Swedish Tourist Association, The Swedish Number

We celebrated 250 years of free speech in Sweden by connecting strangers to random Swedes by telephone.

Sweden is known for being an open country where people can speak their mind. And in the year 1766 Sweden was the first country in the world to abolish censorship. So during the anniversary, 250 years later, when The Swedish Tourist Association wanted to make more people visit Sweden, they decided to give the outside world the UNCENSORED truth. As the first country in the world, Sweden got its own phone number. When calling it from abroad you were connected to a random Swede, somewhere in Sweden. And in the name of free speech, you could talk about anything.

The Swedish Number gave the control of the country's image to the people of Sweden themselves. Nothing was censored or pre-arranged; what ever opinions people had they all mattered. The Swedish Number was open for anyone to call just by using a normal telephone, but only from abroad. Swedes registered as "telephone ambassadors" simply by downloading the app. Over 1 million calls came in from all over the world and the Swedish people answering represented all parts of society - geographically, socioeconomically, by age and opinion. In a digital world where people hide behind keyboards, The Swedish Number created wonderful person-to-person conversations with Sweden and Swedish values in focus, making the world feel just a little bit smaller.