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How do we create the future of new creative, technological businesses? The world is changing and today there is more than ever a focus on sustainability – both in relation to our climate, the environment and in relation to creating living conditions that enable a work and private life in balance.
Among other things, this development is expressed in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which provide a direction for what we must focus on if we are to secure ourselves and the planet we live on. Here the development of decent jobs and responsible production goes hand in hand with the overall climate effort. Today, these are fundamental criteria if we are to bring Denmark to the forefront of the development of future sustainable businesses.
In recent years there has been a rise in the entrepreneurial culture in Denmark, which has resulted in the launch of many new digital, creative companies and new apps, games and other types of software have surfaced. But due to an increased focus on sustainable development, today there is an increasing group of potential entrepreneurs who cannot see themselves in the classic start-up process focusing on traditional business and investment models. Many potential companies are falling through the net and therefore there is a great need to investigate how we can support the development of a new, strong and creative growth layer in Denmark.
New digital formats have created a foundation for new ways of organizing themselves in communities and thus new business models have emerged. For example, the sharing economy that is Airbnb, Uber and other platforms is part of our time today. The idea of organizing in communities and sharing access to housing and cars is more relevant than ever. We have a tradition in Denmark of creating communities around business and technological development. The Danish cooperative movement ensured that agriculture was supplied with new machines and the new technology needed. At the same time, the movement created a new form of sustainable safety net for the self-employed farmers. We still have large companies that are based on the idea of sharing; Arla continues to be owned by farmers, COOP has started as a shopping community and still has the sharing community as a significant part of their business. At the same time, there are many newer start-up companies that are based on the cooperative idea – Thorupstrand Kystfiskerlaug, Logik & Co, Knowledgeworker. However, it is difficult to spot companies working in digital solutions, although here, there is also an increased need for new, sustainable business models.
The course was held in collaboration with the IT University of Copenhagen. It will introduce elements that enable the student to develop a possible business concept and get an overview of the factors that will be crucial for establishing a sustainable business.
The course will use design fiction as an idea and development tool. Development of new technology and our societal structures is more than ever linked – they strengthen and drive each other. This means that if you want to develop new companies in IT and at the same time want to develop a more sustainable society, then this must be done in a common movement. Design fiction is based on the fact that many revolutionary technologies have first been imagined and described through fiction and then later translated into actual applications – interpreted through the sociological lens of the historical era.
The course format
The course is focused on both theory and practice and includes various possible innovation models as well as identification of business opportunities, competitor analysis and strategy development – all from a sustainable perspective. The course is group based and is very practice oriented. The coaching will be a combination of presentations, participant discussion as well as group work.