A Year Well Spent

New Year’s Eve is a good time for reflection. If you are in want of some kind of structure to support your retrospective, I can recommend the Korean model BEST Sustainability Report, or my friend Julie’s “Zest for Life” questions. Also, I very much recommend naming the coming year, a practice I’ve learned from my friend Helena aka Maja.

I called 2009 “Stronger, slimmer and more agile”. Did I achive that? Well, yes I really think so. Both in terms of physique and mind. Although I definitely could do better. Anyway, I had some really fantastic moments during 2009, both on my own and with colleagues, friends and family such as
In order to get some inspiration for 2010, I did a wordle on my blog posts during 2009. This is the result:
Wordle: lmh2009

Well, I hereby declare 2010 as the year guided by the words “One time is also really good”, wherever that will lead me...

Happy New Year!


The Sound of Snow

It’s fascinating how snow brings back memories from times long gone. Not only from childhood’s eternal winter holidays, but from ski vacations in Sälen and The Alps and from living in Stockholm where it’s often much colder than here on the West coast.

Fresh snow has a special sound. It was captured quite neatly in the children’s TV show “Trolltider”. Footsteps made by an invisible tomte. Early in the morning it’s even possible to hear snow falling, each snow flake making a faint noise when bumping into another or when coming to rest on the ground. The whole soundscape is kind of muffled. The ultimate fictional winter experience can as always be found in Mark Helprin’s wonderful story “Winter’s Tale”. Very far from the picture The Holiday, trying to con Americans that it actually snows in Surrey.

Today was winter solstice. From now on it gets lighter. And with the snow, it becomes even brighter. Please Santa, let the snow stay and the sun come! Please!

Merry Christmas! God Jul!


Armeria Maritima

Thank you so much for all your votes in the Summer Photo Competition 2009, now closed! Of the 25 votes by mail and comments, seven were for the coastal picture from Orust, number 3.

When I studied biology in high school, our teacher took us on an excursion to the archipelago south of Göteborg. She said: “This flower is called Trift. Let it be the least of what you remember from this class.” Least and only, I’m afraid. The butterfly from Sanssouci, the flowers from Vinterviken and the sheep art from Pilarna were also close to winning.

The winner of this competition was drawn by Navid Modiri (the inventor of 365 Saker att göra/Things to Do) when I met him at Språkcaféet in Göteborg. It turned out to be Britt Lööf (an avid blogger herself) who will receive a bouquet from Fleurop-Interflora in collaboration with the Red Cross.

If you want to look at some really intriguing pictures, have a look at National Geographic and Airbus’ website See the Bigger Picture.


East Meats West

Radisson Hotel in Shanghai is situated by People’s Square where the West and East Nanjing Road meet. From my room at the 28th floor I had a good view of the Renmin Park and of the neon-clad skyscrapers downtown. Despite the abundance of Chinese restaurants I opted for a safe bet, or so I thought, by entering a Pizza Hut. However, market adjustment is always important and obviously Asian customers are more frequent than European ones why it was hard to find some really nice vegetarian food.

Everywhere in the Shanghai region you find advertising for the EXPO 2010. In flower arrangements, in the special stores selling all kinds of goods wearing the EXPO logo and mascot, at the museums, with the street merchants, on posters and so on. Almost 200 countries will participate in this expo that perhaps will be the biggest event ever arranged on earth so far. The location of the expo area is excellent, rather close to the city centre and at the river.

I visited a presentation of the Finnish pavilion and they estimate that it will host 20.000 visitors each day during the six months of the EXPO. In total, 70 million visitors are expected at the EXPO. No wonder all countries are trying to figure out how to make most out of this meeting place, and how to create good business with the Chinese hosts.

Swedish companies have been present in China for quite some time. First the big international corporation started production here. Then came their suppliers wanting to be near their customers. Although service-oriented companies are becoming more frequent, about 80% of the business is still oriented towards sourcing. However, the structure of business is slowly changing, partly because of new demands in relation to Corporate Social Responsibility issues. The Sino-Swedish CSR Cooperation is therefore especially well positioned in time as is the new Sino-Swedish Sustainable Business Program in Shanghai.

I very much hope to go to the EXPO next year. The Swedish pavilion looks exciting and I believe the program will be very interesting too, especially the seminars in the neighbouring regions. Maybe by then I will have read “Where East Eats West: The Street-Smarts Guide to Business in China. Although I’d better practice using chopsticks...