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The 2020 SDCN International Talent of the Year Award ceremony

The 2020 SDCN International Talent of the Year Award ceremony

 

Peng Wu was the recipient of the 2020 SDCN International Talent of the Year Award. The award was conferred on him at an online ceremony presided over by Maria Fogelström Kylberg (CEO, Stockholm Academic Forum), while Hans Aspgren (Acting CEO, Stockholm Business Region) made the keynote speech.

Peng’s story of taking the decision to settle down in Stockholm seven years ago, was more happenstance than an actual plan. He was visiting his partner who had shifted to Stockholm, and was convinced by her to stay, when he was slightly tipsy over dinner – at least that’s the story that he likes to tell! But Peng’s story is also one of resilience, adaptability, and a willingness to embrace an unfamiliar place.

In order to get an idea of the lay of the land in the field of urban design and planning, Peng armed himself with several courses that he took at Södertörn University and Stockholm University, and then went on to do a master’s at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Simultaneously working on his Swedish, he also took courses to learn the language at Folkuniversitetet and ABF. Not missing out on any opportunity to network and be open to new experiences, Peng turned up at SDCN immediately after Spotify joined as an affiliate company. He was an enthusiastic member of the SDCN Management Team and helmed the team as the President for a brief while. His contributions during his time on the team were manifold – he introduced the ‘nerd gathering’, organized guided tours around Stockholm, and hosted virtual movie screenings. Peng’s interpersonal skills, ability to lead, perseverance and flexibility, and all-round positive energy – not only endeared him to everyone at SDCN, but a few internships in, eventually led to his present role as the Program Director, Research at Stellar Capacity.

Peng was nominated for the award along with five other nominees:

Laura Brembilla, from Italy, is a polyglot and a multiculturalist in the truest sense of the terms. Presently a Junior Key Account Manager at Acolad, Laura facilitates connections between people of different cultures and backgrounds. Laura turned up at SDCN in September 2019, only a day after she shifted to Stockholm and already spoke impeccable Swedish. She became one of the most active members of the network, joined the Management Team and immediately impressed everyone with her pro-activeness, persistent drive and indefatigable enthusiasm.

Namrata Nanda, from India, was associated with the SDCN Management Team for a rather short while. But her active participation and characteristic warmth made an impression on everyone in that brief time. A communication and finance professional with several years of experience, Namrata embraced her new life in Stockholm, and became a regular face at SDCN events. Her go-getter attitude, affable personality and tenacious efforts quickly paid dividend, as she found employment as Product Marketing Manager at Ouriginal where she currently works.

Samantha Goos, from the Netherlands, thrives in exploring new opportunities and fostering new connections. She became an active member of SDCN almost immediately after shifting to Stockholm in November 2019. She joined the SDCN Management Team, and eventually helmed the team as the President. An amalgam of ideas and energy, Samantha leveraged her formidable background in copywriting and online marketing, along with her years of international experience, to find employment as Dutch Marketing Specialist at Qred.

Olivia Downey, from USA, is a data analyst and CRM/database specialist working in the higher education sector. Having made Stockholm her home since June 2018, Olivia immersed herself in SDCN’s activities, and frequented the Swedish classes and career events. Armed with her characteristic geniality and positivity, along with an expansive professional background, Olivia was relentless in her single-minded pursuit of opportunities in Stockholm. She presently works as Systems Analyst and International Officer at KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

Anirban Dey, from India, has been a dedicated member of the SDCN Management Team since 2019. A marvelous wordsmith with a sense of adventure, humor and curiosity, Anirban has contributed greatly to the written content of SDCN with his refined writing skills. Besides holding a Post-Graduate Diploma in the Teaching of English, he has served as a professional writer of love letters! Currently working as a Communicator at Stockholm Academic Forum, he is also enrolled in the Intensive Swedish for educators’ course and fervently picking up Swedish at an amazing pace.

This year, the ceremony also saw the introduction of two new categories – The Honorary SDCN Membership and the SDCN Global Membership.

The Honorary SDCN Membership for 2020 – which recognizes individuals who have inspired SDCN along the way, for their salient and sustained contributions to the network, and for being commendable ambassadors to SDCN – was conferred on the following:

Per Bengtsson, former University Director at Karolinska Institutet, identified a collective gap in Swedish universities’ approach to talent retention since too many highly qualified scholars left the country prematurely. This led to his urgent support of the cause of both international talents and their partners having an equal access to opportunities in Sweden, for them to make a sustained contribution. This was the fundamental premise which served as the inspiration behind the beginning of SDCN’s journey and shaped the ethos of the network.

Frithjof Stöppler has been a steadfast pillar of support to SDCN right from its genesis in 2015, not to mention his tenure as the President of the SDCN Management Team for three and a half solid years. A complete people’s person through and through, Frithjof touched numerous lives during his stewardship of SDCN and continues to be an important part of the network.

Jenny Harler is a heady concoction of humanist, CEO, PR veteran, communication expert, and among many other things, germinated the very idea of the SDCN International Talent of the Year Award. She has been a consistent friend to SDCN for several years and has enriched the network with various inputs.

Laure Marcellesi was one of the founding members of SDCN and was instrumental in the development of the network. Leveraging her stellar academic background and people-centric organizational acumen, Laure facilitated volunteer engagement, put together events and helped members in various capacities, during her time with SDCN. The weekly career support session is also one of her enduring contributions to SDCN.

The SDCN Global Membership for 2020 – which is an honorary membership conferred on distinguished former members of the network, who have departed from Stockholm to reside elsewhere, but in the course of their association with SDCN made significant and sustained contributions to the network – was conferred on Johanna Laurent, Ann Wong and Ananya Sadhu.

On behalf of SDCN, we extend our hearty congratulations to the nominees and the recipients of the awards!

Last updated 2020/12/15

 

Peng Wu was the recipient of the 2020 SDCN International Talent of the Year Award. The award was conferred on him at an online ceremony presided over by Maria Fogelström Kylberg (CEO, Stockholm Academic Forum), while Hans Aspgren (Acting CEO, Stockholm Business Region) made the keynote speech.

Peng’s story of taking the decision to settle down in Stockholm seven years ago, was more happenstance than an actual plan. He was visiting his partner who had shifted to Stockholm, and was convinced by her to stay, when he was slightly tipsy over dinner – at least that’s the story that he likes to tell! But Peng’s story is also one of resilience, adaptability, and a willingness to embrace an unfamiliar place.

In order to get an idea of the lay of the land in the field of urban design and planning, Peng armed himself with several courses that he took at Södertörn University and Stockholm University, and then went on to do a master’s at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Simultaneously working on his Swedish, he also took courses to learn the language at Folkuniversitetet and ABF. Not missing out on any opportunity to network and be open to new experiences, Peng turned up at SDCN immediately after Spotify joined as an affiliate company. He was an enthusiastic member of the SDCN Management Team and helmed the team as the President for a brief while. His contributions during his time on the team were manifold – he introduced the ‘nerd gathering’, organized guided tours around Stockholm, and hosted virtual movie screenings. Peng’s interpersonal skills, ability to lead, perseverance and flexibility, and all-round positive energy – not only endeared him to everyone at SDCN, but a few internships in, eventually led to his present role as the Program Director, Research at Stellar Capacity.

Peng was nominated for the award along with five other nominees:

Laura Brembilla, from Italy, is a polyglot and a multiculturalist in the truest sense of the terms. Presently a Junior Key Account Manager at Acolad, Laura facilitates connections between people of different cultures and backgrounds. Laura turned up at SDCN in September 2019, only a day after she shifted to Stockholm and already spoke impeccable Swedish. She became one of the most active members of the network, joined the Management Team and immediately impressed everyone with her pro-activeness, persistent drive and indefatigable enthusiasm.

Namrata Nanda, from India, was associated with the SDCN Management Team for a rather short while. But her active participation and characteristic warmth made an impression on everyone in that brief time. A communication and finance professional with several years of experience, Namrata embraced her new life in Stockholm, and became a regular face at SDCN events. Her go-getter attitude, affable personality and tenacious efforts quickly paid dividend, as she found employment as Product Marketing Manager at Ouriginal where she currently works.

Samantha Goos, from the Netherlands, thrives in exploring new opportunities and fostering new connections. She became an active member of SDCN almost immediately after shifting to Stockholm in November 2019. She joined the SDCN Management Team, and eventually helmed the team as the President. An amalgam of ideas and energy, Samantha leveraged her formidable background in copywriting and online marketing, along with her years of international experience, to find employment as Dutch Marketing Specialist at Qred.

Olivia Downey, from USA, is a data analyst and CRM/database specialist working in the higher education sector. Having made Stockholm her home since June 2018, Olivia immersed herself in SDCN’s activities, and frequented the Swedish classes and career events. Armed with her characteristic geniality and positivity, along with an expansive professional background, Olivia was relentless in her single-minded pursuit of opportunities in Stockholm. She presently works as Systems Analyst and International Officer at KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

Anirban Dey, from India, has been a dedicated member of the SDCN Management Team since 2019. A marvelous wordsmith with a sense of adventure, humor and curiosity, Anirban has contributed greatly to the written content of SDCN with his refined writing skills. Besides holding a Post-Graduate Diploma in the Teaching of English, he has served as a professional writer of love letters! Currently working as a Communicator at Stockholm Academic Forum, he is also enrolled in the Intensive Swedish for educators’ course and fervently picking up Swedish at an amazing pace.

This year, the ceremony also saw the introduction of two new categories – The Honorary SDCN Membership and the SDCN Global Membership.

The Honorary SDCN Membership for 2020 – which recognizes individuals who have inspired SDCN along the way, for their salient and sustained contributions to the network, and for being commendable ambassadors to SDCN – was conferred on the following:

Per Bengtsson, former University Director at Karolinska Institutet, identified a collective gap in Swedish universities’ approach to talent retention since too many highly qualified scholars left the country prematurely. This led to his urgent support of the cause of both international talents and their partners having an equal access to opportunities in Sweden, for them to make a sustained contribution. This was the fundamental premise which served as the inspiration behind the beginning of SDCN’s journey and shaped the ethos of the network.

Frithjof Stöppler has been a steadfast pillar of support to SDCN right from its genesis in 2015, not to mention his tenure as the President of the SDCN Management Team for three and a half solid years. A complete people’s person through and through, Frithjof touched numerous lives during his stewardship of SDCN and continues to be an important part of the network.

Jenny Harler is a heady concoction of humanist, CEO, PR veteran, communication expert, and among many other things, germinated the very idea of the SDCN International Talent of the Year Award. She has been a consistent friend to SDCN for several years and has enriched the network with various inputs.

Laure Marcellesi was one of the founding members of SDCN and was instrumental in the development of the network. Leveraging her stellar academic background and people-centric organizational acumen, Laure facilitated volunteer engagement, put together events and helped members in various capacities, during her time with SDCN. The weekly career support session is also one of her enduring contributions to SDCN.

The SDCN Global Membership for 2020 – which is an honorary membership conferred on distinguished former members of the network, who have departed from Stockholm to reside elsewhere, but in the course of their association with SDCN made significant and sustained contributions to the network – was conferred on Johanna Laurent, Ann Wong and Ananya Sadhu.

On behalf of SDCN, we extend our hearty congratulations to the nominees and the recipients of the awards!

Last updated 2020/12/15

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