Deeply concerned about Norwegian laggard mentality

f eilertsen
Frode Eilertsen holds the NHH Lehmkuhl Lecture 2017. The title is «The future of Norway: A commodity-based laggard or a digital pioneer?». Aula, 26 September. Photo: Helge Skodvin

Deeply concerned about Norwegian laggard mentality

This year’s Lehmkuhl lecturer is investor and entrepreneur Frode Eilertsen. He fears that Norway will become a digital laggard: ‘I am concerned about how Norway is developing.’

frode eilertsen
Frode Eilertsen, investor and mentor for new generations of entrepreneurs.

Text: Sigrid Folkestad

‘The disruption that reaches new corners of our society every day is due to rapid technological development, an explosion in data and a quantum leap in the field of artificial intelligence. This is now controlled by global players. These upheavals will have great consequences for our society. For this reason, Norway must make digitalisation its top priority. Above employment, above health, above climate, above education,’ says Eilertsen.

Strong forces

Eilertsen, former Executive Vice President Digital Transformation and CEO of Schibsted Product & Technology, who had global chief responsibility for Schibsted’s digital transformation from a media company to a technology-driven global group, will take the podium in the main hall of the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) on Tuesday 26 September.

For this reason, Norway must make digitalisation its top priority. Above employment, above health, above climate, above education.

Frode Eilertsen

He is one of Norway’s foremost experts on digitalisation and transformation, and he is this year’s Lehmkuhl lecturer at NHH.

In Eilertsen’s opinion, we will not be able to achieve the goals we have set ourselves in the political core areas of health, climate and education if they fall outside the framework of the digital future.

ø thøgersen
If we listen to Frode Eilertsen and others who are at the forefront, we will be able to solve the challenges, NHH Rector Øystein Thøgersen says.

‘Our policy will simply not work when faced with the global forces of the digital economy, and the entire Norwegian welfare model will be under threat,’ says Eilertsen.

Investor and mentor

Rector Øystein Thøgersen at NHH is looking forward to Eilertsen's lecture.

‘What he will be talking about will mean the difference between Norway becoming a laggard that falls behind or a country that succeeds in developing a vital economy that can make the transition from resource-based to digital and technology-based. If we listen to Frode Eilertsen and others leaders in the field, this development can be very positive,’ says Thøgersen.

Eilertsen is currently an investor and mentor for a new generation of entrepreneur companies after his long career – in the USA as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist in Boston and Silicon Valley, and in Europe with McKinsey and Schibsted.

Eilertsen goes directly to the core of the journey that the Norwegian economy must make: from an oil-based economy that has reached its zenith to an age of digitalisation.

Øystein Thøgersen

Schibsted Media Group, which is the biggest internet company in Europe with 250 million users, has repeatedly been the focus of international press attention, already some years before Eilertsen was put in charge of Schibsted’s digital transformation.

Following an article in The Economist, Schibsted was used as a case for Harvard students due to the way in which the company proactively cannibalised its paper-based media when faced with the digital transformation. The results were VG.no and Finn.no, which in turn formed the basis for Schibsted’s position as a world leader in web-based marketplaces.

Father of NHH:

Cabinet Minister Kristofer Lehmkuhl (1855-1949) was an untiring champion for NHH. Perhaps more than anyone else he had the honor of ensuring that NHH became established, and right up to his death he followed the activity of the school with a never weakening interest. He is therefore rightfully called the 'Father of the school'.

NHH has honoured Kristofer Lehmkuhl's memory by holding an annual lecture in his name for students, academic staff and invited guests. The lecture is held as close as possible to Kristofer Lehmkuhl's birthday on 26th September.

FORMER LEHMKUHL LECTURES 

greater opportunities

Eilertsen has become a visible driving force in the Norwegian digitalisation and disruption debate, and he will be taking about this at NHH in his lecture ‘The future of Norway: A commodity-based laggard or a digital pioneer?’

‘My lecture will shed light on the content and consequences of the present digital technology transition. I will then give an honest account of Norway's particular challenges when faced with this transition,’ says Eilertsen.

Nonetheless, Eilertsen emphasises, what is most important to him is to highlight the enormous possibilities the future holds for Norway and Norwegian business and industry.

It starts now!

‘Provided that we can resolve these challenges. But that will take courageous, visionary and capable leadership. And that is why I cannot think of a better place to share my experience and reflections on the upcoming technological transition than Norway’s foremost educational institution for current and future business leaders.’

Rector Thøgersen considers Eilertsen to be one of the top lecturers in the field of digitalisation and disruptions in light of the challenges facing the Norwegian economy.

‘And it starts now. We're at the starting line. Eilertsen goes directly to the core of the journey that the Norwegian economy must make: from an oil-based economy that has reached its zenith to an age of digitalisation.’

Research news

Published: 20 September 2017 10:27