Author: Team Ignite

Incoming Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre
Image: Incoming Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre

It was election day in Norway on Monday, a Norwegian right likened to selecting one’s favorite apple from the spectrum of apple varieties. It’s a far cry from the “apples and oranges” polarization pickle that other nations find themselves caught in these days, and by all accounts, Norway’s 5.328 million inhabitants are happier for it – at least according to the World Happiness Index.

The red apples were the fan favorites this year, with Norway’s Labor Party, Arbeiderpartiet, taking the top spot. The triumphant party will now commence talks with their more like-minded political peers on how their coalition government will pan out. It’s a process of collaboration and compromise, which are perhaps the defining characteristics of any Norwegian regime, no matter how red or blue. 

Norwegian public affairs expert Erlend Bollman Bjørtvedt, founder of the country risk mitigation company Corisk, sheds some light on how Norway exercises its impact and what the awaiting administration may influence next.

According to a Tech Pro Research survey, 70% of companies either have a digital transformation strategy in place or are working on one, an impressive figure which might suggest that the vast expanse of industry is well on its way to a promising digital future. In reality, 70% of digital transformations fail, most often due to resistance from employees, according to research conducted by McKinsey.

Stakeholder demand and public expectation continue to rise at pace. Driven by the pressure to decarbonize, nearly every sector is setting more rigorous sustainability standards with digitalization at their heart. If companies can’t manage the change, they risk reputational damage and becoming irrelevant.

“When it comes to digitalization, what companies need most is to outline their commitment and goals and formulate a plan to offer structure and translate strategy into action for their people,” says John Sczurko, executive president of consulting at Wood.

Yasuki Tsukahara of Yokogawa

Yasuki Tsukahara, the director and managing executive officer for Yokogawa Solution Service Co. Ltd., reflects on the complex and data-intensive path we must take to reach a renewably powered world.

After 35 years with Yokogawa, Yasuki Tsukahara has had many careers within the company. It began by supporting business development for international oil companies and it led to his position today, helping to build solutions for industrial automation, as well as testing and measurement solutions, around the world. Currently his focus is on delivering solutions to help the renewables industry succeed. In Yokogawa’s mission to support a world powered by renewables, Tsukahara outlines three must-haves to make renewables a more viable option for the power providers.

5 industry and tech leaders to watch right now

We’re always on the lookout for leaders in technology and industry making cutting-edge, unexpected, off-the-beaten-path moves to turn their companies into future-ready frontrunners in their sectors.

Scanning the worlds of renewable energy, digital services, finance, hardware, software, and media in recent weeks, we’ve got our eyes on five global industry, business, and tech leaders who we believe are driving forces of sustainable, data-driven changes in their industries right now. Here they are:

Dr. Sanjiv Gossain of Cognizant speaks to Ignite News on industrial digitalization

Sanjiv Gossain is a firm believer in the power of technology to solve major societal challenges. His knack for untangling complex problems defined his academic years and later a career spent bridging the gap between business and technology.

As the Cognizant Digital Business and Technology Leader and Global Head of Google Cloud, Gossain says that “no two days are alike.” Change has been the only constant during his decade and a half with the company, and his belief in the importance of what Cognizant does has never wavered.

“Our clients come to us for help to keep up with change,” Gossain said. “The business leaders want to be able to respond to increasing competition and rising customer expectations. The tech people want to figure out how to speed up to deliver products and services in weeks, not months. And then there are the underlying factors they all must deal with, including sustainability, which is where I see great focus these days.”

Dr. Sanjiv Gossain of Cognizant is a firm believer in the power of technology to solve major societal challenges. His knack for untangling complex problems defined his academic years and later a career spent bridging the gap between business and technology.

The most important stories on industrial digitalization, sustainability, and the energy transition from around the world in the past two weeks:

Tipping the iceberg: 7 billion metric tons of rain fell across Greenland between Aug. 14-16, the most in recorded history (dating back to 1950). It’s also the first time that rain, not snow, fell on Greenland’s highest peak. Scientists have spotted signs of “extreme” melting.

Does autopilot come standard? Yara Birkeland, a Norwegian company, has created what it calls the world’s first zero-emission, autonomous cargo ship.

Sunny Europe: Solar panels produced nearly 10% of the EU’s electricity during this year’s sunny summer months. Within the EU, the Netherlands, Germany, and Spain generated the largest proportion of their electricity – nearly one-fifth – from solar power this summer.

Could Tesla charge your Tesla? Tesla wants to sell electricity directly to customers in Texas, according to an application filed by the company this month with the Texas Public Utility Commission.

We’re lacking computer chips: Semiconductors, known as “chips”, power everything from computers, smartphones, cars to gaming consoles. Although the demand is soaring in the US, fewer are being manufactured there.

Itera CEO has his eye on these emerging industrial IT trends

“Twenty years ago, we were asking how to manage the potential for digitalization in industry, and today we are doing the same thing,” according to Arne Mjøs, founder and CEO of Itera, the Nordic tech company in creating digital businesses to industrial companies seeking sustainable change.

Mjøs explains that the digital capabilities today may be light-years ahead of what it once was, but everyone is still talking about the same concepts and still figuring out how to extract more value from data that are locked in silos and legacy systems across IT and OT.

The idea of technology doing more for industrial companies first blossomed in Mjøs’ mind in 1995, following a talk with Bill Gates in Oslo. “Already then, Gates was talking about the future of software and the power of having information at your fingertips. It sparked something in me.” 

Sharing data is at the heart of it all, according to Mjøs, and it’s what is going to propel these trends and big ideas into the industrial mainstream. And perhaps what’s even more crucial, he says, is to ensure that everything we do technology-wise has a sustainable end in sight.
1-Minute Roundup: The Top Stories Shaping Your Industry - Ignite News

The most important stories on industrial digitalization from around the world in the past two weeks.

UK looks to low-carbon hydrogen: A new strategy released by the UK government defines an approach to developing a low-carbon hydrogen sector. The ambition is to reach 5GW of low-carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030.

European Commission proposes renewable energy directive revision: The revision would increase the overall binding target for renewable energy in the EU energy mix from the current 32% to 40%.

“Green Gold Rush” continues: Countries are investing in alternative energy and technologies to reach net-zero goals and examine geopolitical consequences of a decarbonizing world.

US Senate passes biggest infrastructure package in decades: The deal includes $1 trillion in spending on upgrading transportation, clean energy, power infrastructure, and broadband.

Extreme weather puts pressure on industries and governments to accelerate climate actions: Heatwaves, drought, and floods have hit three continents this summer. Energy resiliency is critical for cities and communities. Are our power grids prepared for these external threats? Also see the updated UN report on climate change that finds Earth is warming faster than previously thought.

Despite all the unknowns, creativity, innovation and STEM skills are bound to be critical for Gen Alpha, says the Norwegian Minister of Education and Integration Guri Melby.

Generation X-ers and even Millennials had it easy when it came to imagining what they would do in the future. But Generation Alpha, a cohort born in the early 2010s through the mid-2020s, won’t have the same luxury of predictability. Today we face change so rapid that the future jobs for this generation are nearly impossible to foresee.

Norwegian Minister of Education Guri Melby gives Ignite News her take on how to educate and prepare this generation for the future.

Despite all the unknowns, creativity, innovation and STEM skills are bound to be critical for Gen Alpha, says Norwegian Minister of Education Guri Melby.
The phenomenon of robotization is more accurately characterized by a shift in the type of jobs available: it creates an opportunity for us to let robots do the more routine, mundane or even dangerous jobs, while we can focus on creating value and insights.

What’s the robotic reality for my line of work? 

A 2019 report by McKinsey Global Institute that studied 46 countries and more than 800 types of jobs came to the staggering conclusion that 800 million workers are at risk of losing their jobs to automation by 2030. The report also estimated that 375 million workers likely will have to switch occupational categories by 2030 in order to avoid unemployment. 

The phenomenon of robotization is more accurately characterized by a shift in the type of jobs available: it creates an opportunity for us to let robots do the more routine, mundane or even dangerous jobs, while we can focus on creating value and insights.