Nordic Business Report is out – From the Editor

Nordic Business Report has been published. Click here if you want to read the entire magazine!

Give yourself a break!

You´re holding a slightly reformed version of the magazine you may have picked up when attending a Nordic Business Forum event.

Around the time when the 2018 version of the Nordic Business Forum was taking place in Helsinki, a new spin-off company, Nordic Business Report Oy, was established, which has now published this magazine.

We chose Taming the daily rush as the theme for this issue. Each one of us is caught in a crossfire of signals, stimuli and social media from the moment we wake up. Surrounding us is the transparency of everything – climate change, risk management, law changes and regulations, digitalization, AI, blockchain. Every so often I ask myself – it is really necessary to know everything? Is it truly beneficial to monitor and interact with every stream of information that is available to me? How can I interpret and filter this flood of messages, differentiating between the significant and the asinine? 

If you feel like social media and technical gadgets are dominating your daily life, neuroscientist Katri Saarikivi recommends you choose to do otherwise. You can – and must – decide how you spend your time each day. James Hewitt from Hintsa Performance also reminds us that we can’t always be on. His advice: “Optimize. Don’t maximize. Understand your unique cognitive rhythm and work in the way that suits it best.” I, for example, belong to those 20% referred to as “early birds,” meaning my cognitive peak is in the morning.

We also wanted to dive deep into AI, because it is clearly a subject that is on many people’s minds – even though some consider it to be reaching saturation point as a topic of discussion in many media. There are differing opinions on AI. Many believe it offers amazing future opportunities for individuals and companies, but many also quietly contemplate what it actually means. According to non-fiction author Linda Liukas, it is typical for us to carry a suitcase of unclear terminology that everyone explains to themselves in their own way – since they are not brave enough to admit that they don’t understand. Deep neural pathways in our brains tend to position unclear issues as frightening threats. What if you were to raise your hand and admit out loud that you don’t understand? 

MIT Research Scientist Andrew McAfee strongly believes we still underestimate AI. He states the following: “The progress we’ve seen gives us a glimpse of what might be possible if we just let the machines take the lead. I can’t avoid thinking, whether a pinch of AI could also be necessary at the highest peak of global politics?”

Is there time to think in business anymore? The continued pursuit of quarterly results in today’s uncertain global economic and political environment challenges each individual’s ability to cope and make smart decisions. Last autumn, Barack Obama stated in his speech that there is reason to be concerned. ”Young business leaders believe in the power of global business but worry that all their focus goes in to the quarterly returns, which means they´re not able to think about the impact of their work in the long-run”. And, as Alf Rehn states in his column: “To speed up your business, first slow down! A place to stop can be provided by an inspiring location, such as the slightly crazy Amos Rex Museum, an excellent book – or why not this magazine? So, sit back, relax and give yourself a break!”

Editor in Chief Mia Heiskanen

 

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