Future by Lunds nya normala

“We can find fantastic combinations between the digital and physical meeting”

Caroline Wendt
September 4, 2020

Our series “Future by Lund’s new normal” continues with project manager Katarina Scott, who is fascinated by how a crisis can develop people’s and authorities’ ability to collaborate and be constructive – such as with Lundasupport, where traders receive support during the crisis. Another observation is how good it can be to continue to hold certain types of meeting digitally – but that in other meetings you must meet in person to create the conditions for creativity and trust.

During spring, the pandemic has meant that much of what we knew previously has changed. What strategies has been successful to cope with the crisis and what is important to consider when society is finally resumed when the crisis is over? Future by Lund has recently started an interview series within our network to look for Future by Lund’s new normal. We highlight the expertise in our close surroundings so that together we can prepare ourselves for the future and ascertain what the crisis has meant from an innovation perspective. Do you know any person who has the knowledge and points of view that can be interesting for us to share? Send your suggestions for people to interview to info@futurebylund.se

Katarina Scott has extensive experience within the cultural and creative industries together with entrepreneurship and innovations. Her specialty is to stitch together solutions in connection with business models, economics, operations, and organization. In addition, she has experience working internationally, both on large European projects and with places in other countries, including Italy and Mexico.

In the spring of 2020 restrictions were placed on the number of participants at public gatherings and public events. Among other things, this affected the cultural and creative industries.

– It took only a few days from the time restrictions came into effect that the first studios found the opportunity to show culture digitally. In the field of entrepreneurship, many quickly held discussions about how to exchange or borrow things from each other or to pool common resources. Many people offered to buy things for those who needed it most. When there was an opportunity on a personal level they acted quickly. It is fascinating to see that when we end up in a crisis and have a common goal it is easy to co-operate and to be constructive. You may not have the answer, but everyone has the desire to be involved and take one step at a time.

The willingness to co-operate and do things in a new way was also felt at the regional and municipal level.

– I think that I have noticed more dialogue between different levels and instances, so that information has been gathered to make it easier to do the right thing. At the municipal level, within areas such as culture and business enterprise, information has been collected about permits, environment, financing and so on from a single place rather than from different places as it usually is. They have joined forces with the intention of fixing something to make it easier for someone. At the system level, it has therefore become more mission oriented.

Part of the work that Katarina does at Future by Lund is about increasing organizations’ ability to find ways to collaborate and make common solutions. How do we enhance our ability to see new solutions?

– As terrible that a crisis is, it triggers as much power in us as individuals. We are looking for solutions that work and do not just focus on the problem. One way is to listen more and ask more questions, which enhances our ability to step out of the polarization.

During the crisis Lundasupport was launched – where the innovation and entrepreneur system in Lund collaborates to help businesses in Lund municipality. Lundasupport gives the opportunity for traders to call anonymously and come into contact with business advisors.

– Even if all the information is available online, you must understand that when there is a crisis, filling out forms may not be the way to go but rather a phone call. This is about being a little less argumentative and to listen more carefully in order to target what it is that you want to happen.

Another observation relates to Katarina’s work with various European projects and the contact she has with colleagues who have been quarantined in other countries.

– I have noticed that the cross-chat, the dialogue that takes place between us in our social network each day, has disappeared in the quarantine. The global outlook shrinks when you are sitting in your room and can only have exchanges via digital means. If you take that experience and think the opposite way – about what a person can do to generate more ideas, so then to be more contextual, is when you can overhear things and expose yourself to emotions, experiences, situations and techniques that you have not known before.

In recent months, the number of digital meetings has increased exponentially. This insight is something that Katarina wants to explore further after the crisis.

– We realize now that we do not need to travel to Stockholm for simple things that can be handled digitally. The question now is what qualities do we want from real meetings – perhaps it is more about deepening knowledge, creating relationships, and increasing trust? We can find fantastic combinations between the digital and physical meeting in a new way. For some students, home-schooling has been quite good, but for others they have not performed at all. Different ways of doing things affects the quality and result. Another question is how we recapture international communications and recreate our togetherness with those who are further away. During this crisis we have learnt that it is people who create solutions despite the systems – now we must bring people together again.

Translation: Ben Dohrmann


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