By Kay Michelsen, Head of Program at TechBBQ.
This year marks the tenth time when TechBBQ makes a buzz on the Scandinavian tech start-up scene. It all started as a genuine initiative of bringing like-minded entrepreneurs together to exchange ideas and celebrate their successes. Since then, the Summit has been growing in numerous ways from the attendees, the venue, and the program to the event rich in abundant opportunities and knowledge.
It’s more than just a theme
Kay Michelsen – who is the Head of Program at TechBBQ – reflects:
»The program is one of the many drivers of knowledge sharing and community-building that we have at TechBBQ. On the one hand, it’s important to reflect the triumphs of our ecosystem and the cutting-edge ideas and technologies that are emerging in this time, and on the other hand, it’s a way of connecting people through content and knowledge sharing. The sense of “you’re not alone” is strong at TechBBQ whether that be through exploring the challenges of scaling internationally, mental health as a founder or navigating this economic downturn, we hope that gathering community-players under one roof to dissect an array of challenges feeds into a stronger sense of community overall.«
Setting the right tone
Creating a memorable and unique experience, comes down to choosing the main theme several months before the actual event. In early November 2021, Kay Michelsen sat down and researched the potential theme for TechBBQ 2022. Kay elaborates on the initial process:
»As we were slowly entering the post-pandemic era, we stepped into the other side of history, where at the same time, there were a number of simultaneous shifts in our worlds that needed to be addressed – from critical questions around climate change to the metaverse and beyond.«
Discovery: An uncharted world emerges
The overarching theme of this year’s summit addresses our need to discover and embrace the very core of what makes us human.
Kay explains: »We as individuals and as a ‘civilization’ are always on the lookout for new horizons and answers about what lies ahead of us. Whether that be Covid-19, war in Ukraine, Artificial Intelligence or the Climate. TechBBQ is the space where we can figure that out together. One thing that has always been true to our human nature, is the drive to discover, be curious and innovate in order to solve problems relevant to us; from the earliest hunting and gathering tools we had “way back when” to the advances we are making now to solve both every day and global challenges. TechBBQ is the place to embrace that drive to discover so we can collectively build a better, more sustainable and equitable tomorrow.«
TechBBQ’s own discoveries
The main theme also reflects on a journey of growth and development of founders, businesses and the startup ecosystem.
Kay explains what it means for TechBBQ as an organization:
»We are discovering a new chapter with a bigger team, a bigger venue, and bigger goals. We want to share and collect the learnings from one another, explore new partnerships and build businesses that will take us another step forward.«
One World: We have all heard there is no “Planet B”, so what is the current and future state of our “Planet A”? This theme acknowledges that we are all accountable for the shaping of the one world that we do have, politically, environmentally, and socially. We live in a world of entanglement so when we talk about the current, and future state of the world we must consider all the facets that are influential in shaping it.
The Business of Building: This theme looks at the building blocks of startup life where we’ll explore the challenges, solutions and opportunities that arise when trying to build successful companies and new ventures. From prototyping and raising cash all the way through to recruitment and hindsight – we’ve got you covered, so you feel confident taking that leap forward. From the latest SaaS company, or a founder who is killing the recruitment game
Techno Sapiens: This theme looks at the big movements and changes in technology and questions the impact this has on how we navigate our experiences. Simultaneously, we must acknowledge that Technology doesn’t just happen to us. We have a role in ideating, creating and introducing these mechanisms into the world. That is the cycle of life for the technosapien. From biohacking, through to meditation apps, NFT’s, and beyond
Movers & Shakers: Who are the pioneers of our age? Who are the people disrupting the industry, or challenging the way that we, as a people, see the world in front of us? At TechBBQ, we love to celebrate the movers and shakers, who are provoking the status quo and are asking us all to think a little differently. This theme is all about harnessing world-shaking developments and understanding implications of disruptive ideas, conversations and technologies.