Speech is silver, but silence is golden. Often, including in business and personal relations, it is better to listen than to speak. Have though had the pleasure and privilege to speak and keynote at a variety of events in many countries. Do not have the same time for that today with four small children, but I still try to get in a couple of external keynotes a year.
Dansk Industri - Fødevarer Årsdag
We haven't entered the market of vegan hamburgers – yet. But it is super interesting what is happening at the moment on the food- and food tech front. For which reason, it was with great pleasure that I keynoted at Dansk Industri – Fødevarer Årsdag (an anniversary event celebrating the Danish food industry). When looking at the population growth close on 9.7 billion people on the planet in 2050 and that a large part of the population growth will come from a growing middle class; In 2020, the Chinese middle class will be the world's 3 largest 'country' – this fact, reinforces the business opportunities in food, but also the great responsibility that lies with the food industry due to correlations between industry, geopolitics, global warming, macroeconomic movements etc.
I had the pleasure of stopping by Aarhus University to give a keynote speech in connection with Aarhus Symposium, which for me probably is the country's foremost platform of its kind. Incredibly accomplished by the talented students and super for us who have businesses in Aarhus city to have such a talent pool in the backyard. Good job!
Photo credit: Thorsten Iversen
Ingen Shortcuts Live
The day before the day. And what a way to end this fierce election campaign; in good company at Ofelia Plads, in Copenhagen. Tommy Ahlers is a good friend and former business partner, but he has also proven to be an outstanding politician. Had he been running in our constituency, I would definitely have ticked off the box with his name. Just saying.
Nordic La - Heartland Festival
At Heartland Festival, Kristian Riis hosted a super conference with and for international as well as Danish entrepreneurs under the auspices of NordicLA, which the renaissance man Kristian, among other things, engage himself with when he does not play guitar in a large Danish band. I had the pleasure of speaking at NordicLA’s event and participate in a dialogue with Sasha, an Austrian from Palo Alto, who was one of the first employees at Facebook. Our talk was moderated by the always sweet and talented Ane Cortzen.
Yes, Mr Minister
Had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Tommy Ahlers at the Presidential Summit. I just have to say that it's always a pleasure, to spend time with Tommy - privately or like here in a public context, and it's not a state secret that I think Tommy is doing a terrific job as minister. Someone who has been there before - both as a student and a businessman/entrepreneur, is at eye level, intelligent, impassioned and with an important non-self-righteous twinkle in the eye. Good job.
It was a pleasure to attend Seedster in Spain for a few days; to keynote, and more importantly, meet many impassioned entrepreneurs - including entrepreneurs and founders from some of the venture companies that I have invested in. Jesper Buch was so sweet to mention that we might have broken the audience record when I keynoted – a big thank you to everyone who showed up.
I talked about, among other things, why I invest in startups, the fundamental criteria of an investment etc., but also about how 'putting things into action' is a way of thinking and a modus operandi that also must function in a more corporate and larger structure such as THORNICO.
Retail Summit in Dubai
Sir Richard Branson closed the door yesterday, and I had the pleasure to reopen it; day two at this year’s Retail Summit in Dubai.
University of Copenhagen
A couple of pictures from Thursday's debate at the University of Copenhagen between the Danish Prime Minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, and my friend and former business partner, now the Danish Minister for Higher Education and Science, Tommy Ahlers; About entrepreneurship, education and what skills are being sought after in a future where many jobs with repetitive tasks will be taken over by robots and AI. Very interesting and important discourse.
In Sanovo Technology Group, we were the main sponsor of this year´s Galla Dinner in Kuala Lumpur for our share of the food industry. A great evening where I enjoyed talking to approximately 400 key stakeholders, including many customers from around the world. Additionally, our CEO Michael presented a check for the project in Swaziland - Heart for Africa - where we are a founding partner. As always, we try to differentiate in a small way as here where all 400 guests, among other things, got a handmade Karma figure they could take home. Differentiation is often in the detail.
THORNICO building talks
June 10, THORNICO hosted the first THORNICO Building Talks. The main occasion of the event was the renovation of the THORNICO Building located in Rotterdam and the acquisition of the famous neighbouring building of Joost Kühne, renamed "THORNICO T(W)O". I and the five other speakers, Peter Kreiner the CEO of Noma, Erik Legernes, Senior Creative Director of LEGO, David Zahle partner at BIG and the super architect Winy Maas, discussed how innovation, inspiration and creative ideas can create positive change in the world - an evening filled with architectural, culinary and sustainable inspiration.
Entrepreneurial Inspiration Day
During the Easter holidays, I attended EID - Entrepreneurial Inspiration Day - at Rotterdam Science Tower in Holland. I started as an opening keynote speaker at EID followed up by a panel discussion on how startups shape the future, together with a strong woman; voted as the most influential woman in Holland, namely the President-Director of Shell Netherlands Marjan van Loon.
EO Unlimited, Rotterdam
I was the closing keynote at EO Unlimited, an entrepreneur organization, speaking to passionate entrepreneurs from a multitude of countries. EO Unlimited 2016 ‘Magic No 7’ was about growth and the chances and opportunities over the next seven years.
Hartmanns Academy - DR Koncerthuset
Within the framework of the company Hartmanns, I had the pleasure of speaking in beautiful surroundings in DR Koncerthuset, to a lot of dedicated leaders. Hartmanns Academy is a forum for competency development and knowledge-sharing in the areas of leadership and the labour market. Hartmanns Academy is an exclusive network consisting of Hartmanns’ trusted clients and business partners. Highly qualified and inspiring speakers, who include leading lights in the fields of business, sport and culture, researchers and experts, give talks on current topics such as the labour market, HR and leadership etc.
IEC business conference, Warsaw
Keynote at a foods conference in Warsaw for the International Egg Commission, where the talk among many things was also about Harvard Business Review's findings about purpose and meaning driven companies; that they simply do better and earn more. Furthermore, it was also about our newest Company Karma project in Swaziland within the Sanovo Technology Group and finally about Mät Foods. As a final touch, we handed out Mät bars to the audience.
TED x KEA
I had the privilege of being the closing keynote at TED x KEA at the Black Diamond in Copenhagen. The subject of my speech was “Closed Door = Open Door”. What you think might be your biggest flaw can actually turn out to be your most unique skill. People and businesses alike can reap tremendous benefits from learning to treat what they perceive as their shortcomings as an opportunity.
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx - a program of local, self-organised events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At TED x KEA event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group.
MCH Messecenter Herning
Lecture at MCH Messecenter Herning for more than 1000 people. A great evening, where I gave a lecture about creativity and innovation. I understand that musicians and comedians may attract up to 1000 people... However, I found it fantastic and heartening that so many people wanted to come and was interested in hearing me talk about something which in its essence is about running a business, especially with the future of Denmark in mind (big words I know). A big thank you to everyone who came.
Books and companies Hellerup
I had a cosy night at the book café "Books and Company" in Hellerup, which had an extra focus on me and Lene Tanggaard's book "In the Shower with Picasso." It was a relaxed talk, and Q&A about the book's concepts with many interesting discussions about creativity, taking place in the unique atmosphere of this local and charming little bookstore.