Meet the Media Cluster Advisory Board

Published 12.10.2020
– The value the cluster creates is the sum of the work the community puts in, says Ketil Moland Olsen, Head of the Media Cluster Advisory Board. He has been heavily involved in the advisory board since it was founded five years ago.

The Advisory Board provides counsel and guidance to the NCE Media and Media City Bergen organizations. It consists of eight delegates from a selection of the Media Cluster's member companies. The editorial-, technology-, and research- and educational environments in the cluster are represented. Common to all the representatives is that they have extensive experience from the industry and are passionate about it and deeply engaged in its future.

The Advisory Board discusses issues relevant to the industry in general and the Media Cluster in particular. The work is summarized in written minutes, which are submitted as input to NCE Media's management. The cluster organization provides the board with a list of assignments and challenges, but the Advisory Board members are also good at bringing their own ideas.

Ketil Moland Olsen, VP Product Management at Vimond, leads the board. He has been heavily involved in the advisory board and since it was founded five years ago.  

– We have been involved in strategy processes, foresight and scenario planning, trend analysis, positioning, marketing, cluster-to-cluster collaboration, and collaborative R&D visions – just to mention some topics. We have also worked hands-on with conference and event planning, including the booking of speakers and lecturers. The Advisory Board's combined network of connections and reach is significant, and it comes in handy in such contexts, says Moland Olsen.

Several of the companies represented in the Advisory Board are competitors. In the same way, the Media Cluster itself consists of companies that both compete and collaborate. Our focus is always on the community and its common interests, and how we can help lift the Media Cluster to new heights together. In this respect, NCE Media has shown the way since its inception, and it is in the backbone of most members that it is okay to work together and compete simultaneously, says Moland Olsen. 

Why is it important to get involved in the cluster?

– When someone asks me this, my answer is that the value the cluster creates is the sum of the work the community puts in – to the second power. What happens here is the perfect example of the whole being significantly larger than the sum of its parts. This is thanks to the fact that NCE Media is one of the most well-run clusters in the country, with a unique and dedicated staff that really makes it spark between the member companies and innovation partners. People often ask me how they are able to pull this off, landing significant sums of funding and attracting an international audience to small Norway and even smaller Bergen. I answer that it's thanks to the small and passionate NCE Media team that is working wonders in close collaboration with the more than a hundred member companies, says Moland Olsen. 

Ketil Moland Olsen's extensive work behind the scenes is not going unnoticed – in 2019 he was given the "Media Cluster Ambassador of the Year" award - and rightly so!

Throughout the year, the cluster organization facilitates workshops and hackathons, sets up speed-dates between members who may not intuitively belong together, raises funds from a plethora of national and international sources, provides professional replenishment for members and their employees, and organizes conferences and events. The advisory board plays a huge part in making this happen. 

– Anne Jacobsen, the CEO of the Media Cluster, and her staff work hard to make their members succeed, and the more we contribute to this work with competence, knowledge sharing, and communal effort, the more we get back in the form of insight, knowledge, and synergies. Innovation is largely about moving outside the comfort zone, and getting inspiration outside our regular touch points is essential. It's as much about standing on each other's shoulders as shouting eureka from the tub, and both are easier when NCE Media has us covered, says Moland Olsen. 

Jacobsen is full of praise for the crucial work the advisory board is doing for the cluster. 

– The advisory board is incredibly important for the cluster organization. These are highly qualified people from a professional cross-section of the cluster, and who have unique industry insight and expertise. Under Ketil's leadership, the Advisory Board has contributed to strengthening the cluster at both a strategic and professional level, which has been absolutely crucial for the cluster's development in recent years, says Jacobsen.  

Thinking outside of the box 
NCE Media's Advisory Board is solely a counseling and guiding function, which means board members can apply plenty of creativity when brainstorming new ideas.

– We do not have actual responsibility for implementing the input we provide, and that allows us to think a little more outside the box than we otherwise would have been able to. Thus we can challenge the cluster to think new. While an ordinary board often constitutes a corrective to the day-to-day operations, we can focus on opportunities rather than limitations, and on solutions rather than problems. That's both inspiring and fun, says Moland Olsen.

– The Advisory Board forms a microcosm of the vast cluster universe. We are a cross-section of the cluster and have the advantage that we are few enough people to meet in one room. At the same time, we have a good overview of the challenges the various member companies are working on and can consult them when the need arises.

If you were to make an appeal to the cluster members, what would it be?
– Engage yourself! Attend the events organized by the cluster. I dare say that no matter what role you have in our member organizations, you will find events that are relevant to you and worth getting involved in. But in the unlikely event that you are not able to find something that rocks your boat, let us know – we will be happy to take your input into consideration. In addition, you will get in touch with companies that are working to solve similar problems to your own ones. At last but not least: You will get new and inspiring contacts in the industry and adjacent areas. 

– I would like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to be good ambassadors for the Media Cluster. Vimond, my employer, has seen the value of this from the start and has allowed me to spend considerable time working for the common benefit of our members over the years. That level of involvement is not for everybody, but we can all do a little. And it starts with a simple action: If you have not signed up for the cluster's newsletter yet, you should do so right now! It arrives in your inbox at just about the right frequency and is filled with good, useful, and relevant knowledge – including information about free events and heavily discounted world-class courses, workshops, and seminars. Once you start receiving it, the next step is attending some of the events. And if you are already registered: Get at least five colleagues to sign up. They will thank you, concludes Moland Olsen. 

Follow Ketil's advice – click here to sign up for the newsletter

Members of the advisory board: 

Ketil Moland Olsen, VP Product Management, Vimond
Ketil has worked in the media industry since the early 2000s, in both editorial and technical roles. He has experience in TV and news production, video journalism, online media distribution, software- and product development, and product management. Past employers include Bergens Tidende and Schibsted. Since 2011, Ketil has worked for Vimond Media Solutions. He joined the NCE Media Advisory Board at its inception in 2015 and has been its leader since 2016.

"I find the intersection between editorial work and technology immensely fascinating and filled with potential. Collaborating closely with like-minded people and their companies in the Norwegian Media Cluster is inspiring and important. I'm very thankful for the opportunity to work on behalf of our community."

Ingrid Agasøster, COO, Fonn Group
Ingrid Agasøster is Chief Operating Officer of Fonn Group, the owner group of technology companies Mediability, Mjoll and 7Mountains, all headquartered in Media City Bergen. Agasøster leads all the marketing activities for the Fonn Group companies. Agasøster is an experienced marketer in the media technology and software space, with a background from 14 years in Vizrt, as System Developer, Project Manager, Regional Manager Atlanta, Head of Marketing and EVP of Marketing. She joined Mediability as CMO in 2017. Agasøster has been part of the Advisory Board since the first year. Sharing experiences and ideas, as well as innovation by collaboration, are some of the key drivers for her continued engagement in the Advisory Board and the Media City Bergen cluster. 

(Photo: Per Thrana/Dagens Næringsliv)
Ingeborg Volan, Editor for publishing and visual journalism, Dagens Næringsliv 

Ingeborg Volan (41) has worked in the intersection of journalism and technology since 1999. She is the Editor for publishing and visual journalism in Dagens Næringsliv, and is responsible for shaping DN's digital publishing strategy, editorial product development and data journalism. She has previously taught online journalism at the Institute of Journalism, been NRK's very first social media advisor, editorial manager for NRKbeta, and development editor for Adresseavisen. Ingeborg heads the technology committee in Association of Norwegian Editors, she is the Norwegian representative in the World Editors Forum and has previously led the Norwegian Online News Association (NONA)

"I believe more collaboration is good for journalism and the Norwegian media industry. Ideas and opportunities will arise that otherwise would not have seen the light of day. It's important to establish stronger ties between the journalistic environments and technology development, and I will do my best to inspire exciting application of technology, especially in the fields of investigative journalism and digital storytelling." 

Cecilie Herland Nonås, Senior Product Designer, TV 2
Cecilie Herland Nonås has extensive experience in UX design, digital business development, product development- and design, strategy, entrepreneurship, and innovation. She has worked in small startups and large enterprises, both inside and outside the Media Cluster. 

"I have personally experienced the strong effect of the great collaboration in the cluster – particularly in an international setting. I look very much forward to assist in developing this collaborative effort even further. Strengthening the professional product- and service development environments with our consumers front and center is something that is very close to my heart."

Håvard Tveit, CEO, everviz
Håvard has long experience within different Project / Product Management roles for successful companies in the Media Cluster such as Highsoft, Vizrt and Mosart Medialab. He is the CEO of a new spinoff, everviz, delivering tools for journalists and content creators to enrich online storytelling with visualizations.

"I'm passionate about joining the Advisory board because of a strong belief in the synergies a Media Cluster can provide through collaborations between tech companies, customers and academia. Being a small startup, it's super exciting to deliver services from Media City Bergen, where so many media-tech companies have grown to become global market leaders."

Eivind Hjertholm Fiskerud, Editor, Bergens Tidende
Eivind is editor in Bergens Tidende (BT) with responsibility for podcasts, audience engagement and new digital formats. He joined Schibsted in 2008 as a management trainee. He has worked in various roles within strategy, data and analytics and product management across Schibsted prior to joining BT in 2018. Eivind holds a master’s degree in Industrial economics and technology management from NTNU.

“NCE Media is vital in pushing the media industry forward, enabling collaboration and innovation across newsrooms and tech. Together we are the forefront of media innovation.”

Ole Johan Mjøs, Professor, and Academic Director, UiB's branch in Media City Bergen
Ole J. Mjøs is Professor in Media Studies and Academic Director of the Department of Information Science and Media Studies’ branch in Media City Bergen, University of Bergen, Norway. Mjøs specializes in the fields of international communication and global media.

Kristin Ytre-Arne, Program Manager, NRK, western region

Kristin Ytre-Arne is the Program Manager for NRK's "riks" department with around 40 employees producing selectable series, events, and programs for NRK TV, NRK1, NRK2, NRK P1 and The department is also responsible for NRK's nature genre, slow-TV productions, and has established a climate editorial that produces agenda-setting content for online, mobile and social media.

Ytre-Arne has broad journalistic experience and has worked as a reporter, host and editor for NRK's different news platforms. She has also been project manager for series and events, and later editorial manager and program manager for "Riks", in Bergen.