In the beginning of this year, The Swedish American Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco/Silicon Valley was joined by five new board members. One thing they all have in common is an eagerness to stay connected to Sweden even though they live abroad.

Annika Steiber is a driven woman filled with energy and passion for what she does. She has a long, broad background in sales and marketing, innovation and entrepreneurship. Today she is working as a strategic advisor to a global company within the area of innovation management. She is also working with an American consulting firm specializing in innovation management and founded by a Harvard University professor. Additionally, she is preparing to defend her Ph.D in April at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden.
Steiber moved to the Bay Area when she was given a unique opportunity to conduct a research project focused on innovation at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. The aim was to investigate Google’s management model in order to understand more in detail how this model influenced the firm’s innovativeness. The findings are part of her thesis and are today a valuable resource on what drives continuous innovation—knowledge that many larger firms are searching for.
Steiber came to California in 2009 and had plans to stay for only a year. However, when new opportunities came up that neither she nor her husband, Rikard Steiber, could turn down, they decided to stay longer in the Bay Area.

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Three advantages in the Bay Area
Steiber feels there are three main advantages to living in the Bay Area: There are many exciting job opportunities; the density of knowledge is extreme and if you want to learn from some of the best, it is the place to be; and, she finds it very exciting to better understand the unique innovation systems that have been established in the region.
She also mentions that the warmer climate has a positive effect on the people living there, but she does miss Sweden and its culture. Steiber mentions cultural belonging as one important thing she longs for. Here SACC can make a difference for Swedes arriving to the Bay Area. By being a part of the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce you are part of a strong Swedish community and get to meet other Swedes who are in the same situation, that share many of the same core values and support you in your integration with the American society, Steiber continues.
When she joined SACC-SF/SV, Steiber saw the chamber as an uncut diamond, a resource that could grow and expand. She believes she can contribute with her creativity and experience as well as share her wide network to the chamber. She has a great passion for Sweden and wants to do something to strengthen Sweden as a nation and as a brand in the Bay Area.
When finishing up the interview we talked about the future and Steiber mentioned how excited she is about the upcoming year. Her Ph.D and future research articles, her work as an advisor to global companies, her work with specialists in the area of innovation management and on the board of the chamber, are all extremely exciting.

SACC San Francisco/Silicon Valley

By Louise Lindberg