Words of wisdom from the Nordic Business Forum

One of the perks of being an international student at JYU is that you have a lot of options to chose from about what you want to do apart from studies. If you subscribe to the international students mailing list (there are a lot more that you can check out here), you are able to stay abreast with latest news and upcoming events that you can sign-up to. One such opportunity that I was able to avail of was attending the Nordic Business Forum as a licensed live feed organised at Jyväskylän Paviljonki, on October 1 and 2, 2015. 

The NBForum 2015 Schedule!

The NBF has an interesting history as an event that began in Jyväskylä itself and then grew too big to stay on in the city any more and therefore moved out to the capital Helsinki. This year's edition of NBF had a number of interesting speakers from the world of Business, Leadership, Entrepreneurship presenting their thoughts. In fact my only complaint about the premier event was that it was a little too much knowledge to comprehend in two days' time. The event started of with John Maxwell's wisdom about developing leadership through trust, followed by Ariana Huffington's tips about putting self and health before anything else. Guy Kawasaki was more precise with his tips about how to be a smarter and better entrepreneur. Then there was Metter Lykke, co-founder of Endomondo, one of the oldest and favourite fitness apps that I have been using for a long time, who incidentally, was only one of the two speakers from the Nordics - the other being Björn Wahlroos, one of Finland's leading economic thinkers and better known as the richest Finn!

My favourite amongst the package though, was Gary Kasparov - a childhood hero since the time I keenly followed his duels with DeepBlue - the IBM supercomputer, during the 90s. Kasparov, who is now a socio-political activist and a vocal opponent of the current Russian regime mixed his strategic lessons as a chess grandmaster with conventional business wisdom and called upon the Nordics - especially Finland, to lead the way in innovation. His speech was replete with anecdotes from business world including the more recent acquisition of Nokia devices business by Microsoft Inc. where he suggested how short-sighted strategy and not innovating can stagnate and eventually bring about the downfall of any well established market player. His not so well-disguised humour was a refreshing change though, from the other presenters who were predominantly North American and more close to the stand-up brand of comedy. 

All in all, it was an enriching experience listening to some brilliant ideas and then discussing them around with fellow listeners, from JYU, JAMK and other local business enterprises. In fact, the JYU Career Services had actually planned the event as a networking event where students from different departments could network with the local entrepreneurs and pitch themselves as potential employees. A nice idea indeed and I'm sure it will only be implemented better during the next iterations!