Our Cultural Heritage is Nature


A large majority of us live in urban areas that are typically located in the southern half of the country where we enjoy a vibrant cultural life stay up to date with fashion and trends. If you ask a Swede to depict her or his environment, however, you will probably hear descriptions of scenic vistas, deep forests, or a quiet island in archipelago.

The reason is simply that we grow up appreciating the vast natural scenery that surrounds us, just around the corner from where we live, even if we live in a metropolitan area like Stockholm. There is something about Swedes and being out in the open, whether to exercise, get some fresh air or explore the countryside.

Surrounded by open and often astonishing nature, it is quite natural that Sweden should be at forefront of sustainable solutions. Swedes are adamant that future generations should enjoy the same luxuries of wilderness and fresh air and water.

Development Through Dialogue

Genuine dialogue thus becomes a key prerequisite for an innovative social climate. Swedes take this seriously, as can be seen from the way they organise everything from big companies to clusters of small businesses and other creative environments around their universities and colleges. It also distinguishes the norms and cultures evident in public services and political organisations. Hierarchies are few, meetings are many and openness is priority.

The Right of Public Access

Over half of Sweden is forest. The Right of Public Access means that everyone has free access to not only the Swedish woods, but also fields, mountains, waters, regardless of who owns the land. On condition, however, that you “don’t disturb – don’t destroy.” as the slogan goes. This unique right has enabled Swedes to learn early in life what nature has to offer and to make good use of it.

Source: Swedish Institute, 2016

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