The business cluster Íslenski sjávarklasinn or Ocean Cluster in Reykjavik is a cooperation between innovation companies and Iceland’s fisheries which has been running for two years. Foreign visitors are showing great interest. Other countries are very likely to set up similar centres in the future.
Anyone who’s stood frozen-fingered waiting for the Icelandic Strokkur geysir to erupt with its boiling water can imagine what it felt like at Iceland’s Directorate of Labour when unemployment figures started emerging after the 2008 crisis.
Five and a half years after the Icelandic economy collapsed, we now know children were doing better during the crisis than before, even though the opposite had been feared. This is according to the Welfare Watch, a body set up soon after the crisis hit which brought many good forces together to protect Icelanders’ welfare.
A new voluntary equal pay standard is bringing Iceland one step closer to equal pay and cements Iceland’s leadership when it comes to gender equality.
Despite being so heavy hit by the crisis, Icelanders continued construction of the new music house Harpa in Reykjavik - the only building project which kept going during the crisis. And as Iceland is bouncing back, the award-winning building Harpa has become the symbol of Iceland’s economic recovery.
Iceland is bouncing back after the hard years following the 2008 crisis. In this month’s theme we tell the story of what happened that day, how Icelanders joined forces to stop anyone from going hungry and to stop hard-hit youths from becoming social outsiders. The worst is now over. New opportunities arise. Unemployment is falling nearly as fast as it rose, and as the economy improves Icelanders want a better life; more pay and more gender equality. Iceland is full of life, new ventures, inventions, a new concert hall and jobs for more people.
There have been major changes between 1960 and 2010. Sweden has the most emigrants, Norway takes in the most immigrants - not only from other Nordic countries, but from former eastern European countries and other parts of the world too.
The common labour market is the jewel in the Nordic cooperation. It was established as early as 1954, three years before the five first member states of what would become the EU signed the Treaty of Rome.
Early autumn 1954, and Gösta Helsing is 17, one of nine siblings living at home in a small village in Vörå in Swedish-speaking Ostrobothnia. Post-war Finland is poor from paying reparations to Russia and there are few jobs. The small farm cannot sustain all nine siblings. Many neighbours, friends and relatives are moving to Sweden.
Gunnel M Helander came to Sweden with her family aged four in late summer 1954. She now lives in Hanko in Finland’s south-westernmost point and is a retired architect. She feels Nordic: Swedish, Finnish and Ålandish. Her removal van has made many trips between Sweden and Finland.
Per Billington moved from Norway in 1984 to work at Volvo’s research department in Gothenburg for one and a half years. It shaped his entire career. This is where he learned ‘ordning och reda’ — Swedish ‘proper order’ — and he learned to love diesel engines.
This August Norwegian badminton player Erik Rundle has lived in Denmark for longer than he lived in Norway, and he doubts he will ever return for more than holidays and to defend his badminton titles.
When US aluminium giant Alcoa built a smelting plant in Iceland in the 2000s, Danish Janne Sigurðsson quit her job in Denmark and moved to Iceland. She was a stay-at-home mother for a while. Now she heads Alcoa’s largest aluminium smelting plant in Europe.
On 13 December 2010 Charlotte Lundell started working as Brand Manager at Orkla Confectionery & Snacks. The first thing she did when she got the job was to google: “Swede moving to Norway, what do I need to know?” At the time she was one of 80,000 Swedes working in Norway. In 2013 she is one of 90,000.
Robots and increased automation can save many jobs from disappearing. At the same time many low paid jobs disappear when machines take over certain tasks. The NLJ looks at what the new technological revolution means.
The Danish government wants the public sector to be obliged to use welfare technology in nursing homes and hospitals to a much larger degree. There has been some progress, but the breakthrough has not yet come.
Aarhus Municipality is paving the way in introducing welfare technology. For 67 year old Svend Erik Christensen this means he can manage much more on his own — including going to the toilet.