Copenhagen

Catching a train from Gothenburg, our final leg of this trip landed us in Denmark! Aquaporin,  a global water technology company dedicated to revolutionizing water purification through the use of industrial biotechnological techniques and thinking, was our first stop. Immediately upon walking in you can’t ignore the architecture of the office. It offers a clean open office space with cubes that are built in to serve various purposes which reflects the entrepreneurial spirit and fluidity of the company. The space has an art and commercial mix featuring works from local artists to engage employees in the purpose of their presence. Collaboration is also shared in having artists work on prototypes and experiments in what is classified as a semi-public space. This visit shared many similarities with Norrsken House and Epicenter in their uniquely Scandinavian way of innovation and building narratives.

At Orsted, we discussed the massive shift towards green energy which again reflects the  Scandinavian value of sustainability. Their vision is to create a world that runs entirely on green energy and bring more economically viable solutions to the market. This comes following a rebranding and refocus of their business portfolio to narrow down to offshore wind, conventional power plants, oil and gas, and distribution grids. Their recent success has come from recent changes of a significant divestment program, operating cost reductions in key levers, and biomass conversions. Orsted’s heritage lies deep within Danish energy production. Since their formation, they have established themselves as a global leader in offshore wind and will hopefully influence many other energy giants to follow suit.

On our final day of the trip, we visited two businesses: Maersk and Finansiel Stabilitet. Although we didn’t have as much of introduction to the Danish culture as we did the Swedish culture, we could still see the influence of the region. At Maersk, we learned that the company is undergoing one of the largest business transformations in European history. They’re limiting their scope to focus on shipping and logistics. Denmark is known for their seafaring culture and Maersk has continued the tradition. Because of their deep roots in maritime traditions, as they undergo this transformation, they are making sure to hold onto their shipping practices and use data to make it more efficient. We see the blending of tradition and innovation. I think our visit to Finansiel Stabilitet enlightened us to how different the culture is from American culture in terms of how they treat their banks. The presentation went very in depth of how the government handles banks that are failing. As we all know, the American government has bailed out many banks in the past because they were “too big to fail.” The Danish government takes a very different stance. If a bank is failing in Denmark, they allow it to close and fail. Finansiel Stabilitet’s role is to make that transition smooth and to prioritize the customers over the shareholders of the bank. This illustrates that they value their society over their institutions.