reach for the stars:)

During the summit, before we dived into the SDGs, we talked about development cooperation and mentioned various actors involved in that.  It was a general consensus to conclude that all the actors involved in development cooperation signify the main groups needed to take action to achieve the SDGs by 2030. Take a look at our list below:

As an energy engineer, goal 7 is what my master’s degree AT KTH¬†aims at achieving with other like-minded individuals in my field of study. However, all the goals are inter-connected and in this summit, we extensively discussed goals 1,5,12 and 17.

  • Goal 1 – No poverty
  • Goal 5 – Gender equality
  • Goal12-Responsible consumption and production
  • Goal17-partnership for the goals

GOAL 1

Anyone who lives with the possession of less than 1.9USD in a day is living under extreme poverty. Different corporations use different analysis tool to determine the average number of persons in various countries in this category. We discussed some aspects that contribute to poverty and make it difficult for people to escape poverty. They include:

  • opportunities and choice. For example, education
  • resources
  • power and voice: one can categorise gender, modern slavery, human rights in this factor

GOAL 5

To summarise our discussion in a sentence, gender equality is a matter of fact and not fight when it comes to these three aspects:

  • rights
  • responsibilities
  • resources

GOAL 12

We spoke extensively on this goal and came to the conclusion that all other goals were linked to this. Most importantly, this goal cannot be achieved except everyone in the world understands that they have a role to play and start working towards it.

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This post is becoming a very long one full of important sustainability details. I do not want you to miss out on any important details by just scrolling through(haha!)  So, watch out for the next post. You know how everyone saves the best for the last? Certainly doing that right now!

However, just not to  leave you in suspense, think about this:

Total Aid spending by the OECD countries is pegged at $135bn and the aid needed for achieving the SDGs is estimated to be $4000bn. This certainly means one thing-

**BUSINESS AS USUAL WILL GET US NOWHERE**

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Week

Are you interested in sustainability? Do you want to meet people who share the same interests? Would you like to network with companies with these same values?

Then, do not miss the rest of the green week activities from May 2nd to May 8th. Green week is a sustainability oriented event organised by students for students. Green week is aimed at encouraging discussion about corporate sustainability and to raise awareness of sustainable practices in different sectors among KTH students.

During this week, you will be able to:

  • network with various companies such as Cybercom, Stockholm Exergi, SSAB, wsp, sustainergies (to mention a few);
  • participate in case solving events. This year, there are two case solving events. One with Sustainergies and the other with Stockholm Exergi.
  • engage in various panel discussions, lunch lectures and start-up night

To sign up for any of the events, visit Green Week 2018 Facebook Page. Also, you can visit Green Week Official Website for more information.

See you there!

Healthcare in Sweden

Today’s post gives you a hint to the reason why it’s been a while since you read a new post from me. It’s a common myth that accessing healthcare in Sweden is free. The truth is, it is not free but “almost free”.

For a tuition-fee paying student at KTH, you have additional insurance through KTH. You can read more about it here.

HOW CAN I ACCESS HEALTHCARE? 

I would say the quickest way is to go to KTH Entre. From this, I was able to book an appointment with Avanova as I was guided through the process. This message goes to current students that might have forgotten the details. For prospective students, KTH would hold an orientation programme to explain how to access healthcare as a student, the terms and conditions for the above mentioned additional insurance and the procedure for claiming your insurance.

To find the health center yourself, you can call 1177 and you’ll be guided appropriately. Also,you can book an appointment online through www.1177.se. I would like to mention that long wait for an appointment is a common issue in Sweden as with all counties in which the social health care system is adopted.

NOTE: Now that you have booked your appointment, please arrive on time as your appointment can be cancelled if you arrive late. Also, if you need to cancel, ensure you do this 24 hours in advance! Lastly, do not forget to bring your card or cash to pay for the appointment.

In the beginning of the post, I mentioned that healthcare is almost free. This is because the cost for a doctor’s visit is 200SEK and if you have to visit the doctor up to five times in a year which equals 1000SEK, you get a card that makes the rest of your visit for the year free. Also, other medical services such as tests are highly subsidised.

WHAT’S THE PROCESS FOR CLAIMING THE MEDICAL INSURANCE?

The best thing is to pay all necessary medical expenses immediately as you incur them. Ensure you keep all receipts. Next, download the claim form and fill appropriately. Submit the form and receipts to KTH Entre. You will be refunded once necessary checks have been carried out to ensure you are eligible for the claim.

I would like to add that even the receipts you get from the pharmacy should have your name on it which means stating your personnummer when making payments. These are the only receipts that will be refunded.

For prospective tuition-fee paying students, you can be assured that you will be well taken care of without breaking the bank in case of any medical emergency during your studies at KTH:)