“It is always good to catch up with my colleagues in Sweden, especially since I still have an affiliation with JIBS in Jönköping. Apart from the topics of conversation on screen, I made progress on a couple of budding collaborations in the chat!” says Per Davidsson, Professor at the Queensland University of Technology Business School, Australia.
Catching up was an important part of our joint Chalmers-University of Gothenburg event with the aim to promote critical dialogue on how to most effectively utilize the Swedish context to contribute and impact entrepreneurship research practice and training, with an emphasis on sustainable impact. The aim is also to increase access and mobility by increasing understanding of our research agendas, not just only within Sweden, but also to and from Sweden geographically and conceptually. Finally, to strengthen a community-based dialogue and responsibility of shared knowledge and practice in entrepreneurship.
Mats Lundqvist, Professor in Entrepreneurship at Chalmers, and Maureen McKelvey, Professor in Industrial Management at the University of Gothenburg, opened the event by giving their view of why entrepreneurship and innovation are linked. Gothenburg is a city that is located at the center of the corridor between Copenhagen and Oslo, one of the most innovative regions in the world, a timely reminder considering the city’s 400th anniversary last weekend. From our Gothenburg perspective, entrepreneurship and innovation are two sides of the same coin. There are many examples of how alumni from both GU and Chalmers promote change in the economy and society, either by founding firms, working in the public sector with startups, and other avenues of collaboration through innovation and entrepreneurship in the region. Lundqvist and McKelvey also jointly organized the 2020 Gothenburg conversations between early career and established scholars in the field.
Interaction with the scientific community
During a lively breakout session, participants discussed the top priorities for entrepreneurship policy and entrepreneurship practice in Sweden. Discussions touched on how different definitions and levels of analysis in both policy and practice make the field fragmented and complex to navigate. Also, the student perspective was discussed: There is an increase in demand for education in entrepreneurship and sustainability; and, while gender balance is rather equal in third cycle studies. As both researchers and educators, these leading scholars in the field agreed there is a need to be both sceptical and hopeful about the future of the discipline. We may be fostering a ‘Swedish way’ of entrepreneurship in being inclusive rather than ‘picking the winners and being cool’ while simultaneously struggling with the balance between consensus and complexity in decision making.
“Another great event led by Professor Maureen McKelvey, Professor Mats Lundqvist and their teams from the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology. Bringing Sweden together as a community of entrepreneurship and innovation scholars in this way was a fantastic reminder of all the exciting work that is going on in Sweden. This event also showed how this good work is being positioned at the international level” says Sarah Jack, Jacob and Marcus Wallenberg Professor of Innovative and Sustainable Business Development, Stockholm School of Economics.
The annual gathering of established scholars in entrepreneurship was initiated in 2019 by Sarah Jack, Stockholm School of Economics. The teams at Chalmers University of Technology and University of Gothenburg organized the 2020 and 2021 events jointly.
Contacts at Chalmers: