The car of a Boss
I took a photo of this car in Gothenburg during the Springsteen weekend.
I guess he is a fan of the Boss?
6 out of 5 for the Boss
This weekend the Boss, Bruce Springsteen played in Gothenburg. We were there and should have seen the show on Friday, but a tickets agent dstryed that dream by not delivering the bought tickets in time. So we, and thousands of other fans were left withour tickets to the record breaking stadium where 62000 plus people saw the concerts on Friday & Saturday. We had to stay outside on Friday evening to listen to the remarkable show. It should have been my 20th celebration Springsteen show from 1981 to now. Springsteen was in great shape and the second show yesterday ranks by the experts as one of the best Springsteen shows ever. This is the setlist of songs he played.
1. Who'll stop the rain
2. The ties that bind
3. Out in the street
4. Downbound train
5. I'm going down
6. My Lucky day
7. Lost in the flood
8. We take care of our own
9. Wrecking ball
10. Death to my hometown
11. My city of ruins
12. It's hard to be a saint in the city
14. The river
15. Because the night
16. Lonesome day
17. Hungry heart
18. Shackled and drawn
19. Waitin' on a sunny day
20. Where the bands are
23. Land of hope and dreams
1. Thunder road
2. Born in the U.S.A.
3. Born to run
5. Dancing in the dark
6. Tenth avenue freeze-out
8. Twist and shout
Swedish newspaper Expressen gave the show 6 (out of 5 possible). the Boss is still the boss.
Streamlined WTO membership talks for poorest countries
General Council approves streamlined WTO membership talks for poorest countries. WTO members, meeting as the General Council on 25 July 2012, formally approved new guidelines to enable least developed countries to negotiate membership of the WTO more quickly and easily. The decision was taken following an agreement in the Sub-Committee on Least Developed Countries on 29 June, subject to no further objections by 6 July. Here is the article: http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news12_e/acc__03jul12_e.htm
Springsteen has arrived
Like a Boss! Bruce Springsteen has landed in Sweden. At 17 o'clock yesterday, the rock hero arrived at Landvetter in a chartered plane. "It feels great to be back in Gothenburg," he says to the Swedish Aftonbladet. Many, MANY, have been waiting for. But now he's finally here. A dozen black SUVs picked up Springsteen and the others at the airport. The caravan then set off towards Gothenburg, shortly after the company received Swedish soil under the boots. On arrival at the hotel Elite Plaza in central Gothenburg greeted Springsteen on the waiting fans, shook hands and took also time to sign autographs. Before a week playing boss in Bergen in Norway for the second time during his visit to the country. On Sunday, he participated in the memorial concert held for the victims of terror attacks in Utöya and Oslo. Today climbs Bruce Springsteen on Ullevi stage for the first of his two shows at the arena. Concerts are long sold out. In 1985 Bruce Springsteen did two of his most famous gigs ever in Gothenburg. During the concerts the audience danced so much that there were cracks in the stands and the arena had to rebuild. "I destroyed the stadium in Gothenburg with rock'n roll once" Springsteen said in an American TV show recently when asked about his best gigs ever. I was there in 1985 for both shows. My first Bruce Springsteen concert was in 1981, since then I have seen another 19 shows with the Boss and the E street Band. Nobody is better live than the Boss. Nobody. We are looking forward to this weekend. We will be there.
World Bank Group announces new focus on ICT
World Bank Group announces new focus on using ICT for greater development impact. World Bank Group has released its ambitious new Information and Communication Technology (ICT) strategy aimed at helping developing countries use ICT to transform delivery of basic services, drive innovations and productivity gains, and improve competitiveness. The strategy reflects rapid changes in the ICT sector over the last decade, including a dramatic increase in use of mobile phones and the Internet, plunging prices of computing and mobile internet devices, and the increasing prevalence of social media. “Information and communication technologies can help reduce poverty, boost economic growth, and improve accountability and governance,” said World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development Rachel Kyte. “The World Bank Group’s new strategy will help our client countries take advantage of the opportunities that ICT offers across all sectors of the economy, drawing on our unique expertise in public-private partnerships in the ICT sector.” The new strategy for 2012-2015 builds on the Bank Group’s experience working with client countries on ICT sector reforms, infrastructure development, and electronic government.
The home of Nils Holgersson
Skurup. 14 952 citizens. My home residence. We live in this small town in the south of Sweden just outside Malmö called Skurup. Our municiple slogan is corny, but fun. Namely, "When in Europe. Don't miss Skurup". And Skurup is also the home of Nils Holgersson. A fictonary fugure that all Swedes knows about. Nils Holgersson's Wonderful Adventures of Sweden is a novel by Swedish Nobel prize winner Selma Lagerlof, published in two parts, 1906-1907.
The novel was originally written as a textbook in Swedish geography for public schools. All children read it. It is about Nils Holgersson, a boy who gets turned into a pixie and on the back of a goose is allowed to travel through Sweden. Although it was thought of as textbook in home geography, the book has been translated into many languages. The book was also the Swedish children's book, until Astrid Lindgren's great successes with Pippi Longstocking, Mio my Mio and Karlsson on the rood (among others). So Nils Holgersson naturally is our landmark, riding on his goose.
A tribute to the best soccer coach in the world
Sir Alexander Chapman "Alex" Ferguson, is a Scottish football manager and former player who has managed Manchester United since 1986. He is by far the best and most successful manager in the history of the game.
His tenure has seen the club go through an era of success and dominance both in England and in Europe, giving Ferguson a reputation as one of the most admired and respected managers in the history of the game. Ferguson previously managed East Stirlingshire and St. Mirren, before a highly successful period as manager of Aberdeen. After a brief stint as manager of the Scotland national team following the death of Jock Stein, he was appointed manager of Manchester United in November 1986. With 25 years as manager of Manchester United, he is the longest serving manager in their history after overtaking Sir Matt Busby's record on 19 December 2010. His tenure is also the longest of all the current League managers. During this time, Ferguson has won many awards and holds many records including winning Manager of the Year most times in British football history. In 2008, he became the third British manager to win the European Cup on more than one occasion. He was knighted in 1999 for his services to the game and also holds the Freedom of the City of Aberdeen. Sir Alex is still young and hungry for new titles. Especially after loosing out on teh premiership to rivals Manchester City in the last minute of the last season.
Time for the Olympics
This week the Olympic games 2012 in London starts. For any sports fan in the world the Olympic games is the highlight. I can name favorite moments from my childhood lined to each of the Olympic games that I have followed.
I believe that the magic of the Olympics is the combination of the history of the games and the mix of seeing great sports (sometimes in sports that you only see on the Olympics) and cheering for your own country. Do we have any expectations on Sweden? Well, the women’s football team is good, we have two OK Team Handball squads competing in the games, there are some cyclists, skeet shooters and maybe one or two of our swimmers that have chances on gold medals. So what will be the result? I think that most Swedes, we are a small country but a proud sports country, will be satisfied with one gold medal and in total five medals. Anything more than that will be great for us. We could leave with nothing this time.
E-governance can help boost democracy in developing countries
Two rights stand out in all open democratic societies: freedom of expression and access to information. E-governance—as in electronic, or technology-driven, governance—is about both of these.
Efficient e-governance is an innovative and transparent way to deliver government services and exchange information with citizens in a convenient and transparent way, saving time and money. The mass digital migration from personal computers to mobile phone applications also brings new opportunities to boost e-governance. Over five billion people—around 77 percent of the global population—own or have access to mobile phones worldwide. In regions with no electricity, computers or internet access, mobile phones are increasingly helping spread mobile government, banking or health. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) supports 222 e-governance and access to information projects in 92 countries. More than 20 percent focus on the use of Information and Communications Technology to enhance citizens’ access to public information and 18 percent to deliver services more effectively, writes A. Degryse-Blateau on the UNDP website. For the entire article, here is the link: http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/ourperspective/ourperspectivearticles/2012/07/18/e-governance-can-help-boost-democracy-in-developing-countries.html
Cyprus holds the Presidency of the EU
EU's easternmost country, just 0.2% of eurozone economy, have now taken helm for a challenging period of the European Union.
At the opning of the Presidency, Cyprus President Christofias said that “I want to extend my warm thanks to the President of the Commission and the members of the College of Commissioners for the truly very open-hearted and friendly preparations of the Presidency that we have had. It is true that we have before us a very ambitious program of action during the Cypriot Presidency. Very important issues of EU policy must be concluded and decisions be taken during the Cypriot Presidency”. Here is the link to the official website of the Presidency: http://www.cy2012.eu/en/page/home
Never forget - One year ago
Today at 21h00 to 22h00, Oslo time, all lights will be shut and candles will be lit as a tribute to the victims of Utöya. One year ago today, on a small island outside Oslo, 33-year-old madman Anders Breivik went on a bloody rampage that became the deadliest massacre in the history of peacetime Europe. 77 people were killed - most of them teenagers on a political camping holiday.
We must never forget this day. And the people that lost their lives. Nor the familes that lost loved ones. Today our thoughts and prayers goes to all the people of Norway and especially the families that had relatives on Utöya. As Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said so wisely a year ago, "Amidst all this tragedy, I am proud to live in a country that has managed to hold its head up high at a critical time. I have been impressed by the dignity, compassion and resolve I have met. We are a small country, but a proud people. We are still shocked by what has happened, but we will never give up our values.Our response is more democracy, more openness, and more humanity. But never naivity". Tonight I will light a candle for the Utöya victims.
Dont believe everything you read on the Internet
Don't believe everything you read on the Internet. Sometimes it is simply not true. We live in the age of information and knowledge. It has never been so easy to check on information and facts. It is all available on the Internet. But sometimes you got to check and question what you read. Like in wikipedia.
People genuinely believe that what is written in wikipedia is the truth, all correct and verified. It is not. The same goes for all sources on the world wide web and Internet. Just remember to sometimes think about the golden rule of information, who is writing what, and for what reason.
Rosling says "We should not boycott other countries"
Swedish companies should not avoid business with non-democratic countries. The boycott is not the way to go says the celebrated professor and Gapmindergrundaren Hans Rosling - who are known to dispel myths about development in developing countries. "It's much more efficient for everyone if we work together," says Rosling in an interview in the Swedish newspaper Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. I want them to bring a new world view from my lecture, and by that I mean the framework of the sort detailed information about the world, he says, and will immediately with a more concrete explanation of what he means. The image of the world which many people still carry on today, according to Hans Rosling is illustrated by two large boxes. "One of them states in the country and on the other it is a developing country and so we throw information in the two boxes. But it gets very messy in a developing country box. There lies China, and Somalia, Chile, Thailand and Afghanistan. It's a spagetti bowl. To have the conceptual division of the world is no longer, "said Hans Rosling. For the world has changed. There are still a number of countries among the poorest, and the same goes for the wealthiest, but in between is a large spectrum. There is no clear dividing line between developed countries and developing countries no longer exist. Hans Rosling is basically a doctor and professor of global health, but these days most people know him probably better as energetic lecturer who managed to make statistics on everything from infant mortality to income differences easy to digest, and even fun. In English with a very distinctive Swedish accent is he now lectures around the world. Political leaders listen when he speaks and the prestigious Time magazine gave him last spring, a spot on the list of the 100 most influential people.
Despite what he says is basically based on statistics and facts that are public, his lectures had an almost revolutionary impact. Half in jest, half seriously, he says that success is because people are ignorant. But really it's about the most are not updated. This clearly results from surveys in which people have appreciate what they believe about infant mortality, life expectancy and other welfare parameters for a number of different countries in Africa, Asia and South America. Most people respond by estimates were correct 25 years ago. "It is pure fucking ignorance. If it is born 2.5 children per woman in Bangladesh instead of 4.5, it is ignorance of not knowing. You knew it was in a way 25 years ago but that has changed and it have not found out, "said Hans Rosling. Generally, there are even a little understanding of the different dimensions of development in different orders. For instance, individuals are always ahead of his country's development. "They get better at writing articles, make films, perform in sports, build houses and be engineers. Individuals 'ability to develop faster and ahead of their State's institutional capacity, for example, collecting taxes and their economies' ability to produce income per person" said Hans Rosling. He believes that Swedish companies have great benefits in hiring even skilled workers in countries whose economies are still under construction. He does not believe in staying completely outside the countries where democracy and human rights are ifrågasatta.En basic principle, make demands, not boycott, it is so destructive, he says, and says that it is essential that the public has a realistic level of their requirements. The risk otherwise is that radical activists have set the agenda and cause unreasonable trade barriers. Instead, there must be a knowledge and understanding of what such reasonable child labor and reasonable environmental standards.
Sweden in the world
Sweden, a small country far up north.
What is Sweden in the world? I have travelled around the world to hundreds of countries and what do people actually know about my country? Some people know about IKEA, the Swedish company making furniture (and selling meatballs). Other people know about ABBA, the famous pop group of the 70/80s. In Africa people remeber our former Prime Minister Olof Palme, that was killed on open street in 1987. In the world we are also known for being independent people with solidarity for the developed world (through aid and support administrated by SIDA). Many people know Zlatan Ibrahimovic, our best football player ever. And some people have heard about our viking history, our beautiful capitol city, Stockholm - the city built on 30.000 islands, the ice hotel above the polar circle, the land of the midnight sun and the beautiful blond haired girls (they really are beautiful and blond, I married one...). Anyway, you are all welcome to visit. I know that you will not be disapointed.
Time for another Larsson
Now the next Larsson going to run up the blue and yellow shirt. Celtic all-time hero, Swedish international superstar, Henrik "Henke" Larsson, underplayed for Manchester United, Barcelona, Feynoord and Celtoc magnificiant over his career. Now the next generation is ready for the Swedish national team. Henry's son, Jordan Larsson, has been selected for a boys team for 15-year-olds.
Coach for Boys15-national team Magnus Wikman presented yesterday his squad with 44 players invited to the collection of Bosön August 6 to 9. Among them stands a name out: Jordan Larsson. Jordan Larsson started his football career at the High's BK. Two years ago he was invited to Feyenoords Academy summer camp for a week. Last summer he was selected for the elite boys' camp in Halmstad - something that Henke could not survive on their time.
World Economic Forum ranks Sweden as number one IT country in the world
Through the evolved methodological framework of the Networked Readiness Index (NRI), The Global Information Technology Report 2012 measures the extent to which 142 economies take advantage of ICT and other new technologies to increase their growth and well-being. This year, Sweden tops the rankings, followed by Singapore and Finland. Read the full press release and access the full rankings.
The report also includes detailed profiles for the 142 economies covered this year, together with data for each of the 53 indicators used in the computation of the NRI. Access the data platform to visualize and download the data.
Top 10 Rank/Country/Economy Score
1 Sweden 5.94
2 Singapore 5.86
3 Finland 5.81
4 Denmark 5.70
5 Switzerland 5.61
6 Netherlands 5.60
7 Norway 5.59
8 United States 5.56
9 Canada 5.51
10 United Kingdom 5.50
Read more: http://www.weforum.org/issues/global-information-technology
Sweden ranked as most competitive country
Sweden has been ranked as the most competitive country in the European Union (EU) and the fifth most competitive in the world, according to a new ranking from the Swiss business school IMD. MD announced its findings on Thursday in the annual World Competitiveness Yearbook, which ranks how successfully countries increase their prosperity by managing their economic and human resources. The number one spot went to Hong Kong, which received a top score of 100, followed closely behind by the US, Switzerland and Singapore. Sweden, with a score of 91.4 came in fifth overall, dropping one place from 2011’s 4ht place ranking. Sweden is mentioned in the statement among countries with a positive attitude toward reforms and a positive development toward globalization. The IMD rankings feature 59 countries and are based on statistics and assessments from business leaders. The results were comprised from a survey of more than 4,200 international executives, and revolved around 329 ranking criteria. European countries rated highly in the rankings, with Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and Germany coming inside of the top ten, countries which the report explained have export-oriented manufacturing and fiscal discipline. Another six European countries were ranked in the top 20. Rounding out the top ten were Canada, Taiwan, Norway, Germany and Qatar. According to the findings, the US rated highly “despite its setbacks” due to its “unique economic power, the dynamism of its enterprises and its capacity for innovation,” wrote IMD. Meanwhile, the report showed that emerging economies are still suffering turmoil with China at 23, India at 35 and Brazil at 46 having all fallen from 2011’s report.
"I will win the Champions league with PSG"
Paris Saint-Germain held today a press conference to present Zlatan Ibrahimovic as their new player. As the club said: "We have our forst superstar". Last week Ibrahimovic's team mate from AC Milan, Tiago Silva - by many ranked as the best defender in the world - was presented as PSG player. PSG now has a very good team, ready to challenge for the Champions League title. And it is not over. At the press conference the club owners from Quatar promised more players. They want to challenge not only for the Champiosn League but they clearly want to challenge also Manchester City for the title of being the most wealthy and intersting football project in the world. they are building a club for the future.
Ibrahimovic to PSG
The Swedish football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic leaves the Italian AC Milan to play in Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). This indicates his agent Mino Raiola. Ibrahimovic is ready for three years with the Paris Club and according to Le Parisien, his "net pay" 12.5 million per year.
At a press conference told PSGs sports director Leonardo that the transition is complete. "I can confirm that we have reached agreement on Ibrahimovic". Zlatan becoming the most expensive fotballplayer of all time and now earns more than both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. PSG hard bet with huge money to be the new big club in Europe. The goal is to win the Champions League within two years.
Sweden ranked as number 1 in education
A new global ranking of higher education systems places Sweden number one in Europe and number two worldwide, just behind the US.The ranking, which includes data on 48 countries, was published on 11 May by Universitas 21, a global network of 23 research intensive universities. The new rankings are different in that they rate countries’ overall higher education systems, rather than that of specific universities. The rankings were produced by researchers at the University of Melbourne who looked at indicators such as investment, research and its impact, international collaboration, diversity and participation opportunities.
The results were launched at an event at Lund University in Sweden where the ranking system was described as a “benchmark for governments, education institutions and individuals”. Behind the US and Sweden, Canada, Finland, and Denmark complete the top five positions. More information: http://www.universitas21.com/news/details/61/u21-rankings-of-national-higher-education-systems-2012
Captain Euro is still around
Crisis? Don't worry, Captain Euro has not abandoned us. Super powers: tax funding. When the rest of the world is watching the Avengers on the movies and holding their breathe about what is happeing in the Eurozone, the EU has a plan. Captain EUro will save us all.
"Captain EURO® is an internationally registered brand created by Twelve Stars Communications. He's fun. He's friendly and he appeals to all Europeans because he's totally multicultural and non-political."
South African elected first female AU Commission head
South African Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was elected on Sunday to become the first female head of the African Union (AU) Commission, ending a bruising leadership battle that had threatened to divide and weaken the organization. Cheers broke out at the AU's soaring, Chinese-built steel and glass headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa as supporters of the ex-wife of South African President Jacob Zuma celebrated her victory over incumbent Jean Ping of Gabon. "We made it!" a grinning Zimbabwean delegate shouted, reflecting the strong support Dlamini-Zuma's candidacy had received from fellow members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Ping, who had served in the AU post since 2008, was largely supported by French-speaking African states. The appointment of South Africa's 63-year-old home affairs minister, who previously served as minister of health and foreign affairs, will add to the global diplomatic clout of an African state which is already the continent's largest economy. As head of the organization's executive arm, she faces immediate challenges as the AU tries to gain U.N. Security Council backing for a military intervention in northern Mali, where local and foreign al Qaeda-linked jihadists seized control after a destabilizing coup in the southern capital Bamako. The Mali crisis, along with an army putsch in Guinea-Bissau and border clashes in April between Sudan and South Sudan have blotted Africa's advances in recent years towards better governance and stability, accompanied by buoyant growth. Dlamini-Zuma had to undergo three voting rounds before Ping, 69, was eliminated. A final confidence vote of 37 in favor gave her the 60 percent majority she needed to be elected. The contest to head the Commission of the 54-member AU had been deadlocked since a previous vote at a January summit ended in stalemate. The impasse had persisted through a summit of AU heads of state held in Addis Ababa at the weekend. It prompted the AU's rotating chairperson, Benin President Boni Yayi, to warn African heads of state that failure by the continental body to resolve the leadership deadlock would divide it and undermine its credibility in the world. "Now we move on to unite the African continent, we unite everybody through Madame Zuma," Lindiwe Zulu, President Zuma's advisor on international affairs, told reporters. "She won, I congratulate her," Ping told Reuters as he left the AU HQ among a small crowd of well-wishers. Analysts said the prospect of a further six months of indecision over the AU Commission post appeared to have swayed member states to finally make a choice. "People really feared a deadlock," Patrick Smith, Editor and Publisher of Africa Confidential, told Reuters. "Now we have clarity. It means that the other nine commissioners can be elected and the African Union, which has been under a lame duck management recently because of the lack of clarity, has a clear direction and can deal with the real issues," said Jakkie Cilliers, Executive Director of the South Africa-based Institute of Security Studies' Pretoria office. Smith said Dlamini-Zuma would have to first move to reconcile with the Francophone bloc which supported rival Ping. This also raised the question of how she would handle the proposed military intervention to reunite divided Mali, an initiative led up to now by the mostly French-speaking West African regional grouping ECOWAS, many of whose members had supported Ping's candidacy. Critics say the AU showed itself hesitant in its response to the conflicts last year in Libya and Ivory Coast, allowing Western governments to take lead roles. At a news conference earlier in the day before the vote, Dlamini-Zuma sought to dispel fears that South Africa might seek to use the AU post to try to dominate the continent. Some smaller countries had argued that her candidacy broke an unwritten rule that Africa's dominant states should not contest the AU leadership. "South Africa is not going to come to Addis Ababa to run the AU. It is Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma who is going to come to make a contribution," she told reporters.
Another African story
Divine Ndhlukula started SECURICO, one of Zimbabwe’s largest security service providers, with only four employees in 1995. Now the firm has over 3,500 employees, including 900 women. Ndhlukula is a women entrepreneur in a typically male domain and is an outspoken women empowerment activist in Africa. How we made it in Africa asks Ndhlukula about what it is like to break down stereotypes and be a successful woman entrepreneur in Africa. Read the article here: http://www.howwemadeitinafrica.com/how-divine-ndhlukula-became-one-of-africas-top-women-in-business/18505/
Gold medals to Sweden
Sweden took another a gold medal for the Under 20 National Team Handball selection at the World Championship yesterday. France was defeated in the finals with a 29-22 (14-7). Sweden went undefeated through the tournament. "We were never nervous," said head coach Camilla Eriksson after the game. "Once in the finals, we knew eventually that this was our tournament." Final Ranking U20 World Cup 2012: 1. Sweden, 2. France, 3. Hungary, 4. Serbia, 5. Russia, 6. Korea, 7. Poland, 8. Norway, 9. Denmark, 10. Croatia, 11. Austria, 12. Brasil, 13. Romania, 14. Spain, 15. Czech republic, 16. Congo, 17. Holland, 18. Uruguay, 19. Angola, 20. Argentina, 21. Japan, 22. China, 23. Tunisia, 24. Kazakhstan.
Social media is now bigger than traditional news media in Sweden
It’s time for traditional PR agencies in Sweden to embrace the fact that we now consume more social media than news media. Social media is not to be considered to be an add-on media channel to spice things up. It’s now… number one. All according to a recent Swedish study. Adding to this, it is also reasonable to argue that people are more interactive and more two-way communicative in social networks than when consuming news media. The classic PR argument that news media publicity is more credible than advertising might still hold, but is mass media publicity more engaging and trustworthy than peer-to-peer communication? Something for all PR pros to take into serious consideration. And also, it’s a crossing for the industry. Shall we keep traditional publicity as the center of what clients relate to our business and actually reinforce it? Or should we embrace social media not as a specialization but as something every consultant must live and breathe in order to fully grasp its dynamics? Those who know me well, they know that I believe in the latter. Some call me a digital PR specialist, but that isn’t entirely true. I’m just a PR generalist who stayed ahead in the media shift simply because it was my goddam duty as a PR advisor to do so. And if you’re in PR, it’s your duty, too. Because if we choose the road that leads to the future of our industry, being active in social media just became as important as reading the newspaper…
Coelho - a great author and a hero
Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist. He has become one of the most widely read authors in the world today. The recipient of numerous prestigious international awards, amongst them the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum and France's Legion d'Honneur.
In total, Coelho has published 30 books. Three of them – The Pilgrimage,The Valkyries and "Aleph" – are autobiographical, while the majority of the rest are fictional, although rooted in his life experiences. Others, like Maktub and The Manual of the Warrior of Light, are collections of essays, newspaper columns, or selected teachings. In total, Coelho has sold more than 100 million books in over 150 countries worldwide, and his works have been translated into 71 languages. He is the all-time bestselling Portuguese language author. For me, Coelho is not only a great author, he is also a hero.
China passes Japan for first time in Fortune 500 list of biggest companies
China for the first time overtook Japan on the Fortune Global 500 list of the world's biggest companies by revenue, the U.S. business magazine said Monday.While U.S. firms held the plurality of slots on the list, with 132, Chinese firms came in second with 73 followed by 68 from Japan. China's ascent marked the addition of 12 companies to the prestigious list, while the number of European firms fell to 161 from 172 in 2011. To read the article: http://t.co/8hrURN9N
Trade can and will reduce poverty
Economic growth will not reduce poverty, improve equality and produce jobs unless it is inclusive. Inclusive growth is also essential for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The globalization process, when properly managed, becomes an important ingredient for inclusive growth. Trade is the driver for development. Customs administrations plays a vital role in that process.
The United States needs to foster education and innovation
The United States should do more to foster innovation and provide more equitable access to high-quality education in order to maintain its status as the world’s most vibrant and productive economy, according to OECD’s latest Economic Survey of the United States. “The United States is still one of the most innovative economies in the world but competition is growing and we need better policies to keep the U.S. at the frontiers of innovation”, said OECD Deputy Secretary-General Richard Boucher.
Another record for the Capacity Building webblog
Last month, June 2012, more than 6200 people (unique vistors) read my webblog www.larskarlsson.com about capacity building, techical assistance, reform & modernization, development, aid, sport and music. And much more. Thank you for reading this blog. Let's go for a new record this month!
World Bank President Kim Takes Your Questions
New World Bank President Jim Yong Kim would like to hear from you. In a press release WorldBank asks people to share their views with the new WorldBank president on his twitter account, #AskJimKim.
The agreement is important to our business
The European Council last week agreed on the last remaining issue in the negotiations on the uniform patent protection, namely, the new unitary patent court in the central chamber of first instance will be located. The solution to the issue, which blocked since December, means that the central compartment may be registered in Paris, while parts of it will be in London and Munich. "The agreement is very satisfying and critical to our business, all business, since the new system means that there will be less costly and more consistent to seek patent protection", says the Swedish Minister of Trade, Dr Ewa Björling.
Sweden in Global Capacity Building
Sweden is one of the biggest donors in the world. Sweden gives donor support for capacity building direct to many countries bilaterally, through the European Union donor programmes, but we also support multilateral banks and organizations like i.e. WorldBank, IMF, UN, OECD, WTO and WCO. Sweden is also one of the largest contributors to UNDP. During the last year the contribution to the MENA region has incresed due to the situation after the Arabic spring. Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia and Central America are other traditional prioritized areas.
Eliasson in the UN office
The picture shows how Jan Eliasson, 71, is installed as Deputy Secretary General and the second-highest UN chief - and becomes the Swede with the highest record in international politics. “I feel honored, taken ... but I am also happy!, he explained to his boss and coworkers”.
Jan Eliasson gets a flying start at the UN. It is already clear that he is going to Africa as the first trip. July 12 he will participate in the African Union met in Addias Ababa, Ethiopia. Monday was the big “Welcome day”- or in Eliassons case rather the “Welcome Home Day”. UN headquarters in New York is like the Swede's second home. The ceremony was held at 16, Swedish time, the North Lawn Building. Behind the layers of doors, security personnel and bodyguards stood the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, working her son from Kålltorp as he used to be rewritten, opposite each other. The height of the right hand got Eliasson read aloud the oath all UN employees must swear. There, he promised, for example, not to take instructions from any national government but only to obey the organization. Eliasson can oath pretty well after various UN roles since the early 80's, when he was Olof Palme's right hand in mediating mission in Iran-Iraq war. All around the conference room his most of the UN's ten Under-Secretary General and Susana Malcorra, his chief of staff. Most faces were already known to Eliasson, so it was a pure "hey, fun-to-see-you-again" party. “I can not imagine a more suitable person for the mission”, said Ban Ki-moon. Eliasson also took the opportunity to take an anecdote about how they got to know each other and that they have a special routine every New Year's Day: Eliasson call and wish a happy new year, this ever since the Ban came to 2007.
Dubai Customs presented with DHL award
DHL, the world's leading logistics company, honored Dubai Customs with a number of its employees in recognition of its efforts to support legitimate trade in the UAE. The event, held at the Dubai Customs headquarters saw attendance from over 40 people, including Mr. Ahmed Mahboob Musabah, Executive Director of Clients management Division, and Adrian Whelan, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Customs and Security for DHL Express, who presented a total of 15 awards for outstanding achievement in 2012.
Zlatan's goal most beautiful in Euro2012
Zlatan Ibrahimovic won the vote on the UEFA website. His goal against France was voted the best goal of the tournament in this summer's European Championships. The Milan striker got 39.9 percent of the vote.
During the European Championship in soccer UEFA has had votes where people have been able to vote for the best goals. Uefa has called the competition, "Goal of the Day". Now, UEFA has had a vote in which all the goals from Euro2012 were included, and even Spain's four against Italy in the final. The fnal vote won Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It is Ibrahimovic's fantastic 1-0 volley against France in the last match which won the competition. Of those who voted were the 39.9 percent who thought that Zlatan's goal was the most beautiful in the European Championships.
Our bench neighbours
On our left in the massive and impressive WCO Council room we since many years have our colleagues and close friends from Switzerland, a delegation always (almost, it was his 17 year as head of Customs this year), my old friend Director-General Rudi Dietrich.
On our right hand side we have the colleagues and friends from the Kingdom of Swaziland. The Delegation lead by the Commissioner General of Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA) Mr. Dumsani Masilela and the Commissioner of Customs Mr. IV. Mazorodze.
They are both personal friends of mine since many years and Sweden - through Swedish Customs and with sponsorship from SIDA - has during the last years had a WCO Tripartite agreement with SRA working together on sustainable capacity building, modernization and reform for SRA in Swaziland. These are our neighbours. And close friends in the WCO.
Home from Brussels
After a week in Brussels, my second home town, it is great to be back in Sweden again. Brussels is a very special place. The capitol of Europe is a melting pot of people, cultures and languages. A large city, but also – as in many other international cities – a global village of small towns linked up to a larger geographical city.
There is no doubt that the presence international institutions are one of the fundamental characters of Brussels, just like the divided city with two languages is. Anyway, it is always a pleasure to visit Brussels again. I will continue to feel that way for the rest of my life.
During international meetings it is obvious that we represent our countries. We the delegations, speak the voice on behalf of our people. Normally we also belong to a greater community and naturally also represent our regions, like in our case the European Union. In the World Customs Organization (WCO) there is in addition a regional structure, meaning that Sweden belongs to the WCO European region with 51 member countries (including the EU 27). In this, the largest region of the WCO, we belong to the subgroup North. This is a group consisting of the five Nordic group countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), the Baltic group (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) Poland and Switzerland. The subgroup, Northern Group of Ten (NG10) has planning meetings to discuss and debate the agenda of the WCO. In this group, NG10, we almost always agree on a common view since we are very similar countries. This is a very good group of countries, people and friends, that together shape a block with ten votes in the WCO. NG10 is a very powerful group with the WCO policy of one country, one vote – in mind.
In addition Sweden also naturally is a proud member of the Nordic Group of countries that meet frequently on Director general level to discuss and agree on numerous things including the WCO business. It is a large family, the WCO.
Zlatan in Euro2012 Allstar Team
UEFA have selected the Euro2012 Allstar Team. The team includes the Swedish super striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Sweden did not go through to the knock-ot phase, still, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still selected as one of the best players of the tournament. The Swedish striker is in good company with players like Andres Iniesta, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mario Balotelli. A few players missing, despite a good tournament, Mario Gomez, Mario Mandžukić and Alan Dzagoev. Neither scorer Fernando Torres are included. Here are the 23 players participating in the Championship's top teams:
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy), Iker Casillas (Spain), Manuel Neuer (Germany).
Defender Gerard Pique (Spain), Fábio Coentrao (Portugal), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Pepe (Portugal), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Jordi Alba (Spain).
Midfielders: Daniele de Rossi (Italy), Steven Gerrard (England), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Xavi (Spain), Sami Khedira (Germany), Mesut Ozil (Germany), Sergio Busquets (Spain), Xabi Alonso (Spain); Andrea Pirlo (Italy).
Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Italy), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden), David Silva (Spain).
Conference on new global arms trade treaty commenced
Following discussions regarding the participation of observers opened Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)-Conference on 3 July by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who stressed the importance of establishing a robust and legally binding arms trade treaty to regulate the legal trade in arms and curbing illegal. Among the speakers were also the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Minister of Development who all emphasized the importance of a universal binding arms trade treaty. Negotiations will resume on Thursday.
Celebrating 2000 Tweets
During the last weekend my Capacity Building Twitter account, CapacityNow, passed 2000 Tweets about sustainable development, aid, technical assistance, capacity building, reform and modernization, sport, music and much more. I am very pleased and happy to be able to contribute to the global dialogue on capacity building through this social media plattform. If you don’t want to miss out on the following 2000 Tweets – join up through www.twitter.com, search for CapacityNow.
Great news - the Millennium Development Goals
At a seminar during annual Swedish political debate week in Almedalen, Gotland, UNDP reports about the latest very positive developments on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
With regard to MDG 1, reducing poverty by 50% until 2015, "this is already achieved" said UNDPs representative Monica Loren. UNDP also reported on a number of other success factors in relation to the MDG, such as that 9 out of 10 children in the world are starting school and almost all pass elementary school. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 7 out of 10 left school. 9 out of 10 people in the world have clean water, but there is still obviously more to it because more than 2 billion people still lack access to sanitation facilities. In addition to UNDP believes "that the EU countries incorrectly saw the Rio summit only as an environmental meeting, while many others saw the meeting as a platform for social development in the broadest sense." But thus much positive news regarding the MDG targets.
The Swedish delegation
Here is the Swedish delegation at the WCO Council session last week in Brussels.
It is always an impressive sight to walk into the Council session hall of the World Customs Organization in Brussels for the annual general assembly of organization, named the Council. 177 flags from member countries marking the seats for high level participants from Customs administrations all around the world. Public Officials having a dialogue and making vital decissions for the year to come. Decissions that have an impact for all of us.
It was a magic and very impressive performance of Spain when winning the final of the Euro2012 yesterday evenning. The 4-0 win over Italy, is the biggest win ever in a championship final. Spain was outstanding in this game and proved that the Spin nationalteam 2008-2012 probably is the best national team ever in history. My congratulations to the winners. all friend in Spain and the entire population of Spain. We have never seen more worthy winners of a Championship in soccer.
Time to re-new the passport (again)
Passports. A great tool and well working system when travelling.
I have a lot of them. Now it is time to re-new my passport (again). This will be my 7the passport the last 5 years.
Euro2012 All Star Team
EURO2012 is almost over. This is my AllStarTeam of the best players in the tournament. Casillas (Spain), Abate (Italy), Hummels (Germany), Ramos (Spain), Coantrao (Portugal), Khedira (Germany), Pirlo (Italy), Iniesta (Spain), Ronaldo (Portugal), Ibrahimovic (Sweden), Balotelli (Italy). Coach: Prandelli (Italy). Subs: Neur (Germany), Pique (Spain), Özil (Germany), Cassano (Italy).
Euro2012 The Final
It is time for the final. Two worthy final teams, Spain vs Italy. I think there will be few goals tonight in the final. Maybe even 0-0 and penalties. Brain says Spain, my heart says Italy as champions. In my mind Italy has been the best team playing the best football so far.
Back in Sweden
After a great WCO Council week in Brussels, I am now back in Sweden. Good weather. Finally summer in Vikingland.
Time to read books, drink wine from Provence, walk the dog, train, have long evenings on the patio, visit Åhus for beachhandball, see a movie on the middle of the night, go to a Springsteen concert, meet our friends, play basketball with my son, barbecue, listen to Gotye...play chess.
I will be back. In August. See you then.
When elephants fly
Teaser of the month! For the moment I am working on the last chapters of my new book. The book is about Customs leadership and management. How to lead in a globalized world. Our organizations and tasks are getting more and more complicated and advanced. During my many years in capacity building, there is one thing that stands out as the most important parameter for successful reform and modernization. That is leadership. Without leadership and talented, well educated managers there will be no change. Today, running a huge organization managing borders and supply chains in a globalized world, with security threats always present and trade facilitation being the driver for economic recovery after global financial crises - leadership of customs has never been more important. There are approximately 10.000 leadership books published worldwide every year, but there has never been a book written about Customs leadership and management. Now was thw time to so it. Many things in leadership are generic, the same regardless of field or business area - but there are also differences and specific interests for certain professions. Customs with central roles in Government and society, managing global security, business partnerships, international trade and revenue collection - is certainly one of them. I have been a customs leader and manager on levels - internationally and nationally - for more than 20 years. In this book I share my own experience as a leader, but I have also interviewed the most inspiring and visionary leaders that I have met during my career in Customs about their views on leadership. The book will give a practical guide, based on a global strategic perspective, for top to mid-managers in Customs, Revenue and Border Service agencies (and beyond). The working title for the book is: "When Elephants fly - Customs leadership and management for a globalized world" and it will be published and released later this year. For more news, follow this website.
A Day in Life
John Lennon was a genious. He became only 40 years old. They say that only the good dies young, and maybe that is true.
John Lennon was certainly a street smart philosopher, a free thinker & a master of words. I wish I could have a day with him. Juat to listen and learn. That would have been A Day in Life.