In the Embassy car

I am sitting in the Embassy car on my way back from Poznan to Warsaw. Through Internet radio played by my wife Karin I hear that the Swedish chef Tommy Myllymäki has won the gold medal in the prestigeous Bocuse d’Or European competition. Fantastic news.

I am not an expert in gastromony but I have seen Tommy Myllymäki on Swedish TV many times. No possibilities to taste unfortunately. But a very sympathetic person and obviously extremely capable.

I am approaching the end of a two day tour that took me to Katowice yesterday and to Poznan today.

I would have of course have liked to stay in Katowice and the European Economic Congress there – first time for me by the way. The panel discussions I attended were mostly very useful, not least the one about my previous blog subject – the TTIP. The chief negotiators on both sides participated and I was happy to note their explicit ambitions, also demonstrated in practice, about openness and transparency.

In the first panel there was a female Minister from Togo participating but otherwise the male dominance was quite strong. Potential for a change of balance in the future since diversity always gives broader perspectives. I am already looking forward to participate next year – and to hear from our Embassy Economist Elenor Hansson Lundström, who stayed on, what this time came out of days two and three.

I had, however, two very good reasons to spend Thursday in Poznan and Friday in Warsaw. The Thursday reason was the Scandinavistic conference organised by my friends at the Adam Mickiewicz University. It has become a kind of tradition for me to attend, third time now. And it is a great inspiration to meet them all, not least the students of course making presentations primarily in Swedish and Norwegian on a very advanced level.

Additionally, Karin and I could listen – together with the other participants – to some truly interesting lectures from Scandinavian scientists, among them Kerstin Bergman who gave a fascinating overview over the Nordic crime literature and its development. Since I am a frequent consumer I enjoyed comparing her impressions with my own. And understanding the different categories of crime fiction that I previously had not given much thought.

I realised that Stieg Larsson combined several different categories in his Millenium triology (puzzle, crime noir, thriller etc), thus probably adding to the high quality and great success of these novels.

My Friday and Saturday programme looks very different: the 6th Women’s Congress in Warsaw where I will participate in two panels. One roundtable about economic decision making for Gender Equality Ministers where I have been asked to represent our Minister Maria Arnholm. And one about men’s violence against women.

More about the outcome in my next blog.

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