IVA Celebrating 100 Years

The world’s first engineering sciences academy celebrated its first century with an Annual Meeting in Aula Medica in Solna and a banquet at Stockholm City Hall. Invited guests from near and far gathered to celebrate Sweden’s youngest centenarian. As per tradition the event involved speeches, Gold Medal presentations, commemoration, dinner and a chance for the members of IVA’s considerable network to mingle. Naturally, in this jubilee year, the guests heard many stories from the past. But both the Chair's and the President’s speeches were firmly focused on the future.

In his speech, Chair Carl-Henric Svanberg made connections between today and Academy’s long history:

“Today Sweden is in an era of entrepreneurship, and it was the same 100 years ago. The years around the turn of the last century were filled with innovation and entrepreneurship. This brought us the separator, the three-phase electric power system and ball bearings – and many of the so-called “snilleföretag” (companies specialising in one or two products) are still with us today”.

He highlighted digitalisation as the great force of change in today’s society and how it is creating new opportunities and enterprises.

“We are once again entering an era of entrepreneurship that will continue for many decades to come”. 

He noted that Sweden is a small country but also that small can be powerful:

“We have built an industrial nation that is remarkably effective; with big corporations and small businesses that have laid the foundation for our prosperity”.

Since 1921 it has been IVA’s tradition to award Gold Medals. This year’s Gold Medallists were Hans Dalborg, Lena Olving, Max Tegmark and Spotify duo Martin Lorentzon and Daniel Ek (who was unable to attend). Those in attendance received their awards from HM King Carl XVI Gustaf.

Historian and author Gunnar Wetterberg painted a portrait of IVA founder Axel F. Enström – a charismatic individual at the centre of the network of engineers; a man who would dominate the Academy’s first 25 years.

The annual address on “Progress in Research and Technology” was given by Tuula Teeri, the Academy’s 10th president. But her speech was suddenly and unexpectedly started by Axel F. Enström, IVA’s first president, who stepped onto the stage in the form of a hologram to say a few words.

“The idea of engineers as creators of prosperity – which he described in his speech in late autumn 1939 – is just as relevant today. The crucial role of engineers in the development of society has not diminished – quite the opposite. And his words about the significance of research are just as important,” said Tuula Teeri.

In her speech she referred to the international science conference that IVA arranged in Stockholm this past summer. The theme was “Engineering a Better World”. Many technical advances and promising plans for the future were presented.

“But the most important message was that sustainable technical development needs to benefit more people – in all regions and in all nations. If we cannot manage to do that, there is a risk that a fear of and resistance to technology will take the upper hand. We need to succeed in using facts to convince people that new technology can help us, no matter where we are,” she said, reminding the audience of IVA’s vision: Technology in the service of humanity.

“Sweden has great opportunities to contribute technology to the world while at the same time making our own country more competitive. Sweden profiles itself abroad with a focus on Swedish values, equality, security and trust, but also solid knowledge of sustainable technology and sustainable social development. To succeed globally we need to have the right priorities, and a common vision and approach to Sweden’s future investments,” said Tuula Teeri.

http://www.greenpix.se Daniel Söderberg, Katriina Mäkinen och Karina Ljungdahl