Liveblogging the 2018 Nordic Innovation Conference, Seattle (4)–“Coming to America, 21st Century Migration”

Second morning panel: “Coming to America–Venture-Backed Migration in the 21st Century”

Moderator: Katrine Joensen, (Consul General Denmark); Tor-Ove Henriksen, (Skooler); Aren Tonning, (Alliance Venture); Thomas Ryd, (CEO; Petra Hilleberg, (CEO, Hilleberg the Tentmaker);

Mathias Björkholm (Picket); 100 million photos uploaded to Internet five years ago; now 5 billion

Panelists speak of cultural differences. Sales and marketing may be somewhat difficult for Nordic cultural background people. One panelist says his children, in USA schools, are learning to present themselves and present in front of people.

One panelist says in Nordic companies, flatter structure, more consensus approaches.

A panelist says in Sweden “we’re not working FOR someone, we’re working TOGETHER with someone.” A different approach from many USA worker mentalities.

A panelist wants his company not to use titles, make business a purpose-driven mission. Wants completely autonomous, decentralized approach in the workplace.

A panelist says their different offices in USA and Nordic is that the USA office is more direct, maybe faster in getting things done because of it.

To migrate in, you need lots of help. You need to make friends.

[Nota Bene: this last comment by a panelist is a good observation, with good advice. Coming to another country as an expatriate is challenging; it’s hard work, and stressful. Even going to the grocery store in a country that’s foreign to you can be stressful. So making local friends is a good survival skill, and changes the equation for you as a visitor. It makes a better in-country experience for you, and you may find friendships that last–through time, and across space. JEG]


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