SHIFT program 2020 – Celebrating intelligent business

SHIFT program 2020 – Celebrating intelligent business


SHIFT challenges you to do intelligent business for the futures. As the statement indicates, there are multiple possible scenarios ahead of us, and businesses can both prepare for and have a role in shaping the futures. I believe that after the challenging year of 2020 we all wish we had a say in what sorts of shapes and forms the futures will take. We at SHIFT think there is no better time to think about intelligent business than now. Sustainability is a competitive advantage and a necessity in the current state of affairs, and businesses have a huge change potential in the world.

The program of SHIFT 2020 dives into data and technology, strategic foresight, alternative business models for future companies, and ways to protect human capital. The topics are presented through concrete examples that are applicable to different sectors. We support and inspire business leaders and developers on the way to becoming more adaptable to changing surroundings and preparing for different scenarios.


Sustainability is a competitive advantage and a necessity in the current state of affairs.


Technology becoming embedded in everything
The stage in which we replaced what we did before with digital tools is gone and we are now doing new things, earlier unimaginable. Technology has enabled new ways of living and new levels of wellbeing. At the same time, we should be aware of the possible bias of AI and the mass collection and processing of personal data. The ball is now in the court of the private sector developing and using these solutions to react to these worries appropriately.

If you’re interested in tech and data, see for instance Jaakko Sahimaa, an organisational psychologist, who challenges you to rethink the way you promote your employee’s health, going beyond culture and sports vouchers. Jaana Sinipuro from Sitra dives into sustainable and fair data and how it can make your business better. Using the right data in the right way delivers tremendous and constantly growing wins. Edward Andersson from the World Bank discusses resilience through digitization and data. It is said that ‘data is the new gold’ and satellite data offers many more opportunities for business and positive impact creation than so far utilized.


The ball is now in the court of the private sector.


Strategic foresight and resilience
As a method of Futures studies, strategic foresight is mostly known to academics. However, it also offers a tool for shaping businesses’ strategy. Ideas about different scenarios for the future serve as a guideline in deciding how and in which direction to develop your business or particular processes. Being prepared for different scenarios is the epitome of resilience.

Joana Lenkova will discuss the three core principles of strategic foresight for businesses from her experience at AB Inbev, Disney, and Société Générale. Risto E.J. Penttilä is the CEO of public policy think tank Nordic West Office. His long state of service in public policy has provided him with the tools to prepare companies for unpredictable twists and turns world politics may take.


Being prepared for different scenarios is the epitome of resilience.


Bringing people to the center
While your business is all about your product or service, it is the people that keep the wheels turning. The trend is that customers are willing to pay more if they feel they can count on the quality of your company’s services and accountability. They are also more likely to stick around, as consumers and employees if your values are close to their own. Allowing for economic and societal frameworks that support financial security, healthier day-to-day choices, and independence will help people and businesses thrive.

Alexandra Davidsson, Secretary General of the Swedish Association for Responsible Consumption, will go into the sustainability aspect of the no-bullshit generation and how you as a business can appeal to their values. Guy Standing, Professorial Research Associate at SOAS University of London, will challenge your thinking about the way humans add value and get rewarded for this value. His suggestion of a universal basic income will allow for more innovations, happiness, and financial security across the board. 

Alternative business models
A future-ready mindset requires a new approach to how profit is made. Attributing more value to used materials, providing access rather than ownership, and allowing consumers to repair products easily are just some of the ways. Allowing innovations to stream in from unexpected directions or at a new intensity can be another.

Marcus Dehlin from Stora Enso is all about bringing startups closer into the fold of a large cooperation. This requires a level of radical openness of your business to new ideas and risk-taking, but in the long run, it pays itself off for both sides. Jacqueline Cramer will tell you more about the Dutch experience. The country has as its goal to become fully circular by 2050 and Jacqueline has been at the center of it through her numerous board memberships and her role at Utrecht University.


Allow innovations to stream in from unexpected directions.


SHIFT invites you to engage
In the core of our mission is to challenge our attendees’ thinking and to encourage you to engage in and create positive change. This approach is supported by insightful keynotes on the Futures Stage, workshops, and co-creation at Solution Stage, where facilitated discussions take place after the introduction to the topic by the speaker on stage. In the exceptional year of 2020, we treat you with something special: During te two-day webstival, our speakers are there for mentoring sessions with you. The meetings are organised upon an application process – take a chance and apply for a meeting! It can be game-changing.


I warmly welcome you to join the show – Let us make SHIFT happen!


Anne Bergshoeff works as the Head of Program and Event Experience at SHIFT.