"There is a high degree of tolerance and people genuinely care for each other"

Describe your role at the company, and briefly your background / experience of living and working in other countries.

– I am currently CEO of Atlas Antibodies AB, a leading supplier of protein research reagents, based in Stockholm. Previously I held various leadership positions in R&D and Product Management at GE Healthcare Life Sciences in Uppsala, and have also worked in the applied research and academic sector. I have lived in Sweden for over 20 years; I am originally Australian and moved to Sweden after completing my PhD. I also had a postdoc year in Zurich, Switzerland.

What expectations did you have before moving to Sweden?

– Well, growing up in Australia my image of Sweden was snowy winters, the midnight sun, Abba, great tennis players, “the Swedish economic model” and iconic brands like Ikea and Volvo….

How did it turn out?

– It all turned out to be true, even though I soon discovered that there was a lot more to it…the summers are mild with long evenings, people are very friendly and open, the countryside is varied and beautiful, and the cities vibrant and fun. For this and other reasons, a two-year postdoc eventually turned into settling permanently. I now have three wonderful Swedish children, you can’t do better than that!

What is the best thing about living in Sweden?

– It’s an open society where people can speak freely, knowledge is respected, there is a high degree of tolerance and people genuinely care for each other.

Would you recommend others to move here?

– Yes I would, if the above qualities are of value to you.

What do you think of Sweden in regard to equality and other social aspects?

– Sweden ranks very highly in this regard, and what’s more the “buy-in” is very broad across the whole society. It’s a great advantage for everyone here.

In your opinion, which is the most beautiful place in Sweden?

–  There’s many…Gotland, the Northern High Coast, the Archipelago, but for me it’s hard to beat some of the views of Stockholm….

Which is the best Swedish tradition?

– It has to be “fika”, the almost ritual coffee-break culture where you can relax for a while with friends or colleagues. It’s important in making social bonds –  and in the work environment, an informal means of team-building…I just wish I had more time to join in!

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John Daicic, PhD

Chief Executive Officer, Atlas Antibodies AB