While our local tech conference Slush, opted to build a networking platform and multiple events during the year, Lisbon’s Web Summit opted to go for one big event this year, claiming to draw in 100,000+ attendees from 160+ countries to the COVID-safe online version. With a massive audience at hand, Finland is represented well at the summit, with these highlights last week.
Accelerating the 4th industrial revolution
Pekka Lundmark, CEO of Nokia
- Lundmark began his talk citing that just 10% of the world’s workers have the luxury of working at home on their computers, like much of the Web Summit audience. Future connectivity will change this for agriculture, manufacturing, and other industries.
- Nokia predicts that in ICT spending we should see a fall, rise, and then a new normal. Currently we’re in fall, but in three years we should already be in the new normal.
- To the digital leaders in the audience, Lundmark gives good advice that some one the ultra-modern promises of 5G (such as ultra-low latency) will take time to live up to the hype, but those who are working now will have a head start. Talk with the HBH team on how to do that, here.
Masterclass: How can fintech boost sustainable banking?
Hosted by Helsinki Business Hub
- Next up was our discussion hosted by our CEO Marja-Liisa Niinikoski. Adding their views on how Fintech can boost sustainable banking was Menno van Leeuwen from ABN AMRO, Monika Liikamaa from Enfuse, and Repe Harmanen from Solidate.
- The panelists agreed that when it comes to sustainable banking, there’s a lot of talk but not a lot of action. Van Leeuwen points that one issue is that one of the biggest challenges Fintech startups can solve is in how to concretely measure sustainability.
- On the consumer side, Liikamaa points out the challenges Fintech companies have in changing consumer behavior. “It’s a lot like dieting, there are a lot of choices made on an everyday level.”
- On pushing sustainable banking forward, the panelists agreed there’s a risk of ‘purpose washing’ but the ultimate goal is to set a new standard. “Humans are herd animals. When something becomes majority adopted, then it becomes a prerequisite”, says Liikamaa.
- The Helsinki Business Hub team has specialists focused on Fintech and are happy to talk sustainability initiatives.
Mapping the genome: Is the Finnish line in sight?
- Palotie has led the Finnish Genome Project as part of the University of Helsinki, putting together a national biobank of genetic data for researchers to study.
- Finland’s biobank isn’t the first– Palotie cites the UK’s biobank as the real pioneer. But Finland’s is uniquely contributing to science thanks to its population structure which sprang from a genetic bottleneck. “It’s easier to find variance and get a hold of the biological consequences of genetic mutations,” he says.
- Bringing together so many stakeholders was not without its own unique challenges, but Palotie says that having legislative and governmental support is important in putting together these initiatives. “It indicates the whole nation is behind the project and is excited about it.”
- Talk with our team about how your project can use Helsinki as a healthtech platform here.