Some of the best ideas and decisions happen
at the fika break.
We started as a team of two Swedes, two Germans, and a French. Building on some methods we had tried at Stockholm School of Economics and with the help of U.Lab and Presencing Institute, we developed the Fika project.
Today, the Fika Project is organized as a not-for-profit organization.
In Swedish, fika means to take a break together. To drink a cup of coffee or tea. To talk respectfully and listen to each other. In some organizations, fika is a way to exchange ideas between hierarchical levels and different departments.
For us fika is an informal variant of the older metaphor “breaking bread”, to have a meal together. To “break bread” is to affirm trust, confidence, and comfort with an individual or group of people.
Reflections on the Swedish concept of fika
IKEA describes fika as:
“More than a coffee break, Fika is a time to share, connect and relax with colleagues. Some of the best ideas and decisions happen at Fika.”
Two American consultants define fika as:
”Fika is the communal use of food and liquid refreshment as merely the stated excuse for meeting: the real value is that it allows for informal cross functional conversations that might not normally happen.”
Fika is a way to exchange ideas between hierarchical levels and different departments.
Emma is Associate Professor and Director of the Research Center for Arts, Business & Culture at Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) in Sweden.
Her research concerns aesthetic and sustainable business, the intersection between arts and business, and the humanistic side of management. She has been also been guest professor at University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm.
Emma has worked with transforming business education through adding inner and outer sustainability to the curricula. She runs a master course in collaboration with Transparency International on human rights and anti-corruption in global business.
Emma is also a regular columnist in the Swedish daily business newspaper.
Pierre is a facilitator, fond of systemic and empathic thinking and problem solver. For several years, he organized trainings for public sector and international organizations on topics such as impact orientation, key performance indicators and collective leadership.
Having lived through a set of change processes, mainly when managing a team-pilot, Pierre got sparked by the experience of how invaluable a resilient and fun social fabric can be. His journey to become a faciliator started with Art of Hosting and System’s Thinking, as well as Theory U and Social Presencing Theatre.
Jennifer is a systemic organizational consultant and facilitator with a focus on (social) impact-oriented strategy and management process development. She is passionate about making the world a more equitable and sustainable place. Supporting people and organisations striving for this goal has been the core of her professional life.
What is important to her: Being curious, exploring and learning. Finding the right balance between structure and creativity. Challenging
conventional thinking and looking at things from different angles.
Connecting people and organisations allowing them to come up collectively with creative solutions that no person or organisation
could come up with or implement alone
Mats is a communications specialist, former journalist and media entrepreneur.
During the past ten years Mats has been handling strategy and communications in numerous of transformation projects in government organizations and large companies.
Previously Mats was a reporter and editor for different newspapers and TV-news organizations.
Alongside his job Mats was a supervisor at a municipal housing for young unaccompanied refugees during the recent wave of immigration to Sweden
Cyril is a facilitator and consultant in management of change. He designs and lead conferences and workshops on culture change, innovation, and transversal leadership.
Cyril has worked for the computer company HP. There he managed transversal programs for the EMEA region.
In 2013, he got through an extreme life changing experience (being seized by Boko Haram together with his family in Nigeria). He learned how powerful a diverse team can be to cope with adversity and uncertainty.
Cyril decided to transform this experience into helping CEO:s turn the fear of change into new opportunities for growth.
He is convinced that companies with this ability also have an important role in bridging divides in the society.