DT 500 ZINE: – Steff, do you remember your first philosophic question?
” Why? Why do we need to learn this in school? Why should I listen to and obey your rules? Why do believe there is truth or justice? Why do people think life has a purpose? From the start and still, I am always asking myself and others that question.”
DT 500 ZINE: – How did the “creativity” get started for you?
STEFAN: – I fell in love with photojournalism in the 80s. It was probably more about traveling and experiencing things most people just read about, than about photography as art. I started by shooting sporting events in my hometown, that way I learned to be fast with my camera equipment (no auto-focus or auto-exposure in those days) and eventually I managed to get published in local newspapers. When I was 18, I was experienced enough to get an internship at Expressen, Sweden’s largest daily at the time, and from there on it became my profession of 12 years.
“One of the most important things I learned is to believe in myself and my ability to handle every kind of situation. This is probably the reason I believe it is much safer to be unemployed than to have a boss.”
DT 500 ZINE: – Tell us more about your vision how the technological progress in the World vs. Scandinavia/Sweden
STEFAN: – I think the interest in, and understanding of, new technology differs between developed and developing countries. Scandinavia and other advanced areas are mainly focused on tech from the efficiency-perspective and often afraid of disrupting old business models, leaders, and ideas. People in developing countries have less to lose.
” so I believe a lot of interesting technology trends will start among people who are new to connectivity.”
DT 500 ZINE: – Right vs. Wrong today?
” It is wrong to believe that people must work to create value. It is wrong to compete in a network society. It is wrong to think you accomplished anything on your own. It is right that technology can create abundance. It is right that everyone and everything in this universe are interconnected. It is right that time is all we have.”
STEFAN: – It used to be essential to be big – the bigger, the better. But the speed of change is increasing, and big is slow. Today big corporations suffer from a growing disconnect with customers, constant reorganization and inability to innovate, while small companies with big networks are fast and close to all stakeholders.
” Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding are always there as an option, so the important difference between the one-man band and big corporations is flexibility. No-one is alone so fast is the new big.”
DT 500 ZINE: – can You define the quality of courage?
STEFAN: – Courage is as courageous does (to paraphrase Forrest Gump’s mother)
DT 500 ZINE: – Witty man, anyway, what about self-esteem?
STEFAN: – You have to love yourself. As human beings, we are aware of and can think about, our own existence.
” But what are you? Is it your body? It changes constantly or did you actually mourn the last time you had a haircut and part of you died? When you think about your existence, you realize that you are the creation of your own thoughts, that you are possessed about yourself. You think about you all the time.”
STEFAN: – Every human being is like this, why do you think selfie sticks are so popular? So if you have low self-esteem, if you are mean to yourself, you will create a bad you. Your body will die, so the risk you take is not loving life while you had a chance. Being alive is being a risk taker.
DT 500 ZINE: – Stefan you won the grand prize ”Speaker Of The Year” 2014, You talk about how innovation, disruptive technologies, and behavioral change affects the worlds of business and social issues, could you brief it shortly pls?
STEFAN: – The speed of change is increasing when more people have access to technology (new opportunities) and are affected by a dysfunctional economy (new problems).So old business models and empires are dying faster than before, not because leaders are bad at what they do but because they are good at providing the wrong solution. This sounds scary but is actually great news since we have enormous problems with limited resources and a growing population.We need new solutions fast.Then I try to provide up to date examples of how new opportunities are changing the world we live in and what successful companies are doing.
DT 500 ZINE: – you apparently have a fascination for change and the future, how do you see it?
“ I think of the future of an island. Crystal clear waters, blue sky, and the sunshine, the future is paradise! No food, no drinking water, no friends, the future is hell! Utopia vs. dystopia, cyclic vs. disruptive…The future will be all of these, and the important question is not about predictions but rather about why you do the things you do. Will your actions take us to paradise or to hell? What is the point of being pessimistic? If everyone joins the Preppers – people who invest in guns and store food to prepare for Armageddon – then that’s what the future will be like. I think connectivity will ultimately lead to the end of hierarchy and that’s the revolution.”
DT 500 ZINE: – Do you have a theory about metaphysics?
STEFAN: – As humans, we are gradually changing the way we think about the world. Standard today was unbelievable 100 years ago and people alive then would freak out entirely if you could get them here instantly. The same goes for us.
“ We think it is perfectly normal to have a hearing device but scary to talk about cyborgs. I believe the singularity will come and it will be impossible to define a true human being. We will most probably be able to download our mind and thereby be able to share and move memories and experiences between hosts (bodies).”
DT 500 ZINE: – Who is your mentor?
STEFAN: – Nature is my source of inspiration and my mentor. I don’t follow the news, and I try to avoid too much information. Of course, I dig for information when I do research
” but the most important pieces always come from thinking and reflecting. We all like to think that we are unique and especially so in business, but there is no difference in all the titles and labels. They are all the same, and there is nothing new.”
DT 500 ZINE: – Is there any political system in the future?
STEFAN: – I believe democracy will become liquid. With everyone networked, we can delegate voting power on a micro level to the ones we think are most competent, and with blockchain-technology, we can verify every transaction of power.
DT 500 ZINE: – What are your plans?
STEFAN: – My focus now is to lecture more outside the Nordics to meet with a global audience. This spring I am taking on my first assignments outside Europe.
DT 500 ZINE: – takkar Stefan!
INTERVIEW BY © Arthur Sopin n Andreas Rod