Press release 2020-10-19: ÖppnaDörren is taking the next step in creating a movement of ‘door openers’ who all contribute to a more open Sweden. Axfoundation’s innovative integration initiative becomes part of Axelerate, Axel Johnson Group’s newly started focus area to fast track efforts within the areas of diversity and inclusion. Since Axfoundation started ÖppnaDörren in 2015, over 59,000 new and established Swedes have met over dinner, coffee or with their children – and 24 percent have found a job or an internship as a result of the meeting. This shows that our approach to change works in practice: Meetings lead to networks and networks lead to jobs.
Since the start in 2015, over 59, 000 new and stablished Swedes have met through ÖppnaDörren. 24% have landed a jobb or an internship a result of their meeting with a door opener.
“ÖppnaDörren’s long-term goal remains,” says Eliza Kücükaslan, Head of Axelerate. “Together with partner organizations Yrkesdörren, Nya Kompisbyrån and Svenska med baby, we want to contribute to a more inclusive society with increased diversity within as well as outside the business sector. With ÖppnaDörren now becoming part of Axel Johnson, we can accelerate the work of facilitating meetings between established and new Swedes who need to broaden their networks.”
ÖppnaDörren today comprises three integration initiatives that all facilitate meetings in different ways. The common denominator for the organizations Yrkesdörren, Nya Kompisbyrån and Svenska med baby is that they all have a low threshold for participation: Participants contribute with an hour of their time – an hour that has proven to make a big difference to an individual’s ability to get established in Sweden. Yrkesdörren is the initiative that Axfoundation started and grew on its own, while the other two were existing initiatives that Axfoundation chose to support within the framework of ÖppnaDörren. For the past five years, Axfoundation has served as an incubator for all three initially small-scale organizations.
“We wanted to channel the public’s commitment to improved integration in the labor market and make it incredibly easy to contribute as a fellow human being,” says Amelie Silfverstolpe, initiator for ÖppnaDörren and Sustainable Innovation Lead at Axfoundation. “We developed and tested a new method that we have refined and scaled up, both on our own and by collaborating and strengthening organizations that share our theory of change. I look forward to how this movement of inclusion will be able to be further scaled up under new management within the Axel Johnson Group. It’s time to make ÖppnaDörren an even bigger movement!”
Parts of ÖppnaDörren have been co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) since 2017 with a planned end date set for 2022. The participant goal for the joint special project was reached in August this year and so the collaboration with ESF ends in connection with the new management of ÖppnaDörren. Financing from ESF, together with the support from Axfoundation, has played a central role in driving ÖppnaDörren and its partners – and its success.
“Everyone at Axfoundation are really proud of the innovative integration activities that we have built up together with the civil society, businesses and the involvement of private individuals,” says Amelie Silfverstolpe, Sustainable Innovation Lead at Axfoundation. “Handing over ÖppnaDörren has been our goal since the start, it is part of how Axfoundation works. Now is the time for us to take on new societal challenges. Because we create the best value when we identify a concrete sustainability problem together with others and develop practical solutions that are scalable. When the solution has proven to work, it is time to hand over to reach full exchange of the solution – as we are now doing with ÖppnaDörren.”
- ÖppnaDörren is a national initiative that creates a platform for contact between established and new Swedes. Through personal meetings, ÖppnaDörren contributes to a more open, trusting and inclusive society. The overall goal is integration into the labor market. At www.oppnadorren.se you can sign up for any of the initiatives: Yrkesdörren, Nya Kompisbyrån or Svenska med baby.
- The initiator of ÖppnaDörren is Axfoundation, an independent, non-profit business founded by Antonia Ax:son Johnson. Axfoundation works concretely and practically for a more sustainable society. Using business as a driving force for change and through broad collaborations, Axfoundation tackles practical sustainability challenges related to the things we buy, the food we eat, the resources we use and the people we meet. www.axfoundation.se
- Axelerate is a newly started focus area within operations at the Axel Johnson Group to accelerate the diversity and inclusion efforts. The work will be led by a central team with the ambition to develop tools and indicators together with Group companies to achieve the Group’s diversity goals and strengthen the companies’ competitiveness. It also aims to support the Group in becoming the market leader in inclusion in the Swedish business community and to contribute to a more inclusive society.
- Photo: ÖppnaDörren: Since the start in 2015, over 59, 000 new and stablished Swedes have met through ÖppnaDörren. 24% of the participants have landed a jobb or an internship a result of their meeting with a door opener. (Cred: Axfoundation/Linda Prieditis)
- Photo: Amelie Silfverstolpe (Cred: Axfoundation/Linda Prieditis)
- Photo: Eliza Kücükaslan (Cred: Axel Johnson)