Liveblogging the 2018 Nordic Innovation Conference, Seattle (2)–2nd Morning Keynote: “Business in the Nordics”

Second keynote: “Business in the Nordics Viewed from the US Perspective” by Vahe Torossian, Corporate Vice President, and President MSFT Western Europe

Work in 197 countries in the world. (He has traveled in 127 countries.) Working to infusing trust in the countries they are working in.

It’s not about what technology can do; it’s what technology should do.

Has quote from Satya Naddella, (“Hit Refresh” as source), focus on human gifts “to help move society forward.”

60% of children in schools today will have jobs in their future that don’t exist today.

Creativity has become one of the most important job skills (from 10th on list  in 2015 to 3rd on list today).

Microsoft has 120,000 employees now. They now have 2100 employees in 13 locations in Nordic areas. Have ten thousand partners in region, who employee themselves 180,000 in region. One Microsoft employee leads to creation of 19 partner employees, in the ecosystem. For every one dollar Microsoft earns, six dollars are earned by the ecosystem.

He shows pictures of his four General Manager colleagues in Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden. Says how you can talk about people without showing their faces?

Torossian focuses on education; says bilingualism helps people be more innovative and open to differences.

Mix of marketing/operation vs. R&D employees; now about 60-40%.

Network Readiness Index, correlation between societies and social well-being. Stockholm creating most unicorn companies, after Silicon Valley.

Equality, balance of resources, exemplary model for the rest of the world from Nordics. “Equality without inclusion” doesn’t matter.

Joint initiative between Microsoft and Baltic Development Forum, the Nordic think tank “Top of Digital Europe.” Published report: “2017 State of the Digital Region: Exloring Automation, Education and Learning in the Baltic Sea Region” (Wernberg and Andersson, authors)

Policy Priorities in Nordic area:

  • Promote cross-border
  • Educate and develop region’s best talents and expertise
  • Develop balanced business environment between regulation and innovation
  • Promote EU’s digital single market and advance transatlantic cooperation
  • Develop ICT-led cross-border public services
  • Attract global talent to the region

Innovation example, Maersk: leader in area, using cloud computing for operations and customer experience.

Example: power company, query: who is your competitor? Unusual answer: the consumer, who will be generating their own power.







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