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In search of debates and vacation

After six months as University President at KTH, the summer break is almost upon us. But first a few inspiring and, I hope, thought-provoking days at the political week in Almedalen, where everything from urban planning to academic freedom and strategic partnerships will be on the agenda.

It’s a source of pride and joy to see the breadth of KTH’s research and how it’s reflected in the various panels at Almedalen. Energy solutions for the future, how remote working can benefit regional development, and what education is in a world of AI.

These are some of the topics in which representatives from KTH will be engaging and debating.

This year, there’s the opportunity to book a young expert on a panel. The idea is that more, and above all different, voices and perspectives should be heard in the debate and political discussion during Almedalen Week. This is certainly a good idea, and next year we may be joined by even more participants in the panels and seminar, bringing a wider perspective and broader experience than usual. It could be an important step in being able to better reflect opportunities for the future.

I have heard various opinions and predictions saying that Almedalen is on the decline, and that this year’s over 2,000 events may not attract as many visitors as last year, when there were 35,000 or so.

But coming together and mooting ideas is always needed in a democracy, and at a university like KTH. In this respect, Almedalen Week is vital in reflecting the times we live in, discussing the future and learning lessons from our experiences. We will have to see how this summer’s event goes, but interest initially at any rate remains high for the political week in Visby [the main city on Gotland island].

Perhaps we’ll meet in Visby the week after Midsummer…? Either way, I wish you a nice, relaxing summer break!