Blog: My CTF story – Patrik Larsson2021-11-23
Patrik Larsson, professor of Working Life Science and dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Karlstad University, was a researcher at CTF for many years. He was also the director of CTF during 2006 – 2012. Here, he shares some memories and reflections.
Looking back at how I first became a part of CTF, I would say it was a bit of a coincidence, at least the timing and circumstances. My goal was to become a HR director in a private company. I entered the labor market in the early 90's, in the middle of a severe recession, and my first job was in downsizing and reducing staff. It was incredibly far from the job I had prepared for at the university.
So, when I coincidently bumped into my former supervisor at an Easter parade in 1990, I decided to apply for a PhD student position. He connected me with CTF where I received a very positive response and good support in applying for funding for my PhD studies. In that process, I learned the ability of co-creating your own future, while located in Värmland, and being a part of the international research community. That is an important part of the CTF spirit which has been developed by many over the years.
I have spent a long period of my professional life at CTF, both as a PhD student and researcher, and many people have passed through as PhD students. PhD students are important in a research environment. It is also a time in life where you are shaped as a researcher and as an individual. We should also remember that the research world offers some challenges in form of high demands and competition. That is why it is so important how we organize research centers and build culture. It does not happen by itself. For me, the CTF culture stands for lots of fun and friendship in an environment with strong focus on rigorous research that makes an impact in society.
35 years have passed since CTF was first established as a research center. And looking back at these years, I think that one important factor for CTF's success is the ability to innovate, being sensitive to and picking up societal changes in collaboration with partners. CTF has taken important steps, from the 90's focus on service quality, through service development, and then to major research program focusing on service innovation. The ability to take steps into new research areas is crucial. It takes courage to challenge the established and explore the unknown.
And looking at CTF’s research portfolio today, I am confident that successful research will continue to flourish. Another important factor for success is that, along with these broad research areas, there have always been a number of smaller projects in progress. These have created a stable core of 30-40 projects, serving as testbeds for new ideas, contributing to the innovative and creative environment that makes CTF successful.
I am proud and impressed of CTF today. Congratulation to 35 prosperous years! I will do my very best to support CTF so that the research group can continue to develop and remain in the forefront on service research for many years to come.