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Stockholm – A scene for creativity

Stockholm is the innovative and economic engine of Scandinavia. But as opposed to the creator of dynamite Alfred Nobel and the father of the pacemaker Rune Elmqvist, the new, Swedish trailblazers come from completely different sectors – among them Niklas Zennström, the man behind Skype and Daniel Ek who gave us Spotify, just to name a few. The creative industry with its fashion, design, music, computer games, film, literature and advertising is booming. Seen internationally, Stockholm is punching way above it's weight.

Stockholm is literally boiling over with creativity and the power of innovation. Artists, authors, film makers, actors, game developers and designers all gather here in what can without a doubt be called one enormous, creative melting-pot.

Many talented people have used Stockholm as their spring board to careers that made them internationally famous. There was Ingmar Bergman and Abba followed by Robyn and now Swedish House Mafia and Avicii. Among the new stars we find many in the computer game and fashion industries. Battlefield and Minecraft are two widely recognized global successes. In the world of fashion we find H&M, Acne, Whyred and Filippa K just to mention a few. And then there are the actors who include the Skarsgård family, Lena Olin and Noomi Rapace.

A boundless creative melting-pot with unexpected cross-collaborations

There are probably many reasons why Stockholm has become a magnet for creativity, but perhaps it’s as simple as the principle of creativity attracting creativity just the way retail trade attracts more retail trade in a shopping mall. A number of talented people find their way here, attract others who attract others and so on.

What is unique about Stockholm’s creative scene is its limitless potential for collaboration. It is not uncommon for a computer game to evolve after a game developer, film maker, musician and artist meet and throw around ideas. Distances are short in Stockholm, geographically as well as in terms of an informal and friendly business climate. This intimacy gives rise to a creative incubator where talented people from different sectors meet and then decide to work together, often resulting in unexpected modes of creative expression.

Acne and Millennium, two collaborative ideas

An example of how an idea expands through collaboration on the creative scene is the company Acne which began as a clothing company in Stockholm in 1996. The founder manufactured a hundred pairs of jeans and gave them away to family and friends. Today Acne is a creative studio which now includes clothing, design, advertising, film and publishing.

The Millennium Trilogy is another example. It started as a book, became first a Swedish film and then an American one. Now it has expanded into a platform which includes city tours and an app in which the user can walk in the footsteps of the main character and discover the Millennium universe.

Stockholm’s creative scene is unpredictable and just keeps growing.