Christmas Greeting from Tom Johnstone CBE, Chair of BSCC
As we approach the end of 2020 we look back on what has been an extremely challenging and a very difficult year. The pandemic which we have faced all year and which continues to impact all of us has been much greater than I think any of us would have imagined at the start of the year. Many of us know people and families impacted by the virus and some of us also have sadly lost friends.
The bright light we now see is that vaccines have been developed and are being developed that means that as we go through 2021 and especially in the second half of the year we will see clear improvements. We must congratulate the scientists and researches who have worked together in a true international cooperation to develop these vaccines so quickly. One such company is Astra Zeneca, one of our patrons, where teams in both Sweden and UK and elsewhere in their group have done a tremendous job!!
With the pandemic as a background it has meant that many of us have moved into the Digital world holding meetings by Teams, Zoom and many other video conferencing techniques. All of this replacing face to face meetings and while these have worked tremendously well and people have adapted to this new way of working I do miss meeting people and how I long to get back to a more normal life even if it will be a different normal than before!!
Within the Chamber we have also embraced this new way of working and the team led by Christina and Emil have done an excellent job in continuing to be in regular contact with our patrons and members in this period and organising some extremely interesting events both within our Chamber and in cooperation with other Chambers. During the year we have also increased our activity on social media posting articles and news and information on the events and other relevantactivities.
We also started the Young Patrons Programme, the YPP, attended by 27 participants representing 27 Patron companies which from our feedback has been very well received even with us moving to a virtual way of working. We will move forward with this also next year.
During the year we offered our members almost 60 events. These ranged from discussing Digitalization, through new ways of working, new leadership, changes in legislation, defence topics to name just a few – and of course, not forgetting EU Exit which as I write this we are still waiting to hear how we will trade in 2021!! This will remain an extremely important topic during the coming years as we all learn to work within the new rules and also find ways to strengthen the relationship between Sweden and UK in this new era. Here, I believe that the Chamber can continue to play a key role in enabling us to take full advantage of the opportunities sharing knowledge and experience between our members supported with guest speakers plus the knowledge and support from the British Embassy.
At our Advisory Board meeting in the beginning of December we also presented our BSCC Annual Award to Elsa Bernadotte of Karma for her and her company’s excellent work in helping us address the major challenge of food waste which apart from being a terrible use of our earths resources also has a major impact on the climate of the planet. CONGRATULATIONS to Elsa!!
My SINCERE THANKS to Christina, Emil and their interns for all of this hard work in this difficult year. My SINCERE THANKS also to the Ambassador, Judith Gough, and her team for their excellent support but most of all my SINCERE THANKS to each of you, our Patrons and members, for your active particpation in the Chambers activities and for your support for events. I look forward to us cointinuing to build this cooperation and to seeing you during 2021!!
May I finally take this opportunity to wish you, your family, friends and colleagues a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Please take care over the holiday period and let us all wish and plan for a better 2021.
My kindest regards
Tom Johnstone CBE
Chair of BSCC