Nobel events seek answers to global questions

Published November 2015 in collaboration between Invest Stockholm and The Swedish Wire.

The legacy of Alfred Nobel is of innovation and how to find solutions to current and future global issue that may arise. A new event platform – the Nobel Prize Series – aims to tackle issues such as how innovation can stimulate sustainable growth and how education systems have to change to meet future challenges.

The Nobel Prize Series also seeks to provide answers to the questions: How do we create tomorrow's entrepreneurs? How does our learning system need to adapt?

The first event will be held in Singapore in November where a unique gathering of Nobel laureates, world-leading experts, tech startup entrepreneurs, students and key opinion leaders will meet participants face-to-face and online for a day of discussions.

The Nobel Prize Series Singapore 2015 is produced by Nobel Media and the Nobel Museum in partnership with local universities. The event will feature a main conference and an executive roundtable called “The Future of Learning”, four public lectures incorporating dialogue with students, as well as a special exhibition.

Lena Flykt-Rosén, head of partnerships at FundedByMe, a Stockholm based crowd funding startup, was invited to participate in the event as one of the representatives of the new digital sharing economy. Her message is clear: Companies need to rethink their models.

“Crowd funding, a concept that has evolved to include both equity and debt, offers entirely new possibilities to finance early stage growth companies," Flykt-Rosén said. “With equity crowd funding, companies obtain not just financing but, equally important, market validation, marketing reach and a community of highly dedicated owners, who will act as a true growth engine."

“Given the appropriate regulatory framework, equity crowd funding allows people to become owners and take part in the success of growth companies, some of these will be future unicorns [billion dollar tech firms]," she added.

Developing the legacy of Alfred Nobel is one of the fundamental tasks for the Nobel Prize organization. Lars Heikensten, chief executive officer of the Nobel Foundation, a private institution established 1900 to manage the assets made available through Nobel’s will, said the Nobel Prize is a bridge between science and society. It’s a celebration of the individual laureates, but also of science, literature and peace.

“I see the prize as a unique force which can inspire people not only to seek knowledge but also to address the major challenges of our times,” he said. “The unique combination of prize categories and the stories of the Nobel Laureates is an amazing source of inspiration.”

To reach out further with this message, events and seminars – like the Nobel Prize Series – are regularly held in different countries, and a Nobel Center will open in Stockholm within the next couple of years.

“When the Nobel Laureates are announced in October each year we get an instant response from the world around us about the interest in the Nobel Prize. For me, it is fantastic to see that at least for one week of the year we put scientists, writers and peace workers in the limelight," he said.

“Celebrating these individuals in December in Stockholm and Oslo marks the highlight of our year, but I think that it is also important to further develop our outreach activities globally and locally throughout the year."

“We believe in lifelong learning and the power of ideas," Heikensten told local media. “By stimulating dialogue between great minds from both science and society, we wish to inspire all participants, bring important issues into the public debate and make a difference with science as a starting point”.

Five Nobel Laureates will attend The Nobel Prize Series Singapore 2015: Professor Ada Yonath (Chemistry, 2009), Sir Harold Walter Kroto (Chemistry, 1996), Sir James Mirrlees (Economic Sciences, 1996), Professor Stefan Hell (Chemistry, 2014) and Professor Wole Soyinka (Literature, 1986).