Erik Slottner - Minister for Public Administration & Digitization

May 21, 2024

Erik Slottner, Minister for Public Administration and Digitization, was recently appointed “Most Powerful within Digitization in Sweden” by Dagens Samhälle. In this Voices & Choices interview, he shares his vision for making Sweden take advantage of AI, as well as his most important productivity tool and career tips for a younger self!

1. Any tips on how to use AI in daily life or work? What is your company policy around it?

As a minister, I want to support and encourage the use of AI in workplaces and especially in the public sector. Among other things, we have established an AI commission, a digitization council, and have implemented legislation with more on the way. My hope is that everyone dares to be brave and experiment. New technology is always both frightening and exciting, but embracing the power of AI is absolutely necessary, and I encourage organizations to explore how their work can be facilitated by technological advancements. To provide concrete assistance, a website has been designed where various supports and tools are gathered along with the different initiatives. The website aims to answer certain questions regarding law, ethics, and information security.

2. What's your most important work tool, making you productive?

My ability to maintain self-distance, which is to say, something that does not involve aids or digitization. But if we return to the original question, it is definitely the mobile phone. It is crucial for my daily work because you travel a lot as a minister. Without it, the workday would be considerably more complicated.

3. When was the last time you recycled an electronic device? What happened?

I do not have a prominent track record of recycling my devices but I always hand in old mobile phones to my workplace. It has been about 1.5 years since I last recycled, or at least ensured that my electronic equipment was handed in for recycling when I switched assignments and workplaces.

4. What career tips would you give your younger self?

Setbacks have their value, successes have theirs. It's important to learn from both. Sometimes there is an image that everyone is incredibly skilled and competent, which can create doubt about one's own ability. It's good to have some pressure, but don't forget that there is a life outside politics. If something happens in politics, I have a safety net that is outside of that world, and I think that is very important.

5. What are you working on to get Swedes more productive?

My focus as a minister is primarily to create opportunities for others. The pace of innovation needs to increase in public Sweden. The government, state agencies, regions, and municipalities all need to maintain a high pace and make conscious, strategic choices. Here, AI is definitely an important tool. A prioritized area is to facilitate data and data sharing in an efficient and secure way. My main focus as a minister is that of an enabler.

Have you read?  Voices & Choices #13: Interview with Julian Lee - Founder of Airmee

"Voices and Choices" is a weekly interview series where we dig into how top talents, founders and leaders work and what makes them productive.