Looking for the one who will bring talents to the fore

Young people invited to compete to make their country more competitive

FOR THE second consecutive year, Danske Ideer, a global impact competition sponsored by the Danish Industry Foundation, is being run to develop innovation and technology in Denmark.

Danske Ideer is therefore calling on the ‘ideas people’ of the future to apply (see factfile) for inclusion on a five-day course of education in ‘future technologies’ in Denmark. 

At the end of the course, the best idea will be chosen and the winner will spend ten weeks during the summer in Silicon Valley attending Singularity University. 

Exponential technologies
ANDERS Hvid, the Danish ambassador for Singularity University and one of the competition’s organisers, explained that it’s all about ‘exponential technologies’.

“We represent Singularity University. It is dedicated to studying how technologies are developing exponentially and using them to positively impact on people’s lives,” he said.

“This includes robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and computing. They are changing society as we know it, and it’s important to figure out how, and to make sure that they change things for the better.”

Sought-after seat
THE IDEA behind the competition is to find a person in Denmark who would be of most benefit to the country to be trained at the sought-after institution. 

“There are about 6,000 applicants competing for 80 seats at Singualrity University,” Hvid explained.

“Denmark’s been given a seat, so it’s all about finding the right one to change Denmark.”

This will be the second year that the competition has run, but this time around it will be in a different format. 

“This year, as well as the prize of attending the university, we have added the five-day course in Denmark,” Hvid said.

Expert tuition
“THE PROBLEM last year was that the winner, Søren Therkelsen, was the only one who got something out of it. This time we’re increasing the impact.”

The course in Denmark will feature teaching from a group of researchers who are alumni and representatives of Singularity University and hold teaching positions at DTU and other institutions. 

“The participants will be taught about the paradigms we’re studying and about exponential technologies,” Hvid explained.

“They will also be taught about entrepreneurship and finance.”

Lagging behind
HVID BELIEVES that Denmark has great potential in the post-industrial world that is not currently being 

“In the industrial paradigm, being a big country was an advantage, but in the information age being agile is the winning hand,” he 

“Countries like the Nordic countries, the Netherlands and Israel can benefit from this. In a small country you’re closer to the decision-making and political process and can change quickly. But it’s as if the politicians haven’t seen this yet. At the moment we’re lagging behind.”

Danske Ideer

  • Website: danskeideer.nu
  • First round application deadline: 7 December 2014
  • Applicants should send a resume, a short bio, a description of their entrepreneurial skills and description of their research or academic skills via the website

Singularity University

  • Founded in 2008 by Peter Diamandis, an entrepreneur and best-selling author, and Ray Kurzweil, a director of engineering at Google
  • Located in Silicon Valley, California
  • Runs ten-week graduate study programs, executive programs and ‘exponential conferences’ (to explore how exponentially-accelerating technologies are impacting different fields, such as medicine, finance and manufacturing) 

The Danish Industry Foundation

  • A philanthropic, independent foundation that works to strengthen the competitiveness of Danish industry and business
  • Focus on developing and supporting innovative, inspirational and economically sustainable projects and initiatives
  • Three areas of focus: knowledge and competences; entrepreneurship and innovation; and globalisation and openness

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