Society Expo 2026

A catalyst for
sustainable growth

Skellefteå and northern Sweden have become the epicentre of an impressive societal transformation, driven by the largest industrial establishments in Europe in the 21st century. After decades of population stagnation, Skellefteå has experienced extraordinary growth in six years that few European cities have seen before. This momentum is expected to increase in spring 2026 when it will proudly host Society Expo 2026, providing a global platform for innovative solutions in societal transformation.

An arena for the exchange of ideas
Skellefteå will grow a lot in a short time. And we want a sustainable development. This is the basis of our development strategy, Skellefteå 2030. It is about education, jobs, healthcare, leisure opportunities, openness, and much more. By sustainability, we mean climate, economic and social sustainability. The development strategy is the starting point for Society Expo 2026.

Creating an attractive society
Society Expo 2026 places particular emphasis on social sustainability, and the issue raised is creating a robust and attractive society where people not only want to work but also live and develop.
- Whether you represent a company, civil society or a public actor, we believe that you need to look at yourself and your activities from a position of power. It's about seeing that you have an important role in creating a place that not only offers interesting jobs, but is also a good place to live," continues Helena Renström.

The leadership behind the transformation
Kristina Sundin Jonsson, Director of Skellefteå Municipality, is open about the challenges posed by rapid growth. Sundin Jonsson emphasizes the importance of being a pioneer in societal transformation. Although the consequences of decisions cannot always be predicted, the municipality's openness and transparency shows a willingness to share both successes and failures.

“The ambitions of the Society Expo initiative are high.
By exploring sustainable solutions for societies in transformation, the goal is to find knowledge and tools that make an impact both in Sweden and globally."

Positive views about the expansion
In a citizen dialogue from 2021, carried out on behalf of Skellefteå municipality, it appears that a majority, 81% of Skellefteå's residents, see the increasing population as positive for the municipality as a whole. This positive attitude also reflects how the residents believe that the development will affect them personally, where 58% look forward to a positive effect.

A decade of change
Skellefteå, which is now approaching ten years of intense change, has learned valuable lessons with it by opening up to collaboration, with "humbleness" as the lead word. The city stands as a credible example of how a common desire to learn from others and innovative leadership can lead to success. - We are convinced that it was that approach that then led to success, for us. The humble leadership will therefore also characterize our continued development, says Kristina Sundin Jonsson.

High ambitions
The ambitions for the investment in Society Expo are high. By exploring sustainable solutions for societies in transition, the goal is to find knowledge and tools that make an impact both in Sweden and globally.
- To address key issues for societal development, we expect the involvement of politicians at regional, national and European level," concludes Helena Renström.


Senast uppdaterad:
16 May 2024