Swede Linus Sandgren wins an Oscar
Linus Sandgren, 44, of Stockholm, took home Sweden’s 30th Oscar with his win for Best Achievement in Cinematography for La La Land on Feb. 26. Sandgren is also known for his work in such films as American Hustle, Promised Land, Joy and Hundred Foot Journey, and commercials by Volvo, Gatorade and Duracell. Damien Chazell, who made history at the 2017 Oscars for being the youngest director to ever win an Oscar, had a feeling Sandgren could capture the movement he wanted for La La Land when he saw the cinematography of American Hustle. “He knew he wanted the camera telling the story in a physical and interactive way,” Sandgren said. The camera was like a musical instrument itself, with the camera movement having a rhythm of its own. In his acceptance speech, Sandgren included a special thanks with love to his family in Swedish, "Jag älskar er, ni är mitt allt" (I love you all, you are my everything).

Spotify brings a thousand jobs to U.S.
Swedish company Spotify is bringing more than 1,000 jobs to New York. The mega digital music streaming service has signed a lease for 378,000 square feet on 10 floors of Four World Trade Center, doubling the size of its current New York office. "I hope Spotify’s expansion sends a clear signal to the tech community that New York is open for business,” said Spotify General Counsel Horacio Gutierrez. The private company is headquartered in Stockholm and will expand its Manhattan offices in time for occupancy in 2018. Its lease is the last in the now fully-leased office tower, which stands on the 16-acre World Trade Center site.


High-tech eco-friendly labels
Packaging — or the lack thereof — is important to many consumers in Sweden, whose organic food purchases amount to 20 percent of everything sold. Swedish and Dutch Laser technology is now being used for trial use in "natural branding." The process uses low-energy carbon dioxide lasers to remove the pigment from the outer skins of fruits and vegetables to leave a tattoo-like code. The mark does not penetrate the skin and doesn't affect the quality or taste of the product. Swedish grocery chain ICA hopes to cut down on sticker use and packaging, which drive up retail prices of produce with bumpy or fuzzy skin (because stickers don’t stick). "It's a new technique, and we are searching for a smarter way of branding our products (without) too much unnecessary plastic material or packaging material on our products," said Peter Hagg, ICA’s senior manager for fruits and vegetables.