Past News

SI and international delegation to attend Innovation Pioneers Summit

At this year’s Innovation Pioneers Summit, we are happy to welcome The Swedish Institute and a delegation of international innovation leaders from around the globe.

At this year’s Innovation Pioneers Summit, we are happy to welcome The Swedish Institute (Svenska Institutet) and a delegation of international innovation leaders from around the globe.

Innovation Pioneers Summit is a two-day action-oriented conference bringing together more than 200 innovation leaders. To this year’s event, the Swedish Institute has invited a delegation of twenty international innovation experts from Europe, North America, Africa and Asia to attend the conference to learn about and connect with the Swedish innovation space.

– At the Swedish Institute, my role is to identify networking opportunities between foreign and Swedish innovation leaders. This fall, we are bringing experts from around the world to Stockholm to showcase Swedish innovation capabilities. We are looking to help them make valuable business connections and also to promote trade between the countries. Innovation Pioneers Summit will be the perfect platform for this, explains Ziba Zareie, Programme Manager at Swedish Institute.

The international delegation consists of two main groups. Half the group comes from the Balkans (Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia and Albania) and are looking to strengthen the innovation ecosystem in their own regions and learn more about the Swedish innovation ecosystem.

The other part of the group are from Japan, USA, Egypt and the UK, looking to establish new business connections with Sweden. The participants either run some sort of incubator or hub today, focus on academia within the innovation space, or conduct innovation projects connected to the The Global Goals.

– Our ambitions is for our international guests to leave the summit fueled with new knowledge and input that they can bring back to their own regions and use in real projects. At the same time, I’m sure there will also be a lot of interesting networking opportunities, says Ziba Zareie.

Innovation Pioneers and the whole team involved in working with Innovation Pioneers Summit would like to give a very warm welcome to the international delegation! This year’s summit will take place on October 23 – 24 in Stockholm.

Anna Bäck on why to attend Innovation Pioneers Summit 2018

Innovation Pioneers Summit is a two-day conference bringing together more than 200 innovation leaders and learners to share, learn and build on each other’s knowledge about the technology and trends that are shaping the world of tomorrow. This year, the conference will have an even stronger focus on learning through a series of innovation classes, with the aim of giving each participant new insights, tools and ideas to bring back to their own organization.

Innovation Pioneers Summit is a two-day conference bringing together more than 200 innovation leaders and learners to share, learn and build on each other’s knowledge about the technology and trends that are shaping the world of tomorrow.

This year, the conference will have an even stronger focus on learning through a series of innovation classes, with the aim of giving each participant new insights, tools and ideas to bring back to their own organization. The summit will be held in Stockholm on October 23rd – 24th on the theme ‘building intelligent futures’.

“Innovation Pioneers Summit is about sharing experiences with other innovation leaders, listening to world-renowned speaker and taking part in innovation classes. You always learn something new and meet inspiring people”, says Anna Bäck, Chairman of Innovation Pioneers.

Anna Bäck is an Associate Expert Partner at McKinsey & Company and COO of Veryday, one of the world’s top-ranking design and innovation consultancies. Veryday is one of the initiator companies that was part of starting up the Innovation Pioneers network ten years ago, and they have been an active member since. As of the beginning of the year, Anna is also the Chairman of Innovation Pioneers.

“Innovation Pioneers is such an exciting network, with inspiring members from across different industries. I believe that we have a very important role to play; through innovation sharing and insights we can help lift the innovation abilities across all Swedish industries.”


Innovation classes of 2018

The classroom is an important pillar at Innovation Pioneers Summit, and will be in the center of this year’s event. During the two days, participants will split up into four innovation classes led by industry-leading representatives for learning sessions about disruptive subjects that are affecting society as well as businesses and organizations across the globe.

The themes of the innovation workshops will be Collaboration & Co-creation (hosted by RISE & Ignite), AI & Business (hosted by IKEA & Adverai), People & innovation (Arbetsförmedlingen & Novare) and Smart & Human cities (hosted by Veryday & Urban ICT Arena).

“The innovation workshop themes have been put together by the initiator group behind Innovation Pioneers, with the aim of highlighting different trends and technologies that are impacting organizations today. Each session will focus on innovating around how new technology and human behaviour can affect each participating organization.”

The innovation classes are based on a ‘learning by action’ methodology, meaning that participants will take an active part in the learning process.


Innovation tools to bring back to the organization

During the summit, different innovation methods and tools will be presented. Innovation teams visiting the summit together will gain a common ground and understanding to bring back and continue working on within their organizations.

“Our vision is for every participant to leave the summit fueled with new knowledge and insight, and to gain new tools to bring back to their own organization. This is achieved by putting active learning in the center of the summit, with focus on dialog and interactivity.”

Summit participants work with innovation in different industries and constellations, and are open to sharing their views on innovation principles, struggles and possibilities. Instead of competition, the atmosphere is focused on sharing and openness.

“The participants are a big part of what makes the conference interesting as well! You meet and network with other innovative minds in a context focused on sharing and learning.”


Read more and sign up to Innovation Pioneers Summit 2018 here:

There are already participants signed up from organizations such as Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset, SKF, Hultafors group, RISE, Valmet, Stena, Asko, EON, Norrmejerier, Umeå Kommun, Handelsbanken, Tetra-pak, Brighter, Dentatus, Migrationsverket, Arbetsförmedlingen, Altran, Northvolt, Veryday, Novare, Ignite, Uponor, SOS Alarm, IKEA, Claremont and Pernod-Richard.

Innovation Pioneers UK launches in London on May 1st 2018 !

During an inspiring and creative dinner with a private chef, the core team of Initiators will gather for the first time. This Initiating Dinner signals the launch of Innovation Pioneers in the UK and will be followed by quarterly Tank Meetings and the Innovation Pioneers UK Summit in 2019.
By expanding Innovation Pioneers internationally, starting with UK in 2018, we bring more value to current and new members in both countries. It will be possible for Swedish members to attend meetings in the UK and vice versa.
Contact us for more information, a new website is under production.

Welcome Susanne Fuglsang – our new COO

As told before we have some exciting news for 2018, now we can finally share the great news that Susanne Fuglsang will be working as our new COO.

Susanne Fuglsang is a Innovation Catalyst and Executive Producer. She has extensive experience in strategy and production of interdisciplinary co-creation processes like Hackathons, Design Sprints and Innovation Events. As a true change maker she is constantly on the move to create and inspire change through open innovation projects by co-creation between tech, science, research, academia, companies and nonprofits.

In parallel with transforming people to intrapreneurs or entrepreneurs she is a well known contributor in the maker, tech & startup communities with a special passion to inspire and empower women in all ages to educate themselves and engage in tech.

– I have been a participant of Innovation Pioneers yearly meetingplace “Innovation in Action” for several years and admire the high quality of content and useful learnings and sharing activities. As an advocate of diversity, collaboration and innovation the role as COO for Innovation Pioneers is a perfect match for me.

-To be able to work alongside all initiator companies, members and partners to continue and develop the 10 year old trailblazing path is amazing. The need for knowledge sharing and training of innovation capabilities has never been higher so my hope is that we together can continue to contribute to that in a great way.

Welcome Matias Pakarinen – our new Vice Chairman

This is the first year that Innovation Pioneers will have the pleasure to introduce not only a new chairman, but also a vice chairman. Please welcome Matias Pakarinen, Innovation and Advanced Solution Manager at Altran.

“I am really happy and humble about the role, it´s the best possible forum to learn and share insights about innovation. I have been part in Innovation Pioneers since 2010, starting with Innovation in Action. It´s been a privilege and great learning the first 8 years with IKEA of Sweden, Matias Pakarinen.”

We wanted to know more about Matias and his view on the network:

You work at Altran today, how do you think your knowledge from Altran can be used within Innovation Pioneers? 

Altran is a global company, working in all kind of sectors, from Air Space to MedTech, so Altran could widening the network and knowledge.

How do you look at the role as the new vice chairman of Innovation Pioneers? 

A great opportunity to talk more about innovation and listening even more, meeting people and organizations, widening the field of innovation. But also ensure the network is transforming, is up to date, agile and attractive for all members.

From your perspective, in what ways does innovation Pioneers stand out as a networking platform? 

It is something special in a network that is truly open and sharing.  Energy, leaning forward, open, endless opportunity, and there is members since the start,
There is an opportunity to learn everyday.

What are your ambitions for Innovation Pioneers for the upcoming two years?

Yeah, wow, 2 years ahead, I hope we are more diverse, but also bigger in a smarter way, I will together with Anna Bäck (chairman) set the plan for what growth is for Innovation Pioneers, reach more, but still small enough to have a active and engaged group.


TANK MEETING 1 2018 at Altran in MALMÖ

If you want to know more about Altran, you should join us during our first tank meeting at Altran in Malmö, the 14th of March where we will explore the digital roadmap.

Join us and register here


2018: Welcome our new Chairman, Anna Bäck

We have the pleasure to introduce Innovation Pioneers new Chairman, Anna Bäck. Here you can read more about Anna and her thoughts about Innovation Pioneers:


First of all, Congratulations! How does it feel to be the new chairman of Innovation Pioneers?

Thanks. It feels great and very inspiring!

I got many valuable inspirations from this great community. So it feels fantastic to be able to give back and help connect innovation leaders. I believe that by sharing and supporting each other we can further accelerate much needed innovation in the Nordics and beyond.

You work at Veryday today, how do you think your knowledge from Veryday can be used within Innovation Pioneers? 

I have worked globally with innovation in many different industries and several governments, during three years I was based in Shanghai focusing 100% on Asian companies and governments. I think my experiences from global organizational challenges (silos exist in China & Singapore as well!), customer driven innovation and the combination of analytics and deep user insights will be helpful when we are developing innovation pioneers further during 2018.

How come you want to engage in innovation and this network?

Inspiration and diverse perspective are incredibly important for innovation. The trust and quality in this network is unique. So I think that to tackle the challenges we all face as companies, public sector organizations, even cities and governments we need to join forces. At Veryday we believe that together is better. Sweden is world leading in innovation, to keep being among the top in the world we need to continuously share, coach and challenge each other – across industry sectors, governments and functions.

From your perspective, in what ways does innovation Pioneers stand out as a networking platform? 

It stands out as a very diverse and inspiring community with members from different industries, backgrounds and cultures who share a passion for innovation. This creates a very open and inclusive atmosphere and is therefore a great platform to share experiences, knowledge and new ideas.

It also is very hands on. The popular innovation in action summit is one of the best ways to really try new methods and get first hand experience of the leading edge topics.

What are your ambitions for Innovation Pioneers for the upcoming two years?

My ambitions are to grow the network, infuse a global perspective to the discussions and to improve the already very high quality of innovation in action. Would love to co-create with the members what the future should be. I also want to bring in topics like AI and VR/AR, humanizing data, emotional ethics and how to combine big and small data (analytics and deep user insights). My hope is to inspire existing and new members to get their companies to the next level!

Thank you so much Anna, we look forward to a great 2018 together! 

Just Arrived is Granted the 2017 One Wish Award by Innovation Pioneers

Innovation Pioneers yearly awards one organization with a cause to change society to the better, the One Wish Award.

At Innovation in Action 2017 in Stockholm, the organization Just Arrived was announced as this years winner. 

“We are here at Innovation in Action for a few reasons, one being the cocreation and exchange of knowledge.

However this comes in the shadow of what I am about to say.

We all have a responsibility as individuals towards our selves to use the knowledge acquired to create value, as we create value for us we also create value for our organizations but most important of all we do it for the society in the long run.

This brings me to this evenings special occation. The introduction of Innovation Pioneers One Wish Award and this years recipient organization.

First some background on this years process.

A committee led by our chairman selects a short list from all the nominated organizations.

The nominees are then evaluated on the following criteria.

The One Wish Award Winner shall be representative for Innovation Pioneers definition of innovation; people creating and implementing ideas that generate value. This value shall be applied to individuals, organizations and the society in the long run.

The main subject for a nominee is to work for better social and/or environmental circumstances.

The winner shall also aspire to fill our vision in the meaning of building innovation capabilities through joint development and networking.

We are particularly pleased that this year’s prize is awarded to Just Arrived. In addition to the contested issue being very immediate and relevant, we have especially fallen for the chosen approach to the solution. Just Arrived has achieved results that differentiate, engage and create value. This is exactly what Innovation is about ” says Kim Silvasti during the prize ceremony.

The price was delivered to Andreas König, CEO of Just Arrived, by Kim Silvasti COO of the Innovation Pioneers Network, Jan Sandqvist, Googol and Chairman of Innovation Pioneers Niclas Ingeström.

“We are proud and honored to receive the One wish award. There is an urgent need to address the opportunity and responsibility we all have in creating value for Sweden and its citizens into the future. This is our way of offering organizations in Sweden the possibility to be part of the solution”, says Andreas König of Just Arrived.

Our goal now is to introduce Just Arrived into the network and create value together!

Previous One Wish Award winners are:

Nevado Roses, Ecuador
The Hunger Project, USA/Sweden
Index Awards, Denmark
Futebal dá Forca, Sweden
IM´s Project Humanium, Sweden

Do You Know How to Manage Your Innovation Portfolio Right?

Have you been in a situation where you had difficulties to choose which projects to fund and which to kill? Are you running too many parallel projects?

“-Have you had difficulties to choose which projects to fund and which to kill?

-Do you feel you are lacking the right tools to visualize your portfolio?

-Do you even know why you should visualize it?”

We have met up with Jan Sandqvist, CEO at Googol,  an organization working with innovation solutions to discuss the upcoming workshop at Innovation in Action. We discussed the importance of Portfolio Management when it comes to optimizing for the future and Jan explained how the “iPM challenge” that he will be holding during Innovation in Action makes participants aware of the need for Portfolio Management.

Portfolio Management could be seen as one key in order to optimize for the future. However, many organizations seem to have problem to succeed with this. According to Jan, almost all companies need to constantly make improvements, in small steps as well as bigger leaps. “By using an appropriate tool for Portfolio Management, it is easier to place your bets and get the desired return on investment with a balanced risk.”, he said.

Even though many people would say that strategy is a key to succes, Jan also describes ‘visual thinking’ as a central part when talking about strategy and portfolio management, meaning that it is easier to make decisions based on the actual situation when everyone involved share the same picture and data. “Visualization, when done in a good way, can be very helpful for staying on topic and discuss what really matters”, Jan said in a statement.

As the CEO of Googol, Jan has a lot of experience regarding common mistakes when it comes to managing portfolios and what companies can do in order to avoid these in an early stage. “Projects and products are often viewed on spreadsheets, but the visualization is lacking. Sometimes the information is only accessible for a few people when more should be involved. In some cases, new initiatives and projects are compared to existing products and decision makers tend to demand a lot of information, that is unknown in early stages, making it difficult to pursue the development of promising ideas. A good overview of the portfolio and a clear understanding of how resources are meant to be spent helps in the decision making process.”

While a company strategy defines ”Why to innovate?” the iPM Challenge helps organizations to understand ”What to Innovate?”. During this workshop, the participants will realize the complexity with portfolio management while facing different challenges. “There are a lot of variables to consider; investment, Net Present Value, Risk level, production capabilities, customer need, resource allocation just to name a few. There is a lot of work to be done during 2,5 hours, but the participants will get an understanding of how powerful a tool for visualization is and as a consequence, that better informed decisions can be made faster.”

Do you feel you are lacking the right tools to visualize your portfolio? Join Googols workshop, “The iPM Challenge” during Innovation in Action, 24-25th of October.

AI and the Moral Aspects – Conny Svensson Head of Digital Transformation

Innovation Pioneers  – We have met up with Conny Svensson who is Head of Digital Transformation at CGI to discuss the upcoming workshop at Innovation in Action and hear more on his thoughts on the moral aspects of AI.

What do you think are the factors that make Artificial Intelligence have the potentials to be one of the greatest changes in humanity since we evolved from homo sapiens?

Conny –  Since Homo Sapiens emerged on the planet we have been the most intellectual advanced species on earth, this might change in a longer perspective. Even if we think we’re innovative we are still very limited in how much information we can handle and also how we think. Our brains have developed during thousands of years and our intelligence is optimised to think and solve problems in certain domains. We have some biological mind barriers that keeps us boxed and limited in our potential. An AI could theoretically break out of these boundaries and create a new form of intelligence not known to mankind before. During the workshop we will look at what consequences that could have in a society.

IP – AI is here now and can help in a variety of areas, from saving lives, to streamlining businesses, to helping every single individual with small advice. AI gives us superpowers to make better decisions and do what we ourselves are not so good at.

– What and where would be your “dream” to implement AI? What effects do you see AI could bring in that area?

Conny –  I would love to use AI to build a better model for society. Our political models and all “isms” are developed with our very limited views and limitations as humans, based on our own experiences and personal beliefs. You don’t build the best model for a society when you only have 4 years at a time to create change and “only” live for 80 years. AI can tackle much bigger problems than we humans, but this is not done in a heart beat. We will have to build and teach an AI to evolve and when we are ready, let it grow and advance itself. We’re in the phase of childbirth today, now we need to focus on the basic needs, then start to raise it with the right values to later let it flourish by itself. We’re just in the beginning of this exciting journey!

IP – In CGIs workshop at Innovation in Action we will work with the moral and ethical aspects of AI, not the technical details. We will cover  how we should relate to AI in society when it suddenly takes decisions that were previously taken by a person when the decisions can be directly life-determining or when AI can remove 50% of the jobs we have today.

– Can you give us a peak into your thoughts on when AI should not be used and when it definitely should be used with all its powers.

Conny –  In our workshop we will use role-play to discuss difficult morale dilemmas and philosophical conundrums. Today AI is a very practical tool that can help us with many things humans are not good at, but it’s effect on humans lives are still pretty limited. As we move forward 5-10 years we will start having some more hard dilemmas. I would say there is on particular area which is a big no-no for AI. It’s a matter of how mature the technology is based on the reach it will have on peoples lifes. There is an intersection point between those two that you need to stay on the right side of. In this workshop we will leave the maturity of the technology and just “imagine” that it works and then take the discussion if we should still use it and how much.

I don’t want to reveal too much but I think you will be challenged with some hard choices in our workshop on how AI can affect our future society. Will we survive the future?

IP – Thank you Conny for the peak into your thoughts on AI and your workshop at Innovation in Action 24-25/10.

See the workshop and all others here.


// Kim Silvasti, Innovation Pioneers.

Blockchain, Scenario Planning, Story Telling & Government Agencies Taking the Lead on Innovation

During 2017 Innovation Pioneers has so far gathered experiences & knowledge during two tank meetings. Find the collected insights on Blockchain and Scenario Planning below.

In March CGI helped us build awareness by experiencing the power of industry disruption by using the Block Chain. The aim of the tank meeting was to explore different perspectives of Blockchain through role-play and scenario acceleration. We focused on the Blockchain revolution which is on its way, and we wanted the participants to experience this as we invited some organizations to this journey. One conclusion all participants agreed upon was that blockchain will affect you and your business. Read about the gathered learnings here.

The month of May brought us to Googol that invited Innovation Pioneers to join them in a dialogue where we explored and experienced different methods on how to create and plan for future scenarios. Throughout the day, the participants were divided into smaller groups to share insights, thoughts and experiences.  Read about the five different methods on how to create plausible future scenarios here.


In september Alfa Laval invites the participants to hear about how effective storytelling captures the hearts and minds of a target audience. It makes your innovations stand out above the rest.

During this workshop day we will be taken on a historical trip from 1883 where Alfa Laval has its roots to where they are today and into the future. Read more here.


Our 40th Tank Meeting and the last one for 2017 is a collaboration between Arbetsförmedlingen and Myndigheten för Delaktighet. Participants will learn about the strategies and tools that when government agencies are taking the lead on innovation in society. And the challenges that public sector and society are facing. Read more here.


Join us for the second half of 2017 and into 2018 by attending Innovation in Action on 24-25/10. This is the opportunity to meet all our member organizations for both members and nonmembers.  See the invitation here.