Conflicting goals – focus of this year’s Gothenburg Conference

270 public officials, researchers, politicians and people from the business sector met at the second annual Gothenburg Conference. Theme of the day were conflicting goals within sustainable urban development. In the afternoon the participants got the chance to dig deeper into different themes discussing conflicting goals within areas as Migration, Transportation and Culture.


The Conference aim and purpose was to put focus on the conflicting goals within sustainable urban development from different perspectives, and to give the participants the chance to see a problem from another (persons or organisations) point of view.

The morning started with participating in the concept “Fika for Change”. The participants got a chance to get to know each other a bit more and start talking to new aquaintances over a cup of coffee.

Ergin Özdemir, diversity consultant and social entrepreneur, (Diversity Initiative) told the life-changing story about the day he realized that his son was not going to be able to communicate with his parents by language, he only got small glimpses and could not communicate with him as he expected. It was really a life-changing moment the day he realized this and Ergin gave the message to the audience: Do you really want to understand? With the message to understand each other and different perspectives and that we ought to listen to each other.

Margareta Forsberg, Director, Mistra Urban Futures Gothenburg spoke about the work at the platform and Mattias Goksör, Pro vice-chancellor, the University of Gothenburg and Chair, Mistra Urban Futures Consortium Council told us about the future of the Gothenburg platform and he emphasised that both the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology, together will continue to support Mistra Urban Futures and host the Centre even after the funding from Mistra ends in December 2019.

To get a better view of the world – different perspective

Anna Rosling Rönnlund, from Gapminder, wrapped up the day and made the world a little bit easier to understand for a while, with colourful and updated facts and figures. They are now approaching students and schools to make it easier to understand figures and development in the world.

The audience was not surprised to hear that the book ”Factfulness” (which Anna wrote together with her husband Ola Rosling and her father in law professor Hans Rosling ) is spoken about everywhere and often sold out. Hans Rosling travelled around the world to explain that the situation in the world gets better in some perspectives, for example child poverty, even if there still is huge problems and issues.

Sometimes you get the chance to reconsider former knowledge and the figures can give you new perspectives and knowledge about a former inaccurate picture of the situation in the world. Some development is really going in a better and improved direction.  Small steps in the right direction! 


Link to programme, presentations and abstracts