Dutch Swedish Business Association started since we felt a need of a platform for Dutch and Swedish companies and individuals who wanted to grow their networks and learn from each other regarding issues related to their professional role and challenges for businesses on the Swedish and/or Dutch markets. My role included among other things organising interesting events, reaching out to new members and setting the format for the association.
What were the challenges faced during the first starting period?
To understand what the added value was for the members to be part of this initiative and organise events that were attractive and valuable. It was easier to attract Dutch persons than Swedes for obvious reasons. (Since the Swedes already had networks in Sweden and extra activities in the evenings were not always possible due to work-life balance.)
What are your best memories?
The positive energy that comes from a team who enjoys working together and when an idea transforms into a result that both the team and members are satisfied with. We organised a visit to the Traffic Control Tower at Arlanda just the week before it went operational. It was fascinating to get an insight in the important work of the air traffic controllers and skills needed for such a position. We also got a brief on the architecture of the tower, as well as a splendid view.
What are you doing nowadays?
I am working at the Netherlands embassy in Stockholm with a focus on smart cities, sustainability, built environment and mobility issues. Among many things I initiate various projects and I am advising Dutch companies in their internalization process and stimulate cooperation between public and private stakeholders. In my personal life I focus on nature experiences (sailing, trekking, cross country skiing) developing my music skills and investing time in family relations and friendships.
Do you have any advice for the current board members?
If you want to reach your objectives, see to it that you have fun together. A diversified team with a mix of backgrounds and competences will also add to the success! Good luck with your future endeavors.