Transatlantic perspectives: Reaching across the Atlantic

Stephen, the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Denmark, is a veteran expat who has lived in Denmark more than 30 years. AmCham is the voice of international business, and Stephen writes about issues affecting international companies in Denmark and the people working for them

The transatlantic economy has been an incredible source of jobs, growth and wealth on both sides of the Atlantic for the last 70 years. This has been achieved by companies – big and small alike – who have taken their best products and their best ideas, and put them on the market on another continent.

This has never been an easy task, and in Denmark the entrepreneurial spirit required to make it happen has not always been appreciated as I believe it should.

Beyond the ordinary
This is why each year AmCham celebrates the Transatlantic Company of the Year, which is awarded to a Danish company that has achieved something beyond the ordinary in the transatlantic market. This year’s Transatlantic Company was awarded to Gehl Architects, who have strategically positioned themselves at the epicentre of innovative and sustainable urban design in some of the most prominent urban centres in the United States.

Gehl Architects is an urban research and design consultancy, that focuses on the relationship between the built environment and people’s quality of life. In 2014, Gehl established two studios in the US, and they have been central in the projects redesigning Times Square in New York and the Market Street area in San Francisco.

Other companies in the running for this year’s award were Bavarian Nordic, Plumrose/Danish Crown, GN ReSound, Rambøll, Sitecore, Siteimprove and Weibel Scientific – all with fantastic achievements in the US market, and all directly responsible for creating hundreds of new jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.

Ideas across the Atlantic
What Gehl has done is very different. Their strength lies not so much in numbers but in the power of their ideas: we all love to talk about innovation, but what that really means is taking the best ideas available and putting them to use in a new area. That’s why I like to think about this award as a celebration of “bringing ideas across the Atlantic”. And that’s exactly what Gehl is doing.

Congratulations to Gehl – and I look forward to seeing many interesting new nominations early next year. But first up is the 2015 Foreign Company of the Year, which we will be celebrating this coming autumn.