In October Walshok was not only invited to Stockholm to receive a gold medal from Crown Prince Daniel, but also to London’s Buckingham Palace at the invitation of Prince Andrew . Prince Andrew is patron of the Northern Ireland Science Park, where Walshok is a member. After her first two stops in Europe Walshok continued on to Muscat, Oman, where Walshok interacted with the Sultan of Oman as a member of his technology and innovation advisory board. Talk about royal treatment!
Walshok is the co-founder of CONNECT San Diego, and as a result she was invited to spend six weeks in Sweden in the early 1990’s. She visited incubators and programs dedicated to support technology based companies. A couple of years later, a delegation from IVA planned a trip to California primarily to visit the Silicon Valley. However, because of the report Walshok had written about Sweden when she was visiting the country, the delegation decided to add two more days on their trip to come down to San Diego.
Here in San Diego, Walshok and her team introduced the delegation to UCSD, the existing programs, and especially for the very successful CONNECT. The night before the delegation was headed back to Sweden, Christian Zetterberg the CEO of Volvo and the head of the delegation, talked about the similarities between Sweden and San Diego. The delegation discovered that the city and model most appropriate to Sweden, is the city and model of San Diego. In comparison to Silicon Valley, San Diego was a late bloomer when it came to its innovation economy, but it was still a very effective one. The same was true about Sweden, in comparison to Germany in Europe.
The delegation discovered that the city and model most appropriate to Sweden, is the city and model of San Diego.
At the same time Walshok was a visiting professor at the Stockholm School of Economics, teaching in entrepreneurship and innovation.
As for now, with two medals from Sweden and the royal international treatment, Walshok has also recently published the book Oxford Handbook of Local Competitiveness with fellow authors David Audretch and Albert Link. The book is a collection of case studies of local economies that are going thorough transformation and change.
Walshok has been, and still is, a big contributor to many regional economies around the world. Through research she tries to answer questions like: why is it that some regions are doing better than others, when it comes to their economy? When we talked to her, she asked, “Why is it that Sweden is doing better than any other European country, and why is it that California is doing better than any other American state? Why? What is this country and this region doing right? And where might the future lie when it comes to global innovation?”
“Why? What are we doing right? And where might the future lie when it comes to global innovation?”
The Swedish American Chamber of Commerce San Diego is very proud to have this successful and highly thought-of researcher in our Advisory Board and we wish her all the luck for her future work in the field of sociology, entrepreneurship and innovation!