Watch individual sessions from Nordic Innovation Summit at the bottom of this page. Sessions also available at YouTube/NordicMuseum.
Sustaining Sustainability in a Rapidly Changing World
Join us as founders, corporate leaders, and other innovators from the Nordic countries and the U.S. showcase projects that demonstrate opportunities to do well by doing good — even in challenging times.
Henrik Henriksson, CEO of H2 Green Steel, will share how his company is powering a new, clean industrial revolution by removing 95% of the carbon emissions from one of the world’s dirtiest industries.
Stephen Elop (Digital.ai) will discuss the Nordic approach to sustainable leadership
Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, Iceland's Minister of Education, Science, and Innovation, will lead a special session on Iceland's fisheries on May 10 and speak in the morning session on May 11.
Frank Vang Jensen (Nordea) holds a Fireside Chat on "The Preferred Financial Partner in the Nordics Has Sustainability at its Core."
Chris Cooper, CEO of Neste US, will make the case that investing in sustainability is more relevant than ever.
Pippa Boothman, CEO of Playfinity, will discuss how to make a more active future for happier, healthier kids.
Gov. Jay Inslee (Washington) will open the afternoon session on May 11 with a talk about Washington State business opportunities and collaborations with Nordic companies.
Additional speakers and sessions can be found below.
Click on title of section to expand for full description of speakers and program.
May 10 (Wednesday)
Registration will be open all day
Location: Osberg Great Hall, First Floor, National Nordic Museum
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Eric Nelson (Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, National Nordic Museum)
Chris Green (Assistant Director for the Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness, Washington State Department of Commerce)
Birger Steen (Chair, Nordic Innovation Summit)
How Economics Can Save the World: Simple Ideas to Solve Our Biggest Problems,
Dr. Erik Angner (Professor of Practical Philosophy, Stockholm University)
The Future of Electric Boats
Jon Roskill (Chair, X Shore)
Sustainable Opportunity in the US for Nordic Companies
Aimee Meester (Chief Executive Officer, Madison Taylor Marketing)
Pippa Boothman is the CEO of Playfinity, a Norwegian
sports tech company that combines physical sports and digital gaming to keep
kids active. She believes in the power of play to promote physical and mental
health and development, and has a passion for scaling products with a purpose.
Pippa sits on the board of various Norwegian companies and the Canadian
Norwegian Business Association, and loves exploring arts and culture while
Jakob has over 20 years of experience in international sales and exports to the chemical industry. Jakob has previously held leading roles in sales to the process industry and in 2007 he founded Aprotech Engineering AB, an engineering company that sells process solutions for the chemical industry in Sweden and Eastern Europe.
Stephen A. Elop is currently Executive
Chairman of Digital.ai, a TPG company. He
also serves on the Board of AOPA and Angel Flight West. Prior to that, he has served as a
Group Executive at Telstra Corporation. Prior to
Telstra, Stephen served as the Executive Vice President of the Microsoft
Devices Group. Stephen was the Chief Executive Officer and President of Nokia
Corporation from September, 2010 to September, 2013. Prior to his tenure at
Nokia, he served as President of the Microsoft Business Division at Microsoft
Corporation. Stephen has also held executive and senior technology positions at
Juniper Networks, Adobe, Macromedia, and Boston Chicken, and has served on the
board of several technology and software companies. Stephen is a member
of the Board of Governors at McMaster University in
Hamilton, Ontario, where he earned his undergraduate degree in Computer
Engineering and Management and an honorary Doctorate of Science.
Einar Gustafsson joined American Seafoods as Chief Executive Officer in February 2022. A longtime seafood and fresh foods leader with extensive experience developing and growing worldwide seafood organizations, Gustafsson returned to his roots at American Seafoods in 2022 after previously working at American Pride Seafoods nearly two decades ago.
Gustafsson served previously as CEO, Americas and Europe for Gong Cha, one of the most recognized worldwide bubble tea brands. At Gong Cha, Gustafsson was responsible for scaling the brand’s presence in the Northern Hemisphere and driving substantial revenue and store count growth. Prior to that, Gustafsson was Managing Director at Bakkavor Asia, where for 15 years he led all aspects of the $2 billion fresh prepared food group's entry into the Asian markets.
Originally from Iceland, Gustafsson has always had strong ties to the seafood industry. He moved to the United States at a young age and went on to earn a BS in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. He began his career as a consultant at Deloitte Consulting within the Braxton Associates strategy division. While at Deloitte, Gustafsson was named a Deloitte Scholar and graduated with an MBA from Columbia Business School, which was sponsored by the Deloitte program.
Petra Hilleberg is CEO of Hilleberg the Tentmaker and Honorary Consulate of Sweden.
Petra Hilleberg is CEO of Hilleberg the Tentmaker and Honorary Consulate of Sweden.
Growing up in northern Sweden and alongside the eponymous family company her parents started 51 years ago gave her both a big passion for the outdoors and a fascination for business, she started the US side of the business two days after she graduated from Seattle University in 2000. Petra retreated to nature, rode horses and literally hugged trees during the pandemic and revels in the ideals of Friluftsliv (pronounced free-loofts-liv) - taking time to connect with nature, to breathe in fresh air and to appreciate the simplicity of the outdoors.
Since May 2021, Henrik Henriksson is CEO of the new company H2 Green Steel, which is investing in a large-scale facility for fossil-free production of steel in northern Sweden. Prior to that Henriksson was President and CEO of Scania, where he led the shift towards more sustainable transport systems. During his 24 years at Scania, he held several positions within the commercial area of the company including Senior Vice President for Scania Trucks and four years as Export Director at Scania South Africa Pty. Ltd. in Johannesburg. Henriksson is a Board Member of AB Electrolux, Hexagon AB, Creades AB, SAAB AB and the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise. Henriksson is also author of the book Sustainability Leadership. Henriksson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration.
As a Partner at Summa Equity, Birger Steen works with the investment team to pursue investments that solve global challenges. His primary focus is with Summa’s Technology-enabled Transformation team, where he drives deal sourcing efforts and portfolio company oversight and value creation.
Steen’s current portfolio company engagements are as Board Chair at Pagero, where they are building an open, global and data-centric network to radically improve how transactions flow between the world’s 150 million companies, and Myneva, which is building a pan-European SaaS-based care technology platform with the aim of improving the quality and availability of elderly, social, disabled and youth care as our societies deal with accelerating demographic change.
Before joining Summa Equity in September 2019, Steen spent 25+ years in leadership roles in TMT companies across Europe and the US. In addition to his work at Summa, he serves on the boards of Nordic Semiconductor ASA (chair), Nordea Bank Abp (chair of Board Operations and Sustainability Committee), and PragmatIC Semiconductor. He studied computer science at the Norwegian Institute of Technology, Russian language at the Defense School of Intelligence and Security, and finance at INSEAD.
Martine Kildeby is responsible for global partnerships and cross-border collaboration at BLOXHUB – the Nordic Hub for Sustainable Urbanization. Representing 350 organizations, all working in creating our future cities, Martine Kildeby is framing a bigger picture of how competences and solutions come together to solve the urban challenges of our time. Based on the experience that challenges of global urbanization and climate change require new ways of collaboration, Martine exchange knowledge and innovation across spearhead communities, supporting business and sustainable change in cities and organizations worldwide.
With a background as an Environmental Engineer and experience from the private and public sector, Martine has thorough insights to challenges and solutions aiming to create a more sustainable future. Creating actual impact from across-borders collaboration is the backbone in her professional life, where she expands key knowledge about how we make a holistic and sustainable urban future. Martine has headed implementation projects at the Danish Energy Agency, lead high-level stakeholder involvement processes and expanded the collaboration across borders from a base in Munich for the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In her current position as Head of Strategic Partnerships at BLOXHUB, Martine is activating unique competences within the BLOXHUB ecosystem in cross-sector, cross-border collaborations world-wide.
Dr. Erik Angner is Professor of Practical Philosophy at Stockholm University. As a result of serious mission creep, he holds two PhDs – one in Economics and one in History and Philosophy of Science – both from the University of Pittsburgh. His most recent book is How Economics Can Save the World: Simple Solutions to Solve Our Biggest Problems (Penguin 2023). He is the author of two other books, Hayekand Natural Law
(Routledge 2007) and A Course in Behavioral Economics, 3rd Ed. (Red Globe Press 2020), as well as multiple journal articles and book chapters on behavioral and experimental economics; the science and philosophy of happiness; and the history, philosophy, and methodology of contemporary economics. He lives in Stockholm with his wife and their three children.
Jon Roskill currently spends his time between Seattle & Maui combining his passion of working with fast growing tech companies with his other passions of water and snow sports. Currently Jon is a Senior Advisor to global private equity firm EQT Partners as well Seattle-based venture fund West River Group. He currently sits on the boards of banking security & authorization vendor Entersekt, leading electric boat manufacturer Xshore and Acumatica cloud reporting & planning publisher Velixo. From 2014 to 2022 Jon served as the Chief Executive Officer of cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) publisher Acumatica (acquired by EQT in 2019). Jon also served in various product and go-to-market roles as a Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Corporation. His investment/CEO advisory roles have included Azuqua (Okta acquisition), VendorHawk (ServiceNow acquisition), TrustedKey (WorkDay acquisition), Wellpepper (Signify Health acquisition), Silene Biotech (Nanosurface Biomedical acquisition) and GroopIt. Jon is a National Trustee for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Roskill received a BSEE Summa Cum Laude from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and an M.B.A. from Boston University.
Rhys Roth is Executive Director of the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure (CSI) in Olympia, WA, whose mission is to catalyze state-of-the-art sustainable infrastructure solutions that help communities of every kind thrive economically, socially, and environmentally.
Rhys has authored several influential reports for CSI, including Infrastructure Crisis, Sustainable Solutions; Rewiring the Northwest’s Energy Infrastructure; A Northwest Vision for 2040 Water Infrastructure; From Waste Management to Clean Materials; and the Pacific Northwest Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan.
Prior to founding CSI, Rhys co-founded and helped lead for over 15 years the non-profit group Climate Solutions.
Torunn Tronsvang is the Founder and CEO of the travel curator Up Norway. Up Norway uses the perfect combination of tech and human touch to create ‘best-ever’ experiences for travelers who seek sustainable luxury experiences in Norway and the Nordic countries. Up Norway is Travelife and B Corp certified. This video gives a better impression of their journeys.
Torunn holds a Bachelor degree in International Hospitality Management from The Emirates Academy and Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, as well as an MBA from the Norwegian School of Economics. She has held positions within leadership, quality management and experience development with Anantara Hotels in Thailand and Maldives, Jumeirah Hotels in Dubai and Aman in Bhutan. Before she founded Up Norway in 2016, she worked seven years as a consultant in the Norwegian hospitality and tourism industry. She is an educated transformational travel designer and acknowledged as a Condé Nast Top Travel Specialist. She is on the T+L Travel Specialists A-List and Wendy Perrin WOW List.
A Norwegian citizen and MSc at the Norwegian Institute of Science and
Technolog (MBA INSEAD), Kjell Waloen has 26 years of experience in the automotive manufacturing industry. His career includes 8 years with Ford
Motor Company as a Production Supervisor (Germany), Launch Manager (UK), Assembly
Plant Manager (Belgium), and Strategy Manager (Germany). Additionally, he spent 11 years with Volvo
Car Corporation as Director at Sweden's Manufacturing Business Office, including
5 years in China leading the staff building as well as starting three greenfield
plants in three years. Kjell also spent 3 years in Polestar (Sweden) as VP Manufacturing and
Purchasing, as part of the leadership team starting the company and building
the first Polestar plant in China. In 2019, he co-founded electric truck maker Volta Trucks, co-developing vehicles and setting up manufacturing from scratch to Start of Production for sales in four years.
Kjell is also a previous World Cup racer for the Norwegian
Alpine Ski Team.
Aimee serves as the CEO and lead visionary at Madison Taylor Marketing, though she is affectionately referred to internally as the Chief Marketing Aficionado. Aimee has broad experience in marketing strategy and operational execution, with demonstrated success in implementing strategic organizational initiatives. Her ability to turn organizational goals into reality has been roundly recognized by clientele over the years. She has also repeatedly led Madison Taylor to be recognized as a top workplace.
Aimee is involved in several community organizations, most recently having served on the KidsTek board — a non-profit organization providing technology experiences and career guidance to under-served youth.
Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir was appointed Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation in Iceland in 2021. She was previously the Minister of Justice from 2019-2021. Born in 1990, Ms. Sigurbjörnsdóttir is the youngest female minister appointed in Iceland’s history and the youngest minister of Justice ever appointed in world history.
In addition to speaking for innovation in the justice system during her time as the Minister of Justice, Ms. Sigurbjörnsdóttir has made it her mission as Minister of Innovation that innovation become Iceland’s biggest export. Increasing the number of women in STEAM and the field of innovation is paramount in that vision. Ms. Sigurbjörnsdóttir actively works to eliminate gender inequality in the distribution of funds for innovators and researchers. As she’s publicly pointed out, a community cannot reach its greatest potential if only half the population is utilized. As the head of a new ministry, Ms. Sigurbjörnsdóttir is not afraid to break down walls of tradition to create a ministry that is modern, in line with the times, and clear of silos. As she describes this, “it should be visible to all that the Ministry of Higher Education, science and Innovation was established in 2021”.
Dr. Robert Strand is the founding Executive Director of the Nordic Center at UC Berkeley and the Executive Director of the Center for Responsible Business at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business. He is a UC Berkeley faculty member and Associate Professor with the Copenhagen Business School. Dr. Strand teaches the suite of courses "Sustainable Capitalism in the Nordics?" His forthcoming book is NORDIC CAPITALISM: What America Must Learn about Freedom and Sustainability from the Nordics.
Kai-Uwe Bergmann, FAIA is a Partner at BIG who brings his architectural expertise to proposals around the globe, including work in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Bergmann heads up BIG's business development--which currently has the office working in over 40 different countries. He also oversees BIG's Urban scales projects and supports BIG’s Landscape projects. He is registered as an architect in the USA (13 states) and Canada. He most recently contributed to the resiliency plan BIG U to protect 10 miles of Manhattan's coastline. First envisioned through the Rebuild by Design competition to develop proactive responses to Superstorm Sandy, it is now being constructed with a completion date in 2026. Further projects include Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Queens Park, Smithsonian Master Plan, Pittsburgh Master Plan and Miami Beach Square.
Aaron Dorf is a Director and Senior Architect at Snøhetta, leading projects including the National September 11th Museum Pavilion in New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Expansion, Harvard HouseZero, Joslyn Art Museum Expansion in Omaha, as well as the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in Medora, ND. Aaron helps lead Snøhetta’s North American sustainability practice by adapting Nordic Zero Emission Building (ZEB) approaches to the Americas – promoting ultra-low energy use, zero emissions and healthy materials. The first such ZEB project in North America, HouseZero, is a 1920’s wood-framed house renovated as the headquarters for Harvard’s Center for Green Buildings and Cities. The next generation of ZEB projects are currently in research and design phases in Nashville, North Dakota and beyond – which continue to push the limits of “zero” methodologies in even more challenging climates and markets.
Jay Inslee is a fifth-generation Washingtonian who has lived and worked on both sides of the state. He grew up in the Seattle area where his father, Frank, was a high school teacher and coach. His mother, Adele, worked as a sales clerk at Sears & Roebuck. Jay worked his way through college and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in economics before earning his law degree at Willamette University. He and his wife, Trudi, then moved to Selah, a small town near Yakima where they raised their three sons. Jay worked as an attorney and prosecutor.
Jay and Trudi are now proud grandparents to six active little Inslees. Besides writing and illustrating books for his grandchildren and sketching scenes from around Washington, Jay is an avid cyclist and charter member of Hoopaholics, a youth basketball academy.
Jay first became involved in public service in 1985 when he and Trudi helped lead the effort to build a new public high school in Selah. Motivated to fight against proposed funding cuts for rural schools, Jay went on to represent the 14th Legislative District in the state House of Representatives. He was then elected to Congress in 1992. The Inslees later moved back to Kitsap County where Jay was elected to Congress in 1998, serving until 2012 when he was elected governor.
He is currently the longest serving governor in the United States.
During his time in Congress, Jay became known as a forward-thinking leader, especially on issues of clean energy and climate change. He co-wrote a book, "Apollo's Fire: Igniting America's Clean-Energy Economy," about fighting climate change through clean energy innovation and job-creation. As governor, he has helped put Washington state at the forefront of climate action and is helping lead numerous subnational partnerships. Since 2013, the state has passed nation-leading policies to transition to 100% clean electricity, cap carbon pollution, electrify transportation, and more.
Over the past decade, Washington has consistently been among the few states to rank as one of the best states for business and one of the best states for workers. From commercial space and sustainable maritime to advanced agriculture and forest products, the growth of Washington’s key sectors is helping attract new companies and create jobs in communities all across the state. Washington has one of the nation’s highest minimum wages, paid sick leave for all workers, a best-in-the-nation paid family leave program, and one of the highest union membership rates.
Before launching GemmaQ in 2019, Freyja built a career in financial services; she was a director and team leader at the Central Bank of Iceland (The Federal Reserve) and participated in a financial advisor program with Merrill Lynch. Prior to that, Freyja was a capital markets and restructuring lawyer - passionate about improving the gender balance in senior leadership in her home country, Iceland. Now on a professional mission to help global markets invest directly in gender diversity by leveraging technology. Freyja received a Master in Economic Policy Management from Columbia University, Law degrees from Reykjavik University, and a BA in Political Science from University of Iceland - spending one year at Copenhagen University in Denmark.
I have been working with ideas and innovation since the mid 90’s, either starting my own projects or helping others start theirs.
I spend my days as an Innovation Strategist and Business Coach at the innovation office at KTH, The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, where I have been a part of creating and running what is today considered to be one of the world’s best innovation offices.
That’s where I get to help students and researchers realize their ideas, which means that I’m in the epicenter of new tech development, everything from robotics and AI to food and digital health.
2015-16 I spent in Silicon Valley on a Wallenberg Fellowship, helping start the Swedish part of the Nordic Innovation House in Palo Alto.
In addition to helping others, I have also started quite a few companies myself, some are featured here on the Constant Innovation website. Then in 2016 I started something I’d had on my mind a very long time; the foundation Entrepreneurs Without Borders, with a mission to help early stage founders start and grow sustainable companies. If you want to support EWB in any way, please get in touch.
I’m also an avid TEDxster, I was in the group that brought TEDx to Sweden and have arranged 15+ events as the licensee for TEDxKTH and have had the honor to speak at 6 TEDx events all over Europe, the latest one at TEDxROMA, one of the worlds largest TEDx events, on January 21st 2023.
My professional speaker career started back in 2003 and since then it has taken me all over the world, from Colombia and Brazil to China and Japan. And it has also got me on TV, I’ve been part of three separate TV shows on innovation; Idéfabriken on Swedish SVT, The Inventors on Swedish TV4 and Meallions on Estonian tv.
Carrie Song is Vice President of Sales for Renewable Road
Transportation at Neste US, responsible for the company's increasing
development and expansion efforts in the region. She joined Neste in 2020 and
has spearheaded the growth of Neste MY Renewable Diesel in the North America
market since then. Carrie is passionate about renewable fuels and other new
technologies and innovations that can help the transport industry cut carbon
Carrie has a track record of success in driving business growth
for both Fortune 500 companies and startups in a variety of industries,
including global commodity trade, IT, capital goods, retail consulting, energy
and oil and gas. Prior to her current role at Neste, she served as Sales
Director - Americas for BP, where she oversaw business development performance,
expanded business footprints and developed high performing teams across North,
Central and Latin America regions. Prior to that, Carrie was the Sales &
Marketing Director of Global Oil and Gas Power Solution at Cummins.
She holds a BA in Economics and Public Administration from
University of International Business and Economics in China, a Master in
Management from London School of Economics in the UK, and a Master of Science
in Marketing Research from Texas A&M University in the US. She is a
certified Six Sigma Green Belt sponsor.
Chris Cooper is the
President of Neste US. Neste is the world’s leading producer of sustainable
aviation fuel and renewable diesel, and renewable feedstock solutions for
various polymers and chemicals industry uses. In his role, Chris is responsible
for supporting and aligning regional business strategies to deliver the
strategic growth targets, and he acts as Neste’s primary representative for the
external community in the US.
Prior to his current role, Chris was the Vice President for
Renewable Aviation at Neste US, where he led a team across the Americas to
increase the distribution and accessibility of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
Chris believes that we need to act now to fight climate change,
and renewables fuel meaningful climate action today. Chris received his
undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University and a Master’s of Business
Administration from Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
Peter Cohan is an associate professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Washington. Over the past 25 years and through numerous travel/study programs he has exposed students to the incredible richness and variety of architecture and design in Nordic countries.
Lisbeth Randers has a Master of Arts (MA), a Master in Public Management and is an certified coach. Lisbeth has been developing sustainable business solutions and public-private partnerships for many years and has worked for Kalundborg Symbiosis since 2012.
Reuven is a founder of Earth Finance, a global climate strategy, finance and policy firm helping companies thrive on the journey to a low-carbon future. www.earthfinance.com.
Reuven served in the Washington State Legislature (2009-2023) and is the architect of what are widely viewed as the most comprehensive state-level climate policies in the nation. This sweeping package of legislation was crafted during his time as chair of the state Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee (2017-2023) and includes: cap & invest carbon pricing, clean fuel standards, 100% clean energy, environmental justice and equity, building efficiency standards, super pollutant policies, electrification of transportation, water quality and availability, and more.
He serves on the board of directors of Toptana Technologies, a cable landing and backhaul network provider owned by the Quinalt Indian Nation. Reuven has a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Pasha Saleh is Head of Corporate Development at Alaska Airlines where he leads the airline’s technology investment arm, Alaska Star Ventures, and supports senior leadership in areas of sustainability, operational efficiency, strategy, and emerging technology.
Pasha began his business career as a consultant at McKinsey & Company and has served in executive roles across the aerospace industry in organizations ranging from Silicon Valley startups to large OEM’s including Boeing and Beechcraft.
Pasha earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate with seven type ratings and has over 8,000 hours of flight experience.
Ambassador of Iceland to the United States of America
Ambassador of Iceland to the United States of America
Ambassador Bergdís Ellertsdóttir has an extensive experience and has worked on international trade as well as security issues, multilateral and bilateral issues in her long career withing the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Bergdís has served as the Ambassador of Iceland to the United States since September 2019. She is the first woman to be appointed Ambassador of Iceland to the United States. The Embassy of Iceland is working towards enhancing ties and cooperation with the United States in various fields, including trade and investment, security and defense as well as on green energy, gender equality and human right issues.
Before taking up the position in Washington Bergdís was the Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United Nations. Previously she headed the Mission of Iceland to the European Union and was the Ambassador to Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland. In 2012 she was the Chief negotiator and finalized one of the first European Free Trade Agreements with China. Between 2007 and 2012 Bergdís was Deputy Secretary General of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Other positions include Director General for International Security
Nishant is a global leader with broad experience in strategy and technology development and portfolio management, as well as in having significant profit and loss responsibilities across the telecom and enterprise sectors. He has been intimately involved in bringing cutting-edge products to market across industry domains and has a deep understanding of the silicon, software and system requirements necessary for innovation.
At Nokia, Nishant is the Chief Strategy and Technology Officer (CSTO) with responsibility for corporate strategy, technology architecture, and pioneering research at Nokia Bell Labs; Nokia’s information technology (IT) infrastructure and digitalization initiatives; centralized security domains; and Nokia’s venture capital activities. His function lays the path for Nokia’s future technology innovation and identifies the most promising areas in which Nokia can create new value.
Prior to joining Nokia in 2021, Nishant worked at Veoneer in Sweden, a worldwide leader in automotive technology, where he was Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. Before this, he spent 12 years at Ericsson holding several positions, most recently as Head of Product Area Networks.
Nishant is based in Sunnyvale, USA, and has lived and worked in Europe and Asia.
Thorvardur has held several key positions in the Icelandic telecoms market. Prior to joining Farice as CEO in May 2020 he held executive positions at Vodafone Iceland including COO and CCO for enterprise and development. Before joining Vodafone ,Thorvardur was head of group development and strategy for Iceland Telecom.
Thorvardur has led several strategic projects that effect the entire telecom and data centre market in Iceland, including the development of a new submarine data centre cable from Iceland to Ireland, IRIS. The IRIS cable is be the third submarine cable system operated by Farice and came into operations on March 1st 2023.
Farice is the leading connectivity provider to the Icelandic market using its three submarine cables that connect Iceland with the Ireland, UK and Denmark.
Erlingur achieved a journeyman's examination in metal turning in 1997. He holds a BSc degree in mechanical engineering and an executive MBA degree from Reykjavik University. He has worked with mechanical components design and project- and engineering management mainly within the fields of the blue economy. He took a leading role with design and project management of an ambiguous innovation project within the fish meal sector, a project that lasted for more than 10 years. He has worked closely with ship designers and shipyards in Europe, US and Latin America on new installations and retrofits. Erlingur worked also at marketing for first-to-market innovative chemical products in Iceland. His prime tasks today are collaboration between Alaska and Iceland within the fields of energy and the blue economy. Developing and exploring are his passions where storytelling and strategic decision making leads the way. He finds it easy to challenge any norms from a visionary view point with the goal of value creation and big picture aspects.
Thorvardur serves as the Director of Tender Procurement for Trackwell Fisheries Management Systems (FiMS), a leading provider of vessel monitoring systems for fisheries around the world. In his role he oversees the tender procurement process, which involves bidding on contracts to provide vessel monitoring systems to governments and fisheries organizations. Trackwell works closely with clients to understand their needs and develop customized solutions that meet their specific requirements for each implementation. Þorvarður also oversees business and marketing affairs for Trackwell FiMS
Thorvardur holds an MBA degree from Reykjavik University and Master’s degree in international relations from University of Iceland.
Elína Erlendsson is the Director of Global Human Resources at Kerecis, which she joined in 2017 soon after the company established its North American headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. Originally from the Seattle area, Elina and has always had a strong connection to Iceland and her large extended family there. She holds a bachelor´s degree in international studies from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and a master´s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Einar has worked for Business Iceland, Promote Iceland, Trade Council of Iceland and Invest in Iceland for the past 20 years. He is responsible for promoting Icelandic green solutions and know-how globally and attracting foreign direct investments into Iceland. In that role Einar oversees the Green by Iceland brand and Data Centers by Iceland brand.
Einar is also Iceland’s Film Commissioner and has been in that role since 2004. Film in Iceland's mission is to attract foreign film and TV producers to film their projects in Iceland by promoting Iceland's unique locations and 35% reimbursement of production costs.
Einar holds a BSc degree in Business and International Marketing and Masters in Project Management from the University of Reykjavik.
Isaac Kato is a serial entrepreneur and a long time early-stage tech investor. He is the co-founder of Verne Global, the first large scale data center in Iceland and has invested in several Icelandic startups, including CCP Games, where he served on the board for 12 years. He recently formed Two Ravens, a pre-seed and early seed stage venture capital firm.
Prior to Two Ravens, Mr. Kato served as Managing Director of the Techstars Seattle and Filecoin Techstars Accelerators. Before Techstars, Mr. Kato served as President of Mighty AI, which was acquired by Uber. Mighty AI was a leading provider of training data to machine learning developers in the computer vision and autonomous vehicle market. He has co-founded two companies – the first, Sven Technologies, was a 3D graphics software startup he co-founded, ran, and sold to a public CAD software company. From 2007-2017, he was co-founder and CFO of Verne Global, an Icelandic green data center developer and operator, where he raised $200M of equity and debt capital and led several functions. Verne was recently acquired for $320M.
Mr Kato also spent a decade as a VC and growth equity investor, most recently with General Catalyst Partners, and is an active angel investor. He holds an MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School, and an MS and BS from Stanford University. If you ask him about his family, international travel, Icelandic fly fishing, or skiing, it will likely be a long conversation.
Washington State Representative, 22nd Legislative District
Washington State Representative, 22nd Legislative District
Beth is currently serving her third term representing the 22nd Legislative District in Washington State. She has worked at Climate Solutions for 16 years, a Northwest-based clean energy nonprofit. In addition, she served as the first Executive Director of Washington Conservation Voters and worked for Pro-Choice Washington, Audubon Washington, and Seattle Public Utilities. Currently, she manages a consulting business focused on climate, housing, and local projects. In the community her volunteers work includes serving as the President of the Board of Directors for Quixote Community (a regional housing organization), and on the board of South Sound YMCA and PARC (Parks, Arts, Recreation and Culture) Foundation. She has a degree from Indiana University in Political Science and Telecommunications. She lives in Olympia with her husband, Dr. Eddy Cates and loves being in the wilderness especially with her boys now 19 and 24.
Dale Smith is a regional director of Enterprise Environmental Sustainability leading Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Procurement, Supply & Policy Strategies. In this role, he leads Boeing’s SAF procurement and supply strategies for company operations including relationships with commercial SAF producers and suppliers. Dale also coordinates SAF policy strategy in support of the company’s efforts to accelerate the development and scale up of commercially viable low carbon sustainable jet fuels, including how international, national, and sub-national SAF policies can generate sustainable fuels and carbon emission reductions to meet the industry’s net-zero commitment by 2050 through production scale up, commercial markets, and policies that can help renewable electricity and green hydrogen contribute to SAF.
Dale co-chaired global aerospace OEM engagement in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Long Term Aspirational Goal (LTAG) initiative for net-zero aviation, and has chaired the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association (AFRA) R&D Committee.
During his 35 years at Boeing, Dale has held sustainability and strategy leadership roles across the company’s business units for advanced materials, technology development and collaborations, energy and environmental geopolitical policy analysis, and corporate citizenship. He has also held leadership positions in business management, finance and accounting.
Prior to joining Boeing, Dale consulted and managed advocacy campaigns for issue initiatives and election campaigns for U.S. congressional and presidential candidates. He also served as a constituent communications specialist on a U.S. Senate staff in Washington, D.C.
Dale grew up in Benton City, Washington, and graduated from Kiona-BentonCity High School. He earned a political science degree from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, and lives in Kennewick, Washington.
Ernest joined Iron Mountain in 2022. As Head of Global Site Selection, he oversees all Data Center development activities, including the support for continuous and uninterrupted supply delivery in existing markets, new market strategy and entry, and conversion of existing Records Management facilities into Data Centers to enable Iron Mountain’s ambitious growth plans.
Prior to joining Iron Mountain, Ernest spent one year managing Facebook's (now Meta) global site development team. Before Facebook, he worked for AWS, planning their data center capacity globally, managing the teams responsible to deliver supply to meet customer demand. Ernest then transitioned to running the AWS Americas Data Center Supply Solutions team where he supported nearly 70% of AWS' global expansion and three of the largest AWS regions worldwide. Additionally, his team launched 5 new regions in the Americas and expanded into another 15 new Edge markets.
Ernest is a Mechanical Engineer who prior to working in the Data Center industry worked in the Automotive and Aerospace industries, holding various roles in supply chain, operations, and business development.
Vala is a business development manager at Landsvirkjun, where she helps creating opportunities for potential customers of Landsvirkjun and supports development of new power intensive industries in Iceland. Vala is a key member of the business development team at Landsvirkjun with a focus on international data centers. Prior to current role Vala was the Director of Sales and Retail at 66°North, a high-end outdoor brand in Iceland.
Vala holds a BA and a MA degree in Law from Reykjavik University and completed the International Exchange Program in international and comparative business law from Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany.
Donna Warndof is the Head of Public Affairs, Americas, for NESTE, a global leader in solutions for the hard-to-decarbonize transportation sector. NESTE’s wide range of products include renewable diesel for road transportation fleets, sustainable aviation fuel, and renewable polymers and chemicals.
Donna has over 20 years of experience in U.S. advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels. Her experience in the energy sector includes trade associations and Fortune 500 companies such as Occidental Petroleum. In the public sector, she has represented three of Texas’ most populous counties (Harris/Houston, Bexar/San Antonio, and Travis/Austin), including recovery efforts after Hurricane Harvey. In addition to policy subject knowledge, she is an expert in advocacy strategy, building and leading advocacy teams and coalitions.
Donna holds an MPA from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and son.
Erik Odén is co-founder and the Executive Chairman at Novatron Fusion Group AB.
Erik is a true venture entrepreneur. He has been co-funding and growing multiple deep-tech startups focusing on international markets, while mainly acting as the CEO.
Erik has vast experience in international business-to-business sales and collaboration, financial management, multiple forms of fundraising and IPO, as well as leading challenging technology development.
Erik is the co-founder and the Executive Chairman of C-Green AB, a Swedish cleantech company that converts wet biowaste into solid hydrochar by OxyPower HTC™. Most recently the company was awarded with the InnovateNordics Green Award 2022 at Nasdaq in New York.
Born in 1966, Erik holds a MSc Mechanical Engineering from KTH, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.
Rob received a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Massachusetts in 1986 and a Master of Science degree in toxicology from the University of Washington in 1993. For serval years, Rob worked for state agencies to limit the impact of pollution on human health and the environment. From 2014 to 2019, Rob advised Governor Jay Inslee on issues including water resources, water quality, salmon recovery, Hanford Site cleanup and oil spill preparedness. Rob is currently the Sustainable Business Development Director at the Washington Department of Commerce where he is involved in stimulating markets for recycled materials and connecting businesses to reduce and utilize waste streams.
Pete Ryckman manages the business development activities for Rystad Energy in the western USA. Rystad Energy is an independent advisory, research, and business intelligence company, equipping clients with data and insights that power better decision-making.
Our energy transition research helps clients understand how the Inflation Reduction Act (US) and the Green Deal Industrial Plan (EU) are impacting decision-making in the US and Europe to stimulate the supply chain’s ability to deliver.
Pete has over 30 years’ experience working in the global energy market. He graduated with a Bachelor degree in Geology from Princeton University.
Julie Johnson is an accomplished executive with over 20
years of experience working with leading corporations and disruptive startups,
such as Ryder Systems Inc., Lightning eMotors, New Leaf Paper, and Wells Fargo.
Currently, as the Head of Market Development and Growth Strategy North America
at Volta Trucks, Julie is passionate about driving change that will make our
cities and communities cleaner and safer, improving the quality of life
globally. She specializes in building new markets, navigating complex market
and stakeholder dynamics, and implementing innovative strategies that deliver
fast and sustainable flywheel growth. Julie values the importance of a strong
culture and works collaboratively with ecosystem stakeholders to develop
mission-alignment on critical priorities that drive collective action and
successful business outcomes. Her vision for a net-zero carbon future is
founded on a triple bottom line approach of People-Planet-Profit, fulfilling
her deep passion for making a positive and lasting impact for future
The Nordic Museum is not only about the past, it's also about the future. The facilities here are fantastic.
- Casper von Koskull, CEO, Nordea Bank AB
I was so proud to just be part of it and really reflect on the Nordic countries and what we have in common with the Pacific Northwest.
- Tuula Rytilä, Corporate VP, Microsoft Digital Stores
I just knew that this was going to be a place to find ideas, find inspiration - also encouragement to know that there are people around the world struggling with the same challenges we're struggling with and coming up with creative answers.
- Marko Liias, Washington State Senator
"Thank you for a well-executed event with world class speakers and agenda."
—Rob Balconi, Ericsson
"The Nordic Innovation Summit is really my favourite event in the US – professional, interesting, innovative, friendly and fun! I had three amazing days!"
—Cecilia Lif, Embassy of Sweden
Whether it's Finland, Sweden, Norway, you have so much innovation coming out of these small countries that's actually a fuel empowering the whole world on technology.
- Elaine Weidman Grunewald, Co-Founder, AI Sustainability Center
Seeing what's happening up here in Seattle with the ecosystem whether the university, with large corporations, with a startup scene, and that scale ups, and the venture funds, and great talents, I think we can really learn something.
- Hilde Tonne, Chief Innovation Officer, Ramboll Group
There's so much innovation and so much creation and new exciting things happening in the Nordic countries.
- Petra Hilleberg, Honorary Consul, Sweden
I think we can really learn from each other. We obviously have a number of enormous problems that need to be solved and I think looking two examples of success in other countries is very valuable.
- Tom Alberg, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Madrona Venture Group
The beauty of this summit is that you have a melting pot of startup, innovators, big corporations, people who are living in Scandinavia, the ones who are living here, sharing ideas, their experiences, best practices, learning from failures.
- Vahé Torossian, President, Microsoft Western Europe