– Don't get Lost in Fluff

Published 28.06.2018
The message from Professor Richard Rumelt was clear. In front of a packed house, the renowned strategy thought leader, business professor and author gave a powerful conference keynote talk at the inaugural mcb tech .18 conference.

Last week, NCE Media and Finance Innovation hosted the first ever mcb tech conference. The result was a tremendous turnout, with world-class speakers and amazing sessions inside and around Media City Bergen. 

The conference was hosted by Kjetil H. Dale, news anchor at TV 2, with Olav Sandnes, chief Editor & CEO of TV 2, giving the opening speech. Sandnes praised the media industry and the media cluster in Bergen in his talk and welcomed the new mcb tech initiative in Bergen. 

– I hope, and I believe that mcb tech will be an important step in the pursuit of understanding the complex technology driven reality in which we all must relate to, Sandnes said, before welcoming Professor Richard Rumelt on stage for his keynote.  

Olav Sandnes, CEO & Chief Editor, TV 2

Identify your Business' Main Challenges
Professor Rumelt is the author of the international bestseller "Good Strategy / Bad Strategy - The Difference and Why it Matters". In his talk, he emphasized the importance of identifying your business' main challenges, rather than making long bullet point lists on visions, motivational theory and setting growth targets. 

Professor Richard Rumelt, with the conference keynote. 

The keynote certainly made an impression on the conference attendees. 

– I'm a great admirer of Richard Rumelt. He's a great strategist and a great planner, and I admire his book. He was telling us about how to make a great strategy - cut out the fluff, said Øyulf Hjertenes, Chief Editor at the regional newspaper Bergens Tidende. 

Erik Wilberg, Associate Professor at BI Bergen, also found great inspiration in Professor Rumelt's keynote.

– This was an inspirational talk by one of the gurus of the game. He has an immense experience, and he has all these stories to tell. It makes you really reflect on things, which i think is very important and it serves as an inspiration for all of us. 

If you couldn't attend the conference, our partner Sparebanken Vest has made a sum-up of this keynote. 

Digital Dragons, Digitalization, and AI on the Agenda
Tom Xiong and Jacob Lovén has created "Digitala Draken", a podcast focused on the extreme digital development currently taking place in China, one of the world's most important digital markets. 

The Digital Dragon: Tom Xiong and Jacob Lovén

From the world's largest internet population, a new world order has been created. Xiong and Lovén told us how Digital China has become the only real competitor to Silicon Valley. 


Conference Host Kjetil H. Dale, TV 2, with Tom Xiong and Jacob Lovén

With the technological advances being made by the Digital Dragon in the East, the duo predicts that within five years, the first Chinese company the size of Google and Apple will be realized.

Medier24 has written an article on The Digital Dragon. Read it here (behind paywall)

Unlocking Human Potential
Roland Becker, CEO of Just Add AI, who showed us how Artificial Intelligence is being applied to scouting and analyzing talents in the highly competitive German Bundesliga. He went on to say that in general, humans are not very good in handling data. 

– If there are more than five datapoints, we are basically out, and our brains really stops doing rational things. So we need help to assess the data that is available, he said.

Roland Becker, CEO, Just Add AI

After the conference, Roland Becker was invited to TV 2 Nyhetskanalen for a chat about Just Add AI's solution. Watch it here. (From Kjetil H. Dale's Twitter account)

The conference covered a wide range of topics, including Digitalization, Artificial Intelligence, and Strategy, with inspiring talks from Kalle Palling (Estonia MP), Matt Eaton (GrayMeta), Loek Vredenberg (IBM), Erica Orange (Future Hunters), Eirik Solheim (NRKBeta). Kate Adams (BAMTech Media) delivered the last presentation of the day, talking about the importance of storytelling in media as well as your personal story.

Kate Adams, VP Analytics Program, BAMTech Media


Technology Expert and Futurist Erica Orange, COO and EVP, Future Hunters

See pictures from all conference sessions here.

Artificial Intelligent Beer? 
Day one of the conference was concluded with the eagerly awaited launch of the Media Lab beer - a collaboration between IBM, 7 Fjell Brewery, and the Media Lab. Massive amounts of data about Bergen and its citizens was fed into IBM Watson, who in turn churned out a set of characteristics to describe the archetypical Bergensian. This informal, tongue-in-cheek analysis demonstrated that the Bergensian scores very high on traits like intellect, imagination, openness and creativity, but well below average in modesty – perhaps not surprisingly. According to Watson, a dominant feature of the Bergensian is to challenge authority. 


Jens Eikeset, CEO, 7 Fjell Brewery

Jens Eikeset shared the story on how the brewery used their Bergensian intellect, their imagination, and of course their authority-challenging nature to create a very special and unique product. 

You can read more about it here. 

Let us Amaze You
In spite of a tight conference schedule, the audience was treated to several surprises from the stage. Chris Black, Global Evangelist at Vizrt, showcased innovation straight out of the Vizrt R&D Centre in Austria: Brand new real-time motion capture techniques using 3D modeling - displaying his alternate AR self. 

Chris Black, Global Evangelist, Vizrt

We also had the pleasure of having Gisle Johnsen, CEO of oiid, on stage to display their interactive music platform, which lets the user step into the music and work the mixing board on their favourite songs. 

Gisle Johnsen, CEO, oiid

Cluster-to-Cluster Initiative
Special Adviser at Innovation Norway, Kristianne Paasche was fascinated by the sessions covering Artificial Intelligence. 

– I was very impressed by the Watson technology, and what Watson is becoming. How they are developing it into becoming a natural part of society. I think we need to move away from the notion that robots are scary things as seen in the movies to actually see the social value of this technology, she said. 

Kristianne Paasche, Special Advisor, Innovation Norway 

Paasche, who is on the Program Board for Clusters in Norway, praised the joint effort from the Finance Innovation and NCE Media clusters. 

– Bergen's cluster-to-cluster initiatives are truly unique in a national context. With initiatives like these, NCE Media and Finance Innovation has become role-models for what we are trying to achieve, she says, and continues:  

– It is important to highlight the solutions coming out of both the media and the finance industry, since the solutions often are based on the same technology. This will further amplify the cooperation between the clusters.

Open Sessions at Media City Bergen  
Day two of the conference kicked off with a keynote presentation from Petter Lee-Johannessen, EVP & Head of Strategic Partnerships at DNB, followed by several parallel sessions throughout Media City Bergen, located at Mediability, Vizrt, the Atrium and the Media Lab. 

See pictures from day two here.

We want to extend our deepest gratitude to the NCE Media, Media City Bergen and Finance Innovation boards - a solid group of visionaries that was eager to establish something new, fresh and future focused in Bergen. We also want to thank our partners Sparebanken Vest, TV 2, NRK, Schibsted, Highsoft, Mediability, Vizrt, IBM, 7 Fjell Bryggeri and Deloitte Norge, as well as the tireless work provided by the group of student volunteers. We would also like to thank the the amazing Kulturoperatørene team of magicians - say no more - who set this incredible stage.