Sweden Alumni Networks are to be found all over the world. They are groups of people who have once studied in Sweden or participated in a Swedish Institute leadership programme and are now engaging as volunteers in creating platforms to come together in their common experience and interest in Sweden. The alumni networks also have a mission to work for the Sustainable Development Goals and can get financial grants from the Swedish Institute to organise activities.

Due to the pandemic, these networks have been forced to cancel a lot of planned events, but despite that we do not see a drop in engagement. Niklas Dahlberg is alumni relations manager at SI:

– It is incredible how fast all have adapted, and the level of creativeness is outstanding. We now see a strenghtend alumni network, on a global level”, says Niklas.

During October alumni networks in Azerbaijan, Brazil, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Kosovo, Malawi, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Uganda and Western Balkans together organised a seminar series on the social aspects of COVID-19 in the fields of Politics, Human Rights, Gender, Economics and Sustainability. The programme included a range of activities such as talks by expert speakers from NGOs, discussions and workshops and even a virtual cinnamon bun baking session.

– It was not only very interesting to hear about different aspects of the social impacts of Covid 19 from different countries, but the contributions to the dense program from different parts of the world really makes you grasp the global impact of this pandemic “ Niklas says, who participated in the event.

This joint event is one of many examples and proofs that collaboration, networking and connection is possible even though we are not able to meet in person. We are proud of our alumni and the change they are making for their local and global community.