#Almedalen: Where politics, media and startups come together

“Almedalsveckan” (Almedalen Week). An 8-day political event in Gotland, Sweden that attracts 40 000 visitors. This is where all of Sweden’s most influential politicians, journalists, and industry leaders meet. More than 4000 events, seminars, and meetups are organized during the week and representatives from all medias, industries, political parties and non-profit organizations are there to put their topic on the agenda.

This was my second year at Almedalen Week and I still think it is an interesting phenomenon. I have not heard of any other event where you can get access to a whole country’s VIPs at the same time and place. Perfect for lobbying and business that is. Especially when you have a Tinder-like app called “Mingla” that allows you to swipe Yes or No to other visitors in Almedalen and set up short meetings over coffee (Yes, even ministers!). For Testbirds this was an opportunity to spread our vision about fair conditions in the crowdworking industry.

One thing I noticed this year was how the power has shifted from big corporations to startups. Almost every panel discussion included a representative from a startup company and during the week I saw more of the startup “underdogs” than big corporations that have been around for decades. I personally find it positive that startups have got a more prominent role and ability to speak out in politics. Disruptive thinking will create the changes that we need for the future.

Aside from the startup discourse, there was another trend that was hard to miss. Out of 4000 different seminars, meetups and events, more than 600 of them were about digitalization. Of course, this is an important subject for every industry and organization – from retail, education, and construction to trade unions, political parties, and non-profits. It is an endless topic. The interesting thing was that most of these seminars were focusing on how digitalization and automation will affect the future of work. The conclusion in most of the seminars was that the future jobs and workplaces will look different than they do today, but that there are two ways to look at it – with skepticism and fear or with curiosity and eager to adapt. We all know where we at Testbirds stand and will continue to work for (read more on www.crowdworking-code.com).

So, if you are in Sweden the first week of July next year and want to meet the “it crowd”, I would really recommend you to take the ferry to Gotland. I will see you there!

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