Blog Nordic Business Forum 2023

8 Days Left to NBForum 2023 – Learnings from 2022

Only eight days are left until Nordic Business Forum 2023, where we will be learning and growing together with over 6,500 attendees. There’s a lot of new information and inspiration coming our way. However, we should not forget the things we have learned before. Therefore, we have gathered 8 learnings from Nordic Business Forum 2022 that still apply this year.

This year’s theme is Be:Change, which we explore through the subthemes of leadership, innovation, resilience, and AI. Here are some learnings from the previous year that apply to this year’s themes and will prepare us to grow our knowledge!


1. Rutger Bregman – The true nature of humanity

Is your leadership style based on whether you believe people to be fundamentally good or bad? According to Rutger Bregman, new sociological breakthroughs show that people are fundamentally good and not the savage beasts kept in check by a hierarchical, Hobbesian veneer of civilization. People react positively to humanity, decency, and connection.

Simply put—if you view other people through a positive lens and expect goodness, they are more likely to respond positively. This is an important thing to remember in your leadership style.

2. Erin Meyer – Leading amidst cultural differences

Erin Meyer’s work focuses on mapping the component parts of culture along 8 behavioral scales. She chose to focus her 2022 keynote on three aspects that most directly impact the greatest facilitator of culture—communication.

She discussed low and high-context cultures, direct and indirect negative feedback, and comfort with silence. As a leader, you need to be aware of these cultural differences and address them by giving people room to speak, nudging critical feedback towards indirect, and “learning to read the air around the words.”


3. Duncan Wardle – Break free of the currents of conformity

Duncan Wardle offered us a tool to break us away from our river of thinking to find new ideas and solutions. Simply list the rules of your industry without thinking about them too much. Then, break these rules by asking, “What if?”

No matter how atrocious the ideas might seem at first, breaking the rules of your industry will help you find new perspectives and ways to take your business forward. Add a naive expert into the mix, someone who isn’t afraid to ask questions, and your on your way to mastering innovation.

4. Amy Edmondson – Anyone’s voice can be mission-critical

While uncertain times often lead to businesses taking a cautious approach that prioritizes “flawless execution,” this way of thinking is not only a remnant of our 20th-century production line business heritage, but it’s also the exact opposite approach needed to build an innovative organization.

Amy Edmondson says that if you feel that workers need to be a little afraid to perform, then you’re wrong. Meaningful conversations will move from the meeting room to the hallways, and leaders will be unaware of the true state of their organizations. To combat this, Amy advises leaders to foster a culture of psychological safety—giving employees permission for candor, creativity, and innovation.


5. Garry Kasparov – Standing strong against evil

Garry Kasparov’s ruthlessly logical breakdown of how Russian business and politics are inextricably entangled with Putin’s expansionist aspirations reminded us of how we need to stand firm against the evil in our world. As Garry urged us last year, the free world needs to stand united against the attempts to undermine our values and economy.

Keeping your organization strong and holding up your values for the good of our environment and the communities we operate in is as important as ever.

6. Jitske Kramer – Culture is nothing if it isn’t acted on

Jitske Kramer took us on a journey through the symbiotic relationship between cultural creation and the impact culture has on the people encompassed by it. At their heart, cultures are built on a shared view of what we find meaningful and manifest through the everyday actions and choices of people. What are the values of your organization and are those represented by the actions taken by the people in it? In the midst of uncertainty in the world, could resilience be a value to consider in your organization?

Artificial Intelligence

7. Yuval Noah Harari – Surviving in the world of AI

“The real problem is not jobs disappearing. It’s if we can adapt along with the job market.”

According to Yuval Noah Harari, we need to prepare our minds, societies, and governments for an era of continual readjustment as technologies keep redesigning the world of work. It is essential we understand the kinds of skills people need to navigate this shifting terrain.

The key, according to Yuval, is consciousness. Unlike any impending super-intelligent AIs that are supreme problem solvers, humans will always excel at building relationships with others based on feelings. The ability to quickly unlearn and acquire a new understanding of societal terrain will also be key in navigating the future of AI.

8. Martin Lindstrom – Ethical Branding

Martin Lindstrom showed us the eerie potential of the Metaverse. As with AI, we should be deeply concerned about the ethical, psychological, and social implications of these new technologies.

This is where brands will play a critical role. Instead of leveraging our brains to squeeze out profit, brands need to establish a deeply-considered code of ethics that will enable them to positively impact the world in which the next generation will live out a large part of their lives. If each brand strives to create positive experiences with new technologies, our potential will be unlocked, and our society will benefit.

The ticket sales for Nordic Business Forum 2023 close on Wednesday 20th of September. After that, only online accesses are available for purchase, so secure your place now!

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