What’s the next big thing? A question that occupies many bright minds these years. Is it Big Data? Is it Africa? Or is it indeed seaweed, which many think we will all be munching for breakfast before long?
The candidates are many, but we can think of only one commonality that ties them together, and that’s not a thing. It’s people! The people who are pushing the envelope. The people Steve Jobs called “the crazy ones”. The ones who envision how the vast amount of data created by digitalization and the internet of things might create value for people, companies and communities. The people who are dedicated to bringing African markets and companies closer to the international business community. The ones who research what the ever-expanding human race is going to eat in the future. We could go on, because obviously these are merely glimpses into the bottomless pool of people who are pushing to change things for the better around the world.
Winston Churchill is one of the people who most certainly changed the world, and he had his own view on the Big Data of his time:
“Nothing is more dangerous in wartime than to live in the temperamental atmosphere of a Gallup Poll, always feeling one’s pulse and taking one’s temperature. I see that a speaker at the weekend said that this was a time when leaders should keep their ears to the ground. All I can say is that the British nation will find it very hard to look up to leaders who are detected in that somewhat ungainly posture”.
House of Commons
We’re with old Winston on this. To us, the next big thing isn’t Big Data. It’s People. Big People. Like the man himself. And consequently, we are going to pay tribute to Big People in this annual report. We will put the spotlight on some of the people we have met, who we believe have shown true greatness.
Among others, you will meet the former Danish Minister of Finance Bjarne Fog Corydon who gained some counter-intuitive insights while representing the establishment. You will meet Jacob Schram from Alimentation Couche-Tard who had a vision while taking a stroll on the beach. And Abiola Olaniran, founder of the African gaming company Gamsole, who ended up on Forbes’ list of African entrepreneurs, as well as Katrina Sonne Einhorn from Grundfos who worked with other African entrepreneurs. You will meet Ingeborg Sauge Torpe who managed to harness the Norwegian weather and present the Temperature Risk Curve to the CEO of Hafslund a few months after graduating. You will meet Joakim Landholm from SAS who headed an extreme make-over clinic. You will meet Jacob Kragh from LEGO Education who chose to disrupt his own successful strategy. And Claes Broström who instigated a cultural revolution at SJ. You will meet Christian Ingerslev and Lene Reitzel from Maersk Tankers who developed a qualitative case for change to realise the intended value from a strategy project. You will meet Lars Aagaard from the Danish Energy Association and Troels Ranis from the Confederation of Danish Industry who came together to set an agenda. You will meet our friend Markus Pertl from Munich, who works with entrepreneurship on many levels. And, you will meet one of the grand old men in the Danish business community, Henrik Heideby, who sometimes wishes he was better at keeping his mouth shut.
It’s an impressive group of people. Big People. And we’re thankful for their willingness to share their experiences, viewpoints and passion.