September 2017


The SACC network has been active throughout the summer months. Seminars, golf tournaments and happy hours have brought SACC members and friends together and Swedish traditions like Midsummer, the Swedish National Day, and Crayfish Parties have been celebrated across the U.S.

During the summer, preparations for a hectic fall have been steadily underway and bring with them the promise of an eventful season. This fall's biggest event is the premier business and networking event SACC Summit 2017 that will take place on October 25-26 in Boston. This year's theme is Business through Innovation, a topic that could not be better suited to where it is taking place, considering Boston is the second-most-invested-in city in the U.S. and a hub for innovation and business.

SACC New England and SACC-USA are proud to present several high-profile speakers who will share their insights at this year's SACC Summit. Fredrik Anderson, CEO, CellMark; Torsten Jansson, CEO & Founder, New Wave Group; and Elizabeth Steele, Director of Economic Development & Global Affairs, MassBio are among the industry representatives who have confirmed their attendance. Alongside these great profiles, we are honored to welcome speakers such as Leif Pagrotsky, Consul General of Sweden in New York and Robert Langer, Institute Professor at MIT. For more information on speakers, updates and registration, please visit our website.

SACC-USA is a unique network; with our 20 Regional Chambers and members we will continue to strengthen Swedish-American business ties during the second half of 2017. We are committed to increasing our value for our Regional Chambers in order to help them serve members in the best way possible. Increased effort will be put into boosting the SACC Trainee Program, whose goal is to enhance talent mobility between our countries. If your company is in the need of a trainee, please do not hesitate to contact us!

With autumn comes changes and we are pleased to welcome Ambassador Karin Olofsdotter to House of Sweden. We also welcome Björn Arvidsson, who takes the position as Minister Counselor, Head of Trade and Economic Affairs. We at SACC-USA were honored to talk with Ambassador Olofsdotter during her first days at the office. Her thoughts regarding her new role and return to D.C. can be found in an interview further down in the newsletter.

We are excited about the upcoming fall and hope to keep in contact with you - together we can do so much for the Swedish-American business ties. To keep up with the upcoming events and latest news, please follow our Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

Johan Marcus
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(202) 848-5342



SACC-USA and SACC-New England would like to welcome you to our flagship event SACC Summit 2017 - The premier business and networking event of the season, featuring the theme: Business Through Innovation

SACC Summit will gather corporate members, partners, industry leaders and representatives from 20 regional Swedish-American Chambers of Commerce. This year's SACC Summit will be held on October 25-26 in the vibrant city of Boston, Massachusetts, home to the world's top universities and research centers in business, tech and life science, among others. The event will take place in the impressive Federal Reserve Bank building and we will conclude with an upscale cocktail reception and dinner at the prestigious Harvard Club in the heart of downtown Boston. 

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to listen to leading innovators and companies, entrepreneurs and academics from the U.S. and Sweden - network, share insights, plan and decide the future of your organization!

Fore more details, please visit our website.


For early bird tickets, please purchase your ticket no later than September 15


If you have any questions, please contact

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It is safe to say that questions regarding the U.S. economy and trade relations have recently gained a lot of attention in the media. The business environment is ever-changing and the country's investment flows keep on creating debate. This creates an increasingly dynamic and interesting context for lobbyism, not least in the nation's capital, Washington D.C., which maintains its reputation as being the center of lobbyist activities.

The roots of lobbyism dates way back in the history, but the process itself has evolved over the years alongside the political climate of the country. Today, lobbyism can take various forms. A lobbyist can be an individual, a PR or advocacy agency, an organization or it can even be created in-house in a company. Correspondingly, a lobbyist can advocate on behalf of several causes or interests. One actor operating close to the borderlines of lobbyism is the Organization for International Investment (OFII).

Located in D.C., OFII is a non-profit business association that represents the U.S. subsidiaries of several global companies. By educating policy makers, promoting policies that are attractive to its foreign-based member companies, and advocating for non-discriminatory treatment of these companies, the OFII aims to present the U.S. as an attractive market for foreign investment in a world of increasing investment opportunities.

OFII's portfolio consists of world leading companies such as AstraZeneca, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, ABB, L'Oréal and Maersk, just to name a few. In total, these foreign companies create millions of American jobs, a phenomenon that OFII refers to as insourcing. Through insourcing, foreign direct investment plays a considerable role in regard to U.S. employment and the economy.

Read more about OFII's operations here.



Karin Olofsdotter is the first woman to be appointed Swedish Ambassador to the United States. SACC-USA got the unique opportunity to meet Karin Olofsdotter for an exclusive interview at the Embassy of Sweden in Washington D.C. Karin Olofsdotter seems both happy and excited about her new role and she is indeed proud to represent Sweden and Swedish values.

The Ambassador's role is of course crucial, and Olofsdotter is looking forward to getting started. As the U.S. is one of Sweden's most important trading partners, the area of trade and economic affairs is vital. 

"With my previous experience from trade promotion, I will work hard to support Swedish companies in the U.S.," says Olofsdotter. "Sweden has an ambitious export strategy and it's important that we channel our support in the most efficient way possible. We need to stay in touch and work closely together with the business community. We can't make the deal but we can promote, facilitate and support Swedish business opportunities in the U.S. The ultimate goal is to provide jobs in both Sweden and the U.S."

When asked what she likes about the U.S. and Washington D.C. in particular, Olofsdotter highlights the positive mindset which defines many people in the U.S. and their way of doing business. "Here it's okay to fail, to make mistakes, you can always 'get up on your feet again' and Americans are incredibly creative," says Olofsdotter. "They are very welcoming and open to differences, which fosters creativity, new opportunities and ideas," she explains. In addition, Olofsdotter thinks Washington D.C. is a beautiful and inspiring city that offers a unique place for political discussions and to meet new people. "Working in House of Sweden is absolutely great," says Olofsdotter.

Karin Olofsdotter holds a positive view of the Swedish-American Chambers of Commerce and the events and services that SACC-USA offers, and the importance of referring businesses to the right network of people. When asked about the importance of matching Swedish and U.S. business opportunities, Olofsdotter explains that innovation is key.

"Just like the U.S., Sweden is in the forefront of innovation, and I think we are going to see many more opportunities for cooperation to come," says Olofsdotter. "In addition, Sweden has many successful manufacturing companies that are operating and expanding in the U.S. High tech combined with the skills for advanced manufacturing makes Sweden a unique country to do business with," Olofsdotter continues. "Swedish companies can hopefully also be a source of inspiration since we often have unique corporate cultures, many women in the workforce and relatively flat organizations, which in turn lead to productivity and creativity."

Before taking on her new role, Olofsdotter was the Director-General for Trade at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). Prior to that, she was head of the MFA's Department for Promotion of Sweden, Trade and CSR, Ambassador to Hungary, and head of the MFA's Ministers Office. She has also worked for the Embassy in Moscow, the Mission of Sweden to NATO, and the Permanent Representation of Sweden to the EU in Brussels. While she is new to the position, Olofsdotter is no stranger to Washington D.C. as she has previously served at the Embassy between 2008-2011.

Olofsdotter is succeeding Ambassador Björn Lyrvall, who served as Ambassador between 2013-2017. SACC-USA is pleased to welcome Olofsdotter back to Washington D.C. and to House of Sweden!

About Karin Olofsdotter:

  • Born and raised in Halmstad, Sweden
  • Husband and two teenage children (a son and a daughter)
  • Comes from a family of entrepreneurs, within the shoe business
  • Interests: Golf, running, reading and spending time with friends and family
  • Leadership style: Open and direct. Results oriented, likes to get things done
  • Studied psychology and Russian at Lund University



SACC-USA got the opportunity to speak with Torsten Jansson, the CEO and founder of New Wave Group. Founded in Sweden, the company is present in the U.S. through several brands within the sectors of Corporate Promo, Sports and Leisure, and Gifts and Home Furnishing. 

Comparing the European market with the U.S. one, Torsten identifies the U.S. to be more homogeneous in terms of the number of languages spoken and currencies used. This creates a certain type of simplicity that is often overlooked. On the other hand, executing an effective nationwide campaign in the U.S. would require bigger resources in comparison to a smaller European country, such as Sweden.

Finding Swedish-American success stories from New Wave Group's portfolio is not difficult. Craft Sportswear is growing fast in the U.S. and is currently making its biggest U.S. investment ever. The company recently announced that it is going to dress the U.S. Ski and Snowboard teams for the upcoming season, something which Torsten explains to be a part of the company's strategy to triple, or even quadruple, its turnover in the U.S.

Looking closer at Craft's U.S. strategy, the aim is to grow state-by-state but unlike many other companies, Craft has chosen to start from the cold, smaller northern states. This allows Craft to better adapt to the resource intensive market and to use its core competency in winter sports gained in Scandinavia. To be successful, collaborating with national teams and being present in sport events is essential, Torsten explains.

To stay competitive over time, Torsten emphasizes the role of innovation, something which is important even within the more traditional industries. An example of a company successfully balancing its Swedish traditions and renewal is Orrefors Kosta Boda - the world leading glass manufacturer. The company's Kosta Boda brand recently celebrated its 275th jubilee in the presence of their Majesties the King and Queen of Sweden on Sweden's National Day.

Torsten points out that innovation is not solely about new products, but can also be about adjustments in existing ones. Orrefors Kosta Boda's success is a combination of the two. Orrefors has widened its traditional product offering and through partnership with Volvo, its premier crystal work can today be found in the car manufacturer's premium model. At the same time, Kosta Boda has been successful with incremental product development creating new series of glassware suitable for everyday use.

Most of Orrefors Kosta Boda's glassware is still produced in the Swedish province of Småland, however, the company's success is not limited to its home market. Torsten points out that innovation has played a key role in the company's international success. The reputation as the first one to produce lead-free crystal glass was of significant help when expanding in the Western U.S.

SACC-USA is excited to announce that Torsten will be a keynote speaker for this fall's flagship event SACC Summit 2017 that will feature the theme Business Through Innovation. The premier business networking event will take place in Boston on October 25-26. 


Karolinska Institutet is the best perorming Swedish University

Karolinska Institutet is the best performing Swedish University.

According to the latest edition of Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), Sweden ranks the highest of the Nordic nations when measuring the performance of academic institutions. In total, 11 Swedish universities gained spots in the top 500, out of which three can be found in the top 100.

As in years past, Karolinska Institutet ranks the highest and is, according to the ranking, the 44th best performing university in the world. Second is Uppsala University at 63rd, followed by Stockholm University at 74th. Falling outside the top 100 is Lund University, University of Gothenburg, Chalmers University of Technology, KTH, Linköping University, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå University, and the Stockholm School of Economics, all of which can be found among the top 500.

Looking at Sweden's Nordic neighbors, Finland and Denmark each has five universities among the top 500 ranked institutions, whereas Norway and Iceland have one. The University of Copenhagen ranked at 30th, making it the best performing Nordic University.

The ARWU is an annual global university ranking that has ranked the top 500 academic institutions in the world since 2003.

Read the full article here.

Image: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/


A new Nordic incubator, the Nordic Innovation House New York, is opening on September 20, 2017. The Nordic Innovation House in Silicon Valley has helped Nordic startups reach the American market, and the new incubator in New York is founded on the same goal. The Nordic Innovation House in New York will help promising startups by providing workspace, events, workshops and access to the international network.

The incubator is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers and all five Nordic countries are part of its operations. Sweden is represented by the Consulate General together with Business Sweden and Team Sweden. 

Read more here.                                                                                                     

Image source                                                                                       


SACC-USA congratulates Jack Badou on becoming the new WBA Light Heavyweight Champion. The Swedish boxer took a fifth-round TKO win over Welshman Nathan Cleverly in the mega fight featured under the undercard of the Mayweather-McGregor fight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on August 27.

The win makes Badou a two-weight world champion. Before winning the title in the Light Heavyweight division (175 pounds), the 33-year-old boxer held WBC champion title from the Super Middleweight division (168 punds).

Read more here.                     



Executive Director Christina Lidgren & Chairman Andreas Waller

Christina Lidgren

Andreas Waller

SACC-USA got to speak with Christina Lidgren, the Executive Director of SACC Detroit. Christina started as the Executive Director in January, making her relatively new to the SACC network. Alongside working with SACC, Christina is the Vice President for SWEA Michigan (Swedish Women Educational Association), which she believes is a good combination when striving to offer Swedes a comprehensive support network in the U.S.

Christina describes her first impression of the SACC-USA network as very positive. She is grateful for the support she has gotten from both SACC-USA and SACC Detroit. "My colleague Andreas Waller is a young vibrant Chairman with many ideas on how to make SACC Detroit move forward and we work well together", Christina says.

Since her first day at SACC Detroit, Christina has been working actively with several projects that she wishes to pursue. She is strengthening the network by recruiting new members, however, something that she finds equally important is the activation of existing ones. She underscores the importance of taking initiative and letting members know that SACC Detroit is here to help. As a new way of communicating, Christina has initiated the SACC Detroit newsletter to keep members updated on news and services, such as the SACC Trainee Program.

Christina emphasizes the increased importance of getting young people involved in the SACC Detroit board. This next step is necessary due to the up-to-date knowledge that youths can bring to the table. This knowledge can in turn be used to serve the SACC Detroit members in the best way possible in today's digitized and dynamic environment. 

SACC Detroit is one of the Regional Chambers that has been very active during the summer. The Chamber recently organized a membership fair that invited member companies to share their specialized knowledge and in turn learn from others. During the evening, representatives from Autoliv, J.P. Morgan, and Eastern Michigan University spoke about the resources they could offer SACC Detroit members. Christina described the event as an opportunity to promote the member companies, encourage two-way learning, and increase the members' involvement in the SACC Detroit network.

Of the upcoming events in the fall, Christina is especially excited about the Crayfish Party taking place in September. After the summer celebrations, it is time to innovate new events, company visits, and pub nights together with Melissa Mark, Program Director for SACC Detroit. The preparations for SACC Detroit's yearly Glögg reception followed by the Christmas Luncheon are also about to start, something which Christina is extremely excited for. Christina will be attending the SACC Summit in October and she is looking forward to meeting other SACC representatives and creating new contacts.


Their Majesties celebrated the Swedish National Day in Kosta.

Year 2017 marks the 275th jubilee for Kosta Boda 

- one of the two design-led glassware brands forming the Swedish glass manufacturer Orrefors Kosta Boda. On Swedish National Day in June, the anniversary was celebrated in the presence of the King and Queen of Sweden in Kosta. It was in Kosta the furnaces were lit for the first time in 1742.

During their visit their Majesties got to visit the jubilee exhibition and His Majesty got the chance to assist glass designer Bertil Vallien in putting the finishing touches on the world-famous glass designer's Royal Boat. Their decision to celebrate the National Day in Kosta highlights the important role the glassworks has had on both the artistic and industrial level.

With roots in the Swedish province of Småland, Orrefors Kosta Boda is the largest glassworks in the Nordics. However despite its success, like every great company, it has faced obstacles that have threatened its hold on being the dominant producer in this industry. The key to survive in times of crisis has been the company's ability to trust in its core competency and the willingness to actively renew itself, says Magnus Andersson, CEO for Orrefors Kosta Boda AB.

Besides Sweden, Orrefors Kosta Boda has long traditions in the U.S. and has gained international recognition as the world's foremost glassworks. Already in the late 1800s, half of Kosta Glasbruk's production was exported around the world, including to the U.S. Kosta's early decision to focus on more exclusive glass products helped the glassworks stand out among its European competitors and boosted the international growth.

The 275th anniversary of Kosta Boda is celebrated through jubilee exhibitions around Sweden. One of the commemorations is the Homage Exhibition that honors Kosta Boda's long history by inviting five of Sweden's top young designers to interpret the previous works created by Kosta Boda's legendary designers. The result is an exhibition that emphasizes the key behind Kosta Boda's long successful history - traditions and renewal. 



Niclas Evestedt - R&D Intern at Mercedes-Benz

Niclas Evestedt.

Niclas is currently doing an internship at Mercedes-Benz through SACC-USA's Trainee Program that sponsors interns and trainees with J-1 visa. Before starting his internship at the Vehicle Intelligence department in Silicon Valley in January, Niclas finalized his PhD at Linköping University where he specialized in Motion Planning for vehicles.

During a one-year long internship at Mercedes-Benz, Niclas will be working on the development of self-driving cars. His time at Mercedes-Benz will provide him with a wealth technical insights that he can take with him when returning to Sweden.

Niclas describes Silicon Valley as a fantastic setting in which to learn. Like Niclas, most of the employees in Silicon Valley are young professionals working in modern offices spaces, makes the area truly a unique place to work. However, despite the unique culture that characterizes Silicon Valley, Niclas argues that the area can often be a bit overhyped in Sweden. Even though the environment differs from that of Sweden, his old colleagues back home possess the same intelligence and capabilities as his colleagues in Silicon Valley. The key difference is that Silicon Valley actively collects these professionals and in the process, making the area a hub for technology and innovation.

Besides work, Niclas thinks Silicon Valley is a great place for spare time activities. He highlights the national parks and museums that offer activities outside working hours and during weekends. The area offers endless possibilities to travel along the west coast and Niclas has gotten the chance to visit cities such as San Diego.

Despite the unique experience that the internship at Mercedes has to offer, Niclas says that the distance from his family and friends is the hardest part of living abroad. He also mentions that getting a social life outside of work can sometimes be challenging. However, he points out that the culture at the office is often more easy going and active than back home, making it easier and less daunting to connect with colleagues.

"We enjoy having Niclas in the team on a daily basis. He doesn't just enrich technical discussions with his deep understanding of motion planning, he also helps creating a friendly and respectful culture in the team while always maintaining a positive and optimistic attitude, no matter how challenging the tasks get." - Christoph Schroeder, Director Vehicle Intelligence 


The SACC-USA Trainee Program offers U.S. companies the opportunity to host interns and trainees from Sweden on a J-1 visa.  Interns are current university students or recent graduates who assist your company in their area of study up to 12 months. Trainees are professionals who provide expertise in their occupational field up to 18 months. During their practical training, the exchange visitors gain American business experience and learn about American culture and society.

A highly motivated, bilingual, and well-educated Swedish exchange visitor will contribute enthusiasm, knowledge, and a European perspective to your company. Apply now, we have your candidate! Read more here.

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SACC & FACC invite you to join us for 

An Interactive whole day Conference dedicated to Smart Water & Renewable Energy

While the world's population continues to grow, the water supply does not, which is why the world requires new smart water solutions. Not only is the smart water usage becoming an increasingly prioritized area, the need of optimizing the usage of energy resources is increasing at an alarming rate. 

Learn more on SACC San Diego's website.


The Swedish Institute's 2017 Visitors Program is a product of Sweden's export strategy. It targets business leaders, decision makers and other stakeholders interested in visiting Sweden to create 

long-term business relations with Swedish counterparts. The programs are tailor-made to suit the visiting group's objectives with visits to relevant agencies, organizations and businesses over 3-4 days in Sweden.

As a Team Sweden member, SACC-USA and our 20 Regional Chambers nominate deserving candidates to take part in these visits. Michael Goodwin, Vice President of McCall & Almy, member of SACC New England, took part in a visit focused on "Innovation and Entrepreneurship."

"To learn about Swedish innovation and entrepreneurship with others from around the globe was truly inspiring and allows me the opportunity to impart my new-found knowledge on the Boston start-up ecosystem." - Michael Goodwin, Vice President, McCall & Almy

To learn more about Michael's experience with the visitation program, please see the interview by SACC New England here.

SACC-USA will nominate high-quality candidates for the "Sustainability and Environment" visit to be held November 20-24. If your company or organization is interested in participating in this visit, please contact your Regional Chamber or Cecilia Kullman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Sweden has been selected as the host country for this year's USA Youth Debate. USA Youth Debate Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping U.S. students serve as ambassadors overseas through participation in multi-cultural debate programs. By organizing debate programs, the organization encourages cultural exchange, language learning, and critical thinking.

This year's program will bring U.S. and Swedish students in the ages of 18-25 to a competitive debate tournament in Uppsala and Stockholm on December 4-6. The tournament will include teams from several U.S. universities, Stockholm University, Uppsala University, Stockholm School of Economics, and The Stockholm Debate Society. The event will have five preliminary debates followed by Semifinals and Finals.

SACC-USA and the Embassy of Sweden in Washington D.C. are glad to support the USA Youth Debate Inc. in their search for private sponsors that could assist the U.S. students' participation in this year's program. If your organization or company would be interested in financially assisting a student, please contact the Director of the USA Youth Debate, John S. Tredway at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


New Special Offer to SACC Members from Orrefors & Kosta Boda

For 275 years, Orrefors and Kosta Boda have created crystal and glassware of the finest quality, influenced by the beauty of Sweden's nature. This June marked the 275th anniversary for Kosta Boda and in the celebration of the jubilee Kosta Boda is offering the Sweden Cities Bowl and Sweden Symbols Bowl at a 50% discount off retail price.

Also, do not forget the exclusive SACC Member offer that gives a 50% discount off of retail prices on your opening order for all Orrefors and Kosta Boda products.

SACC members: please contact Donna Nardella, Corporate Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the discount.


Offer to SACC Members from Volvo

Benefits with Volvo's A-Plan Plus membership  

Volvo's transformation is in full bloom with new models and new product investments such as Drive-E power trains and connectivity that links Volvo cars to the world. Refined Scandinavian design and safety strengthen Volvo's commitment to its "Designed Around You" philosophy. Volvo would therefore like to invite SACC members to become A-Plan Plus members, which is a level of service developed exclusively for SACC members that is only available through Volvo's A-Plan Plus specialists at Volvo Cars of North America. The offer includes:

- Transparent A-Plan discounted pricing, being approximately 6% off MSRP on eligible models (the same price Volvo Car USA employees pay).

- An additional $500 bonus on top of any local incentives and offers on eligible models.

Choose where to pick up your new Volvo in the U.S. or in Sweden through our Overseas Delivery Program.


SACC members:
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to get your pin number.

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What's Happening at Our Regional Chambers

September 11th : SACC Arizona: Pitfalls of litigation by Eric Walberg

September 11th - 15th: SACC San Francisco & Silicon Valley: Silicon Valley Exploration Week 

September 15th : SACC Detroit: Crayfish Party

September 16th : SACC Chicago: Crayfish Party

September 20th: SACC Chicago: After Work

September 21st: SACC Georgia: Company visit at Kellogg Partners

September 23rd: SACC Dallas: Crayfish Party

October 2nd: SACC Arizona: Sleep better and mingle at Scottsdale Bedrooms

You will also find other events from Chambers in SACC-USA's network at


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