Swede of the year 2017 is His Eminence Anders, Cardinal Arborelius, OCD, Bishop of Stockholm. The jury states:
»Nineteen years ago, the Swede of the year stepped into a role that no Swede had played since the 16th century. This year he became the first Swede ever to wear the red biretta. The Swede of the year has already made history, but he is also a person who, ever since his appointment in 1998, has been part of Swedish public debate. To represent the Catholic church in a country, whose identity is mainly secular and otherwise Lutheran, requires a fearless attitude. As bishop of the diocese of Stockholm the Swede of the year also plays an essential role in bringing native Swedes and immigrant Swedes together. The Swede of the year is Anders Arborelius, bishop and cardinal.«
The distinction »Swede of the year« has been awarded since 1984. In the first years of the award the main criteria for selecting Swede of the year was that the person in question had played a prominent part in news-reports that year. Rapport, Sweden’s leading public service news show, did the selection.
Since 2006 Sweden’s leading news magazine Fokus has been responsible for selecting »Swede of the year«. The choice is made by an independent jury and the criteria has been changed to reflect a willingness to find candidates that are interesting and challenging, not simply well-known. The jury is looking for someone who »during the year has distinguished her- och himself in a way that has changed Sweden for the better.« The most important thing is that the Swede of the year has »showed independence and originality in a country that, for better and for worse, is prone to the uniform and well-adjusted«.
Bengt Jangfeldt, docent, writer
Emma Frans, MD epidemiology, Karolinska Institute
Peter Esaiasson, professor political science, University of Gothenburg
Camilla Thulin, designer and entrepreneur
Maria Rankka, CEO Stockholm Chamber of Commerce
Anna Grönlund Krantz, Skandia
Maria Guggenberger, ATG.
Chairman Johan Hakelius, Political Editor-in-chief, Fokus
Fokus is Sweden’s leading news weekly. The magazine has received multiple awards since 2005, when it was first launched. Fokus has a readership of 71 000 and is currently growing fast on-line.