Category Archives: Things to do in Stockholm

Special Events at the ISTR Conference: Book signing, professional development seminars, and canal tours!

Amidst the flurry of taking care of your conference registration, booking your flight and hotel, and of course writing your conference paper, you may not have noticed the page we have on the ISTR website announcing several special events at this year’s conference in Amsterdam.  Be sure to take a look as some require advance registration to attend.

Free Canal Tours for Conference Participants!

We are pleased to announce that the External Affairs Office of the City of Amsterdam is offering free canal tour tickets for all ISTR Conference attendees.  Tickets can be picked up at the registration desk and will be valid July 10-July 14. 

Story Collider Storytelling Workshop

Tuesday July 10, 2018, 9am-12pm, 50 spots available by registration only.  Sign up by completing this short registration form.

The best available science tells us that for most audiences, stories are more interesting, understandable, convincing, and memorable than evidence‐focused communications. However, scientists are unfamiliar with this literature and often resist or distrust storytelling approaches. This storytelling workshop explores how to develop and tell personal stories about science with intellectual honesty and ethical consideration. Lecture and discussion will share research on storytelling and narrative persuasion and highlight the value of personal stories in science. Participants will learn how to find, develop, and perform their own deeply human stories of science.   This workshop will be facilitated by Story Collider.

Professional Development Seminars: Supporting ISTR’s Emerging Scholars

Designed to support recent PhD graduates and those in the early stages of their careers, but of course open to all, ISTR is pleased to offer 5 professional development seminars at the conference:

  • Academic job interviews
  • The Non-Academic Job Market
  • Navigating Job-market and Career Strategies
  • Post-doc opportunities
  • Teaching AND Learning: Perspectives on Engaged Scholarship in the Third Sector
Meet the Author – Book Signing

Authors of books published in the last two years are invited to sign and sell their books at the conference during our “Meet the Author” session. There is no charge to participate!  Bring a display copy of your book and order forms for delegates to fill out, or contact your publisher and ask them to send books for sale.  Please complete the short form here to participate.


Get the ISTR Conference App!


The ISTR Conference is mobile with an event app for your smart phone or tablet!

Download the app at: on an iPhone, iPad or Android device (not a desktop or laptop). You will be taken to the correct app store. The url is case sensitive.

• Find sessions by theme, speakers and day
• Access addresses and maps at your fingertips
• Find restaurants in Stockholm
• Follow the event on twitter at #ISTR2016
• Plan your own schedule
• Catch notifications during the conference
• Enjoy!




5 Swedish words to know

Time to start practicing your Swedish language skills before you get to Stockholm!


This is how Swedes greet each other, children and grown-ups. You say it when you enter a shop, when you order in a restaurant, when you see your friends.

Hej då!

Good bye!


A short word that means “please” and “thank you” at the same time. Other variants: “tack tack“, “tack så mycket“, “tusen tack.” Swedes are known to be extremely polite and to use this word abundantly.


Going for a fika is a very Swedish thing. Though difficult to translate it basically means to meet up for a coffee and a piece of cake or pastry.


The Swedish “Cheers!” to roar when you toast.

Why Stockholm? Welcome from your Swedish hosts.

In a series of blog posts, researchers from and friends of Ersta Sköndal University College will introduce conference participants to ISTR 2016 in Stockholm. This first post is by Ola Segnestam Larsson, researcher and member of the ISTR board.



Are you ready for Sweden and ISTR 2016? As a board member of ISTR and an expatriated Swede, living in Costa Rica, I am of course exceptionally excited about the ISTR conference in Stockholm, this coming June. As we speak, I am shopping around for the best airline ticket, working on my papers (at least in theory…), and planning my stay in Sweden.

What are your plans for the ISTR conference? Are you planning to see more of Stockholm than just the inside of a number of classrooms?

In a series of blog posts, colleagues of mine and friends of ISTR will do our best to prepare conference participants for ISTR 2016 in Stockholm by writing about the PhD Network seminar, the two receptions, and related matters. (Do you have suggestions for useful information? Do not hesitate to comment on this blog or send an email to

 In this post, I will try to restrict my enthusiasm somewhat and focus mainly on a few words about what you can expect of Stockholm and Ersta Sköndal University College.

Why Stockholm?

The organization behind Visit Stockholm argues that it is one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Be that as it may, we – the “Stockholmers” – usually tell our guest that Stockholm is built on a set of islands, located on the verge of the archipelago with its more than 30.000 islands, and that it offers plenty of opportunity for sight-seeing, shopping, and outdoor activities.

Skating in Stockholm

For those with an interest in all things civil society, Stockholm also has a lot to offer.  As showed by research, a large welfare state notwithstanding, Sweden has a vibrant civil society with more than 200 000 associations (one per every 50 Swedes), an estimation of 3,5 memberships per capita, and every other Swede volunteering on a regular basis. While in town, take the opportunity to visit a Swedish “folkrörelse” (popular movement) or volunteer as a “soccer parent” with the rest of us.

Everything is not shiny, however. Although Stockholm is generally considered a safe city, similarly to the rest of Europe, Stockholm and Sweden is currently struggling with issues related to migration, solicitation for money and food in the streets, and the refugee crisis in the Middle East. What should the role of civil society be in relation to these issues? How can the conference, civil society researchers, and practitioners contribute to the on-going discussion about possible solutions?

Why Stockholm as a venue for the ISTR conference?

Given the size of the Swedish civil society and generous research funding (at least historically), over time Sweden and Stockholm have witnessed the establishment of a set of research centres focusing on civil society related issues, including centres at Stockholm School of Economics, Södertörn University, and Stockholm University. Over and above the conference itself, Stockholm provides ample opportunities for networking and developing new and exciting research ideas. (Who knows, they might even be fundable?)

One of these research centres is located at the ISTR 2016 conference venue – Ersta Sköndal University College. We pride ourselves with the best location in the city, with a 360-degree view from the top of our campus of Stockholm, including the Old City, the royal castle, and the inner city ski slope. Although the university and its city campus are quite small, even by Swedish standards, it hosts one of the largest civil society research groups in Europe and CivLib – an information centre for Swedish, European, and international civil society researchers.

See more of Sweden

For those who simply cannot get enough of civil society issues and want to see more of Sweden, I would strongly recommend visiting the island of Gotland. In addition to the possibility of “seeing the world in one day” as the slogan goes, every year the island is the meeting spot for national politicians, civil society practitioners, policy-professionals, business representatives, and lobbyists. “Almedalen” – as the democratic experience is called – conveniently takes place the week directly after the ISTR conference (3 – 10 of July).

With that, its time for me to wish you all the best in your preparations for ISTR 2016, and hope to see you in Stockholm and in Almedalen,

Ola Segnestam Larsson

Board member, ISTR

Researcher, Ersta Sköndal University College, Stockholm University, and Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza


What are your plans for the ISTR conference? How will you make sure that some of those Swedish meatballs come your way? Comment on this blog or send an email to

Stockholm Pass

This just crossed our screen and we wanted to share:

The city of Stockholm has just issued a new pass for Stockholm tourist attractions.

Here are the details:  Pay one price, see many sights. The new Stockholm Pass offers fast-track admission to more than 60 popular attractions in the Swedish capital. Prices for adults for the one-day pass start at around $69; those who buy it are getting a discount on normal admission prices and don’t have to prebook or wait in line for tickets at any of the featured attractions. Included are admission into the Royal Palace — one of Europe’s largest palaces; a boat trip from the city center into the Djurgarden Canal; and admission into the Nobel Museum, which is full of history about the Nobel Prize. There are also two-, three- and five-day pass options available. The pass can be purchased through the company’s site.

It looks like you can order in advance and have it shipped to you, or you can pick it up when you get there.  Either way, it sounds like a pretty good deal if you think you will have time to see some of the sights while you are in town.

According to one friend, the Vasa Museum is not to be missed.  The warship Vasa sank in 1628 on its maiden voyage from Stockholm – only 1300 meters into its trip because it was so heavily laden with heavy canons. They managed to restore the wreck that was salvaged from beneath the water 333 years later.  Apparently this is a story of mismanagement and palace intrigue that is really worth hearing.











ISTR on Ice

As you may know, the ISTR Secretariat is based in Baltimore, which is near Washington, DC, and our region was impacted by a snowstorm of historic proportions last Friday and Saturday.  Nearly a meter of snow fell, completely paralyzing the region.  Needless to say, it might be a while before ISTR resumes normal operations.  So, we ask for your patience if we are slower than usual to respond while we dig out.

In the meantime, you might be interested to read this story that appeared in the New York Times on Jan 18 about the waterfront district of Hammarby Sjostad, on the southern edge of Stockholm, which has been transformed from landfills, factories, and office buildings into a popular eco-friendly place to live.  There are some nice references to the role of the nonprofit sector in this story.

On the Stockholm Waterfront, ‘Renewing a New City’