This year’s Lerchendal conference was held in full digital this week. The list of speakers was, as usual, impressive and the whole thing was expertly led by the whole of Norway’s favorite sociologist Harald Eia. The theme was about the long road out of the pandemic and the job of stabilizing the aftermath of the crisis and building Norway as a sustainable nation.

The organizers asked the question; How should we take care of and utilize the innovative power and innovation that the crisis has forced?

This conference has traditionally brought together a number of the country’s research and innovation leaders for a unique conference in Trondheim. This year, it was all held digitally and it was DNB’s Kjerstin Bråten and Yngvar Ugland who kicked it all off. The second highlight was Ragnar Torvik’s post on the Norwegian economy and competitiveness after Covid 19. The post by Torvik, who is a professor of economics, NTNU should be included by many, here is the link. Kudos to NTNU, SINTEF, the Research Council and Tekna for once again focusing on the important things.

This year’s goal was to inspire Norwegian leaders to take the necessary steps to secure the future of their businesses. They succeeded well. Kudos also for the willingness to share some lectures afterwards.

As the organizers wrote in their invitation, we have hardly seen greater changes than those we are experiencing now. Pandemic, uncertain world economy, higher unemployment, increasing degree of protectionism, massive digitalisation, climate change and green change! In addition, the crisis hits brutally, hard and unfairly, some industries may not survive, others have never been better.

The conference brought out exciting companies such as Freyr who are looking for solutions for themselves, theirs and the globe. For some, this crisis has been more liberating than inhibiting, for others it has given a necessary kick in the back to be able to identify new opportunities, for others it has changed everyday life forever.

As the Research Council’s Anne Kjersti Fahlvik, Acting CEO and Area Director Business Development and Innovation and Alexandra Bech Gjørv, CEO of SINTEF said in conclusion; – We see a future on the horizon that is worth working for – and the job starts NOW!