Last week we had a retreat gathering the academic as well as the administrative leadership of Karolinska Institutet. This includes heads of department, their heads of administration, the KI wider management group including deans and pro deans and the heads of university administration offices. This was the first retreat of its kind. We usually have separate retreats but both the university director Per Bengtsson and myself thought it would be very useful to assemble everyone to discuss the many challenges that we confront as a university. Of course when you do something new, there is always an element of uncertainty but as we were leaving the retreat, Per and I agreed that the retreat had really had met our expectations. We felt there were many interesting presentations and also dynamic discussions. I hope those of you who participated feel the same way.

The Action plan

Among the presenters were Sven-Erik Dahlén and Björn Forslöw, giving a status update on the work with the Action plan that we have prepared in response to the external investigation presented by Sten Heckscher in September last year. They and the rest of the working group, have really made a very good job at structuring up the activities and making sure we have clear goals and responsibilities making sure the actions can be checked and evaluated. We ended in agreement that the activities are important and that they should be implemented above all through the general line organization of KI. The group has recently published information at a part of our website where you can continuously find information about the progress of their work. Communication is really a key to success in this and many activities that we do. In the last year we have, by necessity, been very focused on external communication and this was a correct priority given the circumstances but now we need to refocus. I have personally been very frustrated with the difficulties I experience reaching out into our whole organization. Camilla Magnusson, acting director of communications, organized group discussions where many good ideas surfaced that you hopefully will soon experience as improved internal communication. One area where we need to improve our internal communication is how Karolinska Institutet is acting, and should act, in relation to the transformation of the health care landscape. This is an issue that occupies the university management and where we need to communicate into our organization and get input from the whole organization.

Health care sector challenges

To set a platform for further discussions on how Karolinska Institutet should act in relation to the health care system, we had invited Göran Stiernstedt to talk on the topic “Changes in the Health Care Landscape”. I cannot think of anyone more suitable to present and explain the past, present and future needs and development of the Swedish health care system. Stiernstedt has long experience from the health care sector in different executive capacities and also as a government investigator. He is also a member of our board, the importance of which cannot be understated in these times of dramatic change in the Stockholm health care landscape. He was followed by a presentation by Malin Frenning, the County Council Director in Stockholm who for instance said that while the Stockholm County Council has already taken the first step into the future health care landscape, one must always be observant and be ready for adjustments when necessary. She also encouraged us at KI to engage in discussions and provide with visions and ideas.

Other topics that were brought up at the retreat were the gender integration plan, which we soon need to submit to the Government; feed-back to departments on reporting that the board for higher education has requested; research documentation and the employee survey, which is planned for the autumn.

I left the retreat with a lot of energy for the hectic months that remain before the summer holidays.

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