Each week I invite one of my speakers to talk about their life, work, passions and leisure so that you can get to know the person who is the speaker behind the mic.
My guest this week has 25 years as a technology entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Nowadays he also advises large corporations, the European Commissions and various non-profits. He’s a founder, a funder and a futurist. For me he’s an interpreter of trends and we find out all sorts of amazing things that are going to be happening in our future and that are happening already plus we get to meet Ripley! Please enjoy, Nicklas Bergman.
Nicklas Bergman has spent the last 25 years working as an entrepreneur and technology investor, mostly focusing on investments and business development in emerging markets, IT, instrumentation, nanotechnology, computing, new materials and new media art, currently through more than 10 direct and indirect investments.
Nicklas is the strategic advisor to European Commissioner Carlos Moedas and the European Innovation Council, working on a new innovation strategy for Europe. He is also Scandinavian representative of the TechCast Technology Think Tank in Washington and member of both the World Future Society and the Long Now Foundation.
Nicklas is a futurist and is optimistic about the promises emerging from new technologies but is equally concerned that society isn’t ready for the upcoming techstorm. We’re entering an era in which technology will redefine who we are, and it’s no longer a question of what it can do for us, but what we should allow technology to do. Technology in itself is pointless, it’s the applications and ability to improve people’s lives that’s important. Digitisation is highly relevant but only the warm-up. True disruption will come from a combination of new digital technologies such as AI, blockchain and the Internet of Things in combination with a deeper understanding of nanotechnology, neuro technology as well as biotechnology and genetics. In a couple of decades, this will create a world that’s totally different from the one we’re living in today…
In 2016 Bergman published a book on how to deal with new technologies from a business perspective: Surviving the Tech Storm – Strategy in Times of Technological Uncertainty. With the conviction that technology is probably the strongest driver of change today, it’s obvious that anyone in a management position, or aspirations to eventually be in that position, must understand how technology is changing business from the ground up.
Nicklas Bergman is also part of Nordic Ways, the 2016 project at the SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University in Washington D.C., USA. The final result is a compilation of essays on how Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden are facing economic and social challenges through what has been known as the “Nordic Model”. Authored by people from the Nordic countries with backgrounds in politics, academia, design, arts, business, technology, and civil society, the book was released in the US in October 2016.
Nicklas is co-founder and investor in several companies including the Volvo trucks and buses distribution network in Romania, that grew into a E300 million business and was acquired by Volvo in 2006, and an electron microscopy company with a unique patented technology for movement and interaction on the atomic scale. With close to 150 high-profile customers in more than 30 countries worldwide, the technology was acquired by FEI in 2013.
Nicklas Bergman’s keynotes are technology and innovation focussed, sometimes with a specific industry perspective and based on his 25 years as an entrepreneur and start up investor. As a futurist, Nicklas is not telling you what will happen, he is observing, providing tools, drawing conclusions and changing mindsets.
Recorded: 28th March 2019
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