Episode 1.16: Bridges




A conversation with Joel Veborg and Rodolpho Zuniga of Save The Children and Sabina Tethorey from the City of Malmö. Forward Malmö is a movement that brings together a number of organizations with shared and overlapping mandates to multi-sector, multi-stakeholder change. How can we best convene to change the conditions that impact shared problems?

Together, Tim Merry and Tuesday Ryan-Hart are THE OUTSIDE—systems change and equity facilitators who bring the fresh air necessary to organize movements, organizations, and collaborators forward for progress, surfacing new mindsets for greater participation and shared impact.

1.16 —— SHOW NOTES

  • Tues: We’ve been working with these three on an initiative/movement called Forward Malmö for about a year now. It was initiated by Save the Children (develop a systemic view of how to change the conditions that impact children), but pretty quickly it became apparent that we needed a multi-stakeholder/sector response to what is happening to children.

  • Tim: The City of Malmö is dealing with a 30% child poverty rate. There are massive amounts of upheaval and uncertainty in Malmö. We are hoping to do something that impacts things nationally, pointing to the future of Sweden as a whole.

  • Rodolfo: Save the Children - Sweden will be a 100-year organization soon. We are taking a big step to become part of a solution (i.e. migration crisis in 2015). The big eureka for us was that we cannot do it alone. That’s when we contacted The Outside.

  • Joel: We found different people that understood us and wanted to figure things out with us. 

  • Sabina: Malmö is prepared for this because we’ve been working together with NGOs and other stakeholders for quite some time. Malmö has been a city of change for the last two decades. We are used to developing when in-crisis. This last decade was focused on social sustainability. For me, this initiative feels like home. This is the right way to work. 

  • Tim: What’s amazing to me is that people, in fundamentally different sectors, are having the same realization and somehow finding each other to do this work of transformation.

  • Joel: This is true as we’ve been searching for answers outside of our organization—lots of conversations over many years. The private sector is new to us.

  • Tues: There is some momentum that is attracting the private sector to Forward Malmö. 

  • Tim: The quality of relationship-building and care for each other creates fertile ground for our work to turn up and have a proper impact.

  • Rodolfo: The invitation to our workshop [and this work] was built upon the relationship and trust from invitees. We are designing a long conversation here where we will see a lot of outputs and outcomes. This is imprinted in the cultural DNA of Swedes. When there is a problem, we gather and try to build a solution. 

  • Sabina: What I learned from the NGO I started was believing in yourself. We had people with power telling us ‘that won’t work / you won’t succeed’.

  • Tim: We’ve decided to acknowledge that this is long-term work. It’s about connecting action so that we have a leadership cohort to carry us into the future. Just this change of narrative has attracted people to us.

  • Joel: Think this is brilliant! People need this fragmented space to see and think.

  • Rodolfo: We saw that there was a clear need for leadership and capacity-building.

  • Sabina: During the last year, others also identified leadership as a crucial thing to work with. The Malmö Commission final report also pointed to this. Need to work with it in so many layers. This could really have an impact on our future work.

  • Tim: People believe in the “how” even though they don’t know the destination. We are going to figure it out together and that’s what makes it trustworthy. It’s simple, but it’s powerful.

  • (Poem: Sabina shared a Swedish poem—we’ll upload the English version as soon as we have our hands on it.)

  • Song (Joel): “The Weight” (“The Last Waltz” LIVE version) by The Band


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Duration: 44:57
Produced by: Mark Coffin @ Sound Good Studios
Theme music: Gary Blakemore
Episode cover image: source