Swedish Institute Management Programme Asia

Are you one of the most ambitious and innovative leaders in your country? Do you want to learn more about sustainable business practices? Do you want to contribute to sustainable development in your country? Through Swedish Institute Management Programme (SIMP) Asia you will learn how to transform sustainability into a competitive advantage.
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Our planet faces massive economic, social and climate challenges. To combat these, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been set up to define global priorities and aspirations before the year 2030. The business community plays a critical role in the implementation of the SDGs and in creating a better future. As expectations for companies to act on sustainability increase, an appropriate response has become critical for future success and even survivalThe world is calling for more responsible and progressive leaders that can take the lead and see opportunities in these challenges. 

The international leadership programme Swedish Institute Management Programme (SIMP) offers you proven tools and knowledge from experts to put sustainability at the heart of your strategy and take your leadership to the next level. The programme is based on Sweden’s prominent position in innovation and sustainable business – and its connection to the global economy. 

To create more impact, SIMP promotes extensive exchange and learning between participants, and facilitates relationship-building and co-creation between businesses and sector organisations in your country.
A core fundament in the programme is for every participant to develop and implement an action-oriented sustainability strategyThe sustainability strategy should be an integral part of your overall business strategy. 

The programme runs online between May – November 2021 with a followup session in February 2022. It contains coaching, interactive workshops and lecturesas well as virtual visits to companies and organisations in Sweden. SIMP is a challenging and interactive programme that demands your active participation and contribution. It is not a series of one-way communicated lectures.  

The Swedish Institute covers the cost of training and content for those admitted to the programme.

SIMP will give you

  • In-depth knowledge and skills about sustainable business practices. 
  • Capacity and knowledge to lead change and promote sustainable business practices in your own organisation. 
  • Insight into the potential of disruptive technology and innovative design to drive business sustainability. 
  • Customised expert coaching based on your and your organisation’s needs. 
  • Access to relevant representatives from the public and private sector in your region and in Sweden to exchange views, knowledge and experiences.  
  • unique opportunity of close collaboration and exchange with colleagues at your own level from several other countries, developing strong, long-lasting professional networks.  
  • Access to the global Swedish Institute alumni network. 

Can I apply? 

While the responsibility for implementing sustainable business practices lies on each business, the supporting environment also plays an important role. Participants of the SIMP programme will be selected from both businesses and organisations that have a role in promoting and facilitating sustainable business practices. Through dialogue and partnerships between public and private sectors, sustainability solutions will be more effective.

General criteria that apply to all applicants:

  • You must be a citizen and resident of China, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand or Vietnam.
  • Your organisation or business should be locally owned and based in one of the SIMP countries.
  • You have an entrepreneurial mindset and a track record of making things happen.
  • You are willing to support and share your experience and knowledge with other participants.
  • You have a proficient command of written and spoken English.
  • No age restriction.

Specific criteria for participants from businesses:

  • You are a:
    – CEO or top manager of a small or mediumsized enterprise, or
    – A manager of a significant and distinct department of a large enterprise, with its own profit responsibility.
  • You are highly motivated to run your business in a sustainable way, as well as to promote sustainable business practices in your country. 
  • You are willing and capable to drive the implementation of the sustainability strategy throughout the business.

Specific criteria for participants from organisations:

  • You and your organisation have a mandate to develop and promote sustainable business practices in your country – through incentives, support and advice.
  • You are a highlevel manager at:
    – A national governmental organisation.
    – Authorities and semi-government organisations and institutions.
    – Relevant civil society organisations, such as NGOs, business associations, and community-  based organisations.
  • You are willing and capable to act as a changemakerboth in your own organisation and at a national level. 

Around 3045 participants will be selected to the programme.

Programme timeline

All phases of the programme are designed for active participation and capacity building: with interactive lectures, group exercises for deepening and applying acquired knowledge, and practical applications. The programme consists of three phasesPhase one is open for all selected participants. To qualify for participation in phase two and three, you need to fulfil some criteria (e.g., active participation and completion of tasks) and be highly motivated to work with sustainable transformation in your business/organisation. 

Phase one: Strategic mapping

Introductory session
(18 May 2021)

Online training
(24 May – 18 June 2021)
The training is set up with a highly practical approach that allows you to apply learnings and insights directly to your business. You are introduced to topics such as responsible leadership, climate change,human rights, anti-corruption, fair working conditions, sustainability strategies, systems thinking, innovation design, and online collaborationBe prepared to spend around 4-5 hours per week on live sessions, reading material and pre-recordings. Additionally, you will meet twice in small group sessions.

First steps of developing your sustainability strategy
(18 June – 2 August 2021)
You conduct the first steps of developing your sustainability strategy. These steps are based on data you collect from your clients/beneficiaries, staff and other stakeholders. You will apply innovative practices that you have learned during the programme. You work with your core business and invest the time needed to succeed. 

Admission to phase two
(20 August 2021)
Assessing motivation and criteria to continue the programme.

Two participants speaking to some one outside of the photo. They are happy.

Phase two: Strategy development

Online training
(1–30 September 2021)
develop your strategy and deepen your knowledge of practices that are relevant to your organisation’s development. You receive feedback from stakeholders and go over your strategy. Be prepared to spend around
4-5 hours per week on the training.

Coaching and reflection groups
(1 September 2021 – February 2022)
You will participate in individual and group coaching sessions. This is a unique opportunity to receive expert coaching customised after your needs. Additionally, you will meet in peer reflection groups. Key individuals from your company/organisation may also participate in small coaching groups for buy-in and effective implementation of the strategy.

Integrating learnings into further development of your strategy
(1–18 October 2021)
Further development of your strategy, receiving feedback and applying learnings to your business/organisation. You work with your core business and invest the time needed to succeed. 

Virtual visit to Sweden
(18–27 October 2021)
Meeting successful and innovative Swedish companies and organisations online to exchange knowledge and experiencesYou will work on industry cases from Sweden and Asia and present your sustainability strategy and action plan. Be prepared to spend around 4-5 hours per week on the training.
NB: if the pandemic situation improves significantly and it’s considered safe to travel, we may explore the possibility for an onsite meeting in Sweden. Today, we consider that unlikely. We will announce our decision no later than the end of June 2021

Phase three:
Strategy implementation

Applying strategy and learnings
(27 October – 8 February 2022)
Implementing your strategy, receiving feedback and applying learnings in your respective organisation. You work with your core business and invest the time needed to succeed.

Onsite/online followup
(8–9 February 2022)
Meet participants from your country (onsite in your country/region or online) to share your learnings and result of the implementation, receive feedback from experts in your field, and build networks with other participants and alumniAn onsite meeting is only possible if the pandemic allows for travel. Plan for full day schedules.


How to apply


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"I have focused on sustainability strategy development of C&A China for over 6 years. SIMP provided system training on each segment of this topic. And provided the most updated knowledge and implementation from real business cases."
Aarony Xu, Senior Sustainability Manager, C&A, Apparel Retail, China
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Photo: private
"The programme provided me with strategic frameworks to use in my work. I learned to look at principles and our commitments in depth, to better see possible future consequences. I have become better at seeing which areas are worth exploring and which are not. We must follow a well-structured path within the framework and not get deviated by other conversations. So those are some tangible results from SIMP, being able to use these frameworks internally."
Hitesh Kataria, Senior Sustainability Manager, Mahindra Group, India
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Photo: Maria Torstensson
"The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to proactively incorporate sustainability and labour rights into our strategies, policies and work plans"
Thao Nguyen, Policy Advisor to Chairman of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Photo: Maria Torstensson
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"SIMP was an immersive experience that expanded my network of friends and peers across the best ranked industries in the Asia Pacific region such as Tatas, Mahindras, BHEL, ANZ (to name a few). It was an amazing platform to connect, communicate and collaborate with leading Swedish Corporate and Government Executives making a positive impact with a global footprint, learning from their challenges and best practices."
Aushim Merchant, Director Operations & Strategy, MK Aromatics Limited, Thailand
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Photo: Private
"Being part of SIMP Asia 2020 has helped me understanding the global discourse around sustainability and responsible leadership from a business perspective, then extending the learnings to the organisation where I work for. Most importantly, SIMP's comprehensive curriculum encourages its participants to bring the knowledge and skills from (virtual) classrooms into execution in their own business development."
Shally Pristine, Head, Public Policy and Social Impact, Grab, Indonesia
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Photo: Bianca Arreola
“Through the programme, I learned how to connect advocacies with corporate objectives. Learning the vocabulary, frameworks and methodologies equipped and empowered me to be an agent of change in the workplace and for my community. When I came back, my focus was no longer just on sustainable and ethical leadership, but on mentoring and promoting diverse talents as long-term business strategies. Once I was able to marry these causes that I was passionate about with the organization’s bottom line, I felt unstoppable."
Christopher Eugenio, Operations strategist and empowerment champion, Philippines
Photo: Bianca Arreola
Contact details

Questions regarding the application process:

Programme Manager:
Lucas Grind

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