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I was yesterday at an interesting and impressive innovation talk from IKEA about

CO-CREATE CHANGE! IKEA + Social Entrepreneurship

at United Spaces Stockholm. In this blogpost, I want to share my experience and my learnings from this event, due to the high importance of this topic.


The well-known Swedish company IKEA is one of the most popular furniture and design shops in the world. I am a big fan of IKEA furniture and love to stroll through IKEA shops to get inspired by design options. Another reason to buy IKEA stuff is the appropriate prize. I never thought about where the products come from and therefore I was totally surprised when I heard that IKEA is working on expanding their production for handicraft products made by women organizations. The blue cushion cover above belongs to the project “Tilltalande made in Jordan”, which should be launched 2018 in Sweden. By 2020, IKEA is committed to create 400 new jobs for refugees and women in Jordan to fight against property and empower women in this challenging areas.

The concept behind this is social entrepreneurship by working towards a social mission. The central criterion is mission-related impact rather than wealth creation. IKEA established a team, which is working on this by finding new partnerships and sustainable development goals. IKEA want to increase their work with small social entrepreneurs, which have normally no chance to become one of IKEAs’ suppliers and to add them to their value chain. Through the creation of decent jobs, IKEA can fight against poverty and focus on people and the planet. The longterm goal is to provide the social entrepreneurs with a market place and not making them dependent. They started by pointing out social needs: many women at home and no infrastructure. As a result, they introduced different village centers and brought the work home to the women. To support women is one of the utmost importance for IKEA.


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IKEA already created 10,500 jobs in vulnerable communities by empowering women in urban areas, in rural areas and in challenging areas. A short video shows how

IKEA and Jordan River Foundation create livelihoods for locals and refugees in Jordan:


In this area – social entrepreneurship – innovation comes from small insights and can lead to powerful changes, through sharing a social mission goal. Innovation does not mean to come up with something new, but it should create value. IKEA already started to expand this and already built 19 partnerships. However, they do not have the solution for every part. Therefore, they are looking for commitment and are open for ideas. It is about how can I or/and my company contribute to the growth of social economy and give long-term opportunities. It is an important issue and the approach of social entrepreneurship can lead us to a better world. Thank you Mrs. Gunnarsson for sharing this inspiring work and insights with others to co-create change.

#ME1033 Open and User Innovation at KTH!



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I would like to share my first video guest lecture at KTH from Electrolux about their perspective of open innovation. Let’s extend and share our knowledge about this phenomenon to promote creation and improvement.

Electrolux is a leading global appliance company from Sweden since 1919, which is present in more than 150 markets, including the brands AEG, Anova, Frigidaire, Westinghouse and Zanussi. They sell more than 60 million household and professional products and is the only appliance manufacturer in the world to offer solutions for both.

The Open Innovation Strategy according to Beatrice Maestri is to create new value, new products, new services and new experiences for customers. They define innovation as new business opportunities and a new way to interact and work with each other. In short: A new way to do business. Therefore, a important point is the exchange between internal and external networks but with the main focus on people.

Open Innovation provides new technologies, new ideas, additional competencies and new and other markets. Due to fast innovation processes and the speed behind new trends, it is a common need to outsource. As Beatrice Maestri mentioned: “It is not possible to be an expert of everything”.

Access to vital information for decision making, flexibility of skills and influencing innovation in an ecosystem are benefits of open innovation for Electrolux. To capture this benefits, they defined roles and responsibilities to deal with open innovation. A team of 5 people is working full time on open innovation to capture new innovative business solutions to create new value for their customers.

According to their vision: Unlock universe’ potential.

A key challenge is therefore for the open innovation team to move beyond the trusted network and to find brokers. Brokers are the intermediate connection of the company and innovators outside. According to Beatrice Maestri, they cluster Broker in “DNA”, for example industrial, academic, media, etc., to match and rank brokers. At first they focus on a balanced portfolio of brokers, then they launch – create perfect match between needs and brokers, afterwards they scout, screen, OIB, Brokers Activity and at the end is the management of brokers.

It was a nice experience to see what is possible nowadays, as i already mentioned that it was my first video guest lecture. The whole presentation was well structured and  gave a good impression of Electrolux’s open innovation strategies and how important it is to treat and involve open innovation. Thank you again Beatrice Maestri for sharing this knowledge and strategies with us in the course #ME1033 Open and User Innovation at KTH!




Hi everyone!

A while back, in September, I got the chance to attend STHLM TECH FEST with the help of KTH Innovation. I thought I would share my experiences of this event with you.

This was my very first time attending STHLM TECH FEST. The first day I was there, on Monday the 4th of September, I got to witness a panel discussion with the co-founder of Klarna, Sebastian Siemiatkowski, the head of Nordics and Baltics of MasterCard, Sasha Krstic, the co-founder of iZettle, Jacob De Geer, and the CEO of Bambora, Johan Tjärnberg. They spoke about the future of the world of fintech and of the difficulties that lie ahead.


After that there was a city pitch held about the opportunities for Swedish startups and companies to open up offices in Poland. The person giving the pitch was trying to convince Swedish companies such as Truecaller and Klarna into setting up offices in Krakow and Warszawa. It was good to see how a pitch might be done in real life with the pressure of having a room filled with people criticizing your idea.




After attending a couple of these panel discussions and pitches I made sure to check out the fair. There I had the chance to speak to a couple of company representatives from the start-up that some of you might have heard of, Stilla. What they are offering is a product called Stilla Motion that you put on any of your belongings that you would like to protect from being stolen and such, wether it is your backpack or wallet. This device connects to your mobile device through the Stilla app and an alarm goes off on your smartphone when your belongings are being moved. What I think is a really interesting feature is the fact that, in the app, you can adjust how sensitive the movement sensor in the Stilla Motion device is and it also has many more adjustable settings. If you want to know more about Stilla visit:

Lastly, I would just like to comment on the fact that KTH Innovation has been able to do a great thing by providing free tickets to KTH students who want to attend the STHLM TECH FEST. As one of our guest lecturers, Tobias, mentioned previously in his presentation to the class, it is very important that we create platforms and meeting places where different people can meet and interact, because we want to be able to take advantage of the synergies that arises when this happens. I would hope that in the future more students get the chance to attend STHLM TECH FEST and similar events. In november I will also be attending the STHLM TECH MEETUP, so I am really looking forward to that.


Thanks for taking the time to read this! Let me know if you’ve been to STHLM TECH FEST before or anything similar to it 🙂


All the best,

Houda Abu Zeid