”The future of business lies in these meetings between those that define the problems and the entrepreneurs, who only see solutions,” says Per Bill.
Per Bill thinks this as a very good idea and reports that during his time in parliament he has seen many attempts to create meeting points between politicians, researchers, and leaders in the fields of business and culture, but never seen County Administrative Boards take the initiative.
”In my experience it is always the entrepreneur. Where politicians see problems and huge companies see hard work, there is always some entrepreneur who realises that one can build in a completely unexpected way, or plan water and sewage in a completely new way”.
”In the last ten years the University has seen enormous growth regarding quality and the number of students. Very few citizens of Gävleborg know that we have Sweden’s best University College that is of the same rank as the smaller universities.”
His vision is to create meeting points where people with somewhat different backgrounds can meet and exchange ideas.
People with different points of view will look at the same problems from different angles; presently housing, segregation and problems of social exclusion. Complex issues that do not have one easy answer, rather one must have a whole range of solutions in order to be able to make progress.
As County Governor he sees one of his most important tasks as raising the level of education in Gävleborg.
”We approach ministers and members of parliament to show how competent we are at the University of Gävle and make them aware that the University College deserves an increase in university places, as it belongs to the elite in Sweden.
Zahra Ahmadi, doctoral student in business administration will reveal how difficult it is for public housing companies to take social responsibility at the same time as they are expected to apply strategies for market orientation.
In 2011 new EU legislation was passed saying that all housing companies should adjust to conditions on the market.
”Earlier the public housing companies were able to take on greater social responsibility compared with the private sector. But they find it hard to apply strategies for market orientation, when their tenants cannot manage being customers on the "normal" housing market,” says Zarah Ahmadi.
Stefan Sjöberg, lecturer and researcher of sociology, relates how in collaboration with the social services field workers, degree students from the Social Work programme are taken to the most socially deprived areas.
”At the same time the professional social workers were able to hear about the latest research in the field, the greatest problems and the best methods of solving them,” says Stefan Sjöberg.
”In a recent study we have compared how social workers go about their jobs in a German city of the same size as Gävle, with the situation in Gävle itself. What is successful and what doesn’t work in different areas”.
Gunnar Löhman is Head of Field Work at the Social Services in the Municipality of Gävle. During the last few years he has collaborated with the University of Gävle within the field of social work, both in education and research.
Gunnar describes how the collaboration has resulted in the development of work in the field.
“We gain insight into how one conducts outreach services in housing in the most socially deprived areas and how one, using civil dialogue, create solidarity, involvement of citizens and mobilisation of vulnerable groups”.
Researchers at the Castle is a series of seminars arranged jointly by the University of Gävle, the County Administrative Board and Region Gävleborg with the aim of creating a meeting point for research and business.