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Curiosity, Courage, and Technology: Lessons from Nordic Business Forum 2023

The Nordic Business Forum 2023 was an event full of interesting characters, fresh ideas, and valuable lessons. It reminded us how the world is nowhere ready yet, and that our daily choices play a big role in the future.

Despite the dark shrouds and question marks cast above the futurist Amy Webb’s scenarios for mankind, light can be found in these three essential elements that enable success in change: Curiosity, courage, and technology. Here’s a dive into these themes connecting the Nordic Business Forum insights.

Facing Fears to Foster Innovation

Managing individual, as well as company level, fears, is as important as managing goals when it comes to innovation and company transformation. Only when we let go of fears and break usual patterns, our minds are free to explore new ideas and solutions. The dedication and courage of Malala Yousafzai certainly opened the audience’s eyes – that is what determination and courage is all about.

In an organization, its culture is one of the greatest enablers or hindering factors of innovation. Jos de Blok brought up a bold new way of thinking organizations, having inclusivity and equity as a starting point for it all. It is fascinating how breaking old structures, such as organization structure, can unlock new capabilities.

Business strategy plays a vital role for confidence and trust building – Only when it is clearly defined and effectively communicated can everyone align their efforts and pull in the same direction. In that way, a clear company strategy is crucial for successful innovation, as Knowit’s Catharina Stackelberg pointed out.

Keep it Simple with Right Minded Partners

Overthinking can sometimes hinder innovation, as Sheena Iyengar presented. It is advisable not to overcomplicate things, but to select good and well working ideas and really make use of what we already know. It’s about finding the balance between exploring new ideas and utilizing existing knowledge – as effectively as possible.

In our fast-changing world, co-operation is a requirement for timely innovations. As Patrick Lencioni stated, it is crucial to find a right team composition – And the same applies to partners. Trusted partnerships are the key for companies to efficiently combine different strengths and ideas, that is, to create something new and valuable.

Strategic partnerships are regarded as the foundation of today's innovations. In the ever-changing business environment, the focus is increasingly on what truly matters. No individual or company can possess all the expertise needed to build what is needed to win the future.

Embracing Technology for Tomorrow

There’s no doubt that Artificial Intelligence is a big part of our future. Throughout NBF, it was discussed how AI will outperform human intelligence in many areas. Despite the unanswered questions remaining regarding the technology itself, the key message can be easily found: It is not about whether to use AI in business, but how to do it effectively and maximize the value in the shortest time. When considering strategic partnerships, this is a question that connects more and more companies in the future.

Transformation and Existing Models Enable New Gains

Innovation and transformation are fed by the culture, vision and strategy, current operation models and offering of companies. The building blocks are there to be combined, but sometimes it is easier when an external view is taken to point out possibilities and provide objective sparring, backed with latest market and tech insights. In the end, systematic work with the right focus is what matters.

Innovation doesn't always mean inventing something completely new though. Sometimes, revisiting and enhancing existing models can lead to significant advantages. As Catharina Stackelberg mentioned, businesses are encouraged to look at existing models and see how they can be updated or improved to gain a competitive edge – that is, to do the right things, and then also to do them right.


Nordic Business Forum was again full of insights, underscoring the importance of curiosity, courage, and technology. Embracing these principles with like-minded partners will pave the way for sustainable innovation and lasting success, as companies navigate the challenges and opportunities of the modern world – to win the future, together.