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The Attendee

We’re pretty sure that we have the best participants in the world. A thousand humans – storytellers, designers, programmers – gather at The Conference every year. But who are they, what excites them and why do they come to Malmö? So we thought, why keep on wondering? Let’s find out.

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COLIN NAGY

Executive Director, The Barbarian Group

Colin Nagy is a true citizen of the world; residing in New York, lover of Tokyo and multiple time visitor of The Conference. He’s actually become a dear friend over the years, always encouraging us to think bigger. We’re happy for you to meet him.

What excites you?

Connecting good people to make amazing things happen. I also spend a lot of time on the road, and being in a new city after a long, long flight never gets old. These two points are often very related.

What’s the best part about your job?

It changes every day. Keeping up with the pace and metabolism of media, tech, culture and society is integral to what I do. And the uncertainty means you need to think on your feet, be agile, and make decisions on the fly. That is what makes it fun.

Any life hack that’s made your life (if just a tiny bit) more amazing?

There’s a new service in the U.S. called Alfred which has put a lot more time back into my day. Other than that, I am a huge proponent of minimalism and packing super light when traveling. It lowers the stress factor and makes things frictionless. I’m a fan of GORUCK for bags and Outlier for clothing.

Why should anyone travel to Malmö?

I’ve been coming to Malmö for several years and I like the creative scene but also the tranquility of the city. There’s lots of parks and nice places to enjoy the late Summer sun. Also, Bastard is a wonderful restaurant and lunch at Saltimporten cannot be missed. I also discovered Uggla Kaffebar last time I was there and it became a new favorite!

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Erika hillemacher

User Experience Consultant, Mobile Experience

First time visitor, Erika Hillemacher, has found her way a-a-all the way from Sydney, Australia. Do we have to tell you that we’re absolutely thrilled to meet her in Malmö in August? Didn’t think so.

This is your first year at The Conference. What brings you here?

As a christmas present, our incredibly lovely and generous boss gave our whole team of 5 the trip to an international conference of our choice. Not a small present if you are located in Australia! We looked for something that would be design related, exciting, inspiring and fun, so here we are.

What excites you?

People doing awesome stuff, like posting funny cat videos on the internet, or an actual woman running for president in the US, or Chris Hemsworth.

What’s the best part about your job?

Being able to make a living doing something that’s really interesting, mostly very satisfying and sometimes actually quite wonderful.

Any life hack that’s made your life (if just a tiny bit) more amazing?

I used SketchUp to pretend I was an architect and designed my own home renovation in full 3D glory, including generating all the plans and specifications we needed for council and the builders. Turns out, it’s really not that different from designing a mobile app.

PER GRANKVIST

Author

Per is a current affairs analyst and sustainability expert, bestselling author and admired lecturer. He attended last year and we immediately became super fans and invited him back to our office to teach us about engagement and storytelling. (What a show!) We’re happy for you to meet him, don’t miss out!

What excites you?

Storytelling. I’d like my well done, not rare. And some nutritious random facts on the side, please.

What’s the best part about your job?

That I’m getting paid to hang out with interesting folks who tell me things that I didn’t know. They give me pieces of their stories, facts on art and science, insights from life, advice on books or documentaries that I then have to make a narrative out of. It’s not always fun or easy being me, but its almost always interesting.

According to you, is perfectionism a positive attribute or a negative one?

Having high ambitions forces me to become better and even thou I sometimes spend insane amounts of time and energy to get a detail in my stories just right or to master a skill I need to do that thing, I have never strived for perfection and advice against it. Perfect people are boring because of their predictability of being flawless. It’s the same with stories, events, art and culture. Like someone said: its sometimes better to be wrong in an interesting way than right in a boring way. Unless you’re in finance, of course.

Any life hack that’s made your life (if just a tiny bit) more amazing?

Sugru. Because the world needs fixing.

Why should anyone travel to Malmö?

A more apt question might be why anyone wouldn’t. :-) There’s something happening in Malmö that is difficult to capture but somehow you just know that you need to be there. I love Malmö for that and somehow I feel Malmö loves me back too.

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AMMi BOhLIN

Head of Digital Communications, Bonnier

We had a little chat with first time visitor Ammi Bohlin. She’s traveling to Malmö from Stockholm and is the Head of Digital Communications at Bonnier. We’re so looking forward getting to know her.

This is your first year at The Conference. What brings you here?
I had to see what all the buzz is about! And of course, you have a great line-up of speakers – past and present.

What excites you?
Challenges.

What’s the best part about your job?
The rapid development, the constant movement forward, the endless possibilities with digital. Plus, I have the best colleagues – skilled, funny and friendly.

According to you, is perfectionism a positive attribute or a negative one?
Negative. Better quick and fast than slow and perfect. Luckily, I have co-workers who think the opposite so we manage to get a good balance =)

Any life hack that’s made your life (if just a tiny bit) more amazing?
That the iPhone charges faster in airplane mode. And clean abrasions with olive oil, not water. It takes the dirt out more gently.

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JENS GRIP
Founder and CEO, Odd Hill

Jens is a long time friend of The Conference and a dedicated member of the Media Evolution Community. When he’s not at The Conference (…) He’s creating web magic at Odd Hill. 

What excites you?
One of the things that excites me is to see and follow new ideas, from the early stage (for example at a speech at The Conference) to acceptance and use in all of society.

What’s the best part about your job?
To see ideas transform into finished projects, and then see them used by thousands of people.

According to you, is perfectionism a positive attribute or a negative one?
Positive in most cases, but there is a beauty in letting go and having creativity run wild.

Why should anyone travel to Malmö?
To go to The Conference of course. (Editor’s note: Aaaw, you shouldn’t have)

Any life hack that’s made your life (if just a tiny bit) more amazing?
One life hack that people tend to forget about is the ability to print screen and make screen recording when describing something, too seldom used and great results every time.

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DANIEL WALSH
Design Leader on Android, at Google

Daniel is a Design Leader on Android at Google. He’s a first time visitor and is traveling to Malmö all the way from San Fransisco. So as you can imagine, we’re no less than SUPER EXCITED to meet him.

What brings you to The Conference?
I sought to find a conference that wove design thinking, technology, and human behavior all together in a cozy package, and I think I found it with this!

In life, or work life.. What excites you?
I love the art of storytelling, both in listening and working on my craft to engage people verbally. Whether it’s deciphering a tale that my three year old is trying to spin or watching the latest Marvel movie, I crave to consume the ideas and stories that people are trying to share.

What’s the best part about your job?
I’m lucky to be surrounded by intelligent, curious people who are on top of their game, and the problems we’re trying to solve feel meaningful and ambitious. Every day of my job is packed with challenges on making technology more simple and approachable. The free soft serve ice cream is pretty great too.

According to you, is perfectionism a positive attribute or a negative one?
Positive…to an extent. I’m an imperfect, messy person who puts way too much energy into making the things I output to look and behave as shiny and flawless as possible. I believe in painting as clear of a picture as possible to minimize risk of miscommunication, and I guess you could say I get a bit obsessive about that.

Any life hack that’s made your life (if just a tiny bit) more amazing?
Any opportunity to convert an attractive, well-designed laptop or rucksack into a diaper bag filled with all of the essentials for a taking care of a baby is me these days. There needs to be better designed gear for dads!

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LINN JOHANSSON
Government Offices of Sweden

Linn works with press and communications at the Government Offices of Sweden, in Stockholm. She’s also one of the driving forces behind the non-profit organization Brightful, a mentorship program designated to support young humans in Malmö. Linn is a dear friend of ours and we’re so happy that she’s joining us for The Conference. The world needs more Linns’!

What excites you?
Friends! Feminism! Food! And learning new things. Working with communications means you can pick up your tool box and practice what you know in different fields. Like going from working with sustainability projects to social politics (or whatever makes your heart rush) using nothing more than your set of skills and a heavy google addiction. Connecting the dots and aha-moments makes me gitty!

What’s the best part about your job?
Working with brilliant experts and people who truly have a vision of what a better society should be like, and who get up every day and work to make that happen. Regardless of which party you support, it’s worth respecting and it really motivates the hell out of me. I want to be able to look back on my work life and feel like I lent my time and my abilities to something that contributed to the kind of society I want to see in the future.

Any life hack that’s made your life (if just a tiny bit) more amazing?
I’m no trendy digital mastermind or cool tech wiz kid so bear with me on this one. My best life hack is really simple. Be generous. With your knowledge, your time, your kindness and your insecurities. Good things will happen if you do. And also, always keep duct tape at home and a notepad by your bedside. There’s nothing duct tape can’t fix and the best ideas always appear at night.

Why should anyone travel to Malmö?
To enjoy the closeness of the ocean, the great parks, the cheap falafel and the amazing diversity of people; in Malmö 175 nationalities is represented! And all of this can be experienced by bike thanks to 467 kilometers of smooth city funded bike paths (yes, the city of Malmö is my former employer).

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  1. Wed, 28 Oct 2015

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      December 10th Uffe Elbæk returns to Malmö to tell the story of how he created a parliament party in two years. Register >>

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      Welcome to Malmö and a workshop on client centricity with Hyper Island, November 6th >>

  2. Tue, 20 Oct 2015

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      Yay! We now announce two internships for spring 2016. One for communications and one for production. Read more >>

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  4. Thu, 30 Jul 2015

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      The Conference 2015 is SOLD OUT, earlier than ever before. Wow! Sign up for waiting list and we’ll get in touch if someone cancels their ticket. And don’t forget, there are loads of great side events still open for registration >>

  5. Tue, 9 Jun 2015

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      We know that it’s hard to pick and choose sometimes. That’s why we’re doing a session on Choice and Decision Making, and it’s why we’ve compiled a list of our favorite The Conference talks so far. Go explore >>

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  6. Tue, 2 Jun 2015

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      9 new speakers joins The Conference. Space! Heroes! Storytelling… Read more >>

  7. Fri, 22 May 2015

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      Having the best participants in the world, we couldn’t help but ask some of you a few questions. First out: Colin Nagy!

  8. Wed, 20 May 2015

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      8 new speakers to join the line-up for 2015 including great people from The New York Times, Topp and Frog Design. Read more >>

  9. Fri, 8 May 2015

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      The Program of The Conference 2015 is now LIVE! This year we’ll cover topics like Hate and Heroism, The Future of Work, Decision and Choice Making and much much more. Read more >>

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      Tomorrow, Thursday March 26, is the last chance to buy The Conference tickets at the early bird price. If you already know you’re going, make sure you secure your seat in time and save 1 000 SEK while doing so (€110).

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      100 tickets sold. Early bird ftw :)

  20. Mon, 15 Dec 2014

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      Announcing the first two speakers: Anita Sarkeesian (Feminist Frequency) & Aral Balkan (Ind.ie).

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