Straight-talking Swedish entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and thinker, Nicklas Bergman understands and interpret the technological megatrends currently shaping business, society, and culture. He works with forward-thinking leaders and organizations, established and new, to help them navigate an increasingly uncertain future. He’s the perfect guide to take an audience from neglect and skepticism to curiosity and preparedness for the challenges and opportunities the future might hold. In other words, inviting Nicklas is a fool-proof way to future-proof your organization.
30+ years working as an entrepreneur have given Nicklas Bergman an immense understanding of building companies across different regions and economic climates. From being the co-founder and largest investor in an electron microscopy company featuring unique patented nanoscale technologies to developing a Scandinavian ski resort that has attracted investments close to 200 million EUR to setting up a Volvo distribution network in Romania that grew into a 300 million EUR business, Nicklas has been able to capitalize in emerging areas that are often shrouded in ambiguity and uncertainty thanks to an unflinching curiosity and desire to understand how trends work.
20+ years working as a technology investor have taught him to stay agile in times of great uncertainty. Nicklas Bergman has seen companies go up in flames, businesses rise from the ashes, and tiny players conquer the world. At times, he has witnessed returns fifty-two times the size of his investment. Other times, zero. This hands-on, curious, and unyielding approach to exploring what comes next with both a strong business and tech background gives Nicklas a unique perspective. He uses this hard-earned experience as one of six investment committee members at the EIC Fund, an EUR 5 billion deep tech VC fund investing in more than 100 European startups annually.
10+ years working as a futurist has turned him into probably the most pragmatic futurist in the tech space. Nicklas lives with technology 24/7 and meets with scientists, innovators, entrepreneurs, and fellow investors daily. He’s optimistic about the promises emerging from new technologies but is also concerned that society is not ready for the upcoming techstorm. Some years ago, he cleared his schedule and embarked on a journey to understand where technology takes us. The result was Navigating the Techstorm: The Business Impact of Technology Beyond the Hype (Lid Publishing, London). The book was listed in Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the top 10 business books to read in 2018.
Since then, Nicklas Bergman divides his time between technology investments, a couple of skunkworks projects, and speaking and advising about how others can best navigate the opportunities and challenges of the near future. Nicklas believes we’re entering an era in which technology will redefine who we are and that it’s no longer just a question of what technology can do for us but what we should allow technology to do. We must discuss the meaning and direction of any technological innovation or scientific breakthrough. Technology is pointless unless it serves to improve people’s lives, and ethical perspectives are getting more and more complicated as new innovations and gadgets enter our lives.
With serious skin in the game as a long-time technology entrepreneur and investor, Nicklas is uniquely positioned to guide an audience through the challenge of understanding how technology is rapidly changing the way we do business. As an advisor to management teams, investors, and policymakers, he knows how to navigate in these times of great technological uncertainty.
It’s Nicklas’ firm belief that digitization, although highly relevant, is only the warm-up. The real disruption will come at the intersection of new digital technologies such as AI, crypto, and augmented reality in combination with exponential progress in nanotechnology, neurotechnology, and genetics. In a couple of decades, this will create a radically different world from what we live in today…
Whether you’re looking for a tactical quarterly perspective, a strategic perspective over the next several years, or a more visionary (sci-fi) outlook spanning several decades, Nicklas will connect the dots between scientific break-throughs, new emerging technologies, business impact, startup trends, as well as cultural and societal ripples. He will also share highly useful tools the audience can take back and immediately put to work.
Because of his global mindset and presence, paired with continuous interactions with innovators, investors, scholars, policymakers, artists, activists, entrepreneurs, and the like, Nicklas is able to draw thought- provoking conclusions about the state of the world today.
Is this as good as it gets? Have we reached the pinnacle of our evolution as a species? Far from it! With human ingenuity driving an ever-increasing rate of innovation, we will see a radically different society in the coming decades. Improved health, slowing global population growth, increasing energy demands, continued strong economic growth in emerging economies, and further advances in new enabling technologies create a complex web of opportunities and challenges.
Nicklas is convinced that we’re entering an era in which technology will redefine who we are, and it’s no longer just a question of what it can do for us but what we should allow technology to do. One thing is certain: society is not prepared for what’s to come. For the audience, this keynote will provide a deeper understanding of the state of the world, with an emphasis on global power shifts and the opportunities and challenges that comes from an increasing focus on innovation and technological independence.
Nicklas’ experiences from starting a company in Eastern Europe in 1991, co-founding a nanotechnology company in 2000, building a ski resort from scratch, and investing in dozens of startups have made him immune to uncertainty. He’s learned that instead of spending your time trying to gather even more information in a complex environment, you must aim to build a resilient and flexible mindset.
By understanding that there are different kinds of uncertainty and strategies for coping, a leader can often make sense of and develop alternatives in ambiguous situations. With a different perspective on uncertainty, you can make it work for you. It’s not about having the most information; it’s about being content with the fact that you will never have full information. Also, scanning your surroundings while being curious and a bit skeptical will give you a competitive edge.
Whether it’s co-founding a company in Eastern Europe in 1991 and scaling that to a 300 MEUR business in 15 years, conquering the world of nanotechnology with a ten people team, building a ski resort from scratch (apart from the mountain itself), investing in a North Sea offshore engineering company, or a Central America forestry operation, success always comes down to luck, timing, and talent (in that order).
Through the eyes of an entrepreneur, Nicklas shares colorful stories and useful insights from 30 years as an entrepreneur and investor. Not only the successful moments but also the challenges, struggles, and mistakes along the way. In other words, an eclectic mix of epic failures and a couple of home runs, leaving the audience with an appetite for entrepreneurship and venturing into the unknown.
Show More Show Less
“Technological uncertainty is a defining feature of the modern world. Nicklas Bergman draws together an impressive range of insights about where we are coming from and where we are going. He is an astute speaker asking the big questions about what we must do to shape and benefit from the next wave of technologies.”
Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation
“Few people understand the impact of new technology like Nicklas Bergman. Nicklas inspires us to understand the potential impact of technology on business and society – and to take responsibility for making sure that technology improves the state of the world.”
Jim Hagemann Snabe, Chairman of Siemens and A.P. Møller Maersk
"Nicklas Bergman is the Malcolm Gladwell of technology."
Peter M Fannon, SVP Panasonic North America
“You will be well rewarded by Nicklas Bergman’s insights into emergent technologies likely to have the greatest impact. In a time littered with clichéd recommendations, Bergman offers a thoughtful, singular vision, and practical recommendations for corporate and government leaders seeking to thrive in an era complicated by rapid technological change and shape a profitable, sustainable future.”
Amy Zalman, CEO, The World Future Society
“The business impact of disruptive technology is rarely a single phenomenon - you have to understand the whole emerging landscape. Nicklas and his TechStorm framework will bring you that understanding. Fast. I promise.”
Olof Hernell, CDO EQT
“Are you looking for an inspirational toolbox on emerging technologies? A catalyst to lift your company’s strategic discussion to a higher, more forward looking but still, operational and concrete level? Built on deep business and technology understanding? Then, Navigating the Techstorm is the book for you!”
Pia Irell, Portfolio Development Director, Altor Equity Partners
Contact us to get Nicklas Bergman's fees and availability for your next event
One of our consultants will get back to you soon