Societal Entrepreneurship

Societal Entrepreneurship

Positioning, Penetrating, Promoting

Edited by Karin Berglund, Bengt Johannisson and Birgitta Schwartz

Stating the importance of both the local and the broader societal context, the book reports close-up studies from a variety of social ventures. Generic themes include positioning societal entrepreneurship against other images of collective entrepreneurship, critically penetrating its assumptions and practices and proposing ways of promoting societal entrepreneurship more widely.

Chapter 4: Narrating Astrid Lindgren’s World as societal entrepreneurship

Bengt Johannisson and Elisabeth Sundin

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, development studies, social entrepreneurship, politics and public policy, social entrepreneurship


In one of Astrid Lindgren’s books, The Brothers Lionheart, the two brothers have a serious conversation before Jonathan embarks on a dangerous mission (Lindgren 1973, pp. 60–61): I thought about the saga of Tengil, I began to think that it was certainly the cruellest of all sagas. I asked Jonathan why he had to undertake something so dangerous, he could easily sit at home by the fire at the Knights Farm and be happy. But then Jonathan said it was something he must do, even if it was dangerous. ‘Why?’ I wondered. ‘Otherwise you’re not a human being but just a piece of dirt.’ said Jonathan. He told me what he was going to do. He was going to try to rescue Orvar from the Katla Cavern.Astrid Lindgren’s World (ALW) in Vimmerby in southern Sweden is the country’s foremost attraction outside the metropolitan areas, with about half a million visitors every year. Vimmerby is the small town and municipality where Astrid Lindgren, the world-famous author of children’s books, was born. Different enactments of entrepreneurship, like commercial, cultural and community entrepreneurship, have over the years jointly produced the societal entrepreneurship that the continuously emerging ALW represents. Our ambition is to demonstrate that this emergence of ALW is anchored in all three sectors.

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