Being Relevant and Inspiring a More Conscious World

In This Podcast
Show Notes
Jan Broman
E 89

In This Podcast

  • The importance of creating a space for meeting and talking
  • The value of talking
  • Why Fotografiska isn’t just relevant in Sweden, but around the world
  • How to be more conscious
  • How photography can raise awareness of global issues
  • The benefits of getting older   
  • If you run a company you have to be able to fight and change
  • Why the world needs more empathy right now

Jan Broman, along with his brother, is the founder of Fotografiska, one of Scandinavia’s most important and powerful artistic magnets. Since they opened almost ten years ago in Stockholm, they’ve had some 200 exhibits, hosting some of the biggest names in Photography – from Annie Leibovitz to Gus Van Sant to Martin Parr.

Show Notes

Being More Conscious with Jan Broman

In this podcast, Vesna meets with Jan Broman, co-founder of Fotografiska – a dedicated hub of human interaction, a creative space that nurtures thoughts and discussion and encourages the exchanging of ideas. Fotografiska is housed in the former Stockholm Customs House, built in 1906, but now routinely exhibiting internationally renowned photography exhibits, with the aim of inspiring a more conscious world. 

Meeting and talking are a couple of the very principles that Fotografiska seeks to encourage from those who visit. Because it’s only through talking, engaging and being inspired that people become a little more conscious. Not just of themselves, but of the world around them. 

Photography is the perfect medium through which interaction, not just with each other but with the world around us, can take place. And Fotografiska aims to maximise on this interaction, with the renowned artists whose work they exhibit, and through the award winning restaurant that they have on site too. 

By encouraging visitors to look at the world through the lense of a camera, by encouraging open and honest conversation, Fotografiska wants to raise awareness around and ask questions about worlds that exists alongside our own world.  

Jan says, “For me photography is such a fantastic medium because it gives us the possibility to work with documentary photography which can raise awareness and questions around the third world, from our world.”

How to be more conscious

One of the ways in which Jan thinks we can be more conscious is by talking and discussing everything from small local matters through to big global issues. 

He is about to put together an exhibition on resistant bacteria, which might seem like a curious choice of subject given the global issues that humanity is facing right now. But Jan believes it’s important, “Bacteria is one way to get people to be more inspired and conscious, because we have to be more conscious to not die, to avoid resistant bacteria in the future.”  

Being a relevant company

Companies and organisations should be instruments for the creation of something even better than we have today.

Fotografiska have been working hard inside the company to create a platform for shared values and visions, in fact they’ve written a guide on the subject and it has been well received by both their staff and their dedicated partners, because it provides clarity and direction.

To remain relevant means to have a leadership who are prepared to fight, everyday, to bring about change. 

“To run a company everyday is a fight, to continue to change. And I think that’s the biggest thing as an entrepreneur or a leader of a company, to always be able to continue to change.”

The power of ‘why’ 

The vision for Fotografiska is a simple one – to inspire a more conscious world. One way of doing that is to never stop asking the question ‘why’. It’s so easy to forget to question what you’re doing everyday when you’re so caught up in it, and you need to remember who it is for. 

Jan says, “Always be on top of all conversations inside your company, every day, to make sure that it’s relevant for the people who it’s for.” 

More empathy required

Fotografiska works with collaborators both within Sweden and outside of the country, to drive their vision forward and encourage more conversations, and create a more conscious world. By working with both local organisations at home and big international NGOs overseas, Jan hopes to be able to change more of the world than they have been able to change in the past.

He says we have to remember that no one is an island any more, everyone is a part of society. And what the world needs most at this time is more empathy, because it’s what is missing most from modern society. People are choosing to live in little tribes, rather than as a collective. But it’s so easy to exclude others when you’re a tribe, and to lose your empathy for other people and their opinions. 

If the talk resonates with you, we’d recommend you listen to this episode too: Simon Sinek