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Pontus Börresen

Vice President & Managing Director Sweden


| Pontus Börresen


Helping integration through software development

Language barriers are always a hindrance when it comes to making new connections between people – whether in society in general, or in a digital setting.

In southern Sweden, an initiative called Talent Without Borders, an allegiance of companies in or around the digital scene, has joined forces to make digital integration a key to integration with the rest of society as well.

Southern Sweden, with the city of Malmö as its natural centre, has a long history of seeing an influx of migration from abroad. In recent years – in no small part due to the Syrian refugee crisis and the tightening border control in most European countries – the levels has risen to a point where the normal function of integration and assimilation have been brought to its knees.

A group of companies and organisations with a local stake – including Alite International, Jayway, Cybercom, Sony and Softhouse – decided to make a joint effort to make a contribution to facilitating the process. Talent Without Borders is a result of that response. This non-profit association was created out of the realisation that a large number of talented people chose to consider Sweden home. Some found a career, some found a partner, and many recently found a refuge for them and their loved ones. Yet many talents are currently facing unnecessary hindrances in achieving their aspirations.

A first, successful step was to establish Hackademy, a program where newly arrived talent were introduced to the art and culture of software development in Sweden – through an intensive eight-week internship coached by some of the best practitioners in the region – at the end of which most participants received immediate offers to join leading software firms.

Together, these practitioners, employers and academia, have proven it possible to identify and pursue creative ways to remedy a close-to unsustainable situation. One would hope that this is only the beginning, and that more members of the corporate sphere saw this opportunity to both give a helping hand to others, as well att acquiring new talent for their own good. That, if anything, is a winning combination.


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