Focus on sustainability through innovation and cooperation at Techarenan Zero
Hundreds of corporate executives, decision makers and entrepreneurs gathered for the first edition of the international tech and sustainability conference, Techarenan Zero on March 23 at Färgfabriken (The Color Factory) in Stockholm.
On top of the agenda were sustainability in different forms and the road to “zeroing” some of our largest challenges in society.
The day started off with a panel discussion on main stage with a global outlook on sustainability.
Judith Gough CMG, British Ambassador to Sweden, Daniel Wetzel Global Energy Industry Editor at the German news outlet Die Welt, Bo Nordmark, Industrial Strategy Executive at the independent investor and accelerator under the European Union, EIT InnoEnergy and Anna Gissler, the CEO of Invest Stockholm, the city’s official investment promotion agency, delved into the impact of recent political and economic upheavals on sustainability initiatives and efforts to create a more sustainable world.
“One consequence of the war in Ukraine is that it speeds up the green transition. Why on earth does Europe want to be dependent for its energy on a country that weaponizes energy supply? This has driven us to greater energy efficiency. Another upside is that it brings us closer together”, said the British Ambassador Judith Gough.
Challenges in different industries
After that, three Sustainability Directors from large corporates in different industries; Joël Tronchon, L’Oréal, Ebba Grythberg, Spotify and Heather Johnson, Ericsson, shared their insights on the sustainability challenges that their respective industries face. They discussed the importance of collaborating with stakeholders from different sectors to find new solutions and synergies.
Per Långsved, the CEO of Nordea, a leading Nordic bank, also provided his perspective on how the banking industry can play a role in supporting sustainable development and driving positive change.
“The beauty of being a universal bank is that we are a part of all these different industries. We get a lot of criticism in terms of; how can you be within this or that sector whatsoever. But then you must understand that we are taking a very active stands in supporting these companies on their journeys”, Långsved said.
Electrification in the agenda
During the network session that followed, participants had the opportunity to engage in conversations and share their perspectives on sustainability and technology. The tables were filled with enthusiastic attendees who were eager to connect with like-minded individuals and learn from one another. The demand for discussion on these topics was clearly high, with participants expressing a strong interest in continuing the conversation.
Teknikföretagen introduced the next session and topic of discussion on the main stage, Electrification. The Intro with Miriam Münnich Vass, Head of Electrification & Energy at Teknikföretagen, was followed by a panel with Jenny Larsson, CEO of Schneider Electric Sweden, Susanna Campbell, Investor and Chairwoman, Emilia Käck, Head of Public Affairs Electrification at the Swedish truck manufacturer Scania and James McMicking, VP of Strategy at ZeroAvia, a British-American company developing hydrogen-electric airplanes.
The political side of the discussions
After lunch the next session was introduced via a word from the Swedish government and the Minister for Infrastructure, Andreas Carlson, who talked about the government’s role in creating sustainable societies.
That was followed by a panel discussion on the future of energy with Bryndís Kjartansdóttir, Icelandic Ambassador to Sweden and a representative for the world leading country in renewable energy. Per Bolund, former Minister for the Environment and Climate in Sweden, Johannes Boson, Managing Director Sweden at Svea Solar and Peter Roos, the CEO of Novatron Fusion Group, a Swedish Energy tech startup with a unique solution to realize the dream of fusion energy.
“There are so many solutions out there that are ready and that is one thing that we learned from the latest IPCC report, that we need to use these solutions and scale them up, and unfortunately that is not what we are seeing at the moment”, Per Bolund said.
The long road to success
The day was concluded with two finishing panels.
The first on “The Long Road to Success”, with European scaleups developing different solutions and innovation connected to the broad concept of sustainability including Allison Dring, CEO and Co-Founder, Made of Air, Sebastian Berning, Co-CEO and Co-Founder, Instagrid, both from Germany, and John Ahlberg, Founder, Kärnfull Next from Sweden.
Last but not least: The food industry
Lastly, Richard Bergfors, CEO, MAX Burgers, Cecilia Kocken, CEO, Arla Sweden and Stephanie Jochems, Global Strategy Director, Quorn, talked about the heavy climate impacting food industry and how the pressing challenges could be addressed:
“We’re a big part of the problem, so we need to be a part of the solution”, Richard Bergfors stated.
Techarenan’s future plan for the Zero concept is to create one of the most relevant platforms and arenas for sustainability and tech in the Nordic’s & Europe.
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