Oslo Innovation Week

Entrepreneurs and innovators will gather in Norway’s capital this month to tackle meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Photo: MariaGershuni / Public Domain
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, adopted on September 25, 2015, as a part of the 2030 Agenda. This September Norway’s businesses will focus on meeting these ambitious goals.

Rasmus Falck
Oslo, Norway

This year’s Oslo Innovation Week sets the agenda for business solutions to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Throughout 50 events, the organizers will push the world forward by combining entrepreneurship, technology, and innovation—all with a sense of urgency.

The week will be truly international. All event organizers are cooperating with international partners, and there is also a great desire to achieve gender equality and diversity and empower everyone.

Action speaks louder than words at Oslo Innovation Week. It is all about innovation in action; there are no motivational talks or boring debates about what should be done, and no sales presentations either. New influences are vital to finding new solutions. Entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, micropreneurs, impact investors, tech experts, bold explorers, and new thought leaders will have a voice.

It’s a dugnad, a Norwegian tradition of voluntary communal work with roots 800 years back. Attendees, keynote speakers, partners, and event organizers create the week together with networking and co-working at the core of all events.

First of the events is the Venture Cup featuring a business-plan competition by and for students, where the process is more significant than the glory of winning. Among the speakers at the opening is Jamie Smith. She speaks regularly around the world from the World Economic Forum to the Clinton Global Initiative. Smith is also an industry expert in the emerging technology of blockchain. You may remember her as special assistant to President Obama and deputy White House press secretary.

At DNB NXT, which is Norway’s largest meeting place for investors and entrepreneurs, Tanya Marwin-Horowitz from America will share her knowledge as a venture capitalist. She has invested in 18 early-stage companies in the U.S. and Scandinavia. In January she became one of the founders of a new early-stage fund based in Helsinki. She worked 12 years for Wall Street firms like Merrill Lynch and Allegiance Capital and moved from Manhattan to Stockholm, Sweden, in 2013 with her family. She received a bachelor’s degree in marketing with a minor in mathematics from Georgia State University in Athens, Georgia, with a collegiate tennis scholarship.

Oslo is big on culture. You may think of Henrik Ibsen and Edvard Munch, but the city offers much more. There are more than 5,000 live performances every year. While in Oslo I would recommend the Astrup Fearnley Museum and the Opera House. The city is located between the Oslo fjord and the forest, so you are never far away from nature. The trams, buses, and trains take you to the islands in the fjord or the walking paths in the forest in no time.

Oslo Innovation Week will be held September 25 to 29 this year. This is the 12th edition. The weeklong event includes full-day conferences, talks, pitching, workshops, and parties. It is a collaboration, and the events are held by different organizers, such as corporates, startup networks, and organizations. The Oslo Innovation Week organization is owned by the City of Oslo and Innovation Norway with Oslo Business Region serving as the project manager.

See you in Oslo at the end of the month!

Rasmus Falck is a strong innovation and entrepreneurship advocate. The author of “What do the best do better” and “The board of directors as a resource in SME,” he received his masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently lives in Oslo, Norway.

This article originally appeared in the Sept. 8, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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