Gothenburg – over 350 years of co-operation


Gothenburg’s story began when King Gustav Adolf got things up and running in 1621. A culture of co-operation was prevalent even then. The Dutch came here with the skills to build and left their legacy on the city’s architecture. Scottish settlers had a big hand in shipping and educational developments in the early days. The city’s trade links with Asia then flourished with the formation of the East India Company in 1731.


While Gothenburg became the main point of departure for emigrants saying ‘hej då’ to their homeland in the late 19th century, shipbuilding and engineering forged the city’s future in the following years. The harbour became the city’s beating heart, its window to the world. Other world famous brands such as SKF and Volvo started here and continue to be major employers to this day.



Something interesting and significant sprung up here during the 1970’s. The end of heavy industry’s halcyon days spawned a minor revolution of sorts. The rise of underground creative scenes, particularly around the bohemian Haga district, brought counterculture and a collective political awareness. A community spirit developed among disparate creators. Punk and Swedish progg were at various times the movement’s soundtrack.


21st century Gothenburg sits at the front of Europe’s digital class. As the fortunes of larger employers declined, new creative industries began to point the way ahead for the city. Pioneers in film, fashion, design, music and digital technology moved in and gave the city a modern cultural identity. Their work continues to encourage other would-be entrepreneurs to settle down here and create their own future.