Saturday, June 12, 2010, 4:40 AM
Well the InnoTown innovation conference was certainly a very good experience and a real eye-opener. On the ‘great experience’ side of the ledger, this is as close to the ‘home country’ as I’ve ever been – my grandfather and grandmother (father’s side) were Swedish and Finnish, respectively. Norway, being one country over from each, is pretty close.
Close enough heritage-wise that the main problem for myself and my daughter Erica, who accompanied me, was that everyone began talking to us in Norwegian. It seems that we both look more Norwegian than many Norwegians. Luckily, virtually everyone in Norway also speaks near-flawless English, too, so there was never any confusion after the first sentence.
I also counted myself lucky to have been able to see the other presenters on the slate, including: Lynda Gratton of the London Business School, Chris Bangle (former chief designer for BMW), Blake Mycoskie (founder of Tom’s shoes – “one for one” – founded on the principle of profit and giving being part of the same business model), Rohit Talwar (a futurist and strategist with a quite enviable client list), Roger Flynn (a young-ish though big-time executive for Virgin, BBC, and other ventures), and Peter Diamandis, who is the founder of the X-Prize, which saw the first private success at space travel and is now sponsoring other such prizes in a multitude of areas. A few of these people were world-class presenters, so I learned a few things, most notably that it is time to spiff up my slides.
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