“We must capture the data-driven growth”

Data-driven business models and smart cities were on the agenda at the Nordic Council’s conference on digitalisation.

“Data-driven business models will continue to drive tremendous growth, generating new business, tax proceeds and creating new jobs. The problem is that most of these businesses are developed outside our region and even outside Europe,” said Henriette Wendt, Head of Group Corporate Development at Telia Company, as she held a keynote speech at the Nordic Council’s Digital North conference in Oslo on 25 April.

“Our regulation is forcing entrepreneurs to take their ideas to California or Seoul, and with them goes jobs, money and our position in the forefront of development. We must understand the data economy to make it thrive in our countries.” 

The Digital North conference gathered representatives from governments and private companies from all the Nordic and Baltic countries to discuss how the countries can work together to make the most of the new digital technology.

Smart societies rather than smart cities
Henriette Wendt also participated in a panel discussion on smart cities, an area where Telia can contribute a lot.
“I don’t want us to talk about smart cities since it gives the impression that it is only possible in our major cities. I would like us to talk about smart communities or smart society. Even the smallest municipality must be included. No one can accept being left with yesterday’s public service just because they happen to live in a smaller town,” Henriette Wendt said.

She says smart societies is not primarily a list of solutions. It’s an infrastructure built on connectivity and data platforms. Telia can provide with much of the infrastructure needed when transforming into a smart society, such as connected sensors, data analytics, secure and reliable platforms, and, of course, the connectivity being the prerequisite for it all.
“My main point today was about cooperation. No politician can build a smart society. No telco can do it and nor can any creative start-up. All of us need to work together and contribute with what each of us do best. I think we can succeed, since we are good at cooperating in our part of the world.”

About the Digital North conference