Next week, this year’s edition of the Sustainability Arena kicks off. One of the 120 registered participants is Max Bergander, who works as a sustainability manager at AIK Football. He describes the Sustainability Arena as an important forum for discussion and knowledge exchange.

“We all have different opportunities and operate in different areas, but the core is the same, how we support people and build society.”

The sustainability arena is an initiative of Swedish Professional Football Leagues where the Swedish Football Association (SvFF) and the Womens Elite Football (EFD) also will participate as guests. The consistent theme of the days, in which representatives from business life and the public sector also participate, is the importance of football in local society. As the values manager at AIK Football, Max Bergander works daily with the issues that are in focus at the Sustainability Arena.

“We work to ensure that we have a safe and inclusive environment where people are allowed to be who they are. And make sure that these values are taken into account in the work we do in society. We are and must be a positive social actor, and then we must contribute with these values, which unfortunately are not always a matter of course today”.

AIK Football has previously participated in the Sustainability Arena and highlights the importance of actors from different parts of society coming together to exchange knowledge and experiences.

220201 Max Bergander, Värdegrundsanvarig för för AIK flickor 17 under en fotografering den 1 februari 2022 i Stockholm. Foto: Pär Bäckström / BILDBYRÅN / COP 225 / PB0018

“We compete on the field, but in society we work together. It is important to build relationships with each other. We are one of the biggest clubs, not only in Sweden, and operate in areas that are particularly vulnerable, which means that we have a lot to share, both what we have done well and less well”, says Bergander.

The discussion topics chosen at the Sustainability Arena concern, among other things, football’s role in society and how it can be used to create a more inclusive society together with business and the public sector. Bergander believes that the days also contribute to creating an understanding among partners for all the important work that the clubs do in society.

“Football and sports can influence a society in a way that no one else can. We are a huge people’s movement, which gives us a great opportunity to contribute to a positive change in society. Together with our partners, we can make a real difference, for all people.”

The 2023 Sustainability Arena will take place on November 27–28 at the Clarion Hotel Post in Gothenburg.