Almedalen Week 2019

India at Almedalen Week 2019: Future Urbanisms

June 30, 2019

For the first time in 51 years, India made its entry into Almedalen Week.

Almedalen Week is Sweden’s marquee event for policy makers, researchers, media, the social & impact sector. Located in the scenic island of Gotland in Sweden, the event is not to be missed for anybody looking to tackle the most pressing issues of our times; sustainability, climate change, democracy, gender equality and much more.

Embassy of India in Sweden, Uppsala University, India Unlimited and Make in India along with Content People put together India@Almedalen: Future Urbanisms on June 30, the inaugural day of Almedalen Week 2019.

The seminar series focussed on prospects of cooperation and collaboration between India and Sweden from three perspectives; Technology for Sustainable Solutions, Lifestyle as the Key to Sustainability & Urban Sustainability

Please click on the links below to access the seminar series India@Almedalen: Future Urbanisms

Seminar 1:
India’s Urban Future & What Can We Do For Sustainability?

India’s urban future is everybody’s future. Urban sustainability requires innovative, out-of-box and at scale solutions, that are affordable, world class in terms of productisation, service orientation and last mile delivery. Additionally, they will have to be finely attuned to the country’s unique and diverse sociopolitical and cultural environment, while contributing positively to the overarching framework of UN:s Sustainable Development Goals. Such solutions have also to be acceptable to a variety of stakeholders and have the capacity to integrate with both public and government institutions and market-focused companies. The seminar will discuss the challenges of India’s rapid urbanization, from technology to lifestyle, while at the same time looking at pathways and models from the Scandinavian ecosystem that can facilitate the creation of sustainable solutions for urban life and living.

Seminar 2:
Moving People & Not Cars: The Mobility Challenge

One of challenges of India’s rapid urbanisation is to enhance the capacity and capability of its urban systems and city infrastructure to ensure that people are able to move from one place to another in an affordable, sustainable and seamless manner. This challenge needs to involve urban communities and groups, civil society organisations in evolving solutions that are appropriate for the local level. The key questions discussed in the panel are: How can moving from one place to another in an expanding Indian city become environmentally friendly, intuitive, safe, easy, affordable and predictable, while involving local communities and groups? How can the urban needs, innovative spirit and entrepreneurial energy of India be connected with the robust ideas of sustainability and resilience, technologies and business models of Sweden and the Nordic world?

Seminar 3:
Affordable Housing for All Urban Citizens: The Shelter Challenge

India’s urbanisation is predominantly driven by a large scale migration from rural areas. In general, such massive migration has resulted in ghettoization and the creation of an informal housing market that is neither sustainable, nor transparent, accessible or affordable. A critical factor for ensuring the provision of a quality urban life is safe, durable and affordable shelter. From the perspectives of design, planning, technology and lifestyle as keys to urban sustainablitity, the key question that will be discussed in the panel is: What can India learn from Sweden and Scandinavia for creating a working ecosystem of planning, policy, design and architecture and community engagement to provide affordable housing at scale?

Seminar 4:
Building a New Biocircular Economy: The Water & Energy Challenge

A main aspect of sustainability is to create an ecosystem of institutions, community organisations, companies and technologies that facilitate the creation of a biocircular economy. A key principle of biocircularity requires both water and energy to be used in a manner that directly promotes recycling and upcycling so that resources, especially natural resources are, are used in ecologically sensitive and sustainable manner. From the perspectives of technology, lifestyle and citizen needs, the key question discussed in the panel is: How can India collaborate with Sweden and the Scandinavian region in learning and managing the key resources of water and energy within the emerging framework of biocircularity?

Seminar 5:
Lifestyle as Sustainable Life: The Food & Health Challenge

Food and health are directly and intricately connected to each other. One of the key urban challenges for India is to create an urban food system whose carbon footprint is minimal, but at the same time reflects the diversity of food cultures in India and promotes indigenous and local grains, seeds and foods while contributing to creating a healthier lifestyle for urban citizens. Urban India is already facing several health challenges ranging from large scale diabetes to obesity and malnutrition directly emanating from current food systems and lifestyles. From the perspectives of technology, lifestyle and markets, the key question discussed in the panel is: How can India revive its traditional focus on climate friendly grains and food circularity that could be the key learning for the world in facilitating the creation of a new sustainable food system for a more planet friendly urban life?

Seminar 6:
India’s Urban Future & What Can Sustainability Do for Us?

How can we connect the urban needs, innovative spirit and entrepreneurial energy of India with the robust ideas of sustainability and resilience, technologies and business models of Sweden and the Nordic world. This moderated panel discussion will invert the question of the first seminar in the series, “What Can We Do For Sustainability”, and ask one key question: Why should sustainability matter to us and what can it actually do for us to create long term prosperity and a more equitable and just society?


Ambassador of India in Sweden H.E. Ambassador Monika Kapil Mohta

Soma Banerjee, Executive Director & Principal Lead (Smart Cities), Confederation of Indian Industries (CII)

Owe Ronström, Professor, Uppsala University [Future Urbanisms Programme]

Swaminathan Ramanathan, Uppsala University [Future Urbanisms Programme]

Sanjoo Malhotra, CEO, India Unlimited

Rupali Mehra, CEO, Content People AB

Helena Andersson, Eco-strategist, Region Gotland

Östen Ekengren, Executive Vice President, IVL

Niclas Ihren, Founder, Matters Group

Aarti Davis, Vice President, Sweden India Business Council

Anna-Johanna Klasander, Professor, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Urban Design and Planning, Chalmers

Johan Karlsson, Managing Director, Better Shelter

Shampa Bari, Regional Director, Swecare

Johan Jorgensen, Partner, Sweden Foodtech

Per Olof Arnäs, Senior Lecturer, Technology Management & Economist, Chalmers

Ann-Sofi Gaverstedt, Teknikforetagen, Trade Promotion & Smart Cities

Rupali Deshmukh, Senior Coordinator, Business Development & Marketing, IVL, Water Conservation Expert

Mats Karlstrom, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Ferroamp Elektronik AB

Neeti Singh, Independent Researcher

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Location: E22, Almedalsbiblioteket, Uppsala University Campus Gotland, Visby, Sweden