The aim of the Digital Learning Journey was to get to know the digital scene of Stockholm, find out about different business models, get new ideas and build up networks. The European Digital City Index (EDCI) placed Stockholm second in Europe behind only London when it comes to supporting digital entrepreneurs. No other European city has produced more billion-dollar unicorn startups than Stockholm, like Spotify, King or Klarna. Sweden is generally recognized as a leader in innovation, and the size of its startup scene is huge for such a small country: It has 20,000 startups in total and together they raised a total of 1.5 billion Dollars in 2016, an increase of 50 percent since 2015.
Stations on day one
The first stop was Doberman, a digital design agency. Our lessons learned: We are in the third phase of digitalization where true customer centricity is the core. Therefore, you should ask yourself: What would a memorable customer experience look like and how do we design it? Moreover, make the customer participate in the design process to get regular feedback.
Next, we went back to Stockholm’s City Center to visit Natural Cycle, a birth control app. In February 2017, it became the first app to be approved for use as a contraceptive by a major European testing firm. What can we learn from that? It’s not only about new methods or innovations, even digitalizing an old method can lead to a successful and scalable business by making it more attractive and easy to use for the customer.
The group spent the afternoon at SUP46 (Start-up People of Sweden), the leading Start-up hub within Tech in Sweden, to meet different start-ups and digital experts. For example, Karma: The Social enterprise is dedicated to reducing food waste in the cafe and restaurant industry by offering leftovers in an app for pickup at the end of the day for a reduced price. Food waste is a global problem: 33 percent of all food produced is not consumed. The founder’s recommendations for a successful business: Make your app easy and quick for the user, know your competitors to learn from their mistakes and invest in the right staff as it is your key asset. Another example is Bemz, a Scandinavian design company who disrupted IKEA: They create stylish custom covers for existing and discontinued IKEA furniture. That shows: Many people want fast and individual solutions which they can co-create.
Stations on day two
On the second day, the group splitted into half, to visit two different parts of the finance sector. The first group went to Klarna, a Swedish e-commerce company that provides payment services for online storefronts. Klarna was founded in 2005 in Stockholm and is now one of Europe’s largest banks. The other half went to the north of Stockholm to the Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB), is a Swedish financial group for corporate customers, institutions and private individuals. Like Haniel they are working on their digital transformation. The key factors: Customer centricity, employee’s innovation ideas and cultural change.
Afterwards, everyone met at Teamtailor, an all in one easy-to-use web service for recruiting which gives you a modern career site with applicant tracking and social recruiting. The HR industry is facing major challenges. A new generation of professionals is coming: this will change recruitment processes. Employees of tomorrow are used to Social Media and mobile devices. Therefore, you need to create relationships to get applications and make it easier to apply.
At the next stop, it was all about web security. Detectify is a web security scanner that performs fully automated tests to identify security issues on your website. Many companies are vulnerable to attacks especially when it comes to internet of things. Therefore, they should spread security information in the company, to make everyone aware of the risks and run tests on their systems on a regular basis.
The last stop on the journey was Hyper Island, a creative business school with a consultancy side specializing in real-world industry training using digital technology. A digital world needs different education programs which use modern methods like design thinking and include real projects, this is what the students did there.
Here you can find the video of the Digital Learning Journey 2017.