Hack for Sweden 2017

Hack for Sweden 2017 is now over and it’s been a privilege and inspiration to be part of the jury. More than 200 participants gathered with the objective to create new and innovative solutions based on open data/APIs from 30 government agencies.

Hack for Sweden 2017 was inaugurated by the Minister of Public Administration, Ardala Shekarabi, and he did a great job laying out his and the government’s view on the importance of open public data. It was streamed live and that video, and many more from the event, can be viewed on Hack for Sweden’s Youtube-channel.

The 54 teams worked through the night, coming up with ideas ranging from saving valuable forests, “Pokemon Go”-styled game for public interests points, solutions for matching immigrants with jobs, pollution warnings, virtual reality based visualizations of public data, and so on. It was not easy to judge, with so many ideas to choose from. Also, there is so much data to get to understand and then match with other sources, so it’s almost as if 24 hours perhaps is too short. Imagine what we could do with just one extra day!

I was very happy to see all ages, from 10-12 year olds and up to 50+ year olds. The gender balance seemed to be almost 50/50. The government agencies were well represented and they went around to the teams, helping them to understand the data and how to use the APIs. I applaud all the employees of the agencies and their energy and passion for open data.

Thank you, Angela Yong (SMHI) and Stefan Beronius (Lantmäteriet), everyone else in the team of organizers. You really managed to create a superbly coordinated event.






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Where women make more than men – #NOWHERE

Edited post: Added links to articles on the subject. See at the end of this post.

Gender diversity and equal rights between men and women, have numerous different aspects. One of them is “gender pay gap”, which is the average difference between a man’s and a woman’s average salary.
Even when you adjust for known factors, such as parental leave differences etc, women all over the world make less than men. This is a fact established by more than 260 current scientific studies. Data consolidated by World Economic Forum evaluating the gender pay gap in 145 countries show that in the US, as an example, women make on average approximately 80% of what men make.

The below illustration shows the gender gap in earnings, between OECD countries. For example, in Sweden there’s a 13 percent difference between the salaries of men and women.


I  added the #NOWHERE-side of the chart.

The original only had the left side, showing countries where men make more than women. This creates a problem in ongoing debates where some still argue that the differences in pay can be justly explained or that they are not significant. The problem is that we’re adjusting our expectations incorrectly. I want equal pay for equal work and zero unexplained differences in pay, but in a discussion where inequality is debated, the #NOWHERE tag speaks volume.

Business Insider recently published an article stating: “There’s no country in the world where women earn more than men.”, citing Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s latest “Transforming World Atlas” report. “It notes that between 2011 and 2014, a woman earned $76 for every $100 that a man was paid, according to the World Bank. Even in the country with the smallest pay gap — New Zealand — women still earned 5% less than men in 2015.”


In the workplace, gender diversity and gender equality relate to many more topics than the “gender pay gap” and “equal pay for equal work”. For example, other topics include women in leadership positions, equal opportunities for visibility, equal opportunity to careers and training, etc. However, many of those topics ultimately boil down to wages and as a KPI, it’s telling. Many organizations are now heading into another period of salary adjustments. I urge all, including my own, to grasp every such period as an opportunity to focus and act on – to eradicate unjust inequalities in the “gender pay gap”.

More reading:

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Planning for “Hack for Sweden”

The largest hackathon in Sweden, “Hack for Sweden“, takes place next weekend and I’m looking forward to the privilege of being part of the jury again. Hack for Sweden is “a unique collaboration among 30 government agencies and organisations that want to enable the development of new services and products using their official open data.”

Today’s planning meeting was held at the venue in Kista (photos below). It’s a record number of participants this year, more than 200+ are registered. Among these we have talented UX’ers, designers, developers, and quite a few “innovators-of-everything”. I expect lots of IoT experiments and hope to see several soldering irons.

For those of who participating, the agenda can be found here…  See you on Saturday morning!


IMG_1640 IMG_1641 IMG_1643

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Office 365 FTW

Microsoft’s Office 365 is growing into becoming a very impressive cloud based solution platform. I’m kind of rediscovering Office these days.

Sure, we’re getting the relevant (and at times cool) “typical Office program” improvements. But mostly, we’re getting cloud based Enterprise class features for the digital workplace, which competes well with niche players across the board. It also, in most respects, compares favourably with Google’s G Suite…

Office 365 connects the dots between team collaboration (Sharepoint), file storage (OneDrive), real time communication (Skype, Yammer), analytics (Power BI), and so on. I’ve been a loyal user of Dropbox, Slack, Whatsapp, and our organization currently uses IBM Connections for team collaboration. The past couple of months, as we’re rolling out Office 365, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Microsoft has come a very long way on its transition into the clouds, and it’s time to re-calibrate my toolbox.

Office 365 is evolving rapidly as well. I recently discovered StaffHub, a new tool for team planning and scheduling. Free in the Office 365 license we have at work. And saving the best for last… more and more Office 365 APIs are getting published, making the platform excellent in terms of building custom built solutions that still integrates into core cloud features. On that note… if I were to add/integrate any features to Office 365 in anyway, it would be using the nifty collaboration platform Incentive.

So, this Sunday evening recommendation is to continue exploring the new side(s) of Office 365 and don’t forget to check out Incentive.

Shocked and surprised boy on the internet with laptop computer concept for amazement, astonishment, making a mistake, stunned and speechless or seeing something he shouldn't see

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US: Prepare to hand over your passwords

Recently the US government begun asking travellers entering into the country to disclose active social media accounts. The reason is said to be an effort to spot potential terrorist threats. Visitors filling out the online visa waiver application (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) are required to input account names on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.

Chances are that if you’ll be questioned, your passwords may be “confiscated”, as well. Check out Engadget’s article “The Border Patrol can take your password. Now what?” to learn more.

I don’t mind fighting terrorism but believe few of them, if any, will be caught after having disclosed accounts and passwords. The odds of that… Instead, I’m concerned where we’re heading regarding foundational democratic rights. What happens when a government goes from being good to being bad, and we’ve surrendered everything?

La Grulla, Texas, USA - September 21, 2015: A  Border Patrol agent searches a 14 year old Honduran boy he apprehended on the banks of the Rio Grande River attempting to enter the United States illegally.  There was a sharp increase in the number of unaccompanied Central American juveniles, most fleeing gang violence, trying to enter the U.S. illegally over the summer.

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