2021 — The Prolonged Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic in Sweden


The result in Sweden so far

  • 10 times as many COVID-19 deaths as Finland (or 5.5 times as many, if measured relative to population).
  • More COVID-19 deaths in Sweden alone than the rest of the Nordic countries combined (relative to population).
  • Tens of thousands of people in Sweden affected by Long COVID.
  • Sweden becoming a net exporter of the COVID-19 virus to its Nordic neighbours, mostly to Finland.
  • Sweden having the lowest share of people vaccinated against COVID-19 in the Nordics.
Cumulative confirmed COVID-19 deaths per million people in the Nordics in 2020–⁠⁠21, relative to population. Source: https://ourworldindata.org/covid-deaths

Leadership and responsibility

Consensus culture vs. learning culture


My 2021

Personal highlights of 2021 (partial list)

  • Read 80+ books, mostly about agile, team dynamics and development, organizational psychology, leadership, change management, facilitation, coaching, product management, mountaineering, but also some novels and countless articles online in multiple languages.
  • Turned 50.
  • Acquired the Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO I) certification at Scrum.org.
  • Created a series of Instagram posts about the six European countries and places I’ve lived during my life, sharing some stories and reflections about them.
  • Walked 2200+ km (according to Google Fit).
  • Experienced the magic of Finnish Lapland in August 2021, and saw my sisters and elderly parents in Finland twice during the year.
  • Continued working remotely as consulting Scrum Master with my awesome team that we started up in 2019. This year we started a transition from component team to feature team in a new SAFe Release Train, in a new business domain. We’ve made good progress and look forward to delivering even more value in 2022! I’m very happy for this chance to work with this team: they’re experienced, committed and funny people. And as if further proof is needed, we’ve shown to the organisation that working 100% remotely works really well.
  • Participated in interviewing candidates for developer roles.
  • Discussed various topics of agile leadership in recorded internal podcasts with my super friendly and wise colleagues at my consultant home, One Agency.
  • Inspiration: Winter K2 in January 2021the final eight-thousander to be summited in the winter. It’s an absolutely amazing example of what a team can achieve together when it has a shared, elevating goal! Watch a team of Nepalese climbers, led by Nirmal Purja and Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, reach the top of K2 (8611m).

My goals for 2022

  • Bag my fourth 4000-meter peak in the Alps
  • Walk 3000+ km :)
  • Read 60–80 booksincluding more novels than in 2021
  • Learn more on my journey as Scrum Master, Agile Coach and Change Agent
  • Focus on leadership, communication, and remote international teams
  • Support my local restaurants more in Malmö area
  • Find new ways of reducing my environmental impact, in addition to my earlier efforts: I don’t eat meat, and I don’t have a car for example
  • Continue being useful for others.



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Aki Kärkkäinen

Aki Kärkkäinen

Scrum Master, Agile practitioner and former UI Developer with 20+ years of international working experience in six European countries. Occasional Music Freak.