Linköping Science Park’s annual Summer Party gathered 150 participants to welcome the summer and celebrate the past 40 years of innovation since the Park’s founding in 1984. We invited some of the Park’s brightest young minds to share their visions for the future.

During a delicious lunch catered by Stångs Mjärdevi, and in the hot summer weather, the guests listened to a panel discussion moderated by Diana Saleh, PhD in Collaborative Innovation at KTH and LiU alumni. The panel included:

  • Zoé Pellissier, Student & Project Manager Women Finance Days
  • Tuja Torwaldsson, Student and member of the Linköping Science Park student board
  • Carl Magnus Bruhner, Cybersecurity PhD student.

The panel reflected on the journey to a more green, social, and digital society. As a science park we possess the platforms, structures, and experience to build this upon, but only together, with brilliant minds from different backgrounds, can we create a better society for future generations.

When asked about Linköping’s recent iCapital award win, the panelists stressed the importance of involving students to stay at the forefront of innovation, ensuring innovation serves meaningful purposes.

“The science park is quite good at involving students in their work, but we believe that the municipality could do more to involve us,” they all agree on.

How can the younger generation be supported?

“I believe it’s important to focus and reach out to a special group of students—those engaged in the largest student unions and with fresh experiences of student engagement,” Zoe says.

Carl Magnus agreed, adding:

“Engage those who stay in Linköping after their studies and have a passion for developing and collaborating with others.”

Tuja offered another perspective on diversity to this: 

“It’s important to engage students from various disciplines. The tech sector, a driver of development, must ensure inclusivity to create a future that is equal.”

Be brave and include all perspectives

Linköping Science Park has over the year worked on a new business strategy for 2030, which is future-oriented and focused on sustainability. Related to this, Tuja highlighted how cross-disciplinary work is essential and how the student board’s diversity in education and background must reflect our commitment to this.

The panel noted the challenge of engaging young people today, who have shorter attention spans and different attitudes compared to previous generations.

“This will catch up with us soon. It’s already harder to fill our student associations. I wonder how this will affect our creativity and ability to innovate in the long run,” said Zoé.

Carl Magnus added:

“We need to adapt to new technologies. We quickly changed our work methods during the pandemic, and the introduction of ChatGPT last year altered how students submit theses. The future is fast-changing and unpredictable.”

Top three key takeaways from the panel discussion:

  • Don’t settle! Continuous improvement and visible innovation is crucial.
  • Include all perspectives. The tech sector has a significant responsibility here.
  • Be brave and remember the young professionals who stay in Linköping.

Anna Björklou was honored Co-creator of the Year. Here together with Lena Miranda.

Co-creator of the year

The lunch continued with the announcement of the award Co-Creator of the Year, celebrating entrepreneurs who contribute to the collaborative spirit and engagement in the Park.

Co-creator of the Year 2024: Anna Björklou, CEO of Epishine, was honored for driving regional innovation, and for embodying “tech with a purpose”. She has played a pivotal role in Epishine’s growth and leadership. She has actively participated in panel discussions, movies, and other activities that promote our innovative community in Linköping. Additionally, she has been involved in both the national and international startup and scaleup scenes. This fall, Anna will continue her co-creative efforts in new locations, all while remaining within the innovative spirit of Linköping!

In light of Linköping Science Park’s 40th anniversary and the iCapital award, the summer party exemplified the forward-thinking ideas and inspirational mindset that puts Linköping on the map for pioneering sustainable innovations.