1 Jun 2015

Internet Week Denmark is the Scandinavian Third Way


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When Aarhus has play the role of Denmarks Internet-capital for five days a year it takes a lot of blood, sweat and commitment for all parties involved. With Aarhus Municipality, Smart Aarhus and strong support from private companies, Internet Week Denmark is a successful example of the so-called Scandinavian third way.

Five days dedicated to the Internet has recently finished in Aarhus. For the second year in a row it-professionals, pioneers, educational institutions and other public organisations gathered in Aarhus for Internet Week Denmark, and more than 4500 visitors let themselves be inspired by close to 100 events.

Mayor: Internet Week Denmark shows Aarhus strong I.T. -position
Following the success in 2014 Aarhus City Council permitted a three year concession making Internet Week Denmark a yearly reality until 2017.

“The success of last years Internet Week Denmark already showed how massive an interest there is in the new possibilities of the Internet. I’m proud to say that we in Aarhus have an environment where the municipality, educational institutions and the private business sector can work together in creating such an impactful event. After two successful years Internet Week Denmark has managed to underline the potential the Internet still holds, as well as the strong position Aarhus has within the Internet economy.”, says mayor of Aarhus, Jacob Bundsgaard.

The Scandinavian Third Way

The idea of Internet Week Denmark has been fostered by Smart Aarhus, a network initiated by Aarhus Municipality consisting of educational institutions and private companies who wants to promote digitization and create the ‘smart city’ of the future. In the spirit of the Internet, Internet Week Denmark is based upon crowdsourcing and crowdfunding. Companies, educational institutions, networks and individuals make Internet Week Denmark possible by organizing and financing the events. Besides the companies hosting events of their own, more than 40 companies and institutions contribute with manpower, services, know-how and financial contributions.

“Outside of Denmark Smart Aarhus’ approach is considered a Scandinavian third way based on close partnerships and immediate user involvement. The approach separates itself from the more commercial American approach as well as the more government controlled Asian tradition for city development. Internet Week Denmark is a clear manifestation of this.”, says Anne Marie Pahuus, a member of the Smart Aarhus board and Associate Dean at Aarhus University.

Smart City Theme

The two premier days of Internet Week Denmark were dedicated to smart city development and several tracks were hosted by or directly related to OrganiCity. During the Monday OrganiCity hosted the event “Open Innovation in the Digital Transition” at Aarhus City Hall, which featured presentations and discussions on the different models for collaboration within smart city development, and also the collaboration on opening up data in the Open and Agile Smart Cities network.

Tuesday saw two OrganiCity related events, as the early birds sat down for an OrganiCity hosted Smart City brunch at City Hall to listen to presentations on smart city development in Europe, and of course the chance to network with other smart city professionals. In the evening the local initiative Aarhus Data Drinks hosted the official unveiling of the new national Open Data platform – Open Data DK (www.opendata.dk). Following the launch of the website a discussion panel spent the next hour on stage debating current relevant topics within the Open Data development. The expert panel discussed everything from the role of Open Data in city development to the social- and economic potentials they hold. Two days of smart city related events were capped off with a drink in the bar and (more) networking.

Contact Internet Week Denmark

If you’re interested in learning more about Internet Week Denmark you can visit their website www.internetweekdenmark.com.

You can also contact project manager Mai Skou Wihlborg at mai@internetweekdenmark.com, or follow them on Facebook (facebook.com/internetweekdenmark), Twitter (twitter.com/internetweekdk) and LinkedIn (linkedin.com/company/internet-week-denmark).

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