Liveblogging the 2019 Nordic Innovation Conference, Seattle (8)–“Panel: Cities of the Future–smart, livable, both or neither?””

Pamela Tiller, Moderator, Nordic City Solutions, Hilde Tonne, Ramboll Group; Inger Gustafsson, Head of Silicon Valley office (at Nordic Innovation House), Vinnova (swedish government agency for innovation); Kristoffer Vik Hansen CEO Spare; Shcristian J. Kofod, Sustainability Manager, ROCKWOOL, Oyvind Birkenes, CEO Airthings

  1. Kofod: cities, 90% time spent indoors; 70% cities dealing with climate change; 15% of people live in energy poverty, including 40 million Americans; 82% Americans live in cities
  2. Birkenes: people spend more time indoors, so indoor air quality important to people; indoor air quality typically worse than outdoor
  3. Comment: much space in cities today is dedicated to transport–roads, parking lots; with better, efficient transport, more space is opened for people
  4. Tonne: for cities, need holistic planning, not just one sector (transport, health, for example); must ask people what they need. People want livable cities for themselves and their families. Competition between cities will be based on attractiveness of livability
  5. Privacy, Christian J. Kofod, moving from Nordic to USA regions, amount of noise, especially in hotels; need to develop privacy when we are in public areas
  6. Comment from Airthings panelist, some cities afraid to monitor school air quality, because they know it’s bad.
  7. Inger Gustafsson, Difference between Nordics and American approaches; in Nordics, role of government is for the citizens, not to cover something that private sector can’t or won’t. Also, Nordic public sector has money, from taxation; have money to fund projects, provide incentives for sectors to come together; business case is for cooperation, for opportunities, and for knowledge, to cooperate and bring sectors together. Can bring cities closer together.
  8. Kofod: outsiders need to see USA not just as one market, but many differences
  9. Hansen, business case for livable cities desire by people will come; example Arpanet designers didn’t think of Snapchat application, in the same way, these smart platforms may provide opportunities we don’t even conceive of yet
  10. USA contribution to Nordic culture? Birkenes, need USA innovativeness, “craziness,” willingness to take risks
  11. Tonne: value USA communities’ “community spirit” that can do things in new ways, like crowd-funding, crowd-sourcing

Liveblogging the 2019 Nordic Innovation Conference (14): “Panel: Nordic Ways–what can we learn? What should we not?”

moderator, Robert Strand; panelists, Ketil Solvik-Olsen, Former Minister of Communications; Alf Karlsson, Former Minister of Housing and Digital; Gro Eirin Dyrnes, Nordic Innovation House; Tuula Rytilä, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft

  1. Nordic advantages from several panelists: natural advantages, natural resources; shared social status; people aren’t afraid to lose in taking risks, because of social welfare system; sustainable development experience (want to be a role model in sustainable development)
  2. Nordic social responsibility–how your actions affect others; low social hierarchy structures; negative consequences for your actions for other people (Ketil Solvik-Olsen)
  3. Strand: lessons learned: need to build democratic structures; also need Nordic ; also Nordics have data
  4. What have we learned today? (moderator)
  5. Karlsson: one word: data, we have. Drawback: we are hampered by individuals not wanting to work across boundaries
  6. Solvik-Olsen: need systems that benefit all people, not just profit for single company
  7. Dyrnes: concerned with complacency in Nordic society; maybe can live a better life than these superlatives accorded Nordics; Nordics need to redefine “unicorn” company (not billion dollar company), what is it besides economic success, what about social and environmental success
  8. Rytila: Best idea today: “data for good”; “the only thing that matters is what happens next”; “Data and AI for good for society; so that the Nordic way can be everybody’s way.”

Liveblogging the 2019 Nordic Innovation Conference (13): “Robert Strand: Sustainable Vikings–Nordic ways of life and work”

Robert Strand, University of California, Berkeley, Executive Director

Did PhD at Copenhagen; obsessed with Nordics now; his argument: The world faces urgent sustainability challenges, and the Nordics can give examples of solutions

Sustainable development goals of UN (“World’s greatest development assessment) launched in 2015 till 2030; idea comes from Nordics; Gro Harlem Brundtland defined it: Sustainable Development

SDG INDEX (Jeffrey Sachs) shows Nordics at the top; USA #35

other than Milton Friedman and Michael Porter, classic American approaches to business as profit-driven, or competition driven, compare cooperative approach of Eric Rhenman book Industrial Democracy and Industrial Management (Swede)

Works at Berkeley with Henry Chesbrough, Open Innovation

SustainableVikings–working title of book on this; upcoming study that encapsulates these ideas; may have it done by next year’s conference

New Executive MBA immersion focuses on the Nordics

Liveblogging the 2019 Nordic Innovation Conference (12): “AI for Good–Can we make it happen”

Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, Co Founder, the AI Sustainability Center in Stockholm, also worked at Ericsson, as Chief Sustainability Officer; Alf Karlsson, former Deputy Minister, Housing and Digital in Sweden; Vahé Torossian, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Western Europe, Microsoft (INSEAD, MBA University of Chicago Booth School of Business)

  1. Grunewald, risk of AI? She worked 20 years at Ericsson, “technology for good” platform; not a tagline. What about bias of technology, or bias of technology creator; machine or data bias; misuse or overuse of data; wrong use, as in face recognition. Risks: privacy issues and others, all compromise trust
  2. Karlsson: you must prioritize what you are going to deal with, of all the issues
  3. Policy makers’ role? Karlsson, need for regulation, yet politicians may not be the ones to make technology decisions (policy ones, maybe); AI is HERE, however; it’s up to you to chose as a leader. Need to get more education; says Finland wants 1% people to be educated about AI. In Sweden, still have people never been online. More education is key, especially for politicians. Raise awareness, for leaders and people.
  4. Grunewald: example, AI-algorithms influencing hiring decisions; red-lining mortgage loans, all AI-driven; risk of companies creating “integrity paradox” when you sign long-winded “agreements” just to get into an application, when you don’t know the ramifications; “Data is the new gold”
  5. Question: Business case for trust? Torossian: “Trust is everything.” Facial recognition, we may want to push for more regulation. Just like taking an airplane, you wouldn’t ride a plane half as safe for half the price.



Liveblogging the 2019 Nordic Innovation Conference (11): “Future of Money–will banking become global?”

Rex Hughes (moderator) Co-Founder, Create33 FINx

Tom Alberg -Founder, Madrona Venture Group; Casper von Koskull, CEO Nordea

  1. FinTech; can Seattle be a fintech center?
  2. Koskull, moved from Stockholm to Finland to be in Euro union; Stockholm not on Euro; Fintech hubs in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo; per capita, most unicorns (counting in Estonia) in Fintech; “talent is a key; there’s a war for talent”
  3. Alberg, a few years ago, Seattle not on fintech top100 list; really then represented traditional banking centers
  4. Yet Seattle, while #2 leading tech center after Silicon Valley, yet a leader in cloud computing and lots of payment networks, e.g. Starbucks
  5. Alberg: 120 companies with software engineering units in Seattle; JPMorgan Chase starting a fintech security center
  6. Alberg grew up in Ballard, high school here (where Nordic Museum is located); venture capitalist background his Swedish grandfather, who came through Ellis Island, became entrepreneur; oriented to risk; died in 1930s and family lost holdings in Great Depression
  7. Day 1″ and “Customer Obsessed” two tech key concepts
  8.  Koskull: technology change is hard, yet cultural transformation is more difficult; starts with leadership
  9. Alberg: Innovation; Customer Focus; Long-term thinking, all needed to become leading company. Traditional companies don’t have good records for surviving disruptive change (ex: Kodak, Barnes & Noble, IBM); banks face this challenge. Who will be able to become leaders in fintech? Not just global banks.
  10. Audience Q: how will AI affect Nordea Bank? Koskull: key for regulation, for example, money-laundering regulation duties, only possible with AI; customer side, facts and data will help us relate better to customer needs, example: fact-based decision on robot-saving aid application–people used it most who’d never saved before, unlike the bank’s previous “gut feeling”
  11. Alberg: AI can customize things better, personalization, with AI; will provide read access to information and data

Liveblogging the 2019 Nordic Innovation Conference (10): “Keynote: Are Banks Becoming Software Companies?”

Casper von Koskull, President and Group CEO Nordea Bank (bank pronounced “Nór-day-a” largest bank in the region, a Nordic bank formed from mergers of a number of regional banks; now 19 years in present incarnation)

  1. Change is theme; megatrends: globalization, urbanization, changing demographics, especially aging of population, climate change, technology
  2. Urbanization, reaching populations, key challenge; rural areas may be more risky, if not sustainable regions
  3. Key drivers in technology: mobility; “everything is being designed around the smart phone” it is our “local branch”; AI, Cloud, changing technologies
  4. Changing competitive landscape, globally, Chinese in particular
  5. Changing customer expectations
  6. How will banking look like, in coming years, 5 or 10 years out; what kind of bank do you want to run; fundamentally, we do not know
  7. So what do we do? Applies in most industries: 7.1 we need to be more resilient (gives you staying power; technology plays a big role) + 7.2 increase agility = Strategic Optionality (so we don’t need to know future; we have staying power and agility)
  8. Technology also helps you become more agile
  9. “We need to rebuild our engine room” (many bank systems worldwide are decades old)
  10. We also have to change the way we address our customers
  11. Thirty percent of our advisory meetings are on Skype; most of our mortgage services are after hours (so can interact with whole family
  12. Five elements: 1. Be easy to deal with; 2. Anywhere, anytime; 3. Relevant and competent; 4. Digital, but also Personal; 5. Safe and trusted
  13. Shows slide of “Our Strategic Vision”; 3 unique things in a bank: people, culture; data; + balance sheet (Nordea, 600B Euros; plays a role in being trusted)
  14. What six things to be good at: 1. Customer experienece 2. Analytics 3. IT management; 4. Partnerships (future of banking); 5. Risk Management (traditional bank competency); 6. People Management (if people are key, people management is key to key)
  15. “Our digital transforming is about improving the customer experience”
  16. In Sweden, account-to-account payment via mobile now used more than credit cards, and more use than cash, which use is declining; 98% Swedes have mobile ID for services, for example government services
  17. “We care for something bigger: We take responsibility for the climate; We want to do what is right; We impact societies.”
  18. 130 largest banks have balance sheet of 21 trillion Euros; how to leverage this resource
  19. Nordea has green bonds; green loans
  20. “Acting sustainably not only right thing to do, but smart thing to do”

Liveblogging the 2019 Nordic Innovation Conference, Seattle (9)–“Panel: Lightning talks: Nordics on a mission–educate the world!”

Tuula Rytilä Corporate VP, Microsoft (came from Finland with Nokia acquisition 5 years ago; studied 6 languages), moderator and Milla Kokko, Co-Founder & CEO, HEI Schools

Panel: Mervi Pänkäläinen, Founder & CEO, Mightifier; Ulla Koivula, Founder & CEO, Thinglink; Sari Hurme-Mehtälä, Co-Founder & CEO, Kide Scienc; Torstein Berteig, Senior Vice President, Skooler; Jussi Kajal, Cou-Founder & COO, 3D Bear

  1. Milla Kokko, HEI Schools (Hei = “Hello” in Finnish) Curriculum, Teacher Training, HEI Learning Environment (design, Nordic esthetics); HEI Learning Materials; Hei Operative Support 1.1 Minimize noise and stress in background 1.2 1.3 Hei Schools “about us” link
  2. Mervi Pänkäläinen, Mightifier: meaningful relationships, social-emotional learning atmosphere in the schools are key. Spending time & money on SEL nationwide $640 million; 4.3 hours/week, 30% of these are teacher training, professional development 2.1 Teach SEL 21st century skills: compassion, persistence, for example
  3. Ulla Koivula, Thinglink: from Eastern Finland originally; “School as a service;” a principal <Mikke> Ripatti wanted “virtual school” to reinforce material schools; in School as a Service, schools would be hybrid, in cloud and material, PIT (Physical Instructional Time), VIT (Virtual Instructional TIme)–wants this for all levels of education, not just professional MBA schools, for example; want a connection package for every student, for life;
  4. Sari Hurme-Mehtälä (Kide Science), science learning better when skills-based, in playful way; STEAM education; founder Dr. Jenni Vartianen, University of Helsinki, see article “Jenni Var­ti­ainen: Play-based science education raises chil­dren to be act­ive and crit­ical.”
  5. Torstein Berteig, Senior Vice President, Skooler: “Embedding LMS tools directly into education workflows” partnering with Microsoft to use their office tools
  6. Jussi Kajala, 3D Bear:
  7. Commentator: Washington State Senator Marko Liias, represents Edmonds, Lynwood, Mukilteo district. Legislature, responding to courts, addressing improving schools. Increasing teacher salaries, reducing class sizes, especially in earliest grades. Don’t have to teach to tests now, just passed. We can learn from Nordic models and make local models.

Liveblogging the 2019 Nordic Innovation Conference, Seattle (7)–“Keynote: “Livable Cities–the key to world leadership in human happiness””

Hilde Tonne, Chief Innovation Officer, Ramboll Group, Keynote: “Livable Cities–the key to world leadership in human happiness”

  1. “Human Needs Meeting Technologies = Happiness”
  2. in 2050, 6 billion people will live in cities, two-thirds of world’s population; movement of people into middle classes, especially in Asia and Indian; 60% of land for new urban areas, not yet planned (thus a chance to make people happy, in livable cities, worldwide)
  3. Ramboll Group has Innovation Accelerator unit; example work, “hyperlocal scale, air quality”–“where I live” (representative Julia); example, Singapore high rise building; example, Copenhagen partnering with Movia, “transportation as a service”; example, healthcare in Hamburg, robotic logistics, takes 10-20% of workload from healthcare professionals; example Tampere Finland, autonomous transport; example Copenhagen waste-to-energy plant, built with ski slope on roof (combining happiness with energy efficiency).
  4. “Livability is enabled by technology,” not the main goal technology itself

Liveblogging the 2019 Nordic Innovation Conference, Seattle (6)–“Panel: Livable Oceans–the Role of Technology”

Amy Scarton, Moderator, Washington Department of Transportation Assistant Secretary; Per Reinhall, Professor University of Washington; Lasse Karlsen, Director of Technology, Norwegian Maritime Authority; Joshua Berger, Director of Maritime, Washington State; Olivier Cadet, President Kongsberg Maritime

  1. Lasse Karlsen, on autonomous ships, and new ship technologies; want by 2050 reduce fossil fuels by 90%; Norway a testbed. Autonomous ships save energy consumption.
  2. Berger, Washington State Governor’s Maritime Sector Lead; liaison role. Want to accelerate a “blue economy.” Using Norway and Nordics as a model. OECD says ocean economy by 2030 could double. Strategy Planning (released in January 2019): Work for Thriving, Low Carbon Industry; Global Innovation Hub; Growing Gateways; 21st Century Workforce; World-Class Cluster. (See Washington State Department of Commerce); Triple Helix, Private Sector, Government, Research organizations, plus workforce participation
  3. AI displaces tasks, not jobs (Olivier Cadet, President North American Region, Kongsberg Maritime)
  4. Berger: regulation sets ecosystem to help support new technology, and gives targets; Cadet says Norway has such an ecosystem
  5. Comment: in Norway, operator of the technology is responsible for its impact; another comment, yes: going into elevator today is safe, even without a person operating elevator (autonomous vehicle) because of previous regulation and licensing; Berger: regulators and industry working together makes it easier to assume risk
  6. Comment: as with aircraft, probable that autonomous systems backed up with people

Liveblogging the 2019 Nordic Innovation Conference, Seattle (5)–“Keynote: Electrification of Transport the Nordic Way”

Ketil Solvik-Olsen, former Minister of Transport and Communications for Norway, a “trailing spouse for wife, a medical doctor in USA now”

  1. Norway: Population 5.3 million; lowest population density in Eruope, after Iceland; 80 percent live in urban areas; 49 aiports with scheduled flights; 4200 km railways; 29000 km coastline, 32 ports connected to the national transport grid
  2. Transportation is main source of C02 emissions 31%; population growth means increased traffic; Oslo region population in 2014 1.2 million; by 2030, 1.5 million; 2060 1.8 million
  3. Transport: attractiveness and vehicles. Now Norway is Number 1 on electric cars; CO2 emissions beginning to decline from this factor. Will meet Paris Agreement because of these factors. Comment on electric buses: riders like them because they can talk easier on bus, much quieter
  4. Norway will have 60-70 ferries with battery-hybrid energy packs by 2021; experimenting with hydrogen-powered ferry
  5. Government is promoter or stimulator of market; helps develop a market
  6. Working to electrify construction industry equipment; excavators, for example, don’t move very far when onsite; easy to recharge
  7. Electric planes; photo of Ketil Solvik-Olsen with CEO of electric plane company–you need leadership to demonstrate confidence in new technology