Report from Tällberg Forum 2012

Changing the World through Technology and Innovation – Over the course of four days in June, the 2012 Tällberg Forum gathered leaders, innovators, business executives, researchers and media from all over the world to partake in conversations and meetings about the interaction between humankind and technology.

300 participants, 54 different countries, 4 days, a beautiful setting with topics ranging from technology, energy and robotics to health and sustainable leadership. Over the course of four days in June, the 2012 Tällberg Forum gathered leaders, innovators, business executives, researchers and media from all over the world to partake in conversations and meetings about the interaction between humankind and technology.

The overarching theme for the 2012 Tällberg Forum was “How on Earth Can We Live Together? Beyond Our Imagination” with a central focus on how technology and innovation can help to create new solutions for an emerging future, but also on its limitations and the social, political, economic and environmental impacts that follow.

Throughout the program, participants discussed everything from nanotechnology to epigenetics. Conversations shifted between topics of trust, leadership and technological innovation, as well as how visions for the future can create sustainable societies – provided that we have the courage and willingness to generate change on a global level.

“My hope for this year’s Tällberg Forum is that it helps deepen and renew the debate about the role of technology in society and as an expression of the human imagination, creativity and driving force”, says Bo Ekman, Founder of the Tällberg Foundation.

Among the 300 participants at the Tällberg Forum were the newly appointed UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson, the Swedish Minister of Financial Markets Peter Norman, Adam Hochschild, historian and renowned author, Nadia Sood from Impact Investment Partners, Maria Strömme, Professor of nanotechnology, Naveen Jain, CEO Intelius, Moshe Szyf, Professor of Pharmacology, McGill University and Ayaan Adam, International Finance Corporation.

Two of the particiants were robots. The dancing robot Robocygne took the stage during the opening session of Tällberg Forum, moving its featherlike arms to music from Swan Lake. Robocygne was created by Lars Asplund and his team at Mälardalen University in Sweden and choreographed by Åsa Unander-Scharin. The intelligent robot Fur Hat from the Royal Institute of Technology participated in a panel discussion with the author Arthur I. Miller and Mikael Hagström from SAS Institute, among others.

During the four days, participants experienced intelligent robots and thought-provoking film, listened to Music out of the Earth and ventured into nature. They made new contacts, formed new ideas, and shared knowledge in conversations on how our creative ability can stimulate future development beyond our imagination.

“We at the Tällberg Foundation are pleased to be back in Tällberg this year. We have had four very interesting and insightful days together with participants, partners and friends”, says Cecilia Nordström, CEO for the Tällberg Foundation.

One of the participants was Jack Sim, or “Mr Toilet,” from the World Toilet Organization, who inspired both reflection and action in the audience with his important message: to give 2.5 billion people in developing countries access to sanitary facilities.

“I came up with an idea at Tällberg Forum. I want to create a new think thank. It will deal with poverty by empowering entrepreneurs at the bottom of the pyramid”, said Jack Sim.

For those unable to attend in the Forum, participation was made possible through live web streaming, followed by over 400 people in 26 countries. The videos are still available on the website. The questions and topics discussed at the Tällberg Forum have also been actively shared and discussed in social media.

An edited version of the forum introduction can be found here (PDF)