The big news hit yesterday…IKEA is coming to Denver (well, actually Centennial)…FINALLY!  I can smell the Swedish meatballs and lignonberry sauce already.  As you can tell, I am huge IKEA fan – have been since 1990 when I lived in Crystal City, VA for a couple years working for the U.S. Agency for International Development and had my first experience with the IKEA at Potomac Mills.  Having lived in Finland as an AFS exchange student for a year and then 10 years later for another year as Fulbright Scholar at the University of Helsinki…IKEA (although a Swedish company) it is as close as I can get to the Finnish experience here in the U.S. most of the time.

Several years ago at the Business for Social Responsibility annual conference, I ended up sitting with the head of community relations for IKEA for a meal – by accident.  Thought I’d died and gone to heaven as I am such a loyal fan – kept trying to figure out how to offer my services for product instead of my usual fees…  Anyway, at that time they were in discussion about developing a partnership with Save the Children, a group I was also working with to develop systems to evaluate the impact of their domestic youth programs so we had a very interesting discussion. 

Later, in 2006, I learned that one of IKEA’s key partners was UNICEF and I wrote a post about that partnership as I thought it was very fun that they had an endless loop video detailing the partnership for customers playing on the TV in one of their living room displays in the Bloomington, MN store. 

Check it out!